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Expert Shopper Bath

Best cotton shower curtain

Which cotton shower curtains are best?

Cotton shower curtains are not only functional, they also have an elegant look and feel to them, which is part of what makes them so popular in homes with a modern or sophisticated aesthetic.

If you’re looking for a beautiful shower curtain with a lovely floral design that brings a hint of color to the bathroom, check out Madison Park Adella Floral-Printed Shower Curtain.

What to know before you buy a cotton shower curtain

Hanging mechanism

Most cotton shower curtains feature holes big enough for hooks or rings to fit through. These holes are often constructed from reinforced fabric that's resistant to the tearing that occurs from frequent opening and closing of the curtain.

Besides this, you’ll also need a shower curtain rod to hang the curtain. If you live in a rental house or apartment, choose a tension rod, since these are specially designed to avoid damaging the walls. If you live in your own home, you can opt for a rod that can be nailed or screwed into the wall.

Some shower curtains have a grommet style, so they can hang directly on the shower rod, making hooks and rings unnecessary.


Shower curtains are designed to prevent water from escaping the bathtub while showering. However, a cotton curtain requires a shower curtain liner to go with it. This is because cotton is absorbent but doesn’t dry easily. If it’s exposed to water or left in a room with high humidity for too long, it becomes susceptible to bacteria and mold.

Liners usually consist of materials such as polyvinyl chloride or other plastics. These are naturally waterproof and can protect the curtain from water damage, thus extending its longevity.

Cleaning and sanitation

It’s a good idea to wash your shower curtain regularly. For cotton and other fabric curtains, throw it into the washing machine on a gentle cycle once a month to keep it clean and prevent mold growth. You can use warm water and liquid detergent, but be sure to wash it on its own. To dry it, either hang it out to air dry or put it on tumble dry low in the machine.

Shower curtain liners need to be washed every month or so as well. Otherwise, red mold is likely to appear. This is especially common around the base where the liner traps moisture against the inside of the bathtub. You can use Clorox or a similar cleaning product to clean the liner.

When in doubt about the best cleaning method, check for any tags or instructions on the original packaging.

What to look for in a quality cotton shower curtain


While some shower curtains are partly translucent, especially plastic ones, cotton ones are thick enough to provide full privacy. Even if you get a thinner curtain, the liner will add privacy as well, which can help you separate yourself from the outside world and take a moment to relax.


Cotton shower curtains come in solid colors and different patterns, so there’s a great deal of variety. You can find solid prints in nearly any hue, ranging from bright blues, yellows and pinks to more toned-down tans, whites and blacks. If you’re going for a modern or minimalist aesthetic, neutral or dark colors are a good choice.

When it comes to patterned curtains, some have textures imprinted on them. These can help break up a bathroom or accentuate the overall look. You can find repeated patterns, geometric shapes, straight lines, animal themes or even floral designs throughout. Some curtains have a gradient instead of a full pattern, which draws the eye and makes a statement.


A shower curtain should be wide and long enough to fit your bathtub without trailing on the floor. Ideally, there should be at least 4 inches of space. Standard curtains and liners are around 72 by 72 inches.

There are also extra-long curtains, which can be 90 inches in length. These curtains are usually reserved for high bathtubs. Also, if you’re using a curved or L-shaped rod, you might need a wider shower curtain.

Weighted base

Some cotton shower curtains and plastic liners have weights or magnets sewn strategically into the base. This keeps them from billowing out when the water’s running.


Unless the shower curtain has grommets, you’ll need rings or hooks to go with it. Some curtains come with these accessories, while others require a separate purchase.

Other popular bathroom accessories include hand towels and bath towels, soap dispensers and rug sets. Look for items that complement the design of your shower curtain.

How much you can expect to spend on a cotton shower curtain

A high-quality, durable cotton shower curtain costs around $20-$30. Expect to spend $30-$50 for ones that also feature hooks, rings or a liner.

Cotton shower curtain FAQ

Does cotton shrink or wrinkle easily?

A. A shower curtain made from cotton might shrink an inch or two, especially after being washed in a machine. The fabric can also wrinkle, but you can fix this by washing the shower curtain and hanging it out to dry. Alternatively, you can use a blow dryer on high heat to iron out the wrinkles.

What are some other good fabrics for shower curtains?

A. This depends what you’re looking for. Cotton and polyester are both durable, but polyester is more resistant to water. Linen and canvas are also good options since they're biodegradable and easy to clean.

What’s the best cotton shower curtain to buy?

Top cotton shower curtain

Madison Park Adella Floral-Printed Shower Curtain

What you need to know: This luxurious cotton shower curtain is adorned with either purple or teal flowers that make it a wonderful statement piece for most bathrooms.

What you’ll love: Available in the standard size, this shower curtain adds a splash of color to contemporary and romantic settings. It’s machine-safe and durable.

What you should consider: It wrinkles a bit when cleaned.

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s

Top cotton shower curtain for the money

Hall & Perry Modern Farmhouse Tassel Shower Curtain

What you need to know: This shower curtain has a striped pattern and tassels at the base, making it perfect for anyone who wants a minimalist design.

What you’ll love: It comes in eight colors and designs and is highly durable. The fabric is medium weight and doesn’t billow out much when showering.

What you should consider: It’s 72 inches long including the tassels, making it shorter than most.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Wrought Studio Campanella Cotton Striped Single Shower Curtain

What you need to know: This option has a vintage look that works great in understated or classic bathrooms.

What you’ll love: Offered in gray, navy and taupe, this shower curtain features colorful tassels at the base. It’s machine-washable in cold water and is durable.

What you should consider: It might shrink by a couple of inches after washing.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair


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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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