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As the weather starts to get colder, the best thermal curtains will help you keep your home warmer for longer.
While we’re all trying to save on skyrocketing energy bills, one simple and relatively affordable way to up the insulation in our homes is to invest in an effective pair of thermal curtains. A must for period property dwellers with original sash windows, or those with draughty French doors, these heavy drapes will see us through the winter. While some thermal curtains offer heat-retaining properties in the face material – a weighty velvet being a prime example – others boast a lightweight fabric teamed with a thermal lining that promises to keep the cold out.
To get the most out of your thermal curtains, it’s vital to measure up properly: you’ll need to ensure there’s no heat escaping from the top, bottom, or sides of your drapes, and that your window or door is fully covered. Allow for a few inches in the drop to give you complete coverage, be aware of the height you’ve got your curtain pole or tracking, and allow for this in your calculations. That said, most pencil pleat curtains come with a generously wide heading tape, which will give you some leeway. Of course, made-to-measure curtains are the way to go if you want the perfect coverage for your window, but the best ready-made drapes come in a huge range of sizes, including options for extra-wide bay windows, and even floor-to-ceiling double doors.
Available in a choice of three colourways and five sizes, these richly textured velvet curtains are sufficiently heavyweight to keep the heat from escaping. And while they offer a classic, timeless look, they’re crafted using M&S’s innovative Temperature Smart technology.
These eyelet-topped curtains marry contemporary shaping with a craft-driven aesthetic. The fabric boasts a textured woven pattern in a calming sea blue and cream colourway, while there’s little chance of heat loss, thanks to their weighty makeup. Choose from eight sizes.
With their all-over repeat geometric patterning, these velour curtains catch the light beautifully. There’s a generous choice of six sizes, ensuring you get the best coverage for your window, while an added layer of material between the face fabric and the lining offers extra warmth.
Even with fully double-glazed windows and doors, heat will always find a way to escape our homes, and so proper insulation is a must. Thermal curtains can act as an effective barrier between our cosy living spaces and the outside air getting in. When properly fitted, these heavyweight drapes can reduce heat loss by as much as 25 per cent, which will, in turn, reduce our need to crank up the thermostat.
While thermal curtains are typically associated with a winter purchase, they can, in fact, have the opposite effect of keeping us cool in the summer months, blocking heat from entering the room – a godsend on particularly sticky nights. Thanks to their thickness and weight, many thermal curtains come with blackout properties, too, allowing little to no daylight to seep through the fabric. And they can even act to reduce noise.
Due to its tightly gathered design, a pencil pleat finish will ensure there’s minimum heat loss, especially if your drapes are attached to the wall via a curtain track. Eyelet tops, however, have a tendency to let air escape through the top of the curtains, due to their extra-wide pleats, so it’s important to ensure the whole window or door is fully covered. If you’re using a curtain pole, whether you plump for pencil pleat or eyelet, make sure its brackets don’t jut out too far from the wall, otherwise you could lose precious heat on all sides.
There’s nothing like thick velvet drapes to add a touch of old Hollywood glamour to your living space. M&S’s offering boasts the brand’s Temperature Smart technology, which not only proves an effective insulator, but promises to keep the room cool in the summer months, too. The ready-made curtains come in a choice of three colourways; navy, grey, and ochre, and feature a distinctive geometric quilted border underneath the pencil pleat top, adding a luxurious textural element to the mix. The curtains are made from a rich polyester velvet and work wonders in keeping the cold out. Sufficiently weighty, they drape beautifully at the bottom and, we think, look even more opulent if hung a little long. From £59. At marksandspencer.com
A lighter weight and more affordable alternative to velvet is, of course, chenille, but these ready-made curtains are no less luxurious. The main fabric might be less than heavy but cleverly, the curtains boast a thermal blackout lining that successfully blocks any daylight whilst keeping the heat from escaping. Made from 100 per cent polyester, the curtains more than prove their heat-retaining credentials. Sturdy silver iron eyelets ensure a neat and symmetrical drape, while the soft chenille fabric offers a textural interest, both visually and to the touch. Choose from three simple colourways; a light grey, a mid-teal blue, or a rich wine red. From £40. At habitat.com
Crafted from a rich polycotton blend, and with an all-over textural geometric pattern in soft blue and cream, John Lewis’ Rona curtains are contemporary and homely in equal measure. The heavyweight fabric protects against heat loss, especially when combined with the substantial polyester lining, and yet the curtains also prove cool in warmer climes, giving you the best of both worlds – and without having to change up your window styling once the weather improves. The eyelet-topped drapes are made with ‘Better Cotton’, which comes from environmentally aware farmers who respect workers’ rights and well-being. Curtains with a conscience. From £110. At johnlewis.com
Where form and function work together perfectly, Julian Charles’ Buxton curtains are crafted from a thermal fabric blend that’s been specially formulated to regulate heat distribution. As such, the pleasingly heavyweight drapes feature a rich visual texture and a subtle mottled weave that catches the light beautifully. The curtains also boast “dim-out” properties, which are said to minimise intrusive daylight, giving you both warmth and longer lie-ins in the bedroom. Sturdy eyelets give the curtains a smart uniform look, while fine stitching awards them a high-quality finish. From £35. At juliancharles.co.uk
In a choice of dark teal, blush, pale grey or ochre, these heat-retaining curtains add either a bold colour pop or a calming neutral to living spaces and bedrooms. Crafted from 100 per cent polyester, the velour curtains feature an embossed geometric repeat pattern that awards the drapes both an attractive visual texture and a luxurious feel. The curtains prove surprisingly lightweight despite their thermal properties, yet they more than do the job, keeping the room toasty warm and importantly, draught-free, and this is largely thanks to the curtains’ interlining, meaning an additional layer of fabric between the main material and the lining. From £49. At laredoute.co.uk
Not only do these chic charcoal curtains boast winter-ready thermal properties but they’re also thoughtfully finished with a blackout coating, making them a great choice for the bedroom. Neither the cold nor the morning light will find its way through these chunky drapes when you’re enjoying your lie-in. Made from 100 per cent polyester, and with a durable brushed steel header, the curtains are thick enough to adopt a uniform pleating effect, whether opened or drawn. Contemporary in design, and crafted from a smart suit-like material, they really mean business. From £15. At dunelm.com
Whether you choose the ready-made curtains in green, grey, natural or navy, the fabric offers an attractive texture, thanks to its criss-cross woven makeup. Craft-driven in look and feel, the Harvard curtains also boast thermal properties to keep you toasty warm, as well as a reliable blackout functionality, ensuring both draughts and daylight are kept at bay. What’s more, thanks to their relatively heavy weight, the curtains also boast noise reduction, which is ideal for city-dwellers wishing to shut out the world and cosy up. Finished with a neat pencil pleat, these bring classic country charm, whether hung from a curtain pole or directly onto a track. From £40. At homeessentials.co.uk
Neat, pencil pleat-topped drapes award your living space a classic look, and while the Stephanie curtains are plain and simple in design, they’re all about the finer details. Expect top-quality stitching and a faultless finish here. Available in a choice of six colours, from soft neutrals to subtle metallics, as well as a rich Midnight Blue, there’s a shade to suit your mood – go warm for cosy winter evenings indoors. Not only do these 100 per cent polyester curtains boast thermal properties but they work effectively to completely shut out the light, too. Pleasingly heavyweight, they also drape beautifully. From £70. At next.co.uk
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