Window shades not only control light and boost privacy, but they also make a subtle decor statement. With so many styles to choose from, it can be tricky to select the perfect shades to match your home’s aesthetic and function. Two of the most popular options – cellular and Roman shades – both filter light beautifully but in different ways.

Cellular shades evenly stack compact rows of fabric “cells” when raised, while Roman shades collect in elegant cascading folds. Both add style, insulation, and dimming capability to your windows. But which is the better match for your home and priorities? By comparing the unique aesthetics, customization options, child safety, energy efficiency, and ease of installation, you can determine whether cellular or Roman shades are most fitting for your needs and vision.

We break down all the pros, cons, and ideal uses for cellular and Roman shades so you can adorn your windows with fabulous form and function.

Demystifying Cellular and Roman Shades

First, what defines these two shade varieties?

Cellular Shades

Cellular shades consist of honeycomb-shaped fabric cells layered together when expanded. The cells trap air to act as insulation. Pleated folds lift and stack evenly for a smooth look.

Cellular vs. Roman Shades: Which is Right for You?

Roman Shades

Roman shades feature elegant fabric folds that stack up when raised. Available in various lengths, patterns, and textures, these shades complement both modern and traditional décors.

While aesthetics differ, cellular and Roman shades offer similar advantages: light modulation, privacy, insulation, child safety, and custom sizing. But each excels in certain applications.

Cellular vs. Roman Shades: Which is Right for You?

Comparing Performance, Style, and Versatility

Let’s explore where cellular and Roman shades best shine:

Light Control

Cellular shades have an edge with their multi-layer construction blocking more light from peeking through the edges or gaps. Soft folds on Roman shades can allow some light leakage along the sides.


The “insulating cells” of cellular shades trap air to boost insulation. This helps reduce energy costs in extreme climates. Roman shades look more decorative but lack for insulation properties.

Style Choices

With endless colors and patterns, both offer tons of style possibilities. But softly draping roman shades accentuate height and windows better in classically styled rooms than the uniform stacking of cellular.

Sheer & Opaque Options

Cellular shades are primarily opaque, but recently introduced sheer fabrics still provide impressive UV protection alongside an exceptional outside view. Most Roman shade fabrics remain opaque.

Key Considerations & FAQs for Cellular and Roman

Both come in standard or custom-cut sizes, so they usually don’t require professional measuring or installation. Easy operation and rare cleaning are also shared low-maintenance perks.

Corded shades still dominate with Roman styles, increasing safety risks. Cellular shades often integrate cordless lift systems, making them the safer choice around children and pets.

Home automation capability comes down to motorization – available for both, but more commonly seen with cellular shades. Smart motors sync with lighting, security, thermostats and voice assistants.

Discover Your Perfect Shade Style

Armed with insight on where cellular and Roman excel, you’re ready to determine which is best suited for your windows and rooms.

The friendly consultants at Incredible Windows have helped numerous homeowners in the Middleton, WI area select custom shades tailored to their space, lifestyle, and vision for their home.

Let us guide you to the ideal shades! Call (608) 826-7419 to schedule a free virtual or in-home design consultation and estimate. We can’t wait to show you shades that will make you smile each time you look at your beautifully dressed windows.