Difference Between Recess and Exact Blinds

Home » Difference Between Recess and Exact Blinds

When it comes to selecting the perfect window treatment for your space, the debate often boils down to recess blinds vs exact blinds. Both offer unique advantages and have their own set of challenges. This article delves deep into their characteristics, helping you ascertain which option aligns best with your requirements.


What are Recess Blinds and Exact Blinds?

Recess blinds and exact blinds are specific measurements and fittings used in the window blinds industry. Their primary purpose is to ensure that the window covering fits perfectly in the intended space, providing optimum functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Recess Blinds: These are blinds designed to fit inside the window recess or alcove. The blinds are measured to fit the exact size of the recess, ensuring a snug fit. This type of fitting is ideal for windows where there’s a desire to maintain a streamlined appearance with the blinds recessed into the window frame.

Exact Blinds: These blinds are made to fit exactly on the outside of the window recess or the wall. The measurements for exact blinds are taken from the outer edges of where you want the blind to sit, typically covering the entire window recess and a bit of the surrounding wall or frame. This type of fitting is chosen when there’s a need to maximize the light blockage or for windows without a suitable recess.

What is the Main Difference Between Recess and Exact Blinds?

The main difference between recess and exact blinds is their placement and installation method:

Recess Blinds: These are installed inside the window recess, fitting snugly within the window frame. They offer a streamlined, integrated appearance since they are flush with the surrounding wall.

Exact Blinds: These are installed outside the window recess, covering both the window and a portion of the surrounding wall or frame. They can serve as a decorative feature due to their external positioning.

In essence, the primary distinction lies in whether the blinds are mounted inside (recess) or outside (exact) the window’s recess.

Key Differences between Recess Blinds and Exact Blinds

  1. Placement: Recess blinds are installed inside the window recess, while exact blinds are installed outside the window recess.
  2. Measurement Technique: For recess blinds, measurements are taken within the window recess. For exact blinds, measurements cover the entire window recess and possibly some surrounding wall or frame.
  3. Light Blockage: Exact blinds typically offer better light blockage due to their outside placement, covering more area.
  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Recess blinds offer a sleeker, more integrated appearance with the window, whereas exact blinds can stand out more prominently.
  5. Installation Depth: Recess blinds require a sufficient recess depth to fit in, whereas exact blinds do not have this requirement.
  6. Window Obstructions: Exact blinds are often chosen when there are obstructions inside the window recess, like handles, that could interfere with the functionality of recess blinds.
  7. Wall Space: Installing exact blinds requires adequate wall space around the window, whereas recess blinds do not.
  8. Coverage Area: Recess blinds only cover the window pane, while exact blinds cover both the window and part of the surrounding wall or frame.

Key Similarities between Recess Blinds and Exact Blinds

  1. Purpose: Both types aim to provide privacy, control light, and enhance room aesthetics.
  2. Material Variety: Both recess and exact blinds come in a variety of materials, including wood, fabric, and plastic.
  3. Functionality: Both types can be operated through similar mechanisms, like cords, chains, or even motorized options.
  4. Customizability: Recess and exact blinds can be custom-made to fit specific window sizes and preferences.
  5. Maintenance: Cleaning and maintenance techniques for both blinds are largely similar, depending on the material used.
  6. Energy Efficiency: Both can contribute to energy efficiency by regulating indoor temperatures, especially when made from insulating materials.

Pros of Recess Blinds over Exact Blinds

  1. Integrated Look: Recess blinds offer a sleek, flush finish as they sit within the window frame, delivering a polished appearance to the interiors.
  2. Space-Saving: Due to their inside-the-recess fit, these blinds don’t protrude into the room, saving valuable space, especially in smaller rooms or areas.
  3. Less Dust Accumulation: As they’re more shielded inside the recess, these blinds typically accumulate less dust compared to those hanging outside the window frame.
  4. Reduced Light Seepage: With a proper fit, recess blinds can minimize gaps on the sides, reducing the amount of light that sneaks in.
  5. Safety: Being tucked inside the recess, there are fewer chances of snagging or bumping into these blinds, especially in high-traffic areas.
  6. Better Insulation: Being close to the window, recess blinds often provide better thermal insulation, helping maintain room temperature.
  7. Harmonized Interiors: Recess blinds typically blend better with window trims and moldings, ensuring aesthetic consistency.

Cons of Recess Blinds compared to Exact Blinds

  1. Limited Depth: Not all windows have a recess deep enough to accommodate blinds, thus limiting the applicability of recess blinds.
  2. Obstructions: Window handles, locks, and other elements can interfere with the functionality of recess blinds.
  3. Smaller Window Appearance: Since they fit within the window frame, they might make a window appear slightly smaller than it is.
  4. Measurement Precision: Accurate measurements are crucial for recess blinds, and even minor inaccuracies can result in imperfect fits.
  5. Less Decorative: Unlike exact blinds that can serve as a statement piece due to their outside placement, recess blinds are more understated.
  6. Flexibility: Adjustments and corrections are harder with recess blinds if not measured correctly the first time.
  7. Light Limitation: Even when fully opened, the recess blind’s roll or stack might partially block the window, limiting the amount of light entering the room.

These lists should provide a comprehensive view of the advantages and drawbacks of recess blinds in comparison to exact blinds.

Pros of Exact Blinds over Recess Blinds

  1. Enhanced Coverage: Exact blinds cover both the window and a portion of the surrounding wall, offering superior light and privacy control.
  2. Versatility: Suitable for windows with shallow or no recesses, exact blinds can be installed in a variety of window types.
  3. Statement Piece: Their external positioning can make exact blinds a decorative feature, allowing homeowners to make a design statement.
  4. Avoids Obstructions: There’s no interference from window handles, latches, or other obstructions as the blinds sit outside the window recess.
  5. Easier Installation: The installation process for exact blinds is often less finicky than recess blinds, as it doesn’t require precision fitting within a recess.
  6. Adjustment Flexibility: Minor measurement errors are more forgiving with exact blinds, as they offer greater leeway for adjustments post-installation.
  7. Maximized Light Entry: When fully retracted, exact blinds allow for complete window exposure, ensuring maximum light intake.

Cons of Exact Blinds compared to Recess Blinds

  1. Space Consumption: Being mounted outside the window frame, exact blinds take up more space, which might be a concern in compact areas.
  2. Dust and Dirt: Situated externally, exact blinds are more exposed and might accumulate dust and dirt more rapidly.
  3. Aesthetic Concerns: They may not offer the sleek, integrated look of recess blinds as they sit outside the window frame.
  4. Potential for Damage: Being external, there’s a higher chance of them being bumped into or snagged, especially in high-traffic areas.
  5. Increased Light Seepage: The gaps on the sides of exact blinds can allow for slight light seepage.
  6. Wall Damage: Installing exact blinds requires drilling into the wall or window frame, which can cause potential damage or leave marks if removed.
  7. Thermal Efficiency: Unlike recess blinds that sit close to the window, exact blinds might be less efficient in maintaining room temperature.

By comparing these lists, one can make an informed decision on which type of blind is more suited for their specific requirements and preferences.

Situations when Recess Blinds are better than Exact Blinds

  1. Space Constraints: In rooms where space is at a premium, recess blinds are more suitable as they fit within the window frame, ensuring no extra space is consumed.
  2. Streamlined Aesthetics: For those who prefer a minimalistic and tidy appearance, recess blinds provide a flush fit that’s in harmony with the window.
  3. Avoidance of Wall Damage: In cases where the wall surrounding the window is decorative or made of materials you’d prefer not to drill into, recess blinds are the less intrusive choice.
  4. High Traffic Areas: In areas with a lot of movement, like hallways, recess blinds are less likely to be bumped into or obstruct pathways.
  5. Dust and Allergy Concerns: Those who are sensitive to dust might prefer recess blinds since they are less exposed and tend to gather less dust.
  6. Maximized Insulation: For windows that face extreme weather conditions, recess blinds offer better insulation because of their close proximity to the window pane.
  7. Safety for Children and Pets: With recess blinds, there’s less dangling cord length, reducing potential hazards for young children or pets.

Situations when Exact Blinds are better than Recess Blinds

  1. Shallow or Absent Recesses: For windows that lack the depth for an internal fit, exact blinds provide a viable alternative.
  2. Decorative Statement: If the aim is to make the blinds a focal point in the room’s design, the external placement of exact blinds allows for this.
  3. Obstructed Windows: For windows with handles, latches, or other obstructions, exact blinds are a more functional choice as they avoid these obstacles.
  4. Maximum Light Exposure: In spaces where maximizing daylight is essential, exact blinds, when fully retracted, allow for complete window visibility.
  5. Versatility: Exact blinds can be used on almost any window type, even those without a suitable recess.
  6. Larger Coverage: For windows adjacent to unsightly views or external light sources, the broader coverage of exact blinds can better mask undesired views.
  7. Ease of Installation: For those who aren’t confident in getting the precise measurements required for recess blinds, exact blinds offer more margin for error during installation.

Recess vs Exact Blinds Summary

In the realm of window treatments, understanding the nuances between recess blinds and exact blinds is essential for a well-informed decision. Each brings its own set of strengths and considerations. By comparing their features, benefits, and ideal usage scenarios, homeowners and designers alike can make a choice that not only meets functional needs but also complements aesthetic preferences. Whether you’re leaning towards the streamlined appearance of recess blinds or the versatility of exact blinds, having a clear perspective ensures your windows are dressed to impress.

Points of ComparisonRecess BlindsExact Blinds
AppearanceIntegrated, flush finishProtruding, can be a decorative feature
Installation LocationInside the window frameOutside the window frame
ObstructionsMay interfere with window handlesTypically unobstructed
FunctionControl light and offer privacyControl light and offer privacy
AdjustabilityBlinds can be adjusted for light controlBlinds can be adjusted for light control
SpaceSpace-savingSuitable for shallow or no recesses
AestheticsStreamlinedCan be a decorative statement
InsulationOffers better insulationDepends on material, not placement
Light SeepageReduced with proper fitPotential gaps on the sides
Installation PrecisionRequires accurate measurementMore forgiving in measurement errors
Situations Favorable
DecorMinimalistic settingsWhen wanting blinds as a focal point
Window TypesBest for deep window recessesBest for windows lacking suitable recess
Recess vs Exact Blinds Summary


What are the primary materials used in both recess and exact blinds? Typically, both recess and exact blinds can be made from a variety of materials including fabric, wood, faux wood, aluminum, and PVC. The choice of material can influence the aesthetic, functionality, and longevity of the blinds.

How do maintenance requirements compare between recess blinds and exact blinds? While maintenance largely depends on the material used, recess blinds, being more protected within the window frame, may accumulate less dust and require less frequent cleaning. Exact blinds, being external, might need more regular dusting or cleaning.

Are there any significant cost differences between the two types of blinds? The cost can vary based on the material, brand, and customization options. However, the distinction between recess and exact generally doesn’t result in a significant price difference. Installation complexity and additional features might influence the cost more.

How do I measure my window for either type of blind? For recess blinds, measure the width and drop inside the window recess. For exact blinds, measure the desired width and drop outside the window recess, ensuring you account for the blind’s overlap on all sides.

Can I install either type of blind on non-traditional windows, such as arched or bay windows? While both blinds can be customized for various window shapes, exact blinds offer more flexibility for non-traditional windows due to their external mounting. However, it’s essential to consult with a professional or the manufacturer for specific window types.

Are there energy efficiency differences between recess and exact blinds? Recess blinds might offer slightly better energy efficiency since they sit closer to the window pane, potentially reducing drafts. However, the material and design of the blind play a more significant role in energy efficiency than the type.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Listen to any Book ever Published!

Get Started for FREE!!