Best Shower Curtains

Updated April 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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Pros
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How we decided

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

21 Models Considered
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
89 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Why trust BestReviews?
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best shower curtains

Last Updated April 2019

Aside from merely keeping floors dry and providing privacy, shower curtains form an integral part of basic bathroom décor. Whether it's all part of a grander scheme or purely out of necessity, updating your shower curtain can give your bathroom an instant face-lift. With an endless array of prints, colors, materials, and lengths on the market, there's a curtain to turn just about any bathroom from drab to fab.

However, finding the perfect shower curtains in a veritable sea of options is easier said than done. Should you go with plain or printed? Understated or bold? How do standard shower curtains measure up against lengthier varieties?

If you have questions, we'll do our best to help you find the answers. Here at BestReviews, our mission is to make every shopping experience as straightforward and painless as possible. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about choosing the best shower curtains for your bathroom. When you’re ready to buy, check out our recommended products, too.

Matching your shower curtain hooks with the rest of your bathroom’s hardware is a little detail that has a big impact on aesthetics.

Key considerations

Materials

For many, vinyl is the first (and sometimes only) material that springs to mind at the mention of “shower curtain.” While there's no denying that vinyl shower curtains are highly effective, serious homemakers will be delighted to find that today’s selection of materials far surpasses the simple plastics of yesteryear.

  • Fabric: Fabrics like linen, hemp, cotton, nylon, polyester, or poly-cotton blends tend to have a softer feel and are an excellent choice if you want to add a touch of elegance and class to your bathroom. However, while most fabric shower curtains are stylish, durable, easy to care for, and offer some level of water resistance, most aren’t entirely waterproof. Pairing your fabric shower curtain with a waterproof liner will help to contain splashes, as well as reduce washing frequency and extend the life of your shower curtain.

  • Plastic: If simplicity and affordability top your list of priorities, plastic shower curtains are worth considering. Most plastic shower curtains consist of vinyl or polyethylene and provide a bath-time barrier that's completely waterproof. Although they don't hold nearly as much aesthetic appeal as their fabric counterparts, plastic shower curtains are generally low maintenance, easy on the pocketbook, and not heart-wrenching to replace.
     

Size

It’s frustrating when the shower curtain you’ve picked out is too short or too narrow. Even the slightest trickle is bound to be a puddle by the time you're through sudsing and singing in the shower. On the other hand, long shower curtains that bunch and trail on the floor come with their own set of problems. Folds and creases in the hem can trap moisture, creating the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive. Shower curtains are available in a variety of different sizes, and measuring your bathing area before you buy is vital to finding a good fit. The following are measurements of standard shower curtains designed to fit a standard 60-inch bathtub:

  • 70 inches wide by 70 inches long

  • 70 inches wide by 72 inches long

  • 72 inches wide by 72 inches long
     

If you're considering installing your shower curtain rod close to the ceiling or have a larger than average bathtub, you’ll probably need an extra-long or extra-wide shower curtain:

  • 84 to 96 inches long

  • 86 to 108 inches wide
     

Hanging method

When it comes to hanging a shower curtain, hooks aren't the only option. Some shower curtains come with grommets and can be hung directly on the rod. Metal grommets, in particular, look great and also serve to reinforce the top of the shower curtain. If you're looking for a shower curtain for a high-traffic bathroom or need something that can withstand the enthusiastic tugging and pulling of little hands, a grommet-topped shower curtain is a sound choice.

Ease of cleaning

Soap scum and mildew can build up at an alarming rate and are the biggest cause of grimy-looking shower curtains. Opting for a machine-washable fabric shower curtain can make cleaning less of a headache and help you keep your bathroom looking fresh all year round.

Plastic shower curtains, on the other hand, tend to be much easier on the wallet, and many people simply toss and replace the curtain when it gets dirty. However, with the help of some soapy water and a scrubbing brush or sponge, most plastic curtains and liners can be restored to their former glory.

EXPERT TIP

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to leave at least two inches between the shower curtain and the bathroom floor so air can circulate as the curtain dries.


Staff  | BestReviews

Shower curtain features

Colors: Shower curtains are available in just about every color under the sun. Choosing a hue that matches your towels or otherwise complements your existing color scheme is a great way to tie the various elements of your bathroom décor together. If you like to change things up every now and then or feel a little uneasy committing to a single color, consider purchasing a white shower curtain. White shower curtains act as a blank canvas, allowing you to change your bathroom’s color palette at the drop of a hat. White also delivers a refreshing, wide-open look that can make a cramped bathroom appear larger than it actually is.

Patterns and prints: Prints and patterns can add some character and flair to an otherwise boring bathroom. An interesting or colorful shower curtain also acts as a focal point, automatically reeling the eyes in. If visual clutter is a concern, look for a bold, chunky pattern or a large, centralized print. Stripes are a popular choice, and can lend a sense of continuation that works especially well in smaller bathrooms.

Texture: If you'd rather stick with a solid color but still want your shower curtain to pop, go for something with texture. Ruffles, frills, and other decorative embellishments deliver an enchanting 3D effect that can take shower curtains to the next level. However, it's important to note that some textured shower curtains have incredibly delicate details and might require dry cleaning, regardless of the fabric type.

Billowing prevention: Sick and tired of flyaway shower curtains? Some varieties have weights, magnets, or suction cups at the hem to reduce billowing and keep water inside the tub/shower. Because these types of shower curtains help keep floors dry and prevent slips and spills, they're often recommended for individuals with reduced mobility.

DID YOU KNOW?

Don't shy away from synthetic fabrics like polyester when choosing a shower curtain. These long-wearing fabrics tend to be water resistant and reasonably priced.

Shower curtain prices

Thanks to an abundance of materials and designs, there is a shower curtain for every budget.

Inexpensive

Plastic shower curtains are hands down the most affordable option and generally cost between $5 to $10 per panel.

Mid-range

If you're looking for a fabric shower curtain but don't want to spend an arm and a leg, you’ll find plenty of options within the $10 to $25 price bracket.

Expensive

Decorative fabric shower curtains or those made of natural fibers like cotton, hemp, or linen are typically priced anywhere from around $25 to $70 and more.

Keep in mind that the height of the rod and whether you're using hooks or grommets play a role in determining the ideal length for your shower curtain. Hooks can add up to two inches to the length of a shower curtain.

Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Hang the shower curtain close to the ceiling. It can help your bathroom look more spacious.

  • Use metal hooks to hang your shower curtain. If your shower curtain hangs with hooks, metal not only looks better but it’s also far more durable than plastic.

  • Try polyester. If you like the idea of a fabric shower curtain but don’t want to use a liner, polyester is your best bet. Unlike natural fibers (cotton, linen, and hemp), polyester is highly water resistant and fast drying.

  • Wash a fabric shower curtain frequently to keep it looking fresh. Without a waterproof liner, you might need to launder your shower curtain as often as once a month. With a liner, washing it once every three months should suffice.

Other products we considered

For a high-end look that won’t break the bank, look no further than the JLA Home INC Madison Park Spa Waffle Weave Shower Curtain. Chunky stripes interspersed with textured polyester exude a spa-like vibe, while the 3M water-repellent treatment keeps the curtain looking newer longer. If you want a fabric shower curtain but would rather skip the liner, the Welwo Standard Shower Curtain is an affordable option that is water repellent, mildew resistant, and works as a stand-alone shower curtain. Perfect for large or antique bathtubs, the Barossa Design Extra Wide Fabric Shower Curtain measures 108 inches across and boasts a luxurious waffle-weave texture to keep you covered in style.

Use two shower curtains for a fuller feel, or draw them back like drapes for a soft, framed look.

FAQ

Q. Can I use a standard bathtub shower curtain for my shower stall?

A. While a standard bathtub shower curtain most certainly could work for a shower stall in a pinch, actual shower stall curtains tend to be narrower and usually measure 54 inches wide by either 72 or 78 inches long. If you've already purchased a standard bathtub curtain or can't find a print or color you like in a shower-stall size, trimming and hemming the sides is always an option.

Q. Should the shower curtain liner be the same size as the shower curtain itself?

A. Yes, the liner and the curtain should be the same size. However, as long as they both have the same number of eyelets and you can handle a sharp pair of scissors, you can always trim a slightly longer or wider liner to fit your shower curtain.

Q. How can I get mildew out of my fabric shower curtain?

A. Mildew buildup can be prevented with regular washing, but if it has already started to crawl up the hem or sides of your shower curtain, don't fret. These easy steps can help you drop the curtain on unsightly mildew stains.

  1. Take the shower curtain off the rod and check the care instructions. If it's machine washable, continue to the next step. If not, follow the instructions on the care label or contact the manufacturer.

  2. Add one-half cup baking soda to one-half cup of your regular powdered laundry detergent.

  3. Wash the curtain on warm using the delicate cycle. (If you have a large washing machine and your shower curtain is looking a little lonely, toss in a towel or two as well.)

  4. Add one cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.

  5. Hang the curtain to dry.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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