Stoneside Custom Roller Shades

How Long Do Window Treatments Last?

By: Natalie Elmhurst

Updated: 4/17/2024

Purchasing new window treatments is a large financial investment that will have an enormous effect on your home’s aesthetics, light and privacy management, and energy efficiency. So it’s natural to ask “How long will they last?” Window blind life expectancy depends, in part, on the quality of the blinds you buy. In general, quality window treatments will have higher upfront costs but will last longer.

Of course, it’s not only the quality of the blinds or shades that determine their lifespan. Physical damage, difficulties operating them, and even a change in your home’s style are reasons people need to replace window treatments prematurely.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the factors that influence durability, the reasons you might need to replace window treatments, the general lifespan of different types of treatments, and ways you can extend the life of your blinds or shades.

Factors That Influence Durability

The quality and type of your window treatment will set a baseline for how long it may last, but physical damage, the placement of your window treatments, and improper care can truncate their lifespan. Below are some factors that affect window treatment durability.

Quality and Material of Window Treatment

Higher quality, custom window treatments last longer than bargain, off-the-shelf ones. Cost-effective window treatments do exist, but you generally get what you pay for, and you’ll find that custom blinds and shades are simply better made.

The material of window treatments will also affect their durability. The more robust the material, the longer it should last. So, for example, drapes typically last longer than curtains because they’re made of thicker fabric with multiple layers.

Physical Damage

Window blind life expectancy will obviously be shortened if your window treatments are physically damaged. Accidents inevitably happen, but you should expect your window treatment’s durability to be affected if you have any of the following in your home.

  • Kids: Every parent knows that kids are hard on things, and it’s no different with window treatments. From pulling cords too hard to hanging from the window coverings themselves, kids are rough on window treatments.
  • Pets: Cats and dogs are also frequent culprits when it comes to window treatment damage, especially fabric coverings such as Roman shades or drapery.
  • Careless guests: Sometimes all it takes to damage a window covering is a careless guest yanking on a cord too hard.

Placement of Window Treatment

Even if you buy the same window treatments for every window in your home, you’ll undoubtedly find that certain ones need replacing sooner than others. Where your window treatments are placed, along with the type you’re using, will have a huge effect on their longevity. This is due to 3 location-related factors:

1. Sun: Solar radiation—i.e., sunlight—is incredibly hard on home furnishings. One of the main reasons people buy window treatments like solar shades is to protect their home’s interior from UV damage. Unfortunately, window treatments that get a lot of sun will be damaged by those same UV rays.

2. Dust: Exposure to dust will also wear your window treatments out. You can counteract this by dusting or vacuuming your coverings regularly.

3. Humidity: Window treatments in humid rooms, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms, will wear out sooner, especially if they’re made of wood or fabric.

Improper Care

Performing regular maintenance of window treatments is incredibly important in maintaining the lifespan of your window coverings. Failing to follow the included cleaning and maintenance directions is a surefire way to undermine their durability.

Stoneside Custom Roman Shades

Other Reasons to Replace Window Treatments

It makes sense that wear and tear or damage to your window treatments will necessitate replacement, but there are other reasons many people find they need to replace their window coverings sooner than planned.

  • Difficult to operate: Age or illness can influence mobility, making what was once simple extremely challenging. If you’re finding it difficult to use your window coverings, it may be time to replace them with motorized options.
  • Ineffective for your needs: If you’re looking to improve your home’s energy efficiency or manage light and privacy better, it may be best to buy new treatments.
  • Out of style: You may have thought those shag curtains would never go out of style, but things inevitably change. Sometimes window treatments just don’t look as good as they used to, and you’re better off replacing them.

Lifespan of Window Treatments

Now that we’ve looked at all the factors that influence window blind life expectancy, how long can you expect your blinds or shades to last? The average is between 8 and 10 years, but there will be some differences depending on the type of treatment you own.


How long do blinds last? Custom blinds are some of the longest-lasting window treatments and you should be able to use them for 10 to 20 years if properly maintained. Blinds made from real wood will need to be polished on occasion, and you can’t get them wet, whereas faux wood ones tend to be more robust against the elements. A broken slat will mean immediate replacement, however, as it’s usually not cost-effective to replace just one slat.


Shades encompass several different styles made for vastly different purposes. Let’s look at some of the most popular options available.

  • Roller Shades and Solar Shades are incredibly versatile and great at managing light and privacy. Many people hang them in high-use areas, so it’s not uncommon to find that they need to be replaced after 8 years.
  • Cellular Shades are more delicate than other window treatments due to their honeycomb structure (which gives them their amazing ability to improve a home’s energy efficiency). You should expect them to last between 5 and 8 years.
  • Roman Shades are made of fabric and should last longer than other types of shades. Many people get 10+ years out of them, though you may want to replace them sooner if they start to fade or fray.


Custom drapes are made from multiple layers of fabric, and it’s typical for them to last 10 to 15 years, though you may see signs of wear earlier depending on their use.

Extending the Life of Your Window Treatments

Window treatments are a considerable investment, and you want them to function like new for as long as possible. Luckily, window blind life expectancy can be extended if you do as many of the following.

  1. Buy high quality: Extending the life of your window treatments begins with buying the best ones you can afford.

  2. Choose easy-to-match styles: Neutral styles and colors will ensure that your window coverings continue to match your home’s aesthetic if you decide to redecorate sometime in the future.

  3. Professional installation: Employing a professional installer will guarantee that your blinds or shades don’t wear out prematurely from an installation-related imbalance or misalignment.

  4. Motorization: Motorized blinds are excellent at extending the lifespan of your window treatments by making sure that cords aren’t pushed past their operating limit.

  5. Appropriate cleaning and maintenance: Take care of your window treatments with appropriate cleaning and maintenance and they’ll naturally last longer.

Rely on Stoneside for the Best Window Coverings

Hopefully, you now have a good sense of the window blind life expectancy. If you’re noticing signs that it’s time to replace your window treatments or you’re buying treatments for the first time, check out Stoneside for the best blinds, shades, and drapery available. Schedule a free design consultation today and get started on finding out why customers rate us #1 in the U.S.