Best Room Dividers

Updated July 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.

29 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
335 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 room dividers

Last Updated July 2020

If you’re thinking about changing the layout of your home, you might be surprised at the cost of renovation — especially when it comes to putting up an additional wall. A room divider is a cost-effective solution. Room dividers are popular because they’re easy to install and not permanent fixtures; if you decide you want a different room configuration down the line, you can easily collapse or disassemble the room divider to create a new look.

Since room dividers take up little space when broken down, it’s easy to find a place to store them when not in use. Best of all, they’re available in a variety of designs, colors, and materials, so it’s easy to match a room divider to your existing décor.

Are you ready to revitalize your space with a room divider? To help you find the right one for your home, give our buying guide a read. We’ll point out various features and designs, including some of our favorite room dividers available today.

You can use room dividers to segment a basement that spans the length of your home. For example, you could use them to create dedicated spaces for storage, a child’s play area, and even a home office.

Reasons to buy a room divider

Create separate space in a shared bedroom

If your kids share a bedroom, they may reach a point when they each need their own space. A room divider can create a modest amount of privacy between beds. Fortunately, a room divider is also pretty easy to take down, so if the kids want to play together in a larger space, they can still do that, too.

Separate areas of a studio apartment

Studio apartments are essentially multipurpose spaces, so there’s a good chance your bed is only a few feet away from your refrigerator. A room divider is one way to separate the rest of your living quarters from your bed. Not only does it help create a cozy, restful space for bedtime, a room divider can also help compartmentalize cooking-related odors.

Separate co-working spaces

In an office with an open layout, a room divider is one way employees might get some personal space. A divider helps minimize nearby distractions. Some can even muffle background noise when you’re on the phone. Of course, the top perk of room dividers in offices, compared to cubicles or walls, is that employees have the flexibility to move them for meetings or otherwise repurpose the space.

EXPERT TIP

To boost your freestanding room divider’s aesthetic appeal, hang fairy lights around it.


Staff  | BestReviews

Types of room dividers

Curtain dividers

Curtain-style room dividers are hung from a mounted pole or from a curtain track installed on the ceiling.

Pros: These dividers are ideal if you prefer full-length separation between spaces. The curtains tend to be made with high-quality material blends including cotton, linen, and polyester. They often have flame-retardant, energy-efficient, or light-blocking properties.

Cons: Installing curtain dividers is quite an undertaking, as it requires measuring and drilling to affix hardware to the ceiling or between walls. The curtains don’t have as much curb appeal as regular curtains, so they can give the room somewhat of a clinical appearance.

Freestanding dividers

Freestanding room dividers have an upright, accordion-style design with three to eight panels.

Pros: These dividers are portable and don’t take up much space when collapsed. Freestanding dividers are more decorative than curtain dividers and often feature fancy fabrics and textiles such as silk, satin, lace, or wicker. 

Cons: There’s a bit of trial-and-error when it comes to erecting a freestanding divider. You need to place the legs in such a way that they’re grounded and unlikely to topple over. They also offer less privacy than curtain dividers.

EXPERT TIP

If you have a rental property with multiple beds in a large room, consider installing room dividers so guests can have personal space when they sleep.


Staff  | BestReviews

Key considerations

Privacy

Room dividers provide a reasonable amount of privacy. However, it’s nowhere near what you would receive with an actual wall. The height and length of a room divider only separates the space visually. While some dividers can help muffle nearby sound, they don’t offer much in the way of noise cancellation. So, while you won’t be able to see occupants on the other side of the divider, you may still be able to hear their media and conversations.

Ceiling height

It’s important to consider ceiling height as you compare room dividers. If you’re looking for maximum coverage, you’ll need a curtain divider that reaches from ceiling to floor. If you prefer a divider that is only slightly taller than you are, your best bet is to invest in a freestanding divider. More often than not, these usually stand between 5 and 8 feet tall.

Footprint

If you’re tight on space, your best option is to invest in a curtain divider. The slender profile is ideal in a narrow room. Freestanding dividers, on the other hand, tend to take up more floor space. To remain standing, their panels need to zigzag across the floor, which means you can expect to give up considerable square footage with them. As a result, freestanding room dividers are often preferred for larger rooms.

EXPERT TIP

If you purchase a bamboo or wicker room divider, consider sanding it down and refinishing or repainting it to match your room.


Staff  | BestReviews

Room divider prices

Room dividers cost between $60 and $500. Price depends on design and material quality. You definitely get what you pay for with room dividers, but you needn’t spend an arm and a leg to get a good one.

Inexpensive: If you’re on a budget, you’ll be able to find a freestanding room divider for less than $100. Quality is hit-or-miss in this range, as certain dividers may have difficulty standing or may have flimsy hinges.

Mid-range: Mid-range room dividers cost between $100 and $250. This includes a broad range of better-quality freestanding dividers as well as entry-level curtain dividers. Curtain-style dividers in this price range don’t always come with all the hardware needed for installation.

Expensive: For high-end freestanding dividers and commercial-quality curtain dividers, be prepared to spend closer to $500. Many dividers in this category are available in extended color and material options.

Tips

  • Take measurements of your room. Especially if you’re buying curtain-style room dividers, you’ll need exact measurements of your room to get the right size. Be sure to account for the necessary clearance on either side of the divider.
  • Consider installing a room divider in a guest room. Guest rooms often perform double-duty as storage spaces. An attractive freestanding divider is an easy way to conceal items while giving the space a tidy appearance.
  • Dry clean curtain dividers. Curtain-style room dividers are often too large to fit into your personal washing machine. Instead, bring them to a dry cleaner.
  • Remember to dust room dividers. Room dividers can be dust magnets, which is why it’s important to dust them on a regular basis with the rest of your home furnishings. 
  • Paint fabric panels. If your freestanding divider has plain cotton or linen panels, you can use fabric paint to create a custom design. Flowers, leaves, and birds are all popular choices.
  • Add a freestanding room divider to your bedroom. With a decorative freestanding room divider, you can create a unique changing area. Keep a valet or clothes horse next to it so your outfit for the day is always within reach.
Freestanding dividers with fabric panels often have removable dowels that allow you to remove and wash the material. You may even be able to swap out the fabric for a brand new look.

FAQ

Q. Am I allowed to install curtain-style room dividers in my apartment or dorm?
A.
It depends on your rental agreement. Some stipulate that you need approval from the landlord or apartment building before doing any drilling. If you’re not allowed to install the mounting hardware, stick to freestanding dividers. Depending on the way you intend to separate the space, you may wish to invest in more than one.
 

Q. Do room dividers have to match the rest of my room’s décor?
A.
If you want a coordinated look, rest assured that dividers are available in various colors and designs. Note that if you get a room divider that doesn’t blend with your décor, it might interrupt the entire room’s flow and ambiance.


Q. Is there a way to better stabilize my freestanding room divider?
A.
Unfortunately, this is one of the pitfalls of having a freestanding room divider. Unless you find the right configuration, stability can be a concern. In some cases, a room divider could be easily knocked over if someone so much as brushes by it. While you could use outdoor canopy weights to secure the feet of the divider, it’s not the most attractive solution — but it definitely makes a big difference.

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The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
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