How to Choose: Single Cell or Double Cell Shades

Ok, so you’ve decided that you absolutely need cellular shades (also called honeycomb shades) for your home or office. Whether you fell in love with their energy efficiency, their effectiveness in providing light control and privacy, or their intuitive lift systems, you certainly made a great decision! Now, you need to decide whether you want a single cell honeycomb shade or a double cell honeycomb shade.

First and foremost, what’s the difference between a single cell and a double cell shade? A single cell shade has one row, or layer, of cells that stack on top of each other. A double cell shade has intertwined, slightly offset rows of cells. This essentially provides two layers of cells – one layer of cells closest to the room, and one layer of cells closest to the window. The picture below shows the difference between the design of a single cell shade and a double cell shade.

energy efficient window coverings
Double cell shown on left. Single cell shown on right.

Moving beyond the design, let’s examine why you may choose a single cell honeycomb shade over a double cell honeycomb shade, or vice versa.

When a Single Cell is Right

  1. If you want the cleanest look
    Single cell shades provide a clean, less busy look than do double cell shades. This is because double cell shades generally have a smaller cell size than do single cell shades. A smaller cell size means more rows of cells. If you were looking at the two shades side-by-side, the single cell shade would have less rows – which give the appearance of horizontal lines – and the double cell shade would have more rows (or more horizontal lines).
  1. If you want the most affordable cellular shade
    The design of a double cell shade is more intricate and requires more fabric to make. Consequently, the price is higher for a double cell honeycomb blind than it is for a single cell honeycomb blind. Single cell fabrics provide a ton of bang for their buck. Blackout single cell shades provide some of the best in light control and privacy, while providing significant savings on your heating and cooling costs.

When a Double Cell is Right

  1. If you want the best in energy efficiency
    Single cell shades do a phenomenal job at reducing the temperature transfer that occurs at a window – whether it’s preventing cold air from coming in or going out, or preventing warm air from coming in or going out. Double cell shades do an even better job. This is due to the design – the additional layer of cells allows a double cell blind to provide better insulating capabilities. If you want the most energy efficient window coverings, then you want a double cell shade.
  1. If you want the best in noise reduction
    If you’re looking for noise reducing window coverings, cellular shades are the best in class. Both single cell and double cell shades have sound absorption properties, but in the same way that a double cell shade offers better insulating capabilities, it also offers better noise reduction capabilities. The double cell design is better at trapping both air and noise. If you live in a particularly noisy area, we would recommend a double cell shade for maximum noise reduction.

Again, whether you go with a single cell or a double cell honeycomb shade, you’ve made a great decision. If aesthetics and cost are your primary purchase decisions, then we would recommend a single cell shade. If energy efficiency and noise reduction are your primary purchase decisions, then a double cell shade might be the better decision. Either way, you’re sure to end up with a stylish, practical, energy efficient window covering.

honeycomb cellular shade

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