The Best Shower Curtains of 2021

The best shower curtain is the ideal size, style, and fabric for your bathroom.

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Best Shower Curtains

Photo: amazon.com

Besides adding privacy, a shower curtain introduces softness and style to the bathroom. Shower curtains also help prevent water from escaping the shower stall, but that’s not their primary function. Shower curtains differ from shower liners.

A shower curtain liner is made of a waterproof fabric like nylon or polyester and is typically placed along the inner rim of a tub or shower to prevent leakage. A shower curtain is placed over the liner, outside the shower or tub.

Read on for tips on selecting the best shower curtain for your bathroom space, and learn why the following recommendations are among the top products on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Barossa Design Fabric Shower Curtain
  2. RUNNER UP: AmazerBath Plastic Shower Curtain
  3. BEST BUDGET: mDesign 100% Cotton Waffle Weave Shower Curtain
  4. BEST FLORAL: MACOFE Fabric Decorative Floral Shower Curtain Set
  5. BEST TROPICAL: KGORGE Shower Curtains for Bathroom
  6. BEST STRIPED: Aimjerry Hotel Quality Striped Fabric Shower Curtain
  7. BEST RUFFLE: WestWeir Ruffle Shower Curtain
  8. BEST DESIGN: Sunlit Map of the World Fabric Shower Curtain
  9. BEST WITH POCKETS: Mrs Awesome Water-Repellent Fabric Shower Curtain
  10. BEST HOOKLESS: River Dream Waffle Weave Fabric Shower Curtain
  11. BEST FOR CLAWFOOT TUBS: N&Y HOME Fabric Clawfoot Tub Shower Curtain
  12. BEST FOR KIDS: Sunlit Cartoon Sea Creatures Fabric Shower Curtain
Best Shower Curtains

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Shower Curtain

The existing bathroom decor (or the new look you’re going for) will take the lead in choosing the overall appearance of a shower curtain—either fun patterns or a solid color. The height and length of the bathtub/shower space will help determine the appropriate size.

When considering different materials, keep in mind who will use the bathroom the most—small children, adults, or both. You’ll also want to factor in whether the material resists mold and mildew. And don’t forget about extra features, like pockets, if you want to give up storing shower essentials around the tub rim.

Material/Fabric

Shower curtains can be made of both synthetic and natural materials. These fabrics each have their own benefits and drawbacks, particularly when it comes to durability and ease of cleaning.

Synthetic materials like polyester and plastic are durable, waterproof, and wrinkle resistant. They perform especially well in bathrooms that experience a lot of wear and tear—for example, if you have small children. One drawback with synthetics is they can look and feel a bit stiffer and cheaper than natural fabrics.

However, these shower curtains clean up easily: Simply spray with a shower cleaner or toss into the washer and dryer. Polyester is one of the most popular curtain options. It resembles natural fabric in softness but is more water- and mildew-resistant. You can wash a polyester shower curtain in cool water in the washing machine and dry it on the gentlest setting.

Natural fabrics like canvas, cotton, hemp, and linen are both eco-friendly and luxurious looking. These fabrics are easily laundered according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep in mind, however, that natural fabrics are not waterproof, so you must have a good-quality liner to keep the rest of your bathroom dry.

Size

In general, standard shower curtains measure from 70 to 72 inches in both height and width, but sizes can vary. To determine the correct curtain size for your shower, specific measurements are required.

For width, measure the curtain rod, then add 12 inches to include the curtain folds to ensure complete coverage. For height/length, measure from the bottom of the curtain rod to the floor. The bottom edge should just touch the threshold to keep the curtain as free from dirt and moisture as possible.

If you have a bathtub, subtract up to 10 inches from the curtain length. Alternatively, add several inches of length if you intend to swag the curtain to one side using tiebacks since the curtain will appear shorter when tied back.

Solid vs. Pattern

A shower curtain takes up a lot of visual space in the bathroom. The current decor can contribute to whether you choose a solid or pattern print.

A solid color that blends in might do the trick for those who already have different patterns—like pictures and prints—elsewhere in the bathroom. Conversely, for a bathroom with only one or two existing solid colors, you may want something livelier, like a patterned, colorful shower curtain, to act as a focal point to the room. A white shower curtain can create a peaceful, calming feeling and also give off a clean and welcoming vibe.

When remodeling a bathroom, you can look for the “perfect” neutral or decorative shower curtain and have fun designing the entire theme around that idea.

Additional Features

Some shower curtains offer additional features like pockets that face the inside or the outside of the tub for storing shower and other bathroom essentials. Just keep in mind the overall weight of the items if the rod isn’t bolted into the wall.

Other features include a detachable and waterproof lining that comes with the curtain, so you don’t need to buy a separate one. Extra-wide shower curtains are beneficial for oddly shaped bathtubs or showers or when looking for a curtain for a soaking tub.

Hardware

A shower curtain hangs from the rod using hooks or hookless grommets. Hooks are the most traditional and popular method of hanging and are available in various metal finishes as well as plastic. Metal is the more durable choice; opt for aluminum, stainless steel, or brass, which are the least susceptible to rust.

Hookless shower curtains are quicker to install using grommets that simply snap open and shut around the rod. Unlike metal or plastic hooks, these grommets also slide across the rod more smoothly, creating less noise.

Our Top Picks

Selected based on the buying considerations detailed above, the following list contains some of the best shower curtains available today.

Best Overall

The Best Shower Curtain Option: Barossa Design Fabric Shower Curtain
Photo: amazon.com

Liven up the bathroom with this shower curtain from Barossa Design, the herringbone pattern of which can add a clean and fresh look to your bathroom. This curtain is made of heavy-duty polyester and more than ready to withstand the wear and tear of frequent use, thanks in part to its reinforced top header and rustproof metal grommet holes.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty, water-resistant polyester fabric
  • Reinforced top header
  • Rustproof metal grommet holes
  • Comes in multiple colors and sizes
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • No liner included


Runner Up

The Best Shower Curtain Option: AmazerBath Plastic Shower Curtain
Photo: amazon.com

Spruce up your bathroom without spending a small fortune. This reasonably priced shower curtain from AmazerBath is made of 8-gauge EVA material that’s thicker than most curtains. The denser material and the curtain’s rust-resistant metal grommet holes add to the durability of the product.

Three clear stones at the bottom of the curtain help keep it against the side of the tub so water from the shower doesn’t end up on the floor. To clean this waterproof curtain, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth as needed.

Pros

  • Made with 8-gauge EVA material
  • Rust-resistant metal grommet holes
  • Built-in clear stones for affixion
  • Waterproof
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Hanging hardware not included


Best Budget

The Best Shower Curtain Option: mDesign STALL Sized Premium 100% Cotton Waffle Weave
Photo: amazon.com

For a natural fabric shower curtain with blanket-like softness and spa style, consider this premium cotton option from mDesign. Its textured, waffle-weave fabric lends a luxurious look and feel to any bathroom.

Importantly, mDesign’s shower curtain can withstand machine washing—with bleach, if necessary. Plus, the Aimjerry shower curtain comes preshrunk, so there’s no need to worry that it will shrink in the wash.

The curtain’s buttonholes work with most types of shower hooks and rings—and there’s no metal, which means no chance of rusting. The hem of each hole is reinforced to ensure they will hold up to long-term use.

Pros

  • Made with natural, waffle-weave cotton fabric
  • Comes preshrunk and with reinforced hems
  • Built-in buttonholes; compatible with most hooks and rings
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Non-reinforced buttonholes may rip or tear
  • May be sheer
  • Liner and hanging hardware not included


Best Floral

The Best Shower Curtain Option: MACOFE Fabric Decorative Floral Shower Curtain
Photo: amazon.com

Add flower power to your shower. There’s nothing fragile about MACOFE’s polyester curtain, given the way it’s manufactured. 3D printing technology imbues the curtain with vibrant colors and clear images that can stand up to repeat machine washing. While the waterproof material promotes water beading and prevents the shower curtain from becoming soaked, the curtain drapes nicely over the bathtub or shower and dries quickly after washing. Included are 12 plastic C-type hooks to place inside the rustproof grommet holes.

Pros

  • 3D-printed polyester fabric
  • Rustproof grommet holes with 12 plastic hooks included
  • Waterproof
  • Comes in multiple sizes

Cons

  • Liner not included
  • Cannot endure sun or bleach exposure
  • Comes in only one colorway


Best Tropical

The Best Shower Curtain Option: KGORGE Shower Curtains for Bathroom - Tropical Leaves
Photo: amazon.com

Set the mood for relaxation in your bathroom with this patterned shower curtain from KGORGE. At 72 inches by 72 inches, the curtain fits most standard-size bathtubs and shower stalls, and its waterproof material is easy to clean, whether by hand or in the washing machine.

Pros

  • Polyester material with rustproof metal grommets
  • Includes hanging hardware
  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Waterproof and machine washable

Cons

  • Print is one-sided
  • Comes in only one colorway


Best Striped

The Best Shower Curtain Option: Aimjerry Hotel Quality Striped Fabric Shower Curtain
Photo: amazon.com

Brighten the bathroom with this striped shower curtain from Aimjerry. Its simple, pleasing design lends instant sophistication, but this curtain isn’t all about style. Its practicality shows up in the curtain’s reinforced, rust-resistant metal rings, as well as in the durability of its waterproof polyester fabric.

This thick fabric hangs flush with the shower or bathtub wall and won’t move away while the shower is running. To wash the curtain, simply place it in the washing machine.

Pros

  • Waterproof, thick polyester fabric
  • Rust-resistant, reinforced metal rings
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Liner not included
  • Hanging hardware not included
  • Comes in one colorway/pattern


Best Ruffle

The Best Shower Curtain Option: WestWeir Ruffle Shower Curtain
Photo: amazon.com

This shower curtain adds a bit of charm and romance to the bathroom. Made of quality, nontoxic polyester, the WestWeir curtain boasts surprising softness and is both mildew- and water-resistant. Once washed and dried, the curtain is also wrinkle-resistant. To wash, simply place it in the washing machine on cold and tumble dry low.

Pros

  • Made with nontoxic polyester
  • Water-, wrinkle-, and mildew-resistant material
  • Comes in multiple sizes and colors
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • No built-in grommets
  • Liner and hanging hardware not included
  • Comes in only one colorway


Best Design

The Best Shower Curtain Option: Sunlit Map of the World with Detailed Major Cities
Photo: amazon.com

Travel the world with every shower! This PVC-free, 100 percent polyester shower curtain from Sunlit features a map design that won’t fade over time, thanks to the advanced colorfast technology used in its manufacture.

While the water-repellent polyester fabric provides added thickness to closely drape the shower curtain around the tub, the rustproof metal grommets add to the durability of the curtain. To wash it, simply toss the curtain in the washing machine and rehang (the quick-drying material won’t stay wet for long).

Pros

  • Made with PVC-free, water-resistant polyester
  • Rust-resistant metal grommets
  • Fade resistant and quick drying
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • May be slightly transparent
  • Comes in only one design pattern


Best with Pockets

The Best Shower Curtain Option: Mrs Awesome Water-Repellent Fabric Shower Curtain
Photo: amazon.com

Free up much-needed space in a small bathroom by storing vital supplies inside the shower curtain. This one from Mrs Awesome features nine sewn-in pockets. Face the curtain inward if there’s no room in the shower for soap, shampoo, and shaving supplies, or face it outward if the bathroom lacks counter space for hair brushes and other items. The curtain’s strengthened top header and grommets prevent tearing. Toss this water-repellent polyester curtain in the washing machine for easy cleaning.

Pros

  • Sturdy polyester material
  • Seven sewn-in storage pouches
  • Strengthened top header and rustproof metal grommets
  • Comes in multiple sizes and colors

Cons

  • Mesh pouches are not moisture- or waterproof
  • Hanging hardware not included


Best Hookless

The Best Shower Curtain Option: River dream Waffle Weave Fabric Shower Curtain
Photo: amazon.com

Stop worrying about hooks with this shower curtain from River Dream that features split rings for easy installation. This cotton-blend curtain also comes with a snap-in replacement liner that bounces the water back into the bathtub or shower. Made with 200 GSM (grams per square meter) heavyweight fabric, the curtain stays in place and is sized to fit most standard tubs and showers.

Pros

  • Cotton blend curtain
  • Split ring construction; easy installation
  • Comes in multiple colorways and sizes
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Replacement liner sold separately
  • Heavy


Best for Clawfoot Tubs

The Best Shower Curtain Option: N&Y HOME Fabric Clawfoot Tub Shower Curtain
Photo: amazon.com

Looking for a little extra privacy? Designed for clawfoot tubs, this shower curtain from N&Y HOME measures 180 by 71 inches, with its generous width allowing for all-around coverage. Made from premium polyester fabric, N&Y HOME’s curtain is PVC-free, and its stylish diamond pattern can add elegance to any bathroom. To wash, just place the curtain in the washing machine. The water-repellent fabric beads water on the surface so it dries quickly.

Pros

  • Made from premium PVC-free polyester
  • Reinforced top header and 32 rustproof grommets
  • Water resistant and machine washable
  • Comes in multiple sizes

Cons

  • Comes in only one colorway
  • Suitable for clawfoot bathtubs only


Best for Kids

The Best Shower Curtain Option: Sunlit Lovely Cartoon Sea Creatures Fabric Shower
Photo: amazon.com

The chance to identify the sea creatures and colors on this Sunlit shower curtain can add to a child’s enjoyment of bath time. Made of PVC-free, quick-drying, and machine-washable polyester, Sunlit’s curtain boasts notable thickness for better draping around the tub or shower, while its rustproof grommets and reinforced top header ensure durability.

Pros

  • Thick PVC-free polyester material
  • Rustproof grommets and reinforced top header
  • Can be used without a liner
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • No hanging hardware included
  • Comes in only one colorway/design


Our Verdict

With a heavy-duty water-resistant polyester fabric, rustproof grommet holes, and multiple colorways available, the Barossa option is our top pick for the best shower curtain. Made with a reinforced top header and the convenience of being machine washable, this herringbone curtain can suit any bathroom decor easily.

Alternatively, the AmazerBath curtain offers the same rust-resistant grommet holes and a smaller price tag. With its 8-gauge EVA material, this shower curtain also offers built-in clear stones to keep water in and a lightweight, waterproof plastic construction.

How We Chose the Best Shower Curtains

The best shower curtain will give your bathroom a minor face-lift by adding a clean new look to the room. The above picks were selected for their stylish designs as well as the materials used and the sizes offered.

The above picks prioritize ease of use and convenience which is why many are made with high-performance polyester and come with sturdy, rustproof grommets. Some of the above picks also come with reinforced top headers and moisture-treated materials for a quick-drying effect. For safety, some of our picks are also PVC-free.

Though some of the above curtains do not come with liners and hanging hardware, some of these top picks double as liners for convenience. Additionally, there are several machine- washable options, and some come with the availability to purchase them in different sizes.

FAQs

There is a lot to consider when choosing a new shower curtain. If you still have questions about shower curtains, the following section may help. Check out these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about shower curtains.

Q. How do I choose a shower curtain?

Consider your current decor and how you want the bathroom to all come together. Do you want a neutral solid-colored shower curtain because the bathroom already includes many patterns, or do you want to make the curtain the focal point of the room? Remember to measure and purchase the correct size. Take into account who uses the shower and which material is appropriate.

Q. Is a fabric or plastic shower curtain better?

A fabric shower curtain like canvas, cotton, hemp, and linen is both eco-friendly and luxurious looking. These fabrics are easily laundered according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, they aren’t waterproof, so a good-quality liner is essential to keep the rest of the bathroom dry.

A plastic shower curtain is durable, waterproof, and wrinkle-resistant, and it performs well in bathrooms that receive a lot of wear and tear—for example, if you have small children. Keep in mind that plastic can look and feel a bit stiffer and cheaper than natural fabrics.

Q. What kind of shower curtain is best for a small bathroom?

When you lack space in the bathroom, a shower curtain that features pockets for storing essentials, like the Water-Repellent Fabric Shower Curtain from Mrs Awesome, can be an ideal solution.

Q. Are shower curtains machine washable?

Yes, some shower curtains are machine washable. Read the washing instructions on the label carefully before placing them in the washing machine.