With the dozens of choices in the market, how do you decide on which main types of curtains to use for your home?
This guide will help shed some light on the many styles, the benefits, and the most suitable way to use them.
Why Use Curtains and Drapes
While some homeowners use the terms curtains and drapes interchangeably, when you take a closer look, there are differences.
In comparison, curtains will fit more closely to a window, while drapes are exceptionally long and may even puddle along the floor.
Curtains also include these distinct attributes:
- More acceptable in sheer fabrics
- Less expensive than drapes
- Lower maintenance
- Can be easier to install
- Come in more unique patterns, designs, and colors
The 9 Main Types of Curtains for Homes in 2023
Now that you know the significance between curtains and drapes, we can dive into the nine main types available and their uses.
1. Panel Curtains
Panel curtains are some of the more common types found in homes. They can vary from single or double panels to suit any window size or décor.
Naturally, single panels will pull to one side when opened, while double-panel curtains hang on either side of the window and meet in the middle when closed. This type is available in dozens of materials, colors, and styles to suit any décor, including traditional, contemporary, and modern spaces.
Although curtain tie-back holders are not necessary for panels, they can add a touch of flair or sophistication to your window treatments.
2. Pleated Curtains
Pleated curtains give a more traditional vibe to the home. This classic curtain type comes in several styles to suit your tastes. Some common pleated options include:
One advantage of pleated curtains is the illusion of volume. The more pleats a curtain has, the fuller they’ll look. When shopping for pleated styles, manufacturers often refer to products as 2-finger, 3-finger, or 5-finger pleats.
These measurements will identify how much space is between pleats. Generally, 2-finger pleats won’t have deep folds and give a softer appearance, while 5-finger pleated curtains offer a bold look with large material folds.
3. Rod Pocket Curtains
Rod pocket curtains include a pocket in the top of the material to slip a curtain rod through for hanging in minutes. This style often comes in sheer materials like cotton or linen rather than heavy or stiff choices.
As a result, many rod pocket curtains are for decoration and not for functionality. This curtain type is typically more casual when hung alone, but they’re easily modified by adding a valance for a more classic look.
Rod pocket curtains are known for being more challenging to open and close as the pocket is often tight around the rod and does not move freely.
4. Tab Top Curtains
Many homeowners will choose tab top curtains as an alternative to the rod pocket style. These curtains include tab loops sewn at the top for feeding a curtain rod through.
They’re quite casual and relaxed, making them best for spaces where you want to feel comfortable and at ease. Some tab top curtains will include embellishments, like buttons or embroidery, to dress up the style.
Although this style is easier to open and close than rod pocket curtains, they can still be challenging to move across a curtain rod. Tab top curtains are relatively affordable and simple to install in a home.
5. Grommet Curtains
Grommet curtains are a newer type of curtain that has quickly gained popularity. The material includes open eyelet holes reinforced with grommets located at the top of the curtain. This design allows homeowners to weave a rod through the grommets for simple hanging.
They don’t need extra hardware, making them an inexpensive option for a window covering. This style easily opens and closes, making them ideal for rooms where homeowners frequently handle the curtains.
One benefit of grommet curtains is that they eliminate the need for a valance on the window while still providing exceptional style. Generally, these curtains will come in a set, but they can work well with small windows as a single curtain.
6. Blackout Curtains
Sometimes having curtains that can block out sunlight and external noises around the windows of a home is beneficial. Blackout curtain styles contain heavier, thicker materials to provide a barrier between the window and the room.
Homeowners who want to combine style with functionality will often use blackout curtains with decorative options over them.
Blackout curtains are best suited for bedrooms and guest rooms where daylight may disturb occupants. However, these window coverings work well in rooms that receive excessive natural light when you want to keep the home cooler on hot days.
7. Energy-Efficient Curtains
Energy-efficient curtains use a thick built-in liner to help minimize drafts, prevent heat from escaping during colder months, or keep a house cool in hot weather. These curtains can help homeowners save money on their heating or cooling bills every month.
This curtain type is an excellent choice in older homes with windows that may be drafty or don’t filter light and noise well. Energy-efficient curtains are also terrific choices for 100% privacy from the outdoors when completely closed.
8. Window Sill Curtains
Window sill curtains are small, decorative options for spaces where homeowners don’t want the curtains to fall below the bottom of the window frame.
Instead, it will end before the bottom or at the edge, allowing them to just cover the window and nothing more. It isn’t often that window sill curtains are on large windows, as they will generally remain on small window spaces.
This style is popular in bathrooms and kitchens or for windows where furniture may interfere with the opening and closing of the curtains. You will find this type of curtain on windows that are regularly opened and closed or where the curtains are often adjusted to accommodate various lighting needs.
9. Café Curtains
Café curtains can provide the best of both worlds for homeowners who want privacy but prefer to let in natural light. This style is shorter than the window, starting halfway down and stopping at the bottom edge.
Many types will also include a matching valance for a personalized, decorative touch. Homeowners typically use café curtains in kitchens and breakfast nooks.
But they can be terrific additions to sunrooms, bedrooms, or bathrooms if blocking natural light and complete privacy is not an issue. These curtains are quite common.
Things to Consider
Homeowners who want to install new types of curtains in their space should take the time to assess their needs and wants. This way, finding the perfect window coverings is simple, and there will be no regret about the style once it’s installed.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How much light do you want to let in? Will you be opening and closing the curtains regularly?
- Do you have a preference for color or style?
- What are your design needs? Do you want the curtains to match the room or other fixtures or stand out to make a statement?
- What is your budget for new window coverings?
- Do you want to use existing curtain rod hardware, or are you planning on purchasing all new hardware?
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have more questions about the types of curtains and their uses, read more in the frequently asked questions below.
What is the best type of curtains?
There is no one perfect type of curtain for a home. Although, the best type of curtains for a room will meet your lighting needs, suit your budget, and complement your existing décor.
For example, heavier fabrics will add a traditional, classic feeling to a space, while sheer curtains allow natural light in, creating a welcoming, comfortable room. Consider the look you are going for and choose curtains to suit those goals.
Thicker, richer materials will provide a sophisticated look and require thicker rods and supportive hardware, while thin, sheer materials are ideal for rooms with minimalist décor and do not need much to hang properly.
Should you have curtains in every room?
Your reasons for window coverings will vary, depending on your home and location. However, adding curtains to a room can provide a unique decorative touch that you cannot get by using blinds, shutters, or shades. In addition, curtains are versatile enough to include over other window treatments.
This flexibility makes them an ideal solution to bring a room together while still meeting your lighting needs. In contrast, some homeowners choose to leave some windows bare, but this approach is not standard for every home.
How can you make inexpensive curtains look more sophisticated?
Homeowners do not have to spend a lot of money for their curtains to look great. There are simple ways to make inexpensive curtains look more sophisticated and professional in your home.
For example, using eye-catching statement hardware for rods and tie-backs can add a touch of class to simple materials. Likewise, using textured hooks, oversized tie-backs, and decorative rod ends will dress up regular window coverings.
Another simple strategy is to hang curtains well above and beyond the window. This method gives the illusion of more space while allowing the maximum amount of light in when the curtains are pulled open.
Should the curtain color match the walls or furniture?
The curtain color you use will depend on what you want to accomplish in a room. Generally, curtains should be a lighter, neutral color to blend and complement the walls of a room. In addition, subtle hues help bring the room together in a natural way that is pleasing to look at.
In contrast, depending on your personal décor, some homeowners will prefer to use bold colors or patterns to add a touch of flair or make a statement with the curtains. However, remember not to overpower a room with too much color or patterns.
Do you have to match curtain styles and colors in open floor plans?
Decorating your home with types of curtains can be an interesting way to add flair to a room. However, sometimes homeowners are concerned if the curtains do not match others in the home.
Generally, matching curtain styles and colors in small spaces can maintain continuity in an area. This similarity can give the illusion of creating more space as everything flows together, especially in an open floor plan.
In contrast, some large-sized open floor plans can benefit from having varying curtains in each area. This difference can help distinguish separate rooms from one another even when there are no physical boundaries.
Which Types of Curtains Are Right for You?
So, how can the many types of curtains benefit your home?
Knowing the different styles and options available can aid your choice of new window coverings that will look great, provide the functionality you need, and suit your budget. Happy decorating!