The Best Shower Curtain Rods for the Bathroom

Often an afterthought, the shower curtain rod plays a key role in bathroom design, so choose wisely. 

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Best Shower Curtain Rod

Photo: amazon.com

A shower curtain takes top billing in a bathroom, but getting the best shower curtain rod to hold it is just as important. Not only must a shower curtain rod be sturdy enough to support the weight of the curtain, but it should also complement the look of the bathroom. The best shower curtain for your bathroom will depend on the size and configuration of your shower or tub/shower combo, the bathroom décor, and the weight of the shower curtain you plan to use.

  1. BEST OVERALL: BRIOFOX Shower Curtain Rods 42-72 Inches
  2. RUNNER-UP: TEECK Shower Curtain Rod, 40-73 inch
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Amazer Shower Curtain Rod, 42-72 Inches
  4. BEST FOR CORNER SHOWER: Sikaiqi L Shaped Shower Curtain Rod
  5. BEST FOR CORNER TUB: PrettyHome L Shaped Bathtub Corner Rod
  6. BEST HOOP WALL MOUNT: PrettyHome Shower Curtain Rod Hoop
  7. BEST DOUBLE STRAIGHT: Zenna Home E36602BN Double Tension Shower Curtain Rod
  8. BEST DOUBLE CURVED: Zenna Home Double Curved Shower Curtain Rod
Best Shower Curtain Rod

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Buying the Best Shower Curtain Rod

Design plays a big part in choosing the best shower curtain rod for your bathroom. Ease of installation and durability are top considerations, too.

Shape

Most shower curtain rods are straight and attach to the walls of the shower. But, other shapes are available for a range of shower and tub configurations. Square, L-shaped, and round shower curtain rods are available for open showers and freestanding tub/shower combinations. Double rods come with two parallel rods: an outer rod for a decorative shower curtain and an inner rod for the waterproof liner. Still, other shower curtain rods feature a small outward bow that adds a little extra room to the inside of a tub-shower unit.

Material

Shower curtain rods are typically made of metal and plastic. Consider choosing a durable one that goes with your bathroom’s decor. Many metal shower curtain rods come treated with a water-resistant coating to reduce rust and corrosion risk. Plastic rods have come a long way, but they still aren’t as durable as metal rods. Reserve these for lightweight shower curtains.

Bathroom Decor

The bathroom is often the smallest room in the house, so anything that’s “off” with the décor will stick out like a sore thumb. Something as simple as a shower curtain rod that doesn’t blend in with the bathroom décor can leave the bathroom looking completely mismatched. Metal rods are available in various finishes, including brass, stainless steel, aluminum, and even copper. Try to match the shower curtain rod to the finish on the faucet, showerhead, and shower caddy. If those items are chrome, for example, your shower curtain rod should be too.

Tension vs. Mounted

Shower curtain rods install in two ways: through tension or mounting. Each has benefits and considerations.

  • Tension: A tension rod, sometimes called a “spring-loaded rod,” requires two opposing walls, a common configuration in both shower stalls and tub/showers. A strong spring inside the rod exerts outward pressure to hold the rod in place. Many tension rods are adjustable. Twisting the rod’s ends in opposite directions will either lengthen or shorten the rod to fit into various spaces. The end caps on tension rods are typically covered with non-slip rubber. These rods will support shower curtains that weigh up to approximately 20 pounds. Tension rods are well-suited to fiberglass and tile showers, where you might not want to drill through the walls to mount the rod. You might also consider a tension rod if you are not the homeowner and want to avoid drilling into the walls.
  • Mounted: Straight, mounted shower curtain rods adjust to fit the space between the shower walls. The dimensions of shaped rods, however, may be fixed. Mounted shower curtain rods will support curtain weight up to about 25 to 30 pounds.

Installation

Tension shower curtain rods are by far the easiest to install. Twist the rod to a length about an inch longer than the distance between the walls and then pull one side inward to shorten the rod and slide it into place.

Mounted rods are a bit trickier as you have to drill holes in the walls and install mounts. If you’re handy with a drill and a measuring tape or a level (for getting the bar level), mounting a shower curtain rod is a DIY task. If you’re not comfortable installing a mounted rod, a tension rod is a good idea. Both are strong enough to hold most shower curtains.

Our Top Picks

The best shower curtain rods should be strong enough to hold a shower curtain’s weight, be rust- and corrosion-resistant, and, in the case of tension rods, have a strong spring. It should also be durable and complement your bathroom décor. The following shower curtain rods are good options for a variety of needs, and one is sure to be the right choice in your bathroom as well.

Best Overall

Best Shower Curtain Rod BRIOFOX
Photo: amazon.com

In a range of sizes designed to fit either shower stalls or tub/shower surrounds, the adjustable BRIOFOX Stainless Steel Shower Curtain Rod features a strong extension spring and can bear up to 22 pounds. No tools are necessary for installation. You only need opposing walls to fit to rod between. Twist the ends in opposite directions to lengthen or shorten the rod. The BRIOFOX shower curtain rod features rubber end caps that won’t slide on walls and won’t leave scratches. Appropriate for tile, fiberglass, and painted drywall.

Runner-Up

Best Shower Curtain Rod TEECK
Photo: amazon.com

Made from premium stainless steel, the TEECK Shower Curtain Rod won’t rust. Because it’s a tension rod, there’s no drilling required. The rod adjusts to fit between opposing shower or tub/shower combo walls of various sizes. By rotating the ends of the rod in different directions, the length can be adjusted. The rubber end caps suction to the walls without scratching. This rod is a great choice for tile or fiberglass.

Best Bang For The Buck

Best Shower Curtain Rod Amazer
Photo: amazon.com

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a durable shower curtain rod that will complement your bathroom’s décor. The affordable Amazer Shower Curtain Rod adjusts to fit shower stalls and tub/shower combos of various sizes. It comes in several standard rust-resistant metal finishes to match your bathroom’s existing fixtures. The rubber end caps keep the rod firmly in place. You can remove them before installation to slip round shower curtain hooks over the bar. Suitable for fiberglass, tile, painted walls, or even wood paneling.

Best For Corner Shower

Best Shower Curtain Rod Sikaiqi
Photo: amazon.com

The Sikaiqi L-shaped shower curtain rod can be fully mounted, which is the sturdier option, or attached with glue-on brackets that support the ends of the rod. The rod itself does not call for the use of additional, ceiling-mounted support as some L-shaped rods do. This permits the user to hang a single curtain, rather than a split curtain, which is necessary with a ceiling support. The rust- and corrosion-resistant rod is suitable for all types of shower walls.

Best For Corner Tub

Best Shower Curtain Rod PrettyHome

Dress up your bathroom with the PrettyHome L-shaped Corner Shower Bathtub Rod designed to fit a tub with an open wall on one side. Made from high-quality aluminum, the rod is available in various finishes to complement your bathroom fixtures. You might need to drill-mount it to adjacent walls for stability with the included mounting brackets and fasteners. This corner shower bar is rust- and corrosion-resistant and will support up to 20 pounds of fabric weight. It does not require the use of a ceiling-mounted support bar, although you can use one to increase stability.

Best Hoop Wall Mount

Best Shower Curtain Rod Heavy
Photo: amazon.com

Add a shower curtain to a freestanding tub with the PrettyHome Hoop Shower Curtain Rod. It attaches to the wall at the tub’s head and hangs from a ceiling-mounted support bar on the opposite side. Made from high-quality aluminum in finishes to match most bathrooms, this hoop-shaped curtain rod won’t rust or corrode. Installation requires mounting brackets to one wall and drill-mounting the support bar to the ceiling with the included fasteners and hardware. Because this rod has a hanging support bar, a split shower curtain will be necessary to enclose the tub completely.

Best Double Straight

Best Shower Curtain Rod Zenna
Photo: amazon.com

The Zenna Home Double Shower Curtain Rod will support an inner waterproof shower curtain and a decorative outer curtain or towels on two separate rods. This versatile rod is spring-loaded for tension installation and comes with fasteners for a permanent wall mount. The rod adjusts from 44 to 72 inches to fit various size showers and tub/shower combos. It features NeverRust Aluminum and it’s suitable for installation on all types of shower walls.

Best Double Curved

Best Shower Curtain Rod ZennaHome
Photo: amazon.com

If showering in your existing shower or tub/shower combo feels cramped, check out the Zenna Home NeverRust Curved Shower Curtain Rod. It bows gently outward to offer an additional 9 inches of elbow room in the shower. The double rod adjusts to fit tubs up to 72 inches long. The rust-free aluminum will help it look new for years. This tension rod features strong springs and rubber ends that won’t damage bathroom walls. The decorative wall mounts give it a polished look. This double shower curtain bar is available in finishes to match existing faucets, and it is suitable for hanging two curtains or for a single curtain and towels.

FAQs About Your New Shower Curtain Rod

Shower curtain rods are straightforward for the most part, but if this is the first time you’ve purchased one—or if you’re wondering about how to install one—read on.

Q. How do I choose a shower curtain rod?

Choose a finish that matches your sink and shower faucets. Choose either a mounted or a tension rod depending on your DIY skills. If you aren’t comfortable drilling into walls to mount a rod, opt for a tension rod.

Q. Do tension shower rods work on tile?

Tension rods are well suited to tile walls.

Q. What is the purpose of a curved shower curtain rod?

A curved shower rod has a gentle outward bow that makes more room in your shower.

Q. Where should you place a curved shower curtain rod?

Between the opposing walls of a shower or a tub/shower combo.

Q. How high should a shower curtain rod be?

Standard shower curtain rod height is approximately 75 to 77 inches above the floor.