A Complete Guide to All the Best Types of Curtains

A Complete Guide to All the Best Types of Curtains

If windows are the soul to a home, curtains are the eyebrows, which are arguably even more important, since, like on a face, they frame and shape a room. And also like great eyebrows, they come in many shapes and forms. But before we even dive into all the best types of curtains, let’s define them: Unlike drapes (their close window treatment cousin), curtains feature thinner fabrics—though they can still be lined to block out light—and hang from a curtain rod installed above the window and extend to the floor, typically over blinds or shades if the purpose is to darken the room and provide privacy.

You can shop for curtains by panel or in pairs and they can be installed, sewed, and hung various ways for different fullness effects. With various depths, materials, shapes, prints, and colors, they really set the tone and style of a room. To open the whole wide world of curtains, we created a simple glossary of the best types of curtains depending on your style and lifestyle. Keep reading to learn about the best types of curtains and how to select the best kind for your home.

Pick Your Pleat:

best types of curtians 

Let’s talk header types. If you look closely at the top of curtains (a.k.a. the header), you’ll notice that some are pinched at the top while others are strung through the rod itself. And to make things even more complex, you’ll also notice a great variety in the style of pinching… This is not just to make life complicated for fun. Indeed, these pinches create different types of pleats, thus, defining the level of fullness, shape, and volume. Below, get to know the main types of pinches and their accompanying pleats (or lack thereof).

Pinch Pleat: Pinched at the top, this type of header will create fuller pleats and a gathered look extending down the face of the curtains. You can use pockets or rings to hang them.

Goblet Style: While the aforementioned headers are pinched at the tip-top of the fabric, the pinch drops down a few inches with the goblet style.

Tie-top: This is when the curtains are attached to the poles by tying bows or knots at the top. They’re great for evoking a bohemian, romantic, or laidback atmosphere.

Ripple Fold: Usually installed on a track, this type of header makes curtains super easy to open close and then soft flow of the folds make them a modern yet classic look.

Grommet: These refer to the type of curtains that have holes at the top so they can be strung on the rod directly so parts of it are exposed. Weaving over and under the rod, grommet curtains have larger, softer ripples.

Box Pleat: More formal and classic, the box pleat forms more angular, clean, and wide pleats. The specific sewing involved requires precise measurements, so make sure to do yoru research beforehand.

Tab Top: Like the above, these curtains come with loops on top so they can be pulled right over the rod. Similarly, much of the rod remains exposed with tab tops, but the rounded pleats are typically narrower.

Rod Pocket: For those of you who want the rod totally obscured, opt for a rod pocket header. Because the insert is hidden and the way they envelop the rod, these curtains typically require tie-backs and are a little more stubborn when opening and closing.

Know Your Exposure:

window scarfs

Like headers, the material used for curtains plays a large role in how it hangs, but material also determines how much light and noise penetrates the curtains. Get to know the different types of curtains based up light filtration level below.

Sheers: As the name suggests, sheers are pretty much see-through and don’t offer much privacy. But they also offer a beautiful flow thanks to their lightweight nature. And because they so much light through, they can also cast a soft ethereal glow throughout a space.

Window Scarfs: Framing the top section of a window and usually falling in a billowy fashion, these are mostly just decorative and can be stand alone beautifully or enhance traditional curtains for a more layered, elaborate look.

Semi-Sheers: A bit more private than sheers but still pretty see-through, semi-sheers are great in communal rooms or over shades in a bedroom or bathroom.

Blackout: Also pretty self-explanatory, blackout curtains provide the most privacy and insulation. The fabric is usually backed with a liner to make them more opaque and thick.