Curtains are an essential part of any room decor. They complete the room’s look and bring all the different elements together. There are many types of curtains and other window treatments out there.
Curtain shopping can be challenging with so many different options, styles, fabrics, and designs. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you find the right option without wasting any time and money. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Types of Curtains
These curtains feature loops at the edge of the top panel. Its flat hoops are the same material as the curtain. The fabric is threaded across the rod and covers the top seam.
Depending on the fabric used, you can stylize table-top curtains as minimal or fancy with embellished loops, bows, and tie tops. But, these curtains are difficult to open and close as the panels resist sliding. They are perfect for accentuating farmhouses and cottage-core home decor.
Rod Pocket Curtains
These curtains feature a pocket sewn on the top panel. Made of lightweight and sheer fabrics, these curtains are perfect for casual settings. They are easy to install, and all you need to do is slip the pocket over the rod.
Because these curtains are made from lightweight fabric, you can add a second layer of blackout curtains or liners for enhanced sun protection. Drawing these curtains is difficult as the pocket fits across the rod. They work best in guest lounges and bedrooms.
These are some of the most common curtain types. They have a modern look and give a relaxed ambiance to the room with their minimalistic design. With open rings in the top panels, these curtains are easy to draw, making them ideal for use in the patio or bedroom.
Like rod pocket curtains, eyelets use cool, lightweight fabrics such as cotton, polyester, or linen. Because the rod is visible through the holes, you must buy stylish support hardware.
Hidden Tab Curtain
These curtains are a perfect blend between tab top and rod pocket curtains. You won’t see the tabs for hanging curtains with this style because they are hidden behind a stylish fabric.
Plus, the ornamental fabric is pinched pleated. It takes the attachment style to a new level. You can hang hidden tab curtains with or without a valance.
These are retro-classic curtains for a formal setting. A tape is sewn behind the top panel to form pleats. And hooks are inserted in the tape across each pleat for hanging and added support.
These curtains use thicker fabrics and are lined to add stability. Typically, cord-and-pulley systems open and close these curtains due to the intricate pleats.
You can find different pleated curtains to suit your preference and room decor.
They are the most common pleated curtains featuring pinched pleats stitched at the base to let the curtain flow elegantly below. They are perfect for master bedrooms, lounges, and entertainment rooms.
These are stylish curtains featuring fabric folding inward to make a box shape. These pleats run deep across the fabric to give full effect and privacy. They are perfect for bedrooms, dining halls, and lounges with sleek decor.
Pencil pleats are thin, so you have to use various types of hooks and curtain rods to hang them. They have a casual appeal, making them suitable for an informal look in the bedrooms and lounges.
The pleats in these curtains resemble goblets or wine glasses. This pleat pattern is delicate, so you shouldn’t draw the curtains often. These curtains are ideal for formal setups and rooms with high ceilings. They are most suitable for decoration and may look odd in family rooms.
These curtains feature single pleats with a wide space in between them. The design resembles goblet pleats, but cartridges aren’t folded for a round top. They are suitable for kitchen windows and dining rooms.
These large pleats give the curtain a modern and formal flair. The pleats are sewn at the backside of the drapery and hung on decorative curtain rods. They are best suited for guest rooms and dining halls.
These curtains have a single long cloth that hangs in front of the window. It is also called scarf swag because it has no complex designs. Scarves only cover the window frame as the curtain hangs over the curtain rod.
Window Scarves aren’t effective in blocking sunlight and aren’t a good option if you want more privacy. Nevertheless, you can pair scarf swags with blackout shades and drapes for privacy and insulation. They are a great way to style a room on a tiny budget.
Cafe curtains can cover the window halfway. Typically, they feature custom designs to match the length of the divider line present in the window. These curtains have cartridge pleats giving them a cozy touch.
These curtains also feature opaque fabrics to control light and offer privacy. You can use cafe curtains in kitchens, bathrooms, and garden-facing windows.
Sheer curtains are the best thing in the home decor industry. They are light and breezy and yet provide you privacy due to their translucent properties. You can pair these curtains with roller blinds or heavier, fancy curtains.
They are available in ivory white, off-white, and neutral colors to match the walls. Most of them feature embroidery or foil prints for added style and glamor. Sheers are budget-friendly yet effectively provide sunlight protection. You can install sheer curtains indoors and outdoors to amp up the decor.
Blackout curtains are a cheap and easy alternative for home cooling. They are also called thermal curtains as they can block light and provide insulation.
These curtains have opaque fabrics with a foam backing and are suitable for bedrooms, media rooms, and lounges. They can reduce heat transfer by as much as 25%, thus reducing your energy bills. They’re available in various shades to suit your room decor.
You can buy curtains with a single panel. This type of curtain only features one panel that covers the window. You can also tie the single panel curtain back for a cool, asymmetrical appearance.
These curtains are a combo of blackout and sheer curtains. Semi-opaque patterns will let in some sunlight when you close them. But, they give you more privacy than sheer curtains. Plus, the semi-opaque curtains are very popular. They are amazing for any room.
This type of curtain has two separate panels. It is mostly seen in contemporary and traditional styles. The panel pair lets you install the curtain on both sides of the window. To close this kind of curtain, you need to draw the panels together. Plus, you can tie each panel back to get asymmetrical balance.
This short curtain style hangs on the curtain’s top. Valance is an optional decorative addition. Plus, it is a great way to create a polished look. You can also utilize the valance without other curtains if your windows have blinds.
If you don’t prefer full curtains, valance is a great option. It will bring a glamorous flair to the windows.
You can also distinguish curtain types by their characteristic style. We’ve shared a few styles below:
Traditional Curtain Types
Traditional styles are suitable for any room in the house. Plus, traditional curtains pair well with extra embellishments and valances to develop finished window treatments.
These types of curtains often represent a classic style. They also have a timeless appeal. Additionally, they are available in bohemian and country styles.
Modern Curtain Types
These curtains embrace contemporary design. They have a minimal look and commonly feature metal rods and environmentally-friendly materials.
Plus, modern curtains have bold colors. They can also feature straight lines, abstract elements, and daring patterns. Modern curtains can make a strong impression depending on the room’s style.
Casual Curtain Type
If you’re looking for window coverings in your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom, look no further than casual curtains. They create a laid-back atmosphere and a carefree vibe.
You can pair contemporary curtains with a valance. They come with tab top curtain attachments or eyelets.
Compared to traditional curtain types, contemporary curtains lend a fresher look. These curtains come in earthy tones and gray shades because they are inspired by nature. They are also available in brighter and more intense colors. They add a splash of color to liven up any dull space. Plus, they evoke a feeling of sophistication and display luxurious textures.
When buying curtains for your home, you should consider the materials. In addition to being decorative, curtain materials perform several purposes. Blackout curtains have thicker materials, while the sheer use thinner fabrics. Below we’ve listed curtain types by their material.
Cotton Type Curtain
Cotton curtains are popular among homeowners. Because these curtains use semi-transparent material, they let in sunlight while maintaining your privacy. Plus, you will find them in various styles. Fortunately, cotton curtains aren’t difficult to clean.
Linen Types of Curtains
These curtains are much heavier than the cotton ones. However, they give a casual vibe. Additionally, they let in some daylight while offering privacy.
Unlike cotton curtains, cleaning linen curtains needs lots of time and energy. Also, linen curtains can easily gather dust because of their rough texture.
Silk is both luxurious and gorgeous. Depending on its thickness, this semi-sheer material can let in ample natural light or a small amount of light.
Normally, silk curtains come in traditional and contemporary styles. Keep in mind they need to be cleaned by professionals.
Another great curtain material is velvet. If you want the most privacy, velvet curtains are the best bet. Because velvet curtains feature heavyweight fabric, they can reduce any unwanted noise.
Plus, velvet curtains are ideal for sleepers who are light-sensitive. They also add elegance to the windows. But, they require professional cleaning services and have high maintenance costs.
Burlap’s look and texture are similar to linen. But this material is way heavier than linen. Also, it is bland and casual.
Burlap curtains provide a great sense of privacy and let in minimal daylight when closed. Fortunately, cleaning burlap curtains is a breeze.
Lace curtains are sheer, making them the best option if you want an air and open window treatment. Also, lace offers some level of privacy protection while optimally diffusing sunlight.
This type of curtain is popular in living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and home offices. Lace curtains are usually paired with heavier-weight fabrics for added versatility.
Synthetic fabrics are very popular. These curtains are more affordable and easier to maintain than natural fiber curtains. Also, they can resemble the look and feel of natural fabrics.
On a tight budget, synthetic curtains are the best bet. They don’t need high upkeep costs and are easy to clean.
Another factor you need to consider is the curtain pattern. It helps you pick the best curtain types that fit your needs.
These curtains highlight many other patterns or shades. Plus, they produce a sleek look and a clean setting. Solids are popular curtain types and available in different solid colors.
These curtains are available in any style. You can use them to create a unique look and reflect your personality.
They can be made from synthetic linen, lace, burlap, or cotton. These curtains commonly feature patterns such as toile, floral, plaid, paisley, checkerboard, and stripes. Some also have patterns like dots, chevrons, or geometric prints.
Types of Curtains Length
Your window’s size can help you determine the right curtain length. Plus, the length of a curtain itself can generate a specific type.
Apron curtains make your windows appear longer and bigger than they are. They are a great addition to smaller windows in bathrooms and kitchens.
You can find more curtain types for the bathroom here.
Puddle curtains create a dramatic statement. They also create a romantic atmosphere and a classy look. If you want to buy puddle curtains, make sure they have extra inches in length.
These curtains can only extend to the windowsill. If you open your windows frequently, they are a great choice. They also work well in kitchens or bathrooms.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do curtains last?
Curtains have various life expectancies, depending on their specific application. Sunlight causes accelerated aging in curtain material, whether plastic, fabric, or cellulose.
Curtains hung on windows age faster than curtains hung in other interior spaces. Heaters or radiators often placed near windows can also cause aging effects, confounding UV-related deterioration.
Open windows allow rain to penetrate curtains and interior spaces. Bugs enter via windows and other openings to the outside of buildings. Although modern fabrics can resist insects, plant-based fibers are prone to destruction. The reasonable life expectancies of curtains range from three to five years. A simple lining improves life expectancy by 25%.
Can curtains be sold in pairs?
The simple answer is not always. Curtains are often sold in pairs, but you can also buy single curtains. Keep in mind that curtains come in the form of “panels” and maybe narrow or broad. This means one panel may be enough to cover a small window without the need for a pair.
Are curtains always included in the sale of a house?
A house’s attached components are considered part of the real estate. Since curtains aren’t fixed, they aren’t always included in the sale of a house.
Can I recycle curtains?
Recycling curtains depends on the fabric or other materials. You also need to check whether recycling is possible in your specific area.
You can inquire about local waste management companies to manage the recycling of curtain material. Plus, some local charities welcome donations of curtains for resale. Curtains may also go into a fabric fiber recycling program that raises funds for the charity, so it’s always helpful doing your research when you want to recycle curtains. Fabric fiber is a valuable commodity and may be used in various products.
Can I dye my curtains?
The short answer is yes, but it’s not always recommended. Materials vary from curtain to curtain, and the minimum lifespan of a curtain is less than five years, so color alteration is not worth the effort.
Plus, dying the curtains is harsh on the fabric, and the color doesn’t always come out well. A darker hue can cover a lighter one, but color management isn’t very simple.
Dyes are fiber-specific, meaning they work on natural fibers but fail on synthetic ones. Reading dye specifications before coloring curtains should help.
Can curtains reduce noise?
Yes. Curtains reduce noise by limiting the vibrations of unwanted sounds. Curtains with high fiber content or heavy reflective material reduce noise from external sources by absorbing or reflecting the sound vibrations.
Can I shorten my curtains?
Yes, you can shorten your curtains. If your curtains are too long, try sewing a hem, which can let you shorten curtains without cutting them so you can retain the fabric if you want to. Another way of shortening curtains is to choose a folded design with buttons as fasteners. Folding the curtain hem up will create a double hem.
Can I steam clean my curtains?
The application of steam on curtains removes folds and creases. However, steam cleaning isn’t suitable for all curtains. That’s because some steamers may burn fabrics. Curtain product labels may reveal the best cleaning options.
Can curtains go in the washing machine?
Curtains can go in your washing machine, but you must read the label and check your washing machine settings. In short, check out the manufacturer’s recommendations to fully understand the cleaning options.
Generally, the “delicate” cycle and slow spin settings will suit light cleaning.
Is it possible to repair curtains?
Yes, it’s possible to repair curtains. You can do simple repairs yourself with basic sewing skills. If a curtain is soiled or stained, the best repair option is soap or stain remover. If the mounting hardware needs adjustment, use a screwdriver and a new screw for a quick fix. Wear and tear on curtain rods can be repaired with new parts, sometimes even by replacing a frayed drawstring.
Compromised hems suffering from loss of stitching or tears require special attention, and it is best to get the help of a tailor in these cases.
Where can I buy curtains?
You can find the perfect curtains for your needs in a store near you or online. There are dedicated stores specializing in curtains and textiles, so it is nice to search for any small businesses that can help fulfill your needs.
Additionally, shopping online is a popular way to purchase curtains and window treatments. Shopping online will give you endless options to find curtains. Here are some of the most popular online stores to shop for curtains.
- World Market
- 3 Day Blinds
- Home Depot
- Pier 1 Imports
- Bed Bath and Beyond