Turn window blinds up or down? An industry expert advises!

window blinds turned up and down in a kitchen
HunterDouglas “Reveal” aluminum blinds — I put blinds like this in my kitchen.

When we asked readers toilet paper over or under? reader Steve was agnostic on the issue. The pressing question in his house: How should blinds be closed? “Believe me, this is a very contentious issue in my household,” he said.

I installed 2″ aluminum blinds from Hunter Douglas in my kitchen (love them), so asked the company if they had a bona fide scientific answer. And yes, now everything is illuminated!

Pros and cons of turning blinds up or down

Bobby Dill, General Manager of the Hunter Douglas Horizontal Blinds Division, provided this assessment of the pros and cons of how to angle the slats on horizontal window blinds:

Reasons to turn your window blinds up:

It really is consumer preference, although we know that turning the slats upward (front edge of the blind upward) usually provides more privacy, less light into the room, and minimizes heat transfer into the room…. 

Closed in the inside up direction, blinds may not have as soft an appearance, but there is greater control of daylight entering the room. Sunlight and some radiant energy will be deflected upward and away from the room.  This benefit is especially relevant in places like offices, where there can be substantial energy savings derived from maximizing that amount of natural lighting in the space.

Reasons to turn your blinds down:

With that said, tilting to the front (front edge of the blind down) provides the most aesthetic benefit, but will admit more light through the small gaps where slats overlap because of the angle of sunlight on the window.


Really, it comes down to personal preferences and the particular situation.  Horizontal blinds provide benefits and functionality when tilted in any position.  There is no “right” or “wrong ” way go.

Thank you, Mr. Dill, for your guidance. And thank you, Steve, for the question.

  1. Byd says:

    There’s not so much information- opinions- or solutions for horizontal blind and vertical blind direction for those living in a high rise with two floors above and two below- and a building relatively close on one side. LOVE my condo (garages & elevators such a plus!)- but privacy a factor when wanting to take advantage of lovely views without being on display! Which way for in-the-middle folks???🤔

  2. Gail Newman says:

    Thank you for this post. I had vintage blinds in my last house and wanted them for the home we recently moved into. I found a Hunter Douglas business and just ordered these for my kitchen and bedroom windows. I turn them up during the summer and during the winter either furn them down or raise them.

  3. Pat says:

    I like to turn mine up most of the time, doesn’t make it quite as dark as you don’t have to shut them entirely to get the glare out of the room. I love the 2″ blinds, have the originals in one room in my house, would never switch just so they match all the other rooms. But can’t afford to buy all new blinds either.

  4. Cardboard Shoji sun screens. says:

    To cut the heat from my large single pane west facing window, I have cut 3 large panels from a refrigerator box to slide lengthwise along sill against the glass. Imagine sliding Japanese Shoji screens. The light brown non- printed sides of the cardboard, which slightly overlap, face the street and really can’t be seen. When in place, I then close my curtains and because the cardboard is corrugated it is a fantastic heat barrier. At night I slide the two pieces back against the third and can allow the cooler evening light in or allow for an open a window in that section if needed. Very reasonable and very effective!! In the winter I store the 3 panels in the garage. I have labeled and numbered on the inside of the panels as well, so easy for use next year. This can also be done for any window where the sun hits.

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