Roman Shades Vs Roller Shades: Which is the Better Window Treatment?

Window shades are an essential part of any home decor, providing light control and privacy. When it comes to choosing the right window shade, two popular options are roman shades and roller shades. Both have...

Window shades are an essential part of any home decor, providing light control and privacy. When it comes to choosing the right window shade, two popular options are roman shades and roller shades. Both have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, making it important to consider your specific needs before making a decision.

What are Roman Shades?

Roman shades are made of fabric and offer a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. These shades have structured slats on the back side of the fabric, which are attached to cords. When the cord is pulled, the slats draw together, folding the fabric into overlapping pleats. The size and appearance of the pleats depend on the construction of the slats.

There are various types of roman shades available, including balloon roman shades, relaxed roman shades, Austrian roman shades, butterfly roman shades, tucked roman shades, and faux roman shades. This wide variety ensures there is an option for every style preference.

One of the advantages of roman shades is that they can be easily customized. You can choose the fabric type, such as silk, linen, cotton, or synthetic materials, based on your specific needs. Some roman shades even offer additional features like climate control, UV protection, and different levels of light control. However, it's worth noting that while roman shades can be used outdoors, they are not as durable as they may be susceptible to outdoor elements.

Pros and Cons of Roman Shades


  • Elegant and classic look
  • Versatile design options
  • Great insulation and light blocking
  • Customizable features


  • Stack up and obstruct the window view when raised
  • May require customization for non-standard window sizes
  • Susceptible to moisture retention
  • Dangling cords can be a hazard for pets and children

What are Roller Shades?

Roller shades are also made of fabric, but they differ from roman shades in their operation and appearance. Instead of folding into pleats, roller shades fit right around a case installed at the top of the window frame. These shades are typically operated by a pull cord fixed at the bottom or side of the casing.

Roller shades offer a more streamlined and contemporary look compared to roman shades. They come in a wide range of fabrics, allowing you to choose between light-filtering or blackout options. Polyester and silk fabrics create a classy and elegant look, while linen and cotton fabrics are ideal for reducing glare and blocking out light.

One of the key advantages of roller shades is their safety. They are available in various operating systems, including spring-assisted, pull-chain driven, and motorized options. Motorized roller shades eliminate the risk of loose cords, making them a safe choice for households with children and pets. Additionally, roller shades are known for their durability and resistance to fading, thanks to high-quality fabrics and strong steel tubes.

Pros and Cons of Roller Shades


  • Streamlined and contemporary design
  • Wide variety of fabric options
  • Safe and easy to operate
  • Durable and resistant to fading


  • Less versatile for different interior design styles
  • Potential for malfunctions in electronic systems
  • Special cleaning and maintenance requirements

Comparing Roman Shades Vs Roller Shades


If you prefer versatility in design, roman shades are the better option. They can complement any aesthetic, from traditional to modern. Roller shades, on the other hand, are more suitable for contemporary and minimalist looks.

Space Efficiency

When it comes to space usage, roller shades are more efficient as they fit closely to the window pane. Roman shades, on the other hand, bunch up at the top of the window, obstructing the view and limiting ventilation.

Cost or Price Range

Roller shades are generally more affordable compared to roman shades. If you have budget constraints, manually operated roller shades are a cost-effective solution.


Roman shades are made of superior materials, offering better durability and light control compared to roller shades. The thickness and texture of the fabric contribute to their insulation properties.


For insulation and climate control purposes, roller shades are the better choice. Their close installation to the window pane and optional lining help keep heat in during winter and block out heat during summer.

Which is Better: Roman Shades or Roller Shades?

The choice between roman shades and roller shades ultimately depends on your preferences and priorities.

Roman shades are ideal for those who prioritize aesthetics and versatility. With a wide range of fabric options and customizable features, they can enhance the sophisticated look of a room. However, roman shades come at a higher price and require special care and maintenance.

On the other hand, if you prioritize function over form and have a limited budget, roller shades are a practical choice. They offer easy installation, safety, and efficient light control. However, roller shades may not fit well with formal or traditional interior design styles.

In the end, it's important to consider your specific needs, including your preferred design, budget, and maintenance requirements, before making a decision. Whether you choose roman shades or roller shades, both can provide an elegant and functional window treatment for your home.

[Image: Gray Roman Shades] Gray Roman Shades

For more information on window blinds, check out our article on the different types of window blinds.

See more related content in our article about the types of window blinds here.