If you want tiltable slats that can be adjusted to let the sun shine in, you should choose blinds, because they offer a clean-looking custom fit and plenty of privacy. Prices for blinds generally climb from vinyl, aluminum, faux wood (or textured vinyl) to wood.

Wood blinds come in light and dark hues and polished or painted finishes, and they’re perfect for offices and dens. They’re not the best choice for kitchens or baths, where moisture could do damage (choose polymer or faux wood instead).

Insulating blinds help conserve energy and filter or block light, so they can work hard for your money.

Wider horizontal slats create the illusion of bigger windows and more space in apartments and small rooms.

Vertical blinds work for windows that are wider than they are tall. They’re an ideal pick for picture windows with a sweeping view or across sliding glass doors.

You don’t have to put blinds at half-mast to let in light, as you do the with shades — the full length of the window pane can always be covered for a finished look, even when slats are open. It is handy for bathrooms and bedrooms because you can leave blinds down for privacy but adjust as needed for light.