Single Cell vs Double Cell Shades

Cellular shade fabric comparison
BY BLINDSTER | August 27, 2014
October 03, 2023

You have so many decisions to make when decorating your new home. Or maybe you’re just updating your decorations. Either way, when you get into the details, there’s a ton of work to do. What type of material should the countertops be made of? What colors will your rugs be? Should your rugs be soft and fluffy or coarse and thick? What are your family members going to think about all the changes? And do you have the budget necessary to make all the updates you want?

Whew, that’s a lot to think about!

We can’t help you make all of those decisions. But we can help you understand whether single or double-cell shades will fit well in your home.

First of All, What Are Cellular Shades?

New to cellular shades? No problem. Cellular shades have cell pockets. When you look at them from the side, they have a honeycomb shape.

But beyond the simple and obvious aesthetic difference, they perform four additionally important functions:

  • You get greater energy efficiency because of their insulating effect
  • More harmful UV rays are blocked out
  • They keep a little more noise out too
  • They block light and darken you room a little

What’s the Difference Between Single and Double Cell Shades?

Let’s start with the obvious one. Single cell shades have just one layer of cells. Double cell shades have one row closer to the window interconnected with one closer to the room.

Because of their two layers, double cell shades give you better insulation from loud noise. They also insulate you and increase your energy efficiency a little better than single-cell shades do.

Double cell shades usually come in smaller sizes – less than ½ inch. Single cell shades range in cell and pleat widths from 3/8 inch to 2 inches.

Typically, shades with a 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch cell measurement for smaller windows. The narrower fabric cells fit much better with shallower window openings. And these openings may or may not work with cells larger in size.

From an aesthetic point of view, if you use small rows of cells in a big window, you can get a “busy” look you and other family members may not like. Because they come in larger cell sizes, single cell shades look better in bigger picture windows.

The smaller shade sizes of 3/8 inch and under work well in bathrooms. The cells trap air inside the fabric pockets, and the higher humidity and dramatic temperature changes don’t impact them negatively.

Mid-Size Cellular Shades are Awesome Energy Savers

Most of the air your home leaks goes out through the windows. Mid-size cells – between 9/16" and 3/4" - are great insulators that keep your home the right temperature and your energy bills low.

That’s One Less Decision to Make...

Now you know the basics of single and double cell shades. So, that’s another decision off your plate. 

Which makes most sense for your home? You can find exactly what you want online or communicate it to a store associate at