Blinds with Holes Vs. No Holes/Routeless Blinds

Blind with either routed or routeless slats
BY BLINDSTER | October 30, 2014
September 25, 2023

Did you know blinds can lift and operate without any cords running through the middle of their slats? Today's blinds come with so many more features and options than the ones of decades ago.

Buying blinds is a simple process but there are a lot of options and features to consider. That's a good thing for you because now you can get a custom-made window covering that better meets your needs.

So let's talk about why you might buy routed or routeless blinds.

Routed Blinds

First, let's discuss these because they're what you're used to. Routed blinds have holes (generally called route holes) in each of the slats that a lift cord passes through. You know how you pull the cord to raise and lower these blinds. Some of their plusses and minuses:

Pros of Routed Blinds:

  1. Slats generally stay in place better because of the lift cord
  2. Usually, they are less expensive than routeless blinds

Cons of Routed Blinds:

  1. The holes the lift cord passes through can allow people to peek through (if they chose)
  2. These holes also allow more light to enter, which makes sleeping or watching TV during daylight hours a little more difficult

Routeless/No-Holes Blinds

Just like their name says, these blinds have no holes in their slats. They are "routeless" – they have no routes for the lift cords to pass through the slats. However, there are notches on the back of your blinds' slats so that the lift cords will settle into these notches to hold the slats in place when the blinds are open. You might also hear them called "de-light" or "smart-privacy" blinds. Here's what they do and do not do well:

Pros of Routeless Blinds:

  1. No holes in the slats gives you maximum privacy and keeps light out during the daytime so you can sleep and watch TV easier
  2. Since less light passes through, you also get a slightly better insulating effect

Cons of Routeless Blinds:

  1. Because the slats are not secured by lift cords, they're a little more difficult to control
  2. The slats will shift when the blinds are opened, closed and lifted or lowered. When you tilt the slats open, you will have to adjust the slats back into place so that the notches align with the ladders. The easiest way to adjust the routeless slats on an inside mount blind is to tilt the blinds open, then hold one of the inside ladders while gently moving the blind side to side until the slats fall into place.
  3. Routeless slats can be easily removed or dislodged by children or pets. Although it is also easy to put routeless slats back into place.

Additional Things to Think About

So that's the pros and cons of each style of blind. You may also want to consider that routeless blinds generally work better when mounted inside your window (the frame helps keep them in place). Also, you generally don't want them on doors because they get pushed and blown around more, which knocks the slats out of whack. Finally, they're also a little more expensive than standard routed blinds.

Which is Best for You?

So that's really the pros and cons of each of these blinds. Neither is really "better" than the other as each works well in different situations.

Now you have the information to make the best decision for your personal needs! Ready to start shopping?  See Blindster's full assortment of wood blinds and faux wood blinds and find the style and options that work best for you!