How Are Roman Blinds Different From Roller Blinds?

Blinds are commonly used window coverings primarily used with the purpose of blocking out sunlight as much as possible. Though the principal functionality of most window coverings is light control, i.e. letting you decide how much of natural light or sunlight you wish to have in your room, blinds are more about a darkening effect. Blinds are also of different types, the most popular of them being Roman blinds and roller blinds, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Roman Blinds
Roman blinds and roller blinds do not differ much on the basis of functionality but are distinguished because of their appearance and operation. These are made of fabrics lending a formal look and feel to the room and fall flat when open. They are constructed with the help of slats that are inserted into the back side of the fabric. These slats are attached to cords, which when pulled draws the slats together forcing the fabric to fold into overlapping pleats. The size of pleats depends upon the size the slats. Difference in constructions lead to variety of folds on the basis of which roman blinds can be classified as relaxed romans, balloon romans, butterfly romans, Austrian romans, faux romans, tucked romans with a cascading pleats, etc.

Roman blinds are easily available in most home interior stores in Toronto and you can buy them off the counter or even order for a customized version with specific measurements of your windows and special fixtures. Roman blinds are essentially made of fabrics and give you the liberty of choosing your own. You can choose from hemp, silk, cotton, linen or synthetics depending on factors like temperature control, UV resistance, light control, washability, level of opacity, etc. You can also choose to line or not to line Roman blinds to block more light and also for more insulation. Lining makes the blinds thicker that block light better than the thinner ones that merely diffuse the natural light streaming into a room. Blackout lining is a great option if you want 100% light block, though it is quite possible for some light to sneak in through the sides.

Roman blinds also work well for outdoors, for places like patios or a gazebo, where you wish to control light as well as temperatures. But for outdoor purposes, you ought to opt for a more durable and water resistant material like bamboo mats or synthetics instead of fabrics as they will have more exposure to natural elements.

Roman Blinds vs. Roller Blinds: Know the Differences

Here are some of the key differences between Roman blinds and roller blinds to help you make a well-informed decision.

Roman Blinds

Roman blinds have become increasingly popular because they strike the right balance between traditional and contemporary design. They can be operated either with a traditional cord or a chain drive mechanism. When opened, their pleated fabrics form neat, clean folds, and when closed, they lay flat over the entire window, without any overlapping or creasing.


  • Roman shades provide a timeless look to interiors. Available in a range of designs and fabrics, they’re quite versatile and suit almost any type of decor. For example, if minimalism is what you want to achieve, go for white fabric Roman blinds that will complement your sleek and simple furniture. If you want something more traditional, opt for floral corduroy or charcoal crushed velvet.
  • Roman blinds are often made of heavy fabric with a dual lining that offers great insulation. So, whether you’re looking to keep heat out or in, these window treatments are perfect for all seasons.
  • Since Roman blinds are made of one whole piece of fabric, with no gaps to filter light, you can block sunlight completely to enjoy privacy.


  • Roman blinds create a stack at the top of the window when they are opened or raised. This can block the upper portion of your window view and minimize light and air filtration.
  • Roman shades do not usually come in different sizes and shapes, so you need to customize them to fit your window openings.
  • Roman shades often hold onto moisture, which results in damp and mould issues. This makes them inappropriate for bathrooms and kitchens that remain humid for long periods of time.
  • Roman blinds operate on a cord or chain drive system, and any loose or dangling cord is a strangulation hazard for kids and pets.

Roller Blinds

A roller blind is a single piece of fabric that fits around a casing and onto the top of your window frame, either inside or outside the window recess. It is operated by a pull cord fixed at the bottom of the blind or by a side-winding chain system attached to the blind casing.


  • Unlike Roman blinds, roller blinds fit very closely to the window and don’t have a lot of excess fabric. They are available in a huge range of fabrics, including block out and translucent. Cotton or linen blinds reduce glare, whereas silk or polyester ones add a touch of elegance.
  • Roller blinds are one of the easiest and safest window treatments for your home thanks to the choices you have in their operating mechanisms. Roller blinds can be chain driven, spring assisted, or fully motorized. With motorized roller blinds, you don’t have to worry about any loose, hanging cords.
  • Made using durable steel tubes, high-quality UV-treated fabrics, and easy-to-use operating systems, roller blinds are quite durable and resistant to fading.
  • While roller blinds aren’t as cheap as curtains and some other types of blinds, they’re more affordable than Roman blinds and shutters.


  • Roller blinds are not popular with older homes, especially those with colonial architectural features because their contemporary look doesn’t blend with their interiors. Additionally, old homes usually have window shutters, which cannot be fitted with roller blinds.
  • Both ratchet and electronic blind systems have parts that may malfunction and need to be cleaned or replaced often.
  • Unlike curtains that do not require special cleaning or treatment, some roller blinds need professional dry-cleaning in order to last.

Roman blinds and roller blinds function similarly but look and operate differently, but their subtle differences make it difficult to prefer one over the other. Consider your needs and budget to make the best choice.