What's The Best Material for Bathroom Curtains? — Designers Unanimously Agree on This 'Stylish and Durable' Option

If you’re planning on introducing curtains to the bathroom, experts suggest this material that has dimensional stability and retains the least moisture

A bathroom with white curtains
(Image credit: Alexander&Co)

Bathroom curtains can add softness to the room, and introduce striking design elements like color, texture, and pattern to the space. Along with this comes assured privacy, excellent light control, and a touch of style. But all these factors are heavily dependent on the material of the curtain you choose.

Go for flimsy sheers or loosely woven fabrics, and you compromise on privacy and are left with a damp drape. Opt for an extremely thick curtain and the room is drenched in darkness. So what's the best bathroom curtain material? Experts have the answer.

What is the best material for bathroom curtains?

A curtain by the vanity window

(Image credit: Note Design)

Before you go about looking for the best bathroom curtain ideas, Sabrina MacLean of Hino Studio has a word of caution: 'Largely, we don’t recommend fabrics inside the bathroom as the space is constantly exposed to humidity, and over time fabrics tend to change their shape, or start smelling. If you need to use them, place them far away from the wet areas.'

So as long as your bathroom windows are at a reasonable distance from the shower, consider investing in materials that resists mold formation, retains their original size and shape, and holds the least amount of moisture.

'Selecting a lightweight fabric that dries quickly is important,' says Kashi Shikunova, director at Yam Studios. 'Cotton blend is a good option due to its natural properties, ease of maintenance, and will dry quickly. ' 

'I would only ever use a cotton blend curtain in a bathroom,' says Livingetc editor Pip Rich. 'It's the only material I trust to withstand the heat and wetness of the space.' Livingetc.com editor Hugh Metcalf agrees. 'Anything other than a cotton blend is likely to age fast and smell,' he says.

What should you keep in mind before choosing bathroom curtains?

A bathroom with a green wallpaper and long white curtain

(Image credit: Nathan Schroder Design Credit Maestri Studio)

The main thing to consider is that your curtains need to be washable. In a high traffic area like a bathroom, where steam and dust are common, you will need a practical choice.

'It's important to consider washability, especially in humid bathroom environments where curtains can accumulate mold and dirt,' says Kashi.' Ensuring easy washability helps maintain a fresh appearance over time.'

What are some interesting ways to use curtains in the bathroom?

A kitchen with colorful floor tiles and cafe curtains

(Image credit: sdelaemremont)

'If you want to make the bathroom feel more spa-like, consider a fabric window valance,' says Jane Lockhart of Jane Lockhart Design. 'It adds a soft detail that doesn’t require cleaning, nor does it get in the way of bathing or washing. A valance is low cost and can hide the mechanics of a blind underneath, so the window remains clean and sleek while creating a focal point around the tub.'

A valence aside, another great bathroom window treatment is Cafe Curtains. 'I love cafe curtains and use them often,' says interior designer Stephanie Sabbe. 'Practically speaking, they allow for privacy while not fully blocking natural light. Aesthetically, they ooze with historic charm when done well.' These add a touch of elegance and because they do not extend down to the floor, end up staying dry and safe.

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Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast).  Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.