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What are Honeycomb Shades?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jan 31, 2024
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Honeycomb shades are window shades which have a unique honeycomb-like appearance in cross section. The shades are made by connecting a series of hexagonally shaped cells which collapse into pleats when the shades are opened. This distinctive design is extremely energy efficient, since it traps an insulating layer of air in the space created within each cell. Many people use honeycomb shades in cold climates since they help to keep the heat in, and they have other advantages for applications like sound proofing and light muting.

Many major manufacturers of window shades make honeycomb shades, in an assortment of colors and styles. The shades are often available at home supply stores, and they can also be custom ordered to fit special windows or if a specific color is needed. Like other window shades, honeycomb shades are relatively easy to install, and they can be decorated with window treatments to soften their harsh edges, or left plain for a more crisp, clean look.

In addition to being made with a single row of cells, honeycomb shades can also incorporate several layers of cells for increased insulation, sound dampening, or to filter out bright light. Twin and triple honeycombed shades are usually slightly more costly than their plainer cousins, but they can be advantageous in certain situations. These shades often come with a range of color choices, too; for example, one row of cells could be white, to admit more light, while the layer facing the inside of the home could be colored, to change the tone of the light.

Like other window shades, honeycomb shades provide privacy to people inside a structure while also admitting varying degrees of light through, depending on the style. When closed, the shades cover the entire window; they can also be opened or partially opened to allow as much light as possible through the window. Honeycomb shades are often made from paper or fabric, although versions made from nylon and other materials are available as well. They can be opened and closed with a variety of mechanisms, ranging from simple pull strings to mechanical shades operated at the flick of a switch.

The cells of the shades can create an interesting light effect which some people enjoy incorporating into their interior design. Honeycomb shades have a clean, simple look which can go with a variety of interior decorating schemes. They also tend to be easier to maintain than slats and blinds, which can accumulate dust or become bent out of shape and unsightly, making them a choice to consider when installing new window treatments.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By turquoise — On Mar 17, 2011

I moved into a new house last year and the windows of my living room are really high with an arc shape. I was going to have curtains custom made but then I realized that it was going to be difficult to open and close them everyday.

A friend of mine told me about a site that sells honeycomb shades made to fit arch windows and which come in custom dimensions. I decided to go with it and I'm glad that I did because it is so easy to use. Even though my windows take up almost an entire wall, I have no problems with adjusting light.

By candyquilt — On Mar 15, 2011

Honeycomb shades are similar to typical shades but a little more sophisticated and useful. I think they are a great alternative to shades for environmentally friendly folks who are looking to conserve some energy while heating or cooling their house.

Honeycomb shades are supposed to keep the house warmer during the winter and cooler in the summer. I think it definitely helps and it adds an interesting and unique touch to the look of a room.

My only complaint about it is that it's hard to clean, both because of its shape and also because I bought cloth-covered cellular honeycomb shades which tend to attract dust. Aside from that, I'm happy with it.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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