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The best blackout curtains cost $11 and might actually help you stay asleep

They'll actually help you stay asleep.

by Chrissy Callahan / / Source: TODAY
Dramatic light in dark roomGetty Images
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Light sleepers and insomniacs alike have all experienced the jarring wake-up call of a particularly bright sunrise at one point or another, and know how hard it can be to fall back asleep afterward. Following years of struggling with insomnia off and on, and dealing with light sensitivity due to migraines, I’ve picked up a few tricks for having a better night’s sleep, and a top-notch set of blackout curtains is one of them.

Since the slightest bit of light can startle me out a restful slumber, I like (and need) my room to be as dark as a cave when I sleep. A few years ago, when I was at the height of my insomnia, I came across Sun Zero blackout curtains. At the time, I’d recently started using a sound machine to help me fall asleep, and figured a set of blackout curtains might help me stay asleep.

The thick curtains were easy to hang, and I was immediately impressed with how much light they blocked out when used in conjunction with a shade — I was too lazy to take mine down, to be honest, and figured it would add an extra level of light-blocking power.

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Granted, some online reviewers have used the curtains on their own (sans shade) and had a different experience. "They are not lined and they do allow some light to filter through. They are however substantially darkening," wrote one user. That being said, I've never tried them without a shade, and when used with one, the blackout curtains definitely put my old curtains to shame!

The gorgeous teal color also made my room feel brighter in a cheery sense of the word, and the $11 curtains come in a range of other stunning shades.

 Blackout curtains will block out all the pesky light shining in through your windows. Amazon

As someone who’s dealt with migraines for the better part of 10 years, I’m also pretty sensitive to light in general, especially when I’m in the middle of a headache. Having a cave-like dark space to retreat to when a migraine hits is so important to me, and the Sun Zero blackout curtains have helped create that dark escape at any time of day.

To be fair, blackout curtains like these won’t help you fall asleep, but they’ll certainly help you stay asleep. And that, to me, is worth the $11 price tag.

For more blackout curtains the internet loves, here are the top three best-sellers on Amazon.

These curtains are available in three size options and many colors. The site claims they are energy efficient because the panels have thermal insulation properties. With over 3,400 positive reviews, Amazon users seem to agree.

One reviewer exclaimed, "Love them!.. I had black curtains before and you can notice the huge difference!.. I ordered 2 of the 42x63 and they fit perfectly. The sun doesn't come in anymore, and my room doesn't get as hot."

These Amazon Choice curtains have over 3,800 positive reviews on Amazon and are a user favorite. One mom wrote, "So I bought these for my toddlers room. I was getting really sick of waking up at 430AM EVERY morning because the sun would wake him up. I decided to invest in some blackout curtains! Only problem is that his room is mostly grey. You would not believe how hard it is to find grey black out curtains. Luckily I just happen to find these beauty's on Amazon. Let's start with quality. Thick but with a very smooth feeling. Blocks out all the light WHICH MEANS MY SON HAS BEEN SLEEPING TILL 7am every morning!!! You can definitely tell they are going to last awhile because this quality is fantastic! I would buy again in a heartbeat!"

These curtains not only help save energy and block light, but they help reduce noise. If you live in a big city or next to a noisy road or restaurant, you may want to try these out.

One reviewer stated, "We recently moved into a new home, which is about a mile or two from a major interstate. We didn't really realize how noisy it was until night time when all the trucks are going down it. There is just an open field between us and the highway. I was skeptical when I purchased these curtains that they would actually block very much sound. I know layering up bath towels can block almost all the sound, but its also really ugly.These curtains reduced the interstate noise to just a low hum. I was actually able to get some sleep last night."

For more home decor, check out our round-up of the best places to buy affordable home decor online.