I get asked this question a lot and it is quite understandable unless you are in the window treatment business. The two shades have far more similarities than differences. It’s no wonder people often get the two confused, after-all, they’re unique in their function compared to other shades. The material of the shades is the number one difference. Roller Shades - At it’s most basic definition, roller shades are simple window coverings, whereas, instead of having slats or veins like blinds, a solid sheet of material covers the window and is brought down with a roller function. Like a paper towel roll. Roller Shades are simple, budget friendly and considered modern. They are a uncomplicated design. Our roller shades are available with vinyl and fabric materials. Customers either choose a neutral, solid color and fabric to tie together the space, or make the shade an accent to the room and choose a bold, attention-getting color or pattern. The material used for roller shades is solid, and cannot be seen through. Solar Shades - Solar shades are also fairly simple window coverings. and operate just like roller shades. Solar shades are slightly more expensive than roller shades, not because the shade itself, but the material used for the shade. Woven, screen-like material is the base of solar shades. The loose woven nature of the material allows for the screen to be somewhat transparent. The weave of the material is an important aspect of solar shades… and in fact, is the reason they get the name “solar.” The ultimate goal of solar shades is to block the number of harsh UV Rays coming into your home. This function is designed to allow you to regulate the temperature in your home in the end. Solar Shades are sold based on the number of UV Rays they allow into your home. When you see “14 Percent Openness” solar shades, that means the shade is blocking out 86 percent of UV Rays, while allowing 14 percent of UV rays in your home. The higher the number, the more transparent the shade.