Outdoor curtains can offer much-needed shade, privacy, and decoration to an outdoor space. The right outdoor curtains ought to be practical and pretty, able to protect the area—whether from sun, wind, cold, or curious neighbors—while also complementing existing backyard decor.
A curtain’s design, material, length, and hanging mechanism are all features to consider when searching for a long-lasting solution. From flowy sheer shades to light-reducing panels, this guide explores the best outdoor curtains to safeguard and enhance an outdoor space.
- BEST OVERALL: Sunbrella Solid Outdoor Grommet Curtain
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: PureFit Outdoor Curtain
- BEST SHEER: Winston Porter Hottinger Solid Sheer Outdoor Curtain
- BEST PATTERNED: Elrene Home Fashions Verena Floral Curtain
- BEST UV-RATED: Sun Zero Valencia Cabana Stripe Outdoor Curtain
- BEST DOUBLE GROMMET: Nicetown Double-Grommet Outdoor Curtain
- BEST FOR WIND: Covers & All Curtain With Clear Vinyl Panel
- ALSO CONSIDER: Pottery Barn Outdoor Heathered Canvas Drape
How We Chose the Best Outdoor Curtains
The best outdoor patio curtains look beautiful and stand up to use year after year. We researched over 20 outdoor curtains, delving into their appearance, material, and ratings to narrow down our list to the eight top picks. We also considered ease of installation and maintenance, choosing curtains that were ready to hang and relatively simple to clean. Since style is as important as function, we selected curtains that not only look attractive but, ideally, are available in a few colors or patterns.
We spoke to real estate agent and home blogger Erin Hybart, creator of ReErin, on the benefits of outdoor curtains. She explained, “Outdoor curtains transform patios into private retreats. They’re a simple fix to combat weather extremes or harsh sunlight.”
Given the wide variety of versatile materials, it is possible to find high-quality options that can stand the test of time. As Hybart goes on to caution, “The biggest drawback is when someone tries to go cheaply on the project. Outdoor curtains and the hardware are an investment you should make thoughtfully to get something that will last.”
Outdoor curtains are also an affordable way to upgrade a space, so we made sure to include products at a reasonable price point. We did include some pricier curtains made from acrylic—like Sunbrella—and vinyl on our list. Along with olefin, these materials are generally considered top performers in terms of durability and longevity. However, we also have a few polyester picks. While polyester tends to fade faster, polyester outdoor curtains are widely available and can offer a stylish option for shoppers on a budget.
Our Top Picks
The following curtains for outdoor porches can make an area look and feel more comfortable and luxurious. Some will also provide a lot more shade and privacy. Read on to learn more about some of the best outdoor curtains on the market today.
- Dimension options: 50 inches wide by 84, 96, 108, or 124 inches long
- Material: Sunbrella
- Number of colors: 4 to6, depending on the size and retailer
- Sunbrella is a high-quality fabric that should resist sun fading and staining for years
- Rust-resistant grommets aid in longevity
- Available in a variety of rich solid colors, which also help filter light
- Higher cost relative to other outdoor curtains; also only includes 1 curtain panel, so it can be pricey to buy several for necessary coverage
This outdoor curtain is made from Sunbrella fabric, a premium acrylic that is resistant to water, mold, mildew, and stains. The outdoor fabric is also solution-dyed with UV-stabilized colors, so it resists sun and weather fading better than some other types of fabric. Finished with rust-resistant grommets and easy to clean because it’s made of water-resistant materials, this curtain is a long-lasting choice, worthy of investment in an outdoor curtain that will look brand new for years.
Get the Sunbrella outdoor curtain at Loweâs, The Home Depot, or Pottery Barn.
- Dimension options: 17 options; width ranges from 52 inches to 150 inches; length ranges from 84 inches to 120 inches
- Material: Polyester
- Number of colors: 15
- Affordable price; more budget-friendly for shoppers who need to buy several curtains
- Wide array of color and size options to suit a range of uses
- Semi-sheer quality strikes a nice balance between privacy and keeping areas well lit
- Though it claims to be fade-resistant, many reviewers mention that the curtain faded quite quickly
- Thin and very lightweight, so it tends to blow around in windy conditions
The PureFit outdoor curtain is an affordable and versatile option: It is available in a large array of sizes and colors to suit almost any outdoor space. The cheaper price does come with a drop in quality—this curtain is made of polyester, so it likely won’t last as long as olefin or Sunbrella options. However, the curtain is still weather-resistant—including rust-resistant grommets—and tear-resistant, and taking it down during the offseason will help with longevity. This product is also semi-sheer, so it will offer some privacy while still letting light into an enclosed space.
Get the PureFit outdoor curtain at Amazon.
- Dimension options: 54 inches wide by 84 or 96 inches long
- Material: Polyester
- Number of colors: 2
- Sheer and breezy fabric offers an airy look that is lovely for summer
- Fabric tab tops instead of metal grommets eliminate the possibility of rust
- Machine-washable for easy cleaning
- Thin, sheer material and light color likely to make staining or damage more visible
Light outdoor sheer curtains that are slightly shifting in the wind can give a patio a beachside vacation feel. This polyester sheer curtain from Winston Porter has pretty much perfected this light and airy look. It is very thin, which gives the curtain an ethereal feel, so it’s best to take it in for the offseason to preserve longevity. The fabric tab tops mean there are no metal parts that can grow rusty. Worried about keeping a white or ivory curtain clean? This product is machine-washable for easier upkeep.
Get the Winston Porter outdoor curtain at Wayfair.
- Dimension options: 52 inches wide by 84, 95, or 108 inches long
- Material: Polyester
- Number of colors: 1 to 3, depending on size and retailer
- Floral pattern is trendy and pretty, ideal for making a style statement
- Intricate pattern provides a bit more privacy than sheer white curtains and can disguise some stains and marks
- Machine-washable for simple cleaning and maintenance
- Jute print tab tops don’t match the rest of the curtain pattern, which some buyers may not like
Patterned curtains can add instant personality to an outdoor space. Shoppers looking for floral curtains to create a romantic setting will find the Elrene Home Fashions Verena outdoor curtain to be an attractive choice. This water-resistant polyester curtain features a light but intricate pattern that is fairly sheer but still provides a bit of extra privacy compared with solid sheet curtains. It can be paired with a set of outdoor curtain lights for added ambience. It’s also machine-washable for easy maintenance.
Get the Elrene Home Fashions Verena outdoor curtain at Amazon, The Home Depot, Target, or Walmart.
- Dimension options: 54 inches wide by 84, 95, or 108 inches long
- Material: Polyester
- Number of colors: 3 to 7, depending on size and retailer
- Light and UV-ray blocking fabric provides shade and UPF 50+ protection
- Curtains feature a striped pattern for a cabana-inspired look
- Fade- and water-resistant, with some reviewers noting the color holds up nicely
- Lightweight and without weights on the bottom, making it prone to blowing in the wind
- Only striped on 1 side; the back side is plain
Outdoor curtains can provide excellent sun protection, and the best outdoor curtains that meet this criteria are UV-rated. The Sun Zero Valencia Cabana Stripe outdoor curtain provides UPF 50+ UV protection, blocking at least 98 percent of the sun’s rays. Though the curtain is made of polyester, it provides ample shade and comes in a range of striped cabana-inspired designs to elevate any outdoor space.
Get the Sun Zero outdoor curtain at Amazon, The Home Depot, Walmart, or Target.
- Dimension options: 14 options; width ranges from 52 inches to 100 inches; length ranges from 84 inches to 120 inches
- Material: Polyester
- Number of colors: 19
- Double-grommet design allows for both top and bottom of the curtain to be installed on a rod to prevent blowing
- Water-resistant polyester material is machine-washable for easier cleaning
- Triple-weave fabric improves privacy, shade, and tear resistance
- Reviewers note that the curtain fades quickly, especially in very sunny locations
Thick fabrics and grommets along the bottom edge make the Nicetown double-grommet outdoor curtain a solid choice for shoppers who need outdoor privacy curtains for a breezy area. The curtain panel is made of polyester but features a triple weave to help provide privacy and shade. Rust-resistant grommets along both the top and bottom allow for the installation of a bottom curtain rod to prevent the curtain from blowing in the wind.
Get the Nicetown outdoor curtains at Amazon.
- Dimension options: Customizable on manufacturer’s website; 24 to 37 options on retailers’ websites; width and height ranges from 4 feet to 15 feet
- Material: Vinyl and PVC-coated polyester
- Number of colors: 6
- Heavy-duty reinforced construction holds up to moderate wind and weather conditions
- Panel design is intended for permanent installation for year-round protection
- Fully customizable when purchased directly from the manufacturer
- Transparent vinyl panel provides less privacy compared with some other outdoor curtains
Even better for windy areas is a heavy-duty curtain such as the Covers & All clear panel curtain. This durable, reinforced curtain is made from waterproof PVC-coated polyester material and features a see-through vinyl portion to let in light, although some privacy is sacrificed. The grommets along the top and bottom mean it is intended to be installed as a panel rather than a hanging curtain, so it won’t flap around in the wind. Shoppers who buy directly from Covers & All can customize the curtain—and even add designs for commercial use—to ensure it fits the space.
Get the Covers & All outdoor curtain at Amazon, Wayfair, or Covers & All.Â
- Dimension options: 50 inches wide by 84, 96, 108, or 124 inches long
- Material: Acrylic
- Number of colors: 5
- Fade- and water-resistant acrylic fabric lasts longer than polyester
- Soft canvas-like feel with a distressed, heathered look that is modern and stylish
- Gorgeous color options, including such shades as chambray blue and seagrass green
- Expensive for a single panel, so the cost can add up for a large outdoor space
Basic and durable but with a touch of elegance, the Pottery Barn Outdoor Heathered Canvas Drape is the right pick for shoppers willing to invest significantly more in outdoor curtains. This curtain comes with a higher price tag but for good reason: It’s made of 100 percent acrylic, which will hold up to a variety of weather conditions and resist fading for years to come. The material feels like canvas but has a slightly distressed, heathered look that makes it appear more chic than some other plain curtains.
Get the Pottery Barn outdoor curtain at Pottery Barn.
What to Consider When Choosing Outdoor Curtains
Ideally, outdoor curtains should be equal parts practical and attractive. To choose a suitable option, consider the curtain’s intended function, materials, and ease of installation and care. Since outdoor curtains make such a statement in an outdoor space—they can’t help but be eye-catching due to their size—style is an important feature too.
There are several different types of outdoor curtains, and the right one for any particular shopper depends on its intended use. Shoppers after purely decorative curtains will want to pay the most attention to the design. For privacy, opaque curtains are the most logical choice. Outdoor blackout curtains are available to reduce the amount of light and noise in a space, and insulated curtains can be ideal for temperature control. Thick outdoor curtains can help muffle sound, although they likely won’t work as well as true soundproofing curtains. For proper sun protection, shoppers will want to seek out curtains that are UV-rated.
Synthetic materials with water-, fade-, and mildew-resistant properties are the best choice for outdoor curtains. Curtains made from these materials will generally last longer and look better than curtains constructed from natural materials.
Olefin, also known as polypropylene, is a high-quality option. It’s lightweight, durable, colorfast, and water-resistant. Acrylic is another excellent choice that shares similar characteristics. It can be prone to static, so it might pick up passing pet hair and leaves, though those are easy to remove. Some premium options, such as Sunbrella, are solution-dyed, making them fade-resistant and ideal for very sunny spaces. Sunbrella is a premium acrylic fabric that has an excellent reputation for its durability, though it is one of the more expensive options.
Polyester blends are often the most affordable choice, but they are less durable than olefin and acrylic and will usually wear and fade faster. Cotton, linen, and canvas outdoor curtains look gorgeous, but they’re not suitable for year-round use. They can take a while to dry when they get wet, leading to potential mold or mildew growth. Shoppers on the lookout for a decorative curtain solely for sunny days will want to consider this route.
Installation and Care
It’s a good idea to take into account both the curtain length and width and make sure they fit the outdoor area. Choosing a curtain wider than the intended space will allow for more fullness. Another option is to purchase outdoor curtains that are 2 to 8 inches longer than the required length and allow them to pool on the ground for extra wind resistance, but it’s important to keep in mind that they will be more prone to stains and moisture.
Outdoor curtains can have grommets, hanging tabs, or a sleeve top along the top edge to make them easier to hang. Water-resistant fabrics tend to be easy to maintain, so these outdoor curtains shouldn’t be too difficult to keep clean. For added convenience, shoppers can consider machine-washable options.
Shoppers looking for outdoor curtains will find the experience to be pretty straightforward—there are plenty of options to suit a variety of needs. However, some tips can make the decision and the installation process easier. Learn more by reading these frequently asked questions and their answers.
Q. How do you keep outdoor curtains from blowing in the wind?
There are several ways to keep outdoor curtains from blowing in the wind. Tiebacks can keep them neat when they’re not in use. When they are in use, outdoor curtain weights can prevent them from becoming unwieldy.
Q. Can you make DIY outdoor curtains?
Of course! Anyone with some sewing know-how can make outdoor curtains. Consider choosing a water-resistant fabric to improve durability.
Q. Can any curtains be used outdoors?
It isn’t recommended to use indoor curtains outdoors. Outdoor curtains are made from materials that can withstand the elements, rain or shine. Indoor curtains won’t hold up as nicely or last as long. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to use indoor curtains outside as a decorative touch on a sunny day—just bring them inside at the end of the day.
Q. Should outdoor curtains touch the floor?
It depends on individual preference. To prevent curtains from becoming too dirty, make sure they stop a few inches off the ground. For those who like the pooled look of long curtains, choose a length that touches the floor. It will mean more cleaning, but the curtains will look elegant and better protect from the wind. Either way, simply mount the outdoor curtain rods at a suitable height for the preferred style.
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