23 Different Types of Curtains You Should Know

types of curtains

Decorating the windows is a significant part of any room décor.

As simple as it may appear, finding the right curtain can dramatically impact how your room feels and look. The function of a curtain is determined by the type of curtains purchased and how you install them.

Because a curtain completes the look of your room and binds all elements together, you shouldn't pick the wrong one.

With so many improvements on interior decorations and several options, fabrics, styles, and designs to choose from, finding the right type of curtains may seem overwhelming. But you need not worry.

We have put together this in-depth guide on the different types of curtains and how to identify them at a glance. This guide covers answers the most important questions on curtain style, header, length, and opacity.


Different Kinds of Curtain with Pictures

Curtains by Style

Over the years, the most important thing people consider before buying curtains has moved from just size to other things like style. So, here are some of the styles you need to know.


1. Panel Curtains

    types of curtains

    Image credit: obeki.com

    This is a classic but simple design that can be snagged singly or in pairs, depending on the available space. It hangs above the window, covering the entire window and draping down to the floor.

    A single panel curtain requires just one panel to cover the entire window space while a panel pair needs two. It can be slide to the sides to lighten up the room.


    2. Window Toppers or Valances

      Window Toppers

      Image credit: thecurtainshop.com

      This is a short curtain for beautifying your room. You can omit it since it is optional and can be used alone, especially with a window blind. This curtain hangs at the top of other curtains.


      3. Tiers or Cafe Curtains

        types of curtains

        Image credit: apartmenttherapy.com

        The tiers curtain is used at the bottom of windows instead of the top, as is the case with valances. It is also called cafe curtains and is best suited for rooms with utmost privacy and natural light. The presence of the cartridge pleat gives it a cozy allure. The downside is that it is custom-made and can't be used for another window.


        4. Window Scarf

          types of curtains

          Image credit: wcmanet.org

          This is similar to the valance style since it is placed at the top of the curtain over its rod and allowed to drape down. It is a tiny strip of fabric that may vary in length. It is a decorative addition and can't be expected to block out light. But it is a dramatic inclusion to what your window will feel like.


          5. Balloon Shades

            types of curtains

            Image credit: bestwindowtreatments.com

            This is a perfect blend of the elegance of curtains and the full function of blinds. Balloon shades are made to start at the top of the window and stop at the sill with a scallop design.

            When these curtains are shortened to permit more sunlight penetration, they look like a valance. And when straightened out, they give fabrics the blind feel.


            6. Austrian Curtains

              kinds of curtains with pictures

              Image credit: draperyavenue.com

              Austrian curtains look much like a panel curtain, except they are scalloped from top to bottom. Some of these curtains are designed to be adjustable while some aren't.


              7. Priscilla Curtains

                kinds of curtains with pictures

                Image credit: curtainshop.com

                This is designed to be ruffled to give a frill look, especially on panel curtains. It comes in pairs, which gives an overlapping effect when stretched out on separate rods. Sometimes, it can come with rope and valances.


                8. Swags

                  types of curtains

                  Image credit: swagsandtailsonline.com

                  These curtains are somewhat a special type of valance but with a high-low design. The center of this curtain is shorter than the two sides, allowing light penetration while giving a drapey aesthetic. The edges drape down like a sill curtain (discussed below).


                  Curtains by Length

                  Now that you know the array of styles to pick from, you should know the next most important feature needed in a curtain: the length. The length of a curtain has a major impact on styles, penetration of light, and overall beauty of the window. Below are the various types of curtains by length:


                  9. Sill Curtains

                    types of curtains

                    Image credit: thecurtainguru.com

                    These are perfect for windows open the majority of the day. They drape from the top of the window or slightly above it and stop at the sill but never on the ground. They are best suited for small windows such as those in the kitchen, bathroom, and any other small-sized window.


                    10. Apron Curtains

                      types of curtains in interior design

                      Image credit: pinterest.com

                      Like the sill curtains, apron curtains are made for small windows to make them look bigger by creating the illusion of more height. They start from the top of the window and stop a few inches below it.  They are suitable for kitchen and bathroom windows.


                      11. Floor Curtains

                        types of curtains in interior design

                        Image credit: timelessblinds.ca

                        These are made for the floor-to-ceiling windows or sliding doors. They start at the top of the window down to the floor, creating a sleek look. You can use them for small windows that you want to appear bigger, especially those never or rarely opened.


                        12. Puddle Curtains

                          types of curtains

                          Image credit: spiffyspools.com

                          These are overflowing curtains starting at the top of the window and stopping a few inches below the floor. As a result, they look like a puddle or "wedding train" on the floor. This type of curtain gives a luxurious, glamorous, and romantic feel.


                          Curtains by Header

                          Gradually, your journey to selecting the best curtain that showcases your style is becoming clearer.  With style and length sorted out, what other thing do you need to know? A suitable header or attachment style for your windows. Below of the different types.


                          13. Ripple Fold or Flat Panel Curtains

                            types of curtains for bedroom

                            Image credit: curtainrodconnection.com

                            These curtains have pleats or ripples when pulled together but appear flat or plain when stretched out. As a result, they are sometimes called flat pleat curtains. They are the most used type of curtains and hang on a curtain rod through series of hooks.


                            14. Eyelet or Grommet Curtains

                              types of curtains for bedroom

                              Image credit: obeki.com

                              These are lightweight, modern, and easy to draw. They have pleats when bunched up together and straighten out when released like the flat panel curtain.

                              A major difference is that they do not have hooks. Instead, they come with inbuilt large holes that you can slide directly on the curtain rod, thus, exposing the rod. Do well to use an aesthetically pleasing rod.


                              15. Cubicle Curtains

                                types of curtains for bedroom

                                Image credit: cubiclecurtainfactory.com

                                Cubicle curtains are similar to the eyelet curtain described above. However, they come with smaller holes. Another difference is that you hang them from hooks rather than with the perforated curtains.


                                16. Rod Pocket Curtains

                                  types of curtains

                                  Image credit: bestwindowtreatments.com

                                  This curtain-type slides over the rod but with a single hole. This hole or pocket is sewn from the same fabric as the entire curtain.

                                  Rod pocket curtains look pleated when bunched up or pulled up together and flat when straightened out. They have a casual feel and are best suited for guest bedrooms or lounges. The curtains are easy to slide into the rod from one end and come out at the other end.

                                  However, they are a bit difficult to draw, making them less efficient for windows frequently opened and closed.


                                  17. Tab Top Curtains

                                    types of curtains

                                    Image credit: amazon.ca

                                    Tab Top Curtains are loops of fabrics sewn together to allow direct sliding on the rod. The loops usually match the print, color, and texture of the curtain used. The curtains can be styled as a fancy or sleek curtain.

                                    They are easy to set up and suitable for both casual and modern looks. Also, they are ideal for farmhouse or cottage-themed home décor.


                                    18. Pinch Pleat Curtains

                                    types of curtains

                                    Image credit: pinterest.com

                                    Pinch pleat curtains are made to look like an hourglass shape. The pleats are pinched at the base and stitched to allow for the elegant flowing of the fabric. The pleats can be as few as two pleats or sometimes up to 5 pleats per section. They are the most popular types of pleats ideal for sitting rooms and master bedrooms.


                                    19. Box Pleat Curtains

                                      types of curtains for bedroom

                                      Image credit: bestwindowtreatments.com

                                      These are rectangular-shaped pleated curtains. The pleats are similar to those on a tennis skirt that run deep across the curtain. They are not flexible, which results in difficulty in opening and closing the curtain. They are ideal for lounges, dining rooms, and bedrooms.


                                      20. Goblet Pleat Curtains

                                        types of curtains for bedroom

                                        Image credit: sew-helpful.com

                                        These are similar to pinch pleat curtains but with a unique shape formed above the cinching point to form a goblet-like shape. They are quite delicate and best suited for decorating windows not frequently opened and large rooms with high ceilings.


                                        Curtains by Opacity

                                        Further down this road to decorating your windows with the right curtain is selecting the opacity suiting your personality. Questions like “how much light do you want in your room?”, “which curtain gives the best privacy?” amongst others, are addressed below.


                                        21. Sheer Curtains

                                          types of curtains for bedroom

                                          Image credit: potterybam.com

                                          These are translucent and prevent exposure to ultraviolet light. They offer the decorative appeal of a curtain and are very light. Therefore, they give little privacy as compared to thicker curtains. However, sheer curtains provide the most daylight in rooms and are quite affordable.


                                          22. Semi-Sheer Curtains

                                            types of curtains for bedroom

                                            Image credit: walmart.com

                                            This is the perfect description of eating your cake and having it. It offers the features of opaque or blackout curtains and the adequate sunlight feature of sheer curtains. You can use it for any type of window.


                                            23. Blackout Curtains

                                              types of curtains

                                              Image credit: therange.co.uk

                                              If you desire the least amount of light in your room, this is the curtain for you. It provides the most privacy and the cheapest alternative for home cooling.

                                              Black curtains reduce the amount of light coming in, dampen sounds, and provide adequate insulation. They can reduce heat transfer by 24%, explaining why they are called thermal curtains. The curtains are suitable for lounges, theatres, and bedrooms.


                                              Final Words

                                              Whether you are an interior decorator or a homeowner, you will agree that curtains can make or mar the ambiance of your room. It explains why you have to get it right and choose the right type of curtains. Typically, the journey to selecting the right type of curtain is overwhelming. But we've put this together to help fast track the journey and make it seamless.