Outdoor curtains for patio and deck areas are a good option for uncovered hardscapes. They allow you to enjoy these spaces for more time during the day and throughout the season. However, while they are functional, this does not mean that they cannot be beautiful too.
In this article, we are going to detail the things you need to know that make outdoor curtains unique from indoor curtains. In addition, we will show you some of the best outdoor curtains available to create the perfect outdoor sanctuary.
Outdoor Curtains for Patio Basics
Let’s go over a few essentials regarding the functions and types of patio curtains. This will give you greater knowledge when the time comes to select outdoor porch curtains.
Function of Patio Curtains
- Privacy – We all love the idea of spending time in our outdoor spaces, but if you don’t have a screen on your porch, these outdoor spaces can feel exposed. Therefore, in order to give yourself and your family privacy from curious neighbors, curtains provide a soft barrier that allows you to socialize or rest without prying eyes.
- Shade – It is difficult to enjoy your patio at every time of the day without fearing the effects of the sun. Curtains provide good shade that allow you to sit in your backyard longer and in more comfort at even the sunniest and hottest times of the day. This is also better for the plants that you have on your deck.
- Beauty – Curtains soften the look of wooden structures like pergolas. They drape in pleasing ways to create an elegant look and style in your outdoor living spaces. There are many varieties of curtains including multiple colors and patterns that will accentuate your style.
Best Fabrics for Patio Curtains
- Olefin – This fabric, also known as polypropylene, is one of the best on the market. It is a lightweight woven fabric that is designed for outdoor use. It is prized because it is durable and colorfast for outdoor wear. Also, it is UV and water resistant so it is less susceptible to mold and mildew.
- Acrylic – This is another good option for outdoor curtains because it is durable and colorfast. This fabric is popular for brands such as Sunbrella outdoor curtains. However, this fabric also builds up a static charge that attracts pet hair and other particles making it not the best choice for some.
- Polyester Blends – This is a less expensive choice for patio curtains than Olefin or Acrylic. These blends are not as durable or colorfast for outdoor curtain use. However, it is a good choice if the others are not in your budget and you don’t mind changing them out when the color fades.
- Cotton – Everyone loves the feel of natural curtains like cotton; however, cotton is not a good option for outdoor curtains due to the heaviness of the fabric. When cotton curtains get wet, they retain moisture leading to the development of mold and mildew. Also, cotton curtains fade in the sun.
Care of Outdoor Curtains
Outdoor window treatments are subjected to all kinds of weather. In order to maintain their look and style over time, you should make sure to follow certain guidelines to make the most of their lifespan.
- Clean up any small spills when they happen or as soon as you notice them. Try to spot clean these small spills with a watered down cleaning solution.
- If there are overall sections of the curtain that need to be cleaned, like the bottom edge of the curtain covered in mildew, try soaking the curtains in a cleaning solution for a few minutes, and then clean with a soft bristled brush.
- If more intense cleaning is needed, machine wash the curtains in cold water, but do not put them in the dryer. Instead, hang them and allow them to air dry.
- Check the curtains on a regular basis to see any problems arising that need to be addressed.
- Weight the curtains down with outdoor curtain weights or use tie-backs to keep curtains secure from snagging and developing tears.
- Take your curtains down at the end of the season to store in a cool, dry place, and bring them out at the beginning of the next season.
Hanging Outdoor Curtains
If you don’t know how to hang outdoor curtains, here are a few tips for whatever type of deck or patio you have. Take care when you are buying outdoor curtains to notice the top of the curtains. Many manufacturers finish the outdoor curtains with grommets built into the header for easy hanging. Others have tab tops that drape over the hanging mechanism.
One other consideration when considering hanging outdoor curtains is where you will need curtains. While you may want to hang curtains on every side of your patio for symmetry or style, it is not necessary to hang outdoor curtains on every side. Rather, you should consider where you get the most sun and the direction of the wind to determine the best side for curtains.
Outdoor curtain rods – Rods are an easy way to hang outdoor curtain panels. Mount the rods to existing structures like pergolas or porch beams and then hang the curtains on the rods. Make sure to look for an outdoor curtain rod that is weatherproof to make sure it is resistant to rust and mold.
Curtain wire – If you don’t have a structure on the top of your porch but you still want curtains, consider hanging a wire for your drapes. You will need heavy-gauge steel wire, eye hooks, and wall anchors. First, use the anchors to attach the eye hooks to the side of a tall structure on the porch like a beam or the exterior of your house. Next, attach other eye hooks to other places where you want your curtains. Thread the wire through the curtain header and run the wire between the hooks. Try to keep the wire between the hooks as short as possible or it may droop in the middle.
Buying Guide for Patio Outdoor Curtains
There are many varieties and styles of outdoor curtain panels making it difficult to choose. We have read all the feedback and gathered some of the most popular outdoor curtains that feature elements like durable fabric, UV protection, and weather resistance.
These are Bonzer Indoor/Outdoor Blackout Curtains for the Patio. They are made of a lightweight polyester waterproof fabric that blocks the majority of UV rays. The header features rust-proof grommets and comes in many different sizes and colors.
These NICETOWN Outdoor Sheer Curtains are lightweight polyester fabric with a sheer style that allows in filtered sunlight. They have been treated so that they stand up well to water and can be machine washed as needed. While these are not a good choice for someone who needs more shade, these curtains still give some privacy and allow a refreshing breeze into the patio area.
It features a vertical cabana-style stripe in a variety of colors. They have crafted this item from polyester which is resistant to fading and staining. In addition, it blocks the sun’s UV rays and does not retain moisture.
The RYB HOME Patio Curtains come in a variety of colors and sizes. RYB HOME has made each panel from sun-blocking polyester that is heavy-duty but soft and blocks up to 85%-95% of the sun’s rays. In addition, these panels are weather-resistant and machine washable.
Our best choice overall are the BONZER Waterproof Indoor/Outdoor Curtains. These do not come in other styles or in sheer options. However, they are the best in terms of scoring high marks for water resistance, sun-blocking, and durability. The manufacturers have made these curtains from durable polyester that does not fade in the sun. Also, they are opaque and machine washable.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
What can I use for outdoor patio curtains?
If you don’t want to buy outdoor curtains, there are many DIY options for outdoor window treatments. Because you need so much fabric, many people recommend using sheets or drop cloths to create curtains. However, most of these options use cotton fabric which is not as long lasting as synthetic curtain options. You can also buy polyester fabric and make your own curtains.
How do you keep outdoor curtains from blowing?
There are several options you can use to weigh down your curtains to make sure they aren’t blowing up all the time. First, find something to attach to the bottom of the curtain like curtain weights or even stones sewn into the bottom of the curtain. Also, some people sew rods into the bottom of the curtain to keep them open and down. Another option is to buy heavy curtains that are not as prone to blowing in the wind.
What is the purpose of outdoor curtains?
Outdoor curtains can take the place of screens on a porch because they provide shade, privacy, and some protection from bugs.
Can any curtains be used outdoors?
It is not recommended to use any curtains outdoors as those made for indoor use will not be able to stand up to the moisture and the sun of an outdoor space.
What should I look for when buying outdoor curtains?
There are a few details you need to consider when you shop for outdoor curtains. First, consider the size curtain you need for the area where you are putting it. Next, think about the type of fabric that you need as it should be weather resistant and not retain moisture. There are many color options, so this should be a factor in your thought process. Last, think about how much shade you need and whether you want complete privacy or a sheer option.
Patio Curtains: Conclusion
Outdoor curtains are a helpful addition to your outdoor space like a patio or a deck. They allow you to beautify your outdoor spaces and to utilize these spaces for more time throughout the season.
In addition, they create a softer and more custom look that everyone will enjoy. After all, since we are spending more time at home, anything that helps to open up extra space for entertainment and relaxation is valuable to everyone.