Best Curtain Rods

Updated August 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
415 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best curtain rods

Last Updated August 2020

Do you find yourself staring out the window wishing for, well, a better window? Your portal to the outside world can certainly be improved, and the first step is investing in a quality curtain rod.

Curtain rods used to be humdrum fixtures, but now they play a central, stylish role in setting the tone for a room. They’re available in a number of finishes and sizes. If you’re seeking a truly decorative touch to elevate a window treatment, choose a curtain rod with attractive finials, the knobs located at either end. These can be as simple as squares or balls or as ornate as blown glass or hand-carved wood.

A window treatment alone can update and elevate your room, so take a look at our curtain rod buying guide to choose the right one. We’re sharing the various features and styles of curtain rods, as well as some of our favorites, and we’ve included some tips to make installation a breeze.

Sometimes it’s easier to install curtain rods with help. Enlist a friend to get the job done in half the time.

Key considerations

Components

Rod: The rod itself is the long bar that shoulders the weight of the curtains. Some rods are one length, whereas others can be adjusted. Rods range in size from 24 to 144 inches. Use a single rod if you’re hanging only curtains or use a double rod if you’re hanging sheer panels behind the curtains.

Finials: Finials are the decorative knobs at the ends of the rod. They come in a variety of designs and materials, so if you’re looking for a decorative touch, the finials should have your focus. As attractive as they are, they’re also functional, since they are an additional safeguard to protect curtains from coming off the rod.  

Brackets: Some curtain rods come with mounting brackets and supporting hardware, though with some rods you’ll need to purchase the brackets separately. These functional arms are drilled into the wall to hold the rod. Some consumers opt to purchase the mounting hardware separately, because the brackets included with curtain rods can be very hit or miss in terms of quality.

Size

Diameter: Curtain rods are available in various diameters, and the most common are 1 inch and 1 1/8 inches. Given the different diameters, you also need compatible hardware, because not all mounting brackets accommodate more than one size.

Length: Curtain rods are either one length or adjustable, generally between 12 and 144 inches long. One-length curtain rods are considered the sturdiest, though they’re less versatile if you want to move the rod to a window of a different size. Adjustable curtain rods are ideal if you’d like some decorative flexibility, but they can collapse if overextended.

Double rods

Some curtain rods come as sets that include two rods plus special hardware. The main full-size rod supports curtains, and the second, thinner rod supports sheer panels. The mounting bracket has two rungs, one in front of the other, to create a seamless look by placing the main rod in front of the sheer panel rod.

If you’re wondering if you need double rods, there are a couple key considerations. For one, if you intend to install sheer panels, it’s by far the easiest, most cost-effective way to do it. You could install two separate curtain rods, but you’ll need twice the hardware, and it won’t look as good as a double rod. That said, not every room requires a window treatment with a sheer panel, and in some cases, it can overwhelm smaller windows in bathrooms or kitchens. 

EXPERT TIP

If you’re not sure which color to choose for a curtain rod, opt for one that matches the color of the wood detail on your furniture.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Design

Materials: Curtain rods are generally made of metal, wood, and heavy plastic. Metal is by far the most popular because it strikes a balance between contemporary and traditional elements. They’re also far more durable than rods made of other materials. As they offer the largest price range, there’s a metal rod for every budget. Wood and plastic rods aren’t as popular, but they still make an appearance in some rooms.

Colors: Metal curtain rods are most often seen in black, silver, gold, and white. They can also have a glossy, shiny, or distressed finish, just to name a few. Wooden rods generally come in natural shades, and plastic rods are most commonly seen in ivory or white.

EXPERT TIP

Mount a small curtain rod across a wall to display your scarves or necklaces.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

You’ll need a few more items before you can hang your curtains on your new curtain rod.

Tape measure: DTAPE DT10 2-in-1 Laser Tape Measure
To find the right size curtain rod, you need a tape measure. We like this rechargeable model from DTAPE, which measures 16 feet and comes with a laser level. If it’s idle for 30 seconds, it turns off to conserve the battery.

Curtain rod brackets: AmazonBasics Curtain Rod Wall Brackets
To hang your curtain rods, you’ll first need to install wall brackets. We like this pair from AmazonBasics, which come in three colors and adjust from 3 to 4 inches. All mounting hardware is included, and the brackets hold rods up to 1 inch in diameter.

Cordless drill: BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Drill
It’s infinitely easier to install curtains with the help of an electric drill. We like this model from BLACK+DECKER, which comes with a rechargeable battery and 30 drill and screwdriver bits. Its ergonomic design and soft-grip handle make drilling easy.

Step ladder: Delxo Folding Stepladder
Curtain rods are pretty high off the ground, so a stepladder comes in handy for installation. We like this one from Delxo, which has a 330-pound weight capacity and four extra-wide steps. It also has nonslip rubber feet and folds easily for storage.

EXPERT TIP

When you wash or dry clean your curtains, use the opportunity to dust your curtain rod.


Staff  | BestReviews

Curtain rod prices

For the most part, curtain rods cost between $15 and $100. Think twice before choosing a curtain rod solely based on price, though. It’s an investment in a long-term fixture, and you want one that will last for years. 

Inexpensive: Budget-friendly curtain rods cost between $15 and $40. These often feature simple designs, so they’re versatile enough to fit in most rooms. Their mounting hardware isn’t always the highest quality, so there’s a good chance you’ll need to replace it.

Mid-range: These curtain rods cost between $40 and $75. This price range contains double rods, many of which are ornate. These rods have better construction, and many come with unique mounting hardware.

Expensive: High-end curtain rods cost $75 to $100 and more. These rods are top quality and utilize more diverse, premium materials, such as glass or hand-carved wood finials. Many extra-long rods, closer to 144 inches, are in this bracket as well.

Tips

  • Choose your curtains first. If you’re having trouble choosing a new curtain rod, begin with the curtains. Once you have a color palette from the curtains, see what color and style rod you prefer.
  • Choose a rod first. Let an ornate curtain rod serve as the foundation of your window treatment. Once you have one that matches the rest of the room’s décor, you’ll have an easier time choosing curtains to complete the look.
  • Think twice before painting the rod. While you can paint a curtain rod, the constant opening and closing of the curtains means the rings will abrade the rod’s surface. You could end up with paint chips all over the floor.
  • Calculate a budget. The overall cost of a window treatment isn’t just a rod and curtains. You also need to add in the cost of mounting brackets, valences, sheer panels, and tie backs.
When you move, don’t forget to bring all your curtain rods to your new place. Since they’re not permanent fixtures, unless otherwise specified, they’re not included with the sale of your home.

FAQ

Q. Can I change the finials on my curtain rod?
A.
It depends on the design of the curtain rod. If they snap or screw onto the rod, then you can probably find compatible replacements. In other curtain rods, the finials are permanently attached, so your only way of changing them is with paint.
 

Q. Is it worth hiring a professional to install my curtain rod and hang the curtains?
A.
There is something to be said for getting it right the first time, which is what a professional will do. You could hire a contractor to install it, and given their construction background, the curtain rod will be level and secure. Another option is to hire an interior designer whose speciality is window dressing. Not only can they install the curtain rod properly, they’re well aware of the proper height and spacing of the entire curtain setup.
 

Q. Why does my curtain rod keep falling down?
A.
There could be a couple reasons. If you find yourself reattaching the bracket as well, it may not be well secured to the wall, and you’ll need to reinstall the rod and its hardware. Another reason is that the curtain rod is overextended, and there’s too much weight in the middle of it. In this case, you’ll need to invest in a longer rod to prevent it from collapsing in the middle. If you have cats, it’s always possible they’re playing around the curtains. As small as they are, cats can add enough weight to a curtain rod to cause it to fall.

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