* Prices may differ from that shown
I purchased this because my daughter was going through a stage of waking up super early and I thought it may be down to summer mornings and the room being so bright from an early hour.
I had read lots of good reviews about the gro blackout blind so perhaps I was expecting too much from this product, as overall it was not very useful for us.
The blind arrives packed into a little bag which is useful if you are travelling with it, as is its intended use. I was using it at home. I had read it is easy to cover almost any size window with the design of the blind and its velcro pads and suction pads. In reality I found it to be quite a faff to get the blind to stay up and to get the pads to stick.
Once the blind was up it did darken the room substantially. As there is another tiny window in the room I knew it wouldn't create complete black out so was happy with a much darker room. Sadly this didn't help my daughter to sleep in any longer but I don't blame this on the gro company!
I ended up taking the blind down due to the smell of melting plastic on hot days! When I walked into the bedroom I kept thinking, 'why does it smell like melthing plastic in here?' then realised it was the blind with the hot sun hitting it through the window. It made me feel a little nervous as well as being pretty unpleasant so down it came.
I'm sure this blind would be useful in some circumstances where your child is used to a dark room and you are going on holiday to a very bright room but it wasn't a good purchase for us.
I originally bought this black out blind for my daughter's room as I knew that we would be moving house not long afterwards and I didn't want to spend money on a blind that would fit the window where we were living but not in our new home. As it happens, we ended up staying in our old house for longer but that just goes to show how effective this blind is because it stayed up the entire time - it didn't fall down and it continued to do the job. It was also ideal for when we moved house - we wouldn't have had time to fit a new blind on the day we moved so this blind was a god send! With my daughter's cot surrounded by boxes (!) I was able to fit this blind up in her new bedroom within about 5 minutes. It seems like a small thing but I can't tell you how much stress and hassle that saved knowing that she could sleep in a pitch black room which gave her the best possible chance of sleeping soundly.
The only negative with this blind is that it does absorb the heat from the sun and it can make the room very hot. To be fair, our old house was ridiculously hot anyway, but this made it worse. I could smell burning in her room and it took me a while to realise it was coming from the blind. That's not to say it was actually on fire! But the heat through the glass did make it smell a little. But that said, it's not intended for continuous use in the way we used it.
I first heard of this blind from several friends who were using it to enable their toddlers to nap during the day. Despite being the parent of a three year old daughter it was I who was the intended consumer of this light-reducing "black-out" blind." I work a shift pattern that includes whole night shifts and shifts that finish at midnight or later which are followed by a late start the next day.
After hesitating for close to a year, I bought this Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind for £24 from Amazon.co.uk, and have been using it for five months.
~~*~~ Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind ~~*~~
The blackout blind is basically a large piece of black fabric, similar to an uncomfortable bed sheet. The fabric is thinner than I expected but being lightweight means that it's easier for me to manage it. The material is black on both sides and the inside-facing side has a subtle outline of multiple white stars.
This item is designed to cover a single window that is up to 130cm by 200cm. I use it for a window that is quite a bit smaller than this. It's easy to alter the size of the blind as in several places there are pairs of Velcro sewn flat close to the edge. When joined together, each Velcro pairing forms a pleat in the blind, in the fashion of a curtain. This ensures that the blind better fits the window.
The blind also has suction cups around the sides, approximately three inches from the edge of the fabric. These suction cups are placed on the glass window panes and help ensure that the blind is a good, tight fit thereby blocking out any natural light from the edges of the blind.
Once the blind is set up as described, the room really is transformed into darkness no matter what the outside light levels may be. This darkness remains until the blind is taken down. I actually don't completely remove my blind but leave it attached on one side in order to save time prior to rushing off to work.
~~*~~ My Experience ~~*~~
This item arrived in a cute little travel bag. It was very easy to set up; instructions were included but I found no reason to read them. It was obvious how the blind could be altered to size - this was done easily and effortlessly. Attaching the blind to the window was also easy. I find that the suction cups need a little moisture to hold very well.
Once set up, the blind works very well and I have no complaints at all. I haven't cleaned or dusted the blind, but should I need to I would wipe it with a wet cloth.
Finally, This product is certainly designed for children but obviously works very well for adults too. This blind will be relocated to my daughter's bedroom in March. At some stage in the future I will update this review with our joint experiences and the child's perspective.
~~*~~ Recommended? ~~*~~
A resounding "yes" from me.
We are very lucky that we get to go on a fairly cheap holiday every year to a relatives house in Kent, but one thing that has always troubled us is that the curtains are not as thick as the blackout ones we have in the bedrooms at home and the room the kids sleep in is south facing so pretty bright. This means that the kids wake up at some ridiculous hour thinking its time to be awake and end up awake later on an evening due to the room being too light, and as the weeks holiday progresses we are all progressively more tired and whingey from sleep deprivation.
This year I thought I would solve the problem with my very own portable blackout blind. I had come across it through reading reviews, and it sounded like the ideal solution for our problems, so I invested £20 in the form of an amazon voucher into seeing if it was right. Sleep to me is priceless, so £20 is a more than reasonable price if it achieves the desired result.
The blind is a sheet of black fabric that has along it drawstring type straps so that you can adjust the size of it to get a better fit to the size of the window you are trying to cover. The sheet has eyelet holes to attach suckers to. The suckers then attach the sheet to the window providing a lovely snug fit and avoiding those chinks of light around the edges that undermine the whole effect on a cheaper blind. The blind can cover a window up to a maximum area of 130cm by 200cm. The room we have used this in has quite a tall yet narrow window, and it has been perfect for covering this window and mimicking the darkness we provide in the room my son's sleep in at home. There they have a blackout blind as well as blackout lining on the curtains, and here we get a pretty similar level of darkness.
Our experience to using this blind has been very good. Firstly, it comes in its own little travel bag, and it didn't take up very much valuable boot space on our drive to the holiday destination. On the first night we came to use it, though we had never used it before, it was clear how to use it, and it was possible to get the blind up at the window within a couple of minutes so we could get on with reading bedtime stories and tucking children into bed.
It has been easy enough to take it down on a morning and then re-stick it on the window on the evening time again.
The real test though is have the kids slept better. The answer is a resounding yes. We have been able to stick to a similar bedtime to at home. This has been before daylight has gone, but the kids have been asleep within half an hour maximum of us saying goodnight. They have also been remaining in bed until about 7am, an improvement of at least 2 hours later than any previous time they have stayed in the same room.
For something to use while travelling, this has been exceptionally useful. I don't think I would want to have the faff of using this as a permanent solution in a room - the blinds and curtain linings at home achieve the same results and are less faff, but they were also more expensive than this blind.
My overall opinion on this is that I am very glad that I came across this. It has made this summers holiday a lot more enjoyable as we are all fully rested and can therefore enjoy the days activities more. Other years we have returned home from our holiday absolutely exhausted after so much sleep disruption. For £20, I have a high quality blind that we can take anywhere with us when we travel. There are not many locations I feel we would need to use it, but staying at relatives houses where a permanent blind is not an option, this is a great solution. This cannot be more highly recommended in my opinion.
If your kids (or even you) are disturbed by light levels in a bedroom, then a blackout blind is a good solution, and if you are travelling, this compact option is ideal.
We purchased the gro anywhere blind as we were having trouble in getting our daughter to sleep at a reasonable time (a problem I'm sure many other parents have!) We bought the item at the RRP of £29.99 from toysrus.
This item basically works by 'persuading' children that it is night time (as it is dark) and allows them to calm down without the stimulation daylight can provide. The blind can be adapted to any window size up to 135cm x 200cm, and it is attached to the window by suction cups. It comes in a useful carry bag, which means that the blind is easily tidied away during the day, and can be transported to wherever you need it.
We found the gro anywhere blind to be extremely useful. As we were able to bring it with us when we visited family, it meant that our daughters sleeping pattern could be maintained - something that was very important when we were trying to settle into a new routine. It was very quick and easy to put up / take down, and worked perfectly well, keeping the room nice and dark. It did have a strong plastic smell to begin with, but we found it soon disappeared. Overall, a good product!
When my son was born 5 years ago, he seemed to be an unsettled baby. I thought he was just taking his time to adapt to the world and his surroundings. As time went on, and as he grew and transitioned into his own room, his sleep habits were still unsettled. He started out okay, and wasn't too bad to begin with. However, he still needed to be sleep trained.
>> Sleep issues
This was all very new to me, as my daughter slept well from day one. I never had any difficulties where sleep was concerned with her. So for me to sleep train my son seemed a little odd. Sleep training takes some time and patience, and perseverance. My son would still be a live wire when it came to bedtime, no matter what the day entailed. He would frantically jump up and down in his cot gleefully with excitement. This was all rather cute, but, it did take him a long time before he would settle for sleep.
>> Is it play time?
Another problem was that if he would startle he would wake up and be alert and excitable immediately. As time went on, I continued on my quest helping my son get a settled night's sleep. The sleep training helped immensely; however, it wasn't a miracle cure in this situation. My son was still easily startled and arose rather alert and energetic. Once he reached 4 years of age he was diagnosed with Autism, which would explain his sleep problems.
As my son was unable to regulate his own energy, he needed extra help to switch off at night and get a better night's sleep. After practicing therapy with him every night to help him get the movement he needed, followed by calming exercises, his sleep improved, as well as helping him in other ways. I was also advised to get a blackout blind for his room, as to block out any daylight. In addition, to making his bedroom sensory void as much as possible before putting him to bed.
>> In the dark of the night
The combination off all of these things has helped enormously. The blackout blind has been used each and every night for over a year now and has been an excellent buy. I purchased it from good old Amazon for around £25. It generally retails at £29.99, which seemed a little pricey when I first came across this product some time ago. I remember it getting good reviews, but still hesitated to buy one. The blackout blind is packed neatly into a travel bag, which is made from the same material as the blind. This makes it an excellent item to use anywhere, home or away, hence the name, Gro anywhere blind.
Inside the black travel bag, the blackout blind is neatly folded. It is a good size, and is said to fit a window up to the size of 130 cm by 200 cm. This allows it to fit an array of different sized windows. The material is thin and lightweight making it easy to manage. The blind is black and on the front it is patterned with outlined white stars. Once the curtains are closed over the blind the pattern isn't visible, the room is completely darken and transformed.
The blind features several suction cups that go around the perimeter of the blind, which allows it to be easily positioned onto the window. There are several eyelets that allow the suction cups to be moved to give a good fit. The added advantage of this is that it sits flush against the window to block out any natural light. The difference is actually rather amazing. The bedroom is completely dark, and remains that way until the blind is taken down. This is a good idea, as it prevents a child from bouncing out of bed at the crack of dawn. With the room being darkened, it allows the mind to believe it is still night-time, very clever!
>> Darken the room in seconds
The blind takes a couple of seconds to put up, and the same for taking down. As it is constructed from a thin material, it easily folds up, and can be stored back in the bag or stowed away easily. It leaves no marks on the windows and is made to a high standard. With constant daily use, the blind is still in excellent condition. This is an item that has made a big difference to my son's sleep routine, and he now goes to bed a lot calmer, which helps him settle down to sleep sooner.
I cannot tell you how many times we struggled to hang blankets and the likes over my son's curtains on those bright summer days. This was a concept that seemed good in theory, but never had much impact, as the sunlight would still seep in, not to mention it looked a mess! The blackout blind is a simple solution to a problem many parents have. If you value your sleep, you need one of these. However, if your child isn't happy in a dark environment, you may want to have a torch or some such to provide comfort, but still get a better night's sleep.
Sleeping in the dark, who would have thought it?
I purchased this a year ago when we lived in a very old converted Victorian flat which had huge sash windows. The curtains I had on the window in my sons room were doing a good job but he was consistently waking up early so I thought I would try and completely darken his room.
I primarily purchased this particular one as the brand was well known and I liked the idea of the 'suckers' meaning it was easy to move or take with you. But I wasn't expecting much more than that.
I was very pleasantly suprised when I got it and was first struck by the size of it. It was so big it completely covered our huge window. I for one always expect products to be smaller than they look in the pictures but was very pleased with this.
The suckers are evenly and frequently spread so they not only ensure no light seeps in but also that they will fit around any window design without compromising the effectiveness.
I took this with us when we went on holiday, where we just had a small window to cover and it was easy to make the blind fit this as it has a drawstring design allowing you to tighten it to make the suckers closer if needed. It worked a treat and has its own handy travel bag which it easily fits back in to.
We are now using it more permanently in our new house where it perfectly fits to another different style window. The suckers never seem to lose their effectiveness and it still works like new.
It is well worth the money (around £18) as it feels and looks good quality, easy to use and seems to work with any window.
It is just a shame it never helped my sons early rising as a year later he still wakes at 5am!
I purchased a gro anywhere blackout blind after many sleepless nights with my baby and finally realising it was because her room was too bright. I noticed a massive difference the first night of using it and was very impressed. I like the way that there is no permanent fictures required as this is put up using suction cups. I love the star design on it too. The blind is quite large so can accomodate most sixes of windows, and as its so moveable is it also very handy to use while travelling.
I travel alot to my in laws and take this blind with me and its so easy to put up and down. The suction cups can be moved to suit certain obtacles you mind find on the window for examples if you have a window frame that goes down the middle, the cups can be moved arround it so it still stays in place.
The only disadvantage I found was how it looks from the outside. Because of the way it is put up, if you looked at the window from the outside of your house all you can see it suction cups and what looks like a big black sheet. Would be nice if it came in different collours.
We travel quite a lot, and as my children have black out blinds in their bedrooms they often struggle to fall asleep in new surroundings especially when light spills through curtains. Most good hotels do have curtains or blinds which black out, but we have stayed in the occasional one where this hasn't been the case and the children have struggled to sleep as a consequence.
I didn't really intend to buy anything to help with this for when we travelled, but mainly because I didn't realise there was anything on the market that would help. It wasn't until reading a review that I realised there was actually something we could buy and I purchased one the same day. It has taken a few weeks before we could actually use it, but when we recently went away for the night with the children we popped it in the car just in case. Low and behold, we actually needed one!
The Gro Anywhere blind is just what it sounds like, a travel black out blind. It adapts to fit any sized window up to a maximum of 130cm x 200cm. It does fit smaller windows too, so it is adaptable to your needs. The travel bag that it comes in is handy and perfect for travelling.
To fit the blind, you simply 'sucker' it to the window with the suction cups, and that's it! To remove it it's just as easy, and the only thing you might need to do depending on where you are, is clean the suction marks from the glass. It creates the perfect sleeping environment for young children in a new environment, and I only wish we had discovered this item when the children were younger, it would have been a life saver when the children were babies. Ideal for creating a night time environment, even when it's not night-time, we could have used this when the children were desperate for an afternoon nap but determined not to sleep. It would have also been useful when we travelled across time zones and the children's sleeping habits were turned upside down.
At £29.99 RRP, it isn't the cheapest, however the value gained from this product for parents in need of sleep is invaluable! We managed to pick up this blind from Amazon £10 cheaper than the RRP, but I would have been happy to pay £29.99 for this item. I cannot recommend this product enough for parents of young children, especially for families that regularly stay away from home in the summer months. It also comes in handy when my girls occasionally stay with family who do not have black out blinds or curtains in their spare rooms.
An excellent product.
This is a great little idea that I have found very useful when wanting to make sure my daughter gets a good nights sleep on those occasions when we are not staying in the family home. We also found it useful some nights during the summer months when it is light outside. It was recommended to me by a friend and cost £24.99.
In terms of dimensions it is 200cm x 135cm and is a deep black colour, running across the top and bottom are four suckers and along both sides there are 6 small plastic suckers and it is these that you apply directly to the window to form an effective screen. The screen itself is very lightweight so I have found that the number of suckers provided are enough to support the weight and I have never had a problem with this not staying secure and in place for the whole night. Size wise it is perfect for pretty much any type of window and the only time I have had a problem was at one friends house where they had two very narrow windows in the room either side of the bed and this product was not able to offer any help in that situation but there is a rather uniquely designed house and one of a kind. There are straps along thye side to allow you to adjust for windows of different heights.
There is a star pattern on the screen itself which faces inwards and the outer side is just black, the whole thing is easy to remove and store away in its own carry case which you can see in the picture above. The backing has a smooth surface that is resistant to moisture should any condensation form in the night, it does not end up getting soggy and heavy and is easy to wipe dry if needed.
It certainly is effective at reducing the light that enters the room and while you are not left in a total black out it is effective at dampening significantly the impact of sunlight and once it gets dark outside any nearby street lighting. It is ideal for taking away with you as it does not take up a lot of room and it is easy to put up and remove. The only real downside to it are the marks that the suckers leave on the glass but that just requires a quick wipe with a cloth.
The gro anywhere blind is a portable blackout blind from the gro company that was founded in 2000, with the aim of creating a range of really practical products for parents. The thinking behind this item was that when you travel away from home, you may find yourself trying to get Baby to sleep in a room that is letting light flood in. Since it is much easier to get baby off to sleep in a dimly lit or darkened room, any item which negates this light-flooding as a possible dilemma is likely to be an asset.
We bought the Gro anywhere blind before CrazyEgg was born, thinking that we would be taking regular trips here and there. That is something that it was clear early on was not going to happen. When Baby CrazyEgg came home she slept in our room at first, and our curtains are pretty good at keeping the light out. It was when she moved into her own room that the Gro anywhere blind came into use. The curtains in Baby's room are quite thin, having no lining and it was only when we drew them that we realised the room remained quite light. Not least because there is a street lamp very close to her window. Rather than get blackout linings for the curtains we decided to use what we already had.
The gro anywhere blind is made of thick black material, with a design of stars drawn on. It is 200cm x 130cm and can be adjusted to fit smaller windows. A plentiful supply of suction pads is attached to the edges of the blind and to fit it you simply press these on to the window. As long as the window is free of cracks or chips and in a good state of repair the blind should adhere quite safely; it does not matter if the window is single or double-glazed. We can cover the whole of Baby CrazyEgg's window and it makes the room considerably darker, something that is useful both at night, but also for mid-day nap time and for ensuring that she does not wake up at first light. (Most days, anyway).
The gro anywhere blind comes with a handy carrying/storage bag because it is designed for occasional use. It arrives looking very neat and crisp with the bag being squared off by the inclusion of a rigid cardboard insert. Once I removed the blind from this bag I was not able to replicate this look, and I'm afraid to say our blind spewed forth from the bag in a very untidy manner until it was stuck to the window where it has remained for several months.
I would not like you to think that it is permanently situated: I do allow natural daylight into the room on a daily basis. Good job too, since removing it each morning allows the condensation to evaporate and were it not removed I can see we may have some mould formation issues. Anyway, this daily use means that I feel well placed to evaluate the quality of the product. I think it is very good. For occasional use I am sure it is excellent, but there are clear signs of wear and tear after using it every day for the best part of a year. The main issue is that on removal some of the suction pads stay stuck to the window. Some have been prised off and reinserted into the metal eyelets on the blind, but latterly I am sad to report that in my haste to remove the blind I have pulled several eyelets off the back of the blind as well. To be fair, it does say, in bold, in the instructions that each sucker should be removed individually, and I will admit I have just grabbed the blind and given it a good yank, only dealing individually with those suckers that demand it. (Ha!)
Overall, this is an extremely useful bit of kit both for home and away.
When we were choosing decor for our babies nursery I was looking for a range of cute matching items. I found a gorgeous range in Next which included curtains. We already had a wooden blind at the window but it didn't look very pretty so I wanted curtains too. When they arrived I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have a blackout lining or much of a lining at all but I thought with the blind it would be dark enough.
The babies didn't sleep in their room for the first several months but when I wanted to move them in there I realised how light it was even with the blind down and curtains drawn. We were moving into summer and I wanted my babies to sleep in their room for daytime naps as well as at night, sun coming up at 5.30 straight into their room wasn't going to get me a good nights sleep! Looking around I spotted the Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind which seemed to a great solution to have up in addition to my wooden blind and curtains.
The Blackout Blind
Measuring 130cm by 200cm this blind can fit any window up to this size. The black blind has decent sized suction cups around the edge of the blind allowing you to stick it onto your window. I do find I need to make the suction cups wet to get it to firmly stay in place, but once secure it easily stays put all night.
How dark does it make the room?
Very dark! As it fixes onto the window you don't get any light leaking in at all and little ones have no idea that it is daytime and they could be up and playing! I do find that as it's black and absorbs the heat it can make the room hot. It also restricts how much air gets into the room, it covers the window which is only open on the catch setting to allow the blind to be put up. This may not be a problem depending on how your windows open. I find I need to have a fan on during daytime naps when it's hot to keep the air moving.
As the name suggests this blind is designed for travel. It comes in it's own travel case and because it only takes a couple of minutes to put up and seconds to get down it is ideal. I'm planning on taking it on holiday with us later in the year and because it folds down small it will hardly take up any space in the car.
The blind is machine washable although I have never needed to wash mine. The only cleaning is the marks left from the suction cups on the window, these come off really easily though.
Price and Availabilty
Widely available from £19.95 we purchased ours from Amazon. They are also available from places like Argos and John Lewis. I think this is a fair price for the blind which has been one of my best buys.
Would I recommend?
Yes, apart from the downside that in the hot weather of making the room hotter it is a great blind. It's easy to put up, keeps all light out and I still have my cute curtains making the room look nice!
I bought the gro-blind to cover a velux window in my guest room. As I rent my house, I did not want to drill into the frame to install a conventional blind, and did not want to spend a lot of money on something that may only be used for a short time. The gro-blind has proved perfect for my needs. The fabric is attractive and blocks the light very effectively, although on an inward sloping velux it does hang unattractively. The suckers are very strong and have not failed despite being used now for six months, and frequently removed and re-attached.
I was concerned about light coming through between the edge of the blind and the window frame, but this is avoided by the suckers being attached a couple of inches in from the edge. The edges themselves are stiff, so they can be manipulated to cover the gap to provide an almost complete blackout.
After battling with my four year old for the best part of three months EVERY bedtime I was at my wits end. It was after reading a review on here that I thought my amazon voucher could be put to the best ever use.
Four weeks ago I purchased the Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind for £23 from Amazon. I must say that life has since taken a calm turn.
This blackout blind is quite unique in that it can be made adaptable to fit any window up to a maximum size of 135cm by 200 centimetres.
It arrives ready in its own travel bag which is a great idea as this truly is a portable solution to the early light mornings and late light nights!
THe blind can be used as soon as it arrives, simply pull the elastic and button up (much like kids adjustable waist clothing) then attach to the window using the suction cups! - No cutting to size, no drilling, no fixing!
I thought that it would be a bit 'ugly' but the star pattern all over, although subtle is great for a childs room.
As previously mentioned weve now had this a month and I must admit that Ive yet to take it down proving that the suction cups do work and it does indeed do the job its intended for.
Now Id like to rave that this is the best thing since sliced bread but I should make you aware of any downsides as thats the main point of this site!
As the glass on a window is set into a frame and because obviously the suction cups do stick out a few centimetres there is a very small line of light allowed in all around the edge of the blind and Ive found myself trying to stick masking tape around the edge of the blind.
Obviously that solution didnt really last long and weve learned to live with the little bit of light allowed through as the 99% its blocked out has made such a huge difference to our lives. No more arguing every bedtime. Nice calm quiet bedtimes. You parents out there will appreciate how important that is.
So how could this blind be improved? Perhaps if the suction cups would stick to the PVC which they currently dont , also perhaps if it came in different colours as its only available in black which in the recent heat hasnt done anything to help keep the bedroom cool ... but saying that we wouldnt be without our Gro Anywhere blackout blind now!
Putting children to bed (I am reluctant to say "to sleep" because of the negative connotations of the phrase) can be something of a challenge at the best of times. During the winter months, when the sun sets around 5pm and doesn't rise until well after 7am, nature tends to make a parent's job easier. Darkness is conducive to sleep, but in contrast, children seem much more reluctant to go to bed (or stay in bed) when it is still light outside.
As such, during the summer, when it stays light well into the evening, if you don't have a decent set of black-out curtains or blinds, your little folk tend to get up bright eyed and bushy tailed with the dawn, and you can kiss goodbye to any pretensions of a lazy weekend lie-in. Fortunately, we have found a handy product called the "Gro Anywhere Blind" which is easy to put up and take down, fully portable, and does a stand-out job of blocking out the light.
Intrigued? Read on.
WHAT IS IT?
The Gro Anywhere Blind ("the Blind") is a light-weight 200 x 135cm black-out blind that is attached to the window by a series of suckers (four along each width, and six along each length). The evenly spaced suckers attach directly to the glass, making it extremely versatile - it will fit almost any style of window, with the only practical limitation being its size. In our experience, it is big enough to cover anything but a very large bay window, which you are unlikely to find in a box room or child's bedroom.
One side of the blind is black cloth decorated with the white stars (in outline only), and the obverse (the window-facing side) is made of black material similar to polyester, which helps repel any condensation that builds up on the window. The suckers are large and effective, but are also relatively easy to remove. The blind comes in a convenient carry case, which is fastened with plastic poppers, and a cloth strap handle.
DOES IT WORK?
In a word yes. Although it does not block out the light 100% (mainly because it is attached to the window panes directly, so light will always seep through the edges), it is highly effective at reducing the amount of daylight that penetrates the room. There is absolutely no light seepage through the material of the blind itself, which has ensured that our children now sleep for much longer.
It is very easy to install. Make sure the glass is clean, moisten the suckers and, starting from the top right hand corner of the window, attach the suckers along the top, and then down the sides and bottom. The blind has a series of easy-to-use vertical and horizontal straps built into the window facing side which allow you to adjust for height and length. In the last eight months of use, none of the suckers have come off unless we removed them ourselves, and as such, the blind has never fallen down. That said, for safety reasons, the instructions do warn you not to put it on a window that is directly over a cot or bed.
We initially bought the blind as a short term solution, but have found ourselves leaving it in place year-round, and folding it up or across half-way during the day. Although not ideal, it works for us (i.e. the room is quite bright with half a window covered) but if you are looking for a fully retractable solution, this is probably a bit too inconvenient, as you'd have to install it and remove every day. To be fair to the makers, it is intended as a take anywhere, portable solution, and we have used it as such quite successfully, especially at the grandparents.
WHO MAKES IT?
The Blind is made by a UK-based company called The Gro Company - which will be more familiar to most parents as the makers of the "Grobag" - a sleep bag for infants and small children. The company has been going from strength to strength since being founded by Rob and Ouvrielle Holmes in early 2000 and they now carry a much wider range of practical baby-related products. More details about the company can be found at http://www.gro.co.uk.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
The product retails for £29.99 but is currently available on various baby-product e-tailers for around £25.00. The cheapest source at the time of writing (Jan 2010) is Amazon.co.uk where it going for a discounted £23.95 with free delivery. You can buy direct from Gro, but at full RRP plus £4.00 delivery, it's the most expensive option.
This is a useful, practical and effective product that has made getting our kids to sleep (especially our five year old) much easier. Build quality and durability are excellent and it is clear the product has been designed and manufactured with portability in mind (the carry-bag is a particularly nice touch). Although it seems expensive at first blush, at around £25 it represents good value for a quality product.
© Hishyeness 2010