Are Vertical Blinds Still Viable?

Are Vertical Blinds Still Viable?

According to Wikipedia, vertical blinds were invented in the 1960s. As best we can tell, there have not been a lot of changes to the design since their creation. So this begs the question, “Are vertical blinds still viable?”

When dealing with sliding glass doors or extremely wide windows, the easy answer has always been vertical blinds. But as with most things in life, the easy answer is not always the best answer. But let’s give them a fair shake first.


  • Able to cover wide windows (up to 16 feet or more depending on the manufacturer).
  • Able to cover very tall windows – over 8 feet tall in most cases.
  • Wide variety of fabric or vinyl slats to match almost any decor.
  • When measured & installed properly, able to provide complete privacy from “peeping-toms” and “nosy-neighbors” (depending on the material used for slats).
  • Easy to replace slats & mechanical components if damaged (in most cases).
  • Can be configured to draw to the left, to the right, or split in the middle.
  • Even when closed, they can be tilted to allow more or less light into the room.
  • When opened and drawn back, they (usually) allow full access to the window opening or door.
  • Typically less expensive than other products for these types of windows.
  • Some companies offer cord-free manual and motorized options for customers concerned with child safety.


  • Not as “en vogue” today as in previous years (primarily late 70’s thru mid-90’s).
  • PVC slats make a “slapping” sound when drawn open.
  • If not operated properly, gears in carriers can “strip out” and slats will not rotate correctly.
  • Over time, the PVC slats tend to become brittle. The same thing can happen with the plastic tabs inside fabric vanes that allow them to snap into the headrail

So what do you use if you don’t want to use vertical blinds?

There are a number of options that can be used in the same areas that vertical blinds have typically been used over the years.

Here are a few:

  • Draperies or sheers on traverse rods
  • Vertical cellular shades
  • Panel track systems
  • Bi-fold or bypass shutters on a track.
  • Solar or roller shades (depending on the width).

So “are vertical blinds still viable?” Absolutely. Are vertical blinds the only option for treating large windows and sliding doors? No.

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