Vinyl Vs. Aluminum Mini Blinds: Which One Is Better?

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Adding mini blinds to your home is a great way to gain some privacy and help reduce sunshine that can heat your home and cause fading. Mini blinds are an affordable and attractive option that can transform an entire room. Choosing between the several options for mini blinds can be confusing, but usually, homeowners will have to pick between vinyl or aluminum mini blinds.

While both aluminum and vinyl mini blinds are easy to install and clean, each has pros and cons. Aluminum mini blinds are more durable but lack variety and can be heavy and costly. Vinyl mini blinds will give you more styles to choose from and are generally less expensive but also break more easily.

To choose between vinyl and aluminum mini blinds, you’ll want to consider what features and factors are most important to you and how they align with your price point. Alternatives to mini-blinds include wood blinds or internal blinds. While these options may be more costly, they are easier to maintain and are more energy-efficient.

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What Are Vinyl Mini Blinds?

Mini blinds are a window feature that can either hang inside the window box or on the exterior. They are similar to Venetian-style blinds but have more narrow slats. Usually, the slats are only about 0.006 or 0.008 of an inch, making them lightweight and unobtrusive.

Vinyl mini blinds are made of vinyl material and come in a wide range of options. Homeowners can choose vinyl blinds that are different colors or have different textures. They can accommodate just about any size for a window or door and can be custom cut to fit your home. Vinyl blinds are long-lasting, lightweight, and durable, making them a popular option for homes worldwide.

What Are the Benefits of Vinyl Blinds?

Adding vinyl blinds to your home is a cost-effective way to give you privacy. Some of the best benefits of vinyl blinds include:

  • Easy to Clean – Simply use soap and water to clean these blinds. Because they are made of vinyl, they can be soaked with vinegar and baking soda too.
  • Flexible – Compared to aluminum blinds, vinyl is more flexible. This feature means that these blinds are less likely to dent or bend.
  • Lightweight – Vinyl blinds weigh much less compared to aluminum blinds. Not only do they put less strain on your window frame, but the lighter weight can make them easier to install.
  • Cheaper – While prices of mini blinds vary depending on the style and size of the blinds, many vinyl mini blind options will be cheaper than aluminum.

What are Aluminum Mini Blinds?

Just like vinyl mini blinds, aluminum mini blinds are window coverings that consist of several horizontal slats. The blinds can be adjusted and turned to help block sunlight and to give your room additional privacy. Aluminum blinds are durable and made of aluminum. While this means that they may withstand dents and folds, aluminum has limited options for colors and textures.

What Are the Benefits of Aluminum Blinds?

Compared to vinyl blinds, aluminum blinds have several benefits, making them an attractive option for homeowners. Some benefits include:

  • Cost-Effective – Compared to other blind options like wooden blinds, aluminum is much cheaper. They also come in a range of colors and thicknesses, which means you’ll be able to customize your aluminum blind choice.
  • Durable – Unlike vinyl blinds, most aluminum blinds can withstand dents and creases. The metal material means that it is easy to smooth out marks, and the material won’t crack as vinyl can.
  • Mold-Resistant – Metal is a non-porous surface which means it is impenetrable to mold and mildew. Not only does this keep your blinds looking better for longer, but it also makes your home safer too.
  • Clean Appearance – Aluminum blinds look finished and stylish, adding a crisp finish to any room. Aluminum holds its shape over time and will look great even in five years or longer.
  • Energy Efficient – Compared to vinyl blinds, aluminum blinds are much more energy efficient. The aluminum does a better job reflecting the sun’s rays, so your room will stay cooler in the summer months and warmer in the winter months.

Are Vinyl or Aluminum Mini Blinds Easier to Install?

Installing mini blinds that are made of aluminum or vinyl is an easy process, and the steps are similar for both materials. To install mini blinds to your window, you will need to:

Step 1: Outline

Be sure to measure and outline where the blinds will be mounted. Use a pencil to mark the left and right sides.

Step 2: Install Brackets

Now, line up the side and bottom of the bracket with your pencil mark and screw it into place. Repeat for the second bracket on the other side. If you have a center bracket (needed for long windows), install the third bracket at this time.

Step 3: Valence Covers

Snap the valence covers into the headrail. Be sure to space the covers evenly and leave enough clearance room, so they do not interfere with the blinds themselves.

Step 4: Headrail

Move the headrail into the brackets. Close the brackets by pressing down on them with your thumb while you lower the front part of the bracket into place.

Step 5: Valence

Now, snap your side returns for the valence in place with the L-shaped brackets. Snap the valence into place.

Step 6: Test

Test your new vinyl or aluminum blinds to ensure they raise and lower with the cord and ensure the slats will rotate.

Which Blinds Are Easier to Clean?

When it comes to cleaning both aluminum and vinyl blinds, the cleaning regiment is the same, requiring the same amount of effort and care to maintain the blinds. Some of the best cleaning practices include:

  • To keep the blinds in place while cleaning them, mix white vinegar and water in a 50/50 solution in a bowl. Add a little dishwashing liquid. Using a sponge, wipe down each slat and be sure to clean and re-wet the sponge after each slat is cleaned. Allow the blinds to air dry.
  • To dust the blinds, simply put a clean sock over your hand. Wipe each slat with the sock to remove built-up dust. Rinse the sock as needed to prevent contaminating your blinds with more dust.
  • If you can remove your blinds to clean them, it is best to fill your bathtub with water. Add a bit of dishwashing liquid and some white vinegar. You can add baking soda to the mix if the blinds are particularly dirty. Allow the blinds to soak in the tub. Let the blinds dry and hang back into place.

How Long Will Vinyl and Aluminum Blinds Last?

Both aluminum blinds and vinyl mini blinds are relatively durable and long-lasting. Expect your blinds to last about 7 or 8 years with the proper care. Aluminum blinds tend to be slightly more durable, and any bends or dents can usually be smoothed out. Comparatively, when vinyl cracks, there is no way to repair the blinds, so the set is generally discarded, and a new set of blinds is purchased.

Are There Downsides to Mini Blinds?

Mini blinds are a wonderful choice for households because they are relatively affordable, easy to install and help block the sun while giving your privacy at home. However, there are some downsides to both vinyl and aluminum blinds. In the United States, vinyl blinds do not contain lead. However, blinds from other countries may have trace elements of lead which can be dangerous. Because vinyl is thinner than aluminum, it could break more easily and possibly cause contamination.

Aluminum blinds are difficult to manufacture, so the choices with aluminum blinds are often more limited than vinyl. While it is possible to get different textures, like faux wood grain with a vinyl blind, this isn’t always possible with the aluminum alternative. Aluminum blinds are also heavy and must be hung correctly to ensure they are sturdy and secure on the wall.

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Related Questions

Can I still use curtains and drapes with blinds?

Adding blinds  to your windows shouldn’t inhibit your use of curtains or drapes. Before selecting window treatments, you’ll want to be sure there is enough room to still hang a curtain rod over the window. If you are short on space to accommodate both blinds and curtains, you may want to consider mini blinds that fit inside the window frame. These often have a lower profile and give you more space around the window to fix window treatments.

What are the benefits of windows with integral blinds between the panes of glass?

In recent years it has become trendy to buy windows that have blinds integrated between the panes of glass. These blinds have several benefits compared to traditional mini blinds. These integral blinds never require any cleaning and will look great for the life of your windows. Plus, the blinds work incredibly well to block the sun. Not only is this energy-efficient, but it helps to protect your furniture and pictures from sun damage and fading.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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