A good shower curtain liner is akin to a superhero’s cape: almost indestructible and possessing special powers that enable you to save time and money, and avoid potential slips and falls while cleaning. With little care or installation required, the best shower curtain liners stay inside the tub or stall, preventing splashes, puddles, mold, and mildew in your bathing area.
Look for liners made of eco-friendly materials such as polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) or polyester fabric. These materials are safe, easy to clean, and don’t emit strong odors. Focus on liners that are also water- and mildew-resistant and feature quality detailing, like stainless steel grommets and weighted hems. We unpacked, hung, and tested the following picks on a variety of criteria. All of these shower curtain liners are affordable and can be used with or without a traditional shower curtain.
- BEST OVERALL: AmazerBath 8G EVA Plastic Shower Curtain Liner
- RUNNER-UP: Liba Cloth Shower Curtain
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Downluxe Clear Shower Curtain Liner
- BEST FOR HEAVY USE: Arichomy Shower Curtain Liner
- BEST DEMI-SIZE: Mrs Awesome Small Stall Shower Curtain Liner
- BEST DECORATIVE LINER: BiscayneBay Fabric Shower Curtain Liner
- BEST MILDEW-RESISTANT: Liba 8G Mildew-Resistant Shower Curtain Liner
- BEST WITH STORAGE POCKETS: Mrs Awesome Fabric Shower Curtain with Mesh Pockets
- ALSO CONSIDER: Barossa Design Soft Microfiber Fabric Shower Liner
Types of Shower Curtain Liners
There are a few choices to make when buying a shower curtain liner. First, the overall look and feel are important. The best shower curtain liner is easy to clean and will last a long while. Consider the following materials, all of which we tested. Each provides a slightly different showering experience.
- Fabric liners are commonly made of 100 percent polyester. This manufactured fabric dries quickly, resists mold, and can be cleaned easily—with a shower cleaner spray or in the washing machine. Beyond polyester, eco-conscious fabric liners may come in linen or cotton. While sustainable methods go into growing and producing these fibers, natural fibers absorb moisture easily and can shrink after washing. The benefits of fabric liners are softness and quietness. Compared to plasticlike materials, waterdrops hitting a fabric liner make little noise, so they offer a more enjoyable shower experience.
- Vinyl/PVC liners were once the tried-and-true standard for shower liners due to their affordability and effectiveness. This has changed with the arrival of more eco-friendly materials. Vinyl liners often give off strong odors, at least initially. Due to manufacturing processes that involve chlorine, PVC emits gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that leach into the environment—including your home—and can cause headaches and other health issues. For a similar plasticlike look and feel, but with fewer toxins, go for PEVA or EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) liners.
- PEVA/EVA shower liners are growing in popularity. Similar in look and feel to vinyl, these plasticlike materials contain fewer VOCs and are chlorine-free. Thanks to this, PEVA and EVA liners are more eco-friendly and health-friendly. They also have antimicrobial properties and are highly water- and mildew-resistant.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Shower Curtain Liner
Don’t skimp on a curtain liner! From size to style, quality liners need to measure up in all ways. If they don’t, water may escape from daily showers, causing unnecessary messes. In the long run, quality shower curtain liners also last many years, which wastes less money and contributes less to environmental waste. Here are the qualities to consider while shopping for a high-quality liner.
If a shower curtain liner is a little wider than the shower stall, no worries. But it needs to be the correct length; too long and it will get soggy and develop mildew and mold easily. Before purchasing, measure a shower curtain rod’s length and its distance from the floor. Then, add 12 inches to the length and subtract 2 inches from the height. This represents the best liner size for a tub or stall.
Hanging Type and Style
Shower curtains and liners typically hang from holes via hooks, though snap-in liners are also available. In terms of style, a variety of colors, patterns, and textures are available in addition to hook finishes that complement any bathroom. Let’s look at each aspect in turn.
- Hooks: When thinking about hanging a shower liner, metal or plastic hooks that fit over the rod come to mind. These hooks, either circular or oblong in shape, open to slide through corresponding holes in the liner and shower curtain. On the plus side, hooks are relatively inexpensive and fit any size curtain liner and any length curtain rod. On the downside, metal hooks can be noisy when pulled across a metal rod, while plastic hooks can look cheap. In addition, hooks are a separate added purchase.
- Grommet holes: When paired with hooks, reinforced grommet holes ensure tear-free hanging over time. Some liner holes are reinforced with stitching, while others feature metal grommets. The benefit of metal grommets is greater longevity, and they function well with both plastic and fabric liners.
- Snaps: In an effort to reduce headaches even further, some shower curtains feature a two-in-one design. In these models, an opaque shower curtain pairs with a snap-in liner. To remove for cleaning, simply unsnap, wash, and resnap once dry. Simple and easy to clean, snap-in liners eliminate the need to purchase a separate liner, though fewer style and color options are available.
When it comes to style and color, shower curtain liners should blend seamlessly into a bathroom and shower area. This is why most liners are either clear or white. However, those who prefer another shade have a range of options, especially when purchasing a fabric (polyester) liner. In general, PEVA/EVA liners are clear; they can also feature textured and pebbled or subtly opaque patterns to ensure privacy.
For hardware, shower hooks and grommets are typically stainless steel but can be found in a range of colors and finishes, including gold and rubbed bronze. Make sure that shower curtain hardware matches the existing faucets, shower head, and curtain rod for the best overall appearance.
Shower curtain liners need to do two things well: keep water inside a shower and resist mold and mildew growth associated with damp, humid conditions. For the greatest water resistance and easiest cleanup, PEVA/EVA materials are built for the job. Plasticlike in look and feel, PEVA/EVA liners allow water to roll right off the surface. Consistently taking time to towel-dry these liners after a shower will help them resist mold even longer, as will leaving the liner closed (as in fully extended to cover the width of the tub or stall rather than open for stepping in).
That said, polyester liners are also water-resistant and dry quickly (especially when compared to natural fibers). One of the benefits of polyester is that it can go in the washing machine regularly. It won’t shrink, but it will rid a liner of the beginnings of mold and mildew, especially if caught early.
One key feature to look for is magnetic hems. Many liners have magnets or weights sewn into the corners of the bottom hem. These weights stop the liner from billowing (if it’s fabric) and from leaking water (whatever it’s made of). Unweighted liners can be a pain to keep in place, so make sure the brand touts a weighted hem in the product description.
Our Top Picks
Consider this list of tested top products to choose the best shower curtain liner for your home.
AmazerBath’s plastic shower curtain liner is made from 100 percent waterproof thick-gauge EVA material. It is frosted for privacy and thick enough to prevent deterioration. Three clear stones are sewn into the hem to keep the curtain leakproof and hanging straight. Plus, it features rust-resistant grommets (metal rings), so the liner is easy to hang, is durable, and stays put.
Perhaps one of the best reasons to choose the AmazerBath curtain is that it comes in 12 different sizes––from an RV bathroom size of 72 inches high by 36 inches wide all the way up to an oversize 96 inches high by 72 inches wide for those with high ceilings. The 14 colors include neutrals, blues, greens, and pinks to match almost any decor. It also comes at a bargain price.
For a thick and heavy-duty liner that’s built to last, the AmazerBath 8G EVA Plastic Shower Curtain Liner should not disappoint. It keeps water in the tub or shower and off the floor. On testing, our only complaint was that the grommet holes were not entirely punched out. We had to pick small pieces of debris off the floor after installation. It also made the curtain slightly more challenging to install.
The measurements were also slightly inaccurate. But despite these minor defects, we were more than happy with how well the liner got the job done.
- Material: EVA plastic
- Sizes: 12
- Colorways: 14
- Frosted for privacy
- Reinforced rod holes
- Affordable price
- Very heavy-duty design
- Minor manufacturing defects that did not affect performance
Get the AmazerBath shower curtain liner on Amazon.
This is a go-to liner: simple, efficient, elegant. The Liba shower curtain liner is made of a specially designed smooth polyester fabric that resists mildew, shrinking, and creasing. Water droplets simply roll off the textured surface. The bottom hem has weighting so it won’t budge until someone decides to move it. At the top, reinforced grommets won’t tear or fray with use.
The Liba shower curtain liner comes in white fabric as well as white and black waffle weave in four different sizes. To clean, simply rinse with water and wipe down after each use. This will ensure that no mildew builds up over time (yes, even “mildew-resistant” materials can grow mold and mildew over time if not properly cared for).
Overall, we were very impressed with this shower curtain liner when tested. The only issue is that both sides of the curtain are nearly identical. However, only one side is designed to face the inside of the shower or tub. There is a sticker marking this that most users will likely remove after installation. However, if the liner needs rehanging, users might not be able to recognize the correct side. The material is not machine washable, so once it gets dirty, it will need replacing.
- Material: Polyester
- Sizes: 4
- Colorways: 3
- Reinforced hook holes
- Resists mildew, shrinking, and creasing
- Weighted bottom hem
- Some customers report mildew growth
- Not machine washable
Get the Liba cloth shower curtain liner on Amazon.
A shower curtain liner shouldn’t break the bank, but it should work to keep water in and mildew out. Look no further than Downluxe’s easy, breezy clear PEVA liner. The design is more eco-friendly than plastic or PVC, and the heavy-duty material holds up. The mesh-reinforced header contains rust-proof grommets to prevent tears, and the bottom hem is reinforced with magnets. The magnets are quite substantial, so the shower curtain stays in place easily without sticking to itself or popping up.
This liner is great for many locations, including homes, dorm rooms, kids’ bathrooms and more, and its upkeep is a cinch. Just wipe clean or spray with a 50 percent solution of white vinegar and water to combat water stains. This 72-inch-long by 72-inch-wide curtain comes in packs of one, two, or three liners to cover every bathroom in the house.
Those looking to spend the minimum on a shower curtain liner might want to add the Downluxe Clear Shower Curtain Liner to their cart. It keeps water in the shower or tub just as well as pricier options.
The only caveat from testing is that the plastic is slightly thin. A user could poke a hole through it with a finger if trying hard enough, so this might not be the best choice for homes with children, who tend to be rougher on things. But it is definitely sufficient and affordable for the average person or couple.
- Material: PEVA
- Sizes: 1
- Colorways: 12
- Available in packs of 1, 2, or 3 liners
- Eco-friendly material
- Rustproof grommets
- Reinforced hem
- Some users report mold growth over time
- Plastic is a bit thin
Get the Downluxe shower curtain liner on Amazon.
Daily showers are tough on shower curtain liners. For those who use the shower often, Arichomy’s shower curtain liner may be a solid choice. This liner is made of 100 percent PVC-free EVA material, so it’s a more heavy-duty option than standard PEVA liners. Still, we found in testing that it is not as durable as we anticipated it would be. We were able to rip it with our hands, so this might not be the best choice for homes with children who may pull on the curtain.The 72-inch-long by 72-inch-wide liner is water-repellent and stabilized with magnets at the bottom, so it prevents splashes and won’t get in the way in the tub or shower.
The thick EVA material is engineered to repel mold and mildew. Of course, leaving it extended (closed) each day will allow it to dry, and frequently wiping down the liner with a clean cloth or towel can extend its mildew-free life. This curtain liner is not safe for machine washing.
One of the best things about the Arichomy Shower Curtain Liner is its modern geometric design. While this provides more privacy than a standard clear liner, it doesn’t provide as much as a solid one does. Nevertheless, those looking to save money or who have no privacy concerns might be able to use this attractive liner without a curtain.
- Material: EVA plastic
- Sizes: 1
- Colorways: 2
- Very easy to install
- The bottom is stabilized by magnets
- Repels mold and mildew
- Not machine washable
- Durability was disappointing
Get the Arichomy shower curtain liner on Amazon or at Sears.
The availability of nonstandard-size curtain liners makes Mrs Awesome’s shower curtains shine. These shower curtain liners are available in sizes ranging from 72 inches long by 32 inches wide––a good size for RV bathrooms and small shower stalls––up to an oversize 180 inches long by 70 inches wide to surround a tub. As anyone with an unconventionally sized shower, stall, or tub knows, these sizes are often difficult to find.
Mrs Awesome shower curtain liners are made from waterproof and mildew-resistant PVC-free PEVA material. Encased magnets at the bottom hem (especially useful in cast-iron tubs) keep the curtain in place to prevent splashes, trips, and slips. The header is reinforced with rust-resistant metal grommets to help lengthen the curtain liner’s life. It’s recommended to wipe the curtain with a clean cloth to keep it pristine.
The Mrs Awesome Small Stall Shower Curtain Liner lives up to its name. During testing, we were impressed at how easy this one was to install as well as how nicely it shielded the floor from water. Buyers can go with a darker liner colorway such as black, dark gray, or navy blue and skip the cost of an additional shower curtain altogether.
- Material: PEVA
- Sizes: 22
- Colorways: 10
- Stabilizing bottom hem magnets
- Rust-resistant metal grommets
- Not machine washable
- Somewhat unique texture
Get the Mrs Awesome small stall shower curtain liner on Amazon.
Forget solid white or clear shower curtain liners. BiscayneBay’s shower curtain liner, which is made from 100 percent premium-grade polyester, is available in 23 solid colors—from teal to purple to burgundy and more—to enhance bath decor. We also found the texture was decorative and ideal for a minimalist aesthetic. Best of all, the polyester fabric repels water and is soft to the touch, plus it dampens the sound of water spraying against it. With 17 different sizes available, buyers can find one to fit just about any shower.
These liners have weighted hems to reduce the chance of puddles or splashes (and slipping) on the floor. Rust-proof metal grommets at the top help extend the life of these shower curtain liners. The wrinkle-free, fade-resistant liner can wash in a machine and tumble dry.
The BiscayneBay Fabric Shower Curtain Liner installs quickly, and many can hang it in under a minute. We also noted that it’s very easy to maneuver. It moves seamlessly and doesn’t get stuck. We used this one while washing our hair and noted that it didn’t get stained by a purple shampoo that tends to stain most liners.
- Material: Polyester
- Sizes: 17
- Colorways: 23
- Weighted hems
- Rust-proof metal grommets
- Wrinkle-free and fade-resistant
- Machine-washable fabric is an eco-friendly choice
- The bottom gets very wet and takes a while to dry
Get the BiscayneBay shower curtain liner on Amazon.
With proprietary mildew treatment embedded in the material, Liba’s liner manufacturer says it inhibits growth four times longer than other liners. The active ingredient also cuts down on odor, so the shower should look and smell clean after every use. The liner has an ultrasmooth surface, which repels water and allows beads to slip easily to the shower floor. At the top, 12 rust-proof metal grommets and a reinforced header prevent tearing and keep the liner functioning well over time.
The Liba 8G liner comes in three sizes, including a standard 72-inch-long by 72-inch-wide size. It also offers a choice between clear, frosted, white PEVA, or white polyester fabric with the same anti-mildew properties.
While we were impressed with how this liner was made and would recommend it for those who live in a humid climate or who have a basement shower, it’s not ideal for those with sensitive skin. The liner is treated with a chemical that caused us to feel slightly itchy. While this likely fades with time (and the company says it’s nontoxic), those with skin-sensitivity issues might want to opt for something else.
- Material: PEVA or polyester
- Sizes: 3
- Colorways: 4
- Proprietary mildew treatment
- Inhibits odors
- Rust-proof metal grommets
- Slick texture promotes water runoff
- Reinforced grommets
- Some customer complaints on quality and feel
- Chemical caused tester to itch
Get the Liba mildew-resistant shower curtain liner on Amazon or at Liba USA.
If a shower stall is lacking in storage space, Mrs Awesome has a solution. This 100 percent polyester liner is soft to the touch, machine washable, and features nine mesh pockets for shower supplies large and small. The water-repellent fabric will dry quickly, but make sure to measure the size correctly before buying so the liner doesn’t bunch up on the shower or tub floor (leading to mildew growth).
This shower curtain is designed with details and quality in mind, from the 12 rust-resistant metal grommets at the top to the reinforced pockets that allow for drainage and airflow. This Mrs Awesome liner comes in a range of sizes for short and extra-long stalls, too.
We were surprised at how much we liked this liner while testing it. With a variety of pocket sizes, it has enough storage for the entire family. It can hold small bottles of shampoo or large bottles of shower gel or bubble bath, and plenty of it. The pockets are very strong and reinforced, so they should even hold those extra-large bottles from warehouse club stores.
Regardless of the need for handy storage, the Mrs Awesome Fabric Shower Curtain With Mesh Pockets is a pick because it definitely was the most durable option we tested. It is well worth the price.
- Material: Polyester (and mesh)
- Sizes: 11
- Colorways: 6
- Machine washable
- Rust-resistant metal grommets
- 9 mesh pockets
- Not waterproof; some customers note mildew buildup
Get the Mrs Awesome fabric shower curtain liner on Amazon.
Barossa Design takes microfiber’s strength and transforms it into a lightweight, ultradurable, and what some call “breathable” shower curtain liner that comes in nine different colors––among them white, brown, gray, silver, aqua, navy, cream, and turquoise––all of which are embossed with dots. Each affordable curtain is attractive enough to be used alone. Plus, this eco-friendly PVC-free curtain liner is made from microfiber that feels soft and natural, repels water, and dries quickly.
The Barossa Design liner is available as a 72-inch-long by 70-inch-wide curtain liner that fits standard showers or tubs, in addition to 18 other sizes. All the curtains, with the exception of white, have two magnets on the bottom corners to keep them in place and away from feet. The white liner has weights sewn into the bottom hem. The material is machine washable.
Overall, this liner truly exceeded our expectations. We never used a microfiber liner before trying this one, so we were impressed at how well the material repelled water. It also had a nice, soft feel to it. The Barossa Design Soft Microfiber Fabric Shower Liner is a great choice for anyone who prefers to avoid plastic.
- Material: Microfiber
- Sizes: 19
- Colorways: 9
- Lightweight and breathable
- Repels water and dries quickly
- Stabilizing magnets in the bottom hem
- Stylish aesthetic
- Some customers report mildew growth
Get the Barossa Design shower curtain liner on Amazon.
With a 100 percent waterproof design and thick-gauge EVA material, the AmazerBath shower curtain liner is our top pick. A good alternative fabric option is the polyester Liba cloth shower curtain liner. Both get the job done. Those on a budget or in need of several basic but effective shower curtain liners might opt for the affordable Downluxe shower curtain liner.
How We Tested the Best Shower Curtain Liners
We researched the top shower curtain liners available and only chose options with high customer satisfaction. The list includes a variety of materials to suit different preferences, including EVA plastic, PEVA, polyester, and microfiber. Each top pick is available in multiple sizes and colors to complement a bathroom space.
We focused on shower curtain liners with reinforced hole hooks, rust-proof grommets, and weighted bottom hems for stability. Some of the selected liners are conveniently machine washable, while others can be wiped with vinegar or a bathroom cleaner. Lastly, some liners are waterproof and treated to resist mold and mildew buildup.
To test each option, we removed the liner from the package, measured it, and then installed it. We ran the shower on full strength for at least 10 minutes or got in the shower and cleaned up as usual. We opened and closed the curtain to see how easy it was to maneuver. After running the shower, we noted if there was water on the floor outside the stall or tub as well as how long it took for the material to dry. We rated each product based on a variety of factors on a scale from zero to four, zero being the lowest.
With the right care and cleaning, a liner can keep looking as good as the day it was hung. Both fabric and plastic liners have their pros and cons, so read up on the following helpful tips to choose the best shower curtain liner.
Q. What is the difference between a shower curtain and a shower liner?
A shower curtain provides privacy, might match decor, and stays on the outside of a tub or shower stall. A liner, in contrast, slips inside the tub/stall area to keep water from splashing onto the floor.
Q. Are fabric shower curtain liners better than plastic liners?
Fabric liners are quieter and typically more pleasant to use than plastic liners. Plastic liners are easy to clean and don’t require machine washing. In general, fabric liners are better for the environment and don’t leach chemicals.
Q. Why is the bottom of my shower curtain yellow?
Yellow hems are typically a byproduct of mildew growth, while pinkish hems are caused by mold.
Q. Should you leave your shower curtain open or closed?
Keep it closed (fully extended) most of the time. This ensures greater air circulation and evaporation over the entire surface.
Q. Can you put a shower curtain liner in the washing machine?
Most fabric liners can be washed in a washing machine. Make sure to wash on cold to reduce shrinkage, especially with natural fibers like cotton. Plasticlike shower curtain liners, including PVC, PEVA, and EVA, shouldn’t be machine washed unless it is explicitly stated on care instructions.