If there's one piece of home decor that can transform your space without costing a fortune, it's curtains. Whether you need window treatments for your living room or kitchen, there are endless options that are not only stylish but also functional. To help you find the perfect curtains for your home, we put together the ultimate guide for how to shop for curtains and the best places to buy them, with the help of industry pros Casey Hardin, Decorist designer, and Alessandra Wood, Modsy VP of Style.
Why Buy Curtains?
These soft window treatments have quite a few things to offer a home. "From a functionality perspective, curtains provide privacy and light control which are especially important in bedrooms and nurseries," Hardin tells Hunker. "Aesthetically, they add great texture and are an opportunity to add color, pattern, and visual interest to a space."
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According to Wood, curtains can add softness and delicacy to a room. "Gauzy curtains that billow on the floor create a cloud-like appearance and a coziness that feels sophisticated," whereas velvets can add warmth and sound conditioning and linens can offer a lighter look. And pro tip: They can even make your rooms look bigger.
"If you hang your curtains a bit above the window, closer to the ceiling, and let them hit the floor, you'll create the illusion of higher ceilings," Wood says. "The illusion of higher ceilings makes your room feel a bit larger and less cramped, as [they draw] the eyes up."
What Types of Curtains Are There?
There are several types of curtains out there that can be categorized based on style and material. For styles, there are double panel, single panel, tab-top, grommet, rod pocket, and pleated options, all mostly based on how the curtains are hung and how many are in each set.
"When considering the materials, curtains are sheer, lined/light-filtering, or blackout," Hardin says. "Sheer curtains allow quite a bit of light through, while lined curtains are more opaque. Blackout curtains block out all light for optimal privacy."
What to Consider When Buying Curtains
When it comes to buying window coverings, here's what you need to consider. According to Hardin, you need to think about the material, lining options, and header options. "While there isn't a specific material that makes a 'good curtain,' it is important to consider the style of the space when choosing your material type. For example, silk curtains are great for traditional designs, while cotton and linen are nice choices for transitional and contemporary spaces."
The material also plays a role in the type of light filtration you want. If you want to let in a lot of natural light, go for a sheer or semi-sheer design. For minimal light exposure, try blackout curtains. "Blackout curtains are best in rooms where you want to eliminate light such as bedrooms, media rooms, or nurseries," Wood says. "They also help cut down on noise and drafts." And to achieve maximum blackout, Wood suggests encasing the window with curtains that extend beyond the window to reduce any extra light from passing through.
In addition to material, another important factor is the curtain length. What size you get is dependent on the look you're going for, but Wood recommends getting a size "that's long enough to hang just below the ceilings and have enough length to pool on the floor."
The 15 Best Places to Buy Curtains for Style and Shade
Not only does Overstock always have some sort of sale running, but it also has a ton of curtains. The retailer has a convenient landing page for curtains, where you can shop based on light filtration, style, header, price, and more.
The Shade Store is your one-stop shop for all things window treatments. You can find everything from high-end shades to blinds to drapery, and consult with design specialists to assist you while you shop and pick through over 1,000 fabric swatches. The brand also has a team of professionals that can help you measure and install your curtains, making the process an absolute breeze.
Our pick: Tailored Pleat Drapery, $630+
IKEA is known for its incredible and budget-friendly home decor and furniture, so you can guarantee that affordable curtains are in stock. From blackout curtains to room darkening to light filtering options, you'll be able to find something at an ideal price point.
Our pick: Hilleborg Blackout Curtain (set of 2), $29.99
Urban Outfitters has a surprising range of curtains available, all stylish in their own way. There are retro beaded styles, light and airy sheer curtains, and boho-chic window panels with gorgeous designs.
Our pick: Magnolia Macramé Window Panel, $89
You may know The Home Depot as a place to find hardware, tools, and even appliances, but it's also a great place to find curtains. It has everything you need to set up new window treatments, from the curtains themselves to the hanging and installation accessories needed.
Score window coverings at affordable prices when you shop at Target. The retailer lets you filter through its selection based on your desired light level and curtain length. Plus, there's a section that shows Target's trending curtain picks so you can see what's in other people's carts.
Walmart has no shortage of deals, including discounts on curtains. With over 1,000 options, you can find curtains for your kitchen, living room, nursery, and more.
8. West Elm
With more than just midcentury modern home goods available, there are plenty of high-quality options — from velvet curtains to semi-sheer styles that let natural light shine through — you can buy at West Elm.
Our pick: European Flax Linen Curtain, $115+
Wayfair has a sweet selection of curtains — including indoor and outdoor options — that can fit every budget. With almost 40,000 designs to choose from, you can sort through them based on pattern, light filtration, room/location, material, header type, and more.
"Bed Bath & Beyond is a great resource for curtains because they offer a range of styles, materials, and colors, all at an affordable price point," Hardin says. "I love this option from their Wild Sage line as it offers great texture, a range of neutral colorways, and has a clean aesthetic for contemporary and bohemian designs."
Get ultra stylish curtains with eclectic patterns over at Anthropologie. While these tend to land at higher price points, they're totally worth it if you find the perfect design.
Our pick: Zadie Curtain Panel, $58+
Amazon has practically any type of curtain you can imagine. From playroom-friendly styles with pom poms to room darkening linen curtains, you can have your favorite pick shipped to your door in a matter of days.
13. Pottery Barn
Pottery Barn has many bestsellers in the curtain category, and there's no surprise as to why. With a ton of top-quality designs with solid colors and classic patterns made with high-quality materials like Belgian and flax linen, any option is bound to elevate your space.
Our pick: Emery Linen Pinch Pleat Curtain Panel, $199+
Etsy has quite the selection of vintage and handmade goods, curtains included. Not only are there countless styles available for any interior design preference, but any purchase will help support a small business.
15. Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel has curtains perfect for any home, including options made with organic cotton and silk. The great thing about Crate and Barrel's selection is that it shows a closeup of each material with top features so you can make decisions accordingly, something you don't typically get with other retailers.