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Roller Shades vs. Roman Shades: How Are They Different?

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Are you wondering whether you need roller shades or Roman shades? The differences aren’t immediately apparent, so how do you choose?

Coastal Elite Window Coverings is here to help as the best provider of window treatment services in Virginia Beach. Read about roller shades vs. Roman shades below, and then call us to talk with a sales representative about our wide variety of options!

Roller Shades

Roller shades roll down to cover windows and roll back up to allow natural light to enter your home. They’re most frequently controlled with a pull cord, but some also have a winding chain on the side. Modern versions can even be motorized for the highest level of control and convenience.

Roller shades are the most popular blind available because their benefits are clear:

  • Easy to control
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • A wide variety of colors and sizes

However, they also have clear disadvantages:

  • Don’t fit well stylistically into older homes
  • Frequently malfunction or break
  • Drawstring poses a safety hazard to pets or small children
  • Cannot pair with a shutter

Roman Shades

Roman shades work much the same as roller shades but draw up into neat pleats. The wooden slats inside draw up together to create these pleats. 

Popular types come in a variety of fabrics and colors. The level of control they offer, along with their various styles, means they don’t need curtains or drapes to look complete, either.

The biggest advantages include the following:

The disadvantages of Roman shades include the following:

  • Bulkier up top, so they block the view or could interfere with air circulation
  • Needs customization if your window is an unusual size or shape
  • Retains a lot of moisture, making them susceptible to mold in humid climates
  • Like the roller shade, the pull cord or chain breaks frequently and is a safety hazard

Major Differences

When considering roller shades vs. Roman shades, their differences matter more than their similarities.


The presence of slats is the primary difference between the two types of shades. The Roman shades’ slats are heavier, block more light, and insulate the room better because they hold tighter to the window. They are also more difficult to maintain and clean.


While the slats help Roman shades retain their elegant and classic style, even while retracted, they can look bulky in the wrong setting. They do come in a wider variety of styles and don’t need to be paired with drapes, but you may need to order a customized size for certain windows.

Call Coastal Elite Window Coverings Today

Whether you’re looking at blinds for your home or need to know the best window treatments for beach houses, Coastal Elite Window Coverings can help. If you’ve chosen a winner in the battle of roller shades vs. Roman shades, call 757-842-3766 to pick out the treatment of your choice!

Picture of Stacy Jacob

Stacy Jacob