Types Of Curtains That Will Impact Your Living Spaces

There are many types of curtains on the market today. However, it’s up to you find the right style to fit with your decorative settings. Once you’ve established a décor color scheme, you can begin searching for curtains.

Types Of CurtainsView in gallery

Choosing window treatments can be overwhelming because of the sheer number of options available. A full window treatment will help you determine how natural light will enter a space, for example.

Types of Curtains for Every Style and BudgetView in gallery
Types of curtains for every style and budget.

It’s important to understand the basic types of curtains, their styles, and how to install them. When buying curtains, you should know what you want, so which we’ve made it easier for you.

We’ll walk you through how and why curtains are special. And we’ll show you how to use them for your primary bedroom or living room.

Difference Between Drapes And Curtains

Combining types of curtains is a common decorating strategy.View in gallery
Combining types of curtains is a common decorating strategy.

Curtains and drapes are two terms often used interchangeably, however major differences exist. It’s important that you understand how and why they are different.

Contemporary Curtains

Types of CurtainsView in gallery
Unlined curtains can still be very stylish.

Curtains are unlined and made from thinner fabrics, unlike drapes. They’re casual and washable fabrics. They’re also cheaper and not as thick.

Modern Drapes

Real silk drapes must be lined and will have a natural, tousled look.View in gallery
Real silk drapes must be lined and will have a natural, tousled look.

Drapes use heavier fabrics and thermal fabric. They’re more formal and used with traditional color schemes. However, today’s contemporary styles include drapes.

Curtain Types For 2022

The list of curtain styles is long. Curtains are classified by their heading style, which can be found at the top of the curtain panel where hooks or rings are attached.

Here are the most popular curtain styles on the market today:

Rod Pocket Curtains

Types of CurtainsView in gallery

Also known as pole top or casement curtains, rod pocket curtains are the most common style found in households. The curtains are also the easiest to hang. At the top of the curtains is a pocket that fits a curtain rod so it can slide through it.

The curtains are designed to rest on the rod and are left open as decorative pieces. They’re often used with blinds, sheer panels, and smaller windows. However, if you need to open and close the curtains often, they’re not the most convenient option.  

Red pocket curtains are found in apartments and used on French doors and sidelights. 

Eyelet or Grommet Curtains

Grommet curtains eliminate the need for additional rings.View in gallery
Grommet curtains eliminate the need for additional rings.

Eyelet or grommet panels are contemporary floor-to-ceiling window curtains. The thin curtain rod is threaded through the holes at the top. The curtain heading makes pleats that are large and even.

Although not as full like pleated or gathered types, they are smoother and require less fabric. They are more casual and contemporary, however, they have a few drawbacks. For example, you cannot pair them with a valance or attach them to a traverse rod.

The curtain styles include flat panels with no header. Instead, you can clip a new ring onto the top and thread it on the same pole you would use for a grommet curtain.

Tab Top Curtains

Tab top styles need no hardware to attach to the rod.View in gallery
Tab top curtains do not require hardware to attach to a curtain rod.

Tab top curtains are another variety that you can easily purchase in a store, ready to hang. Flat fabric loops are the same material as the curtain and extend up from the panel and are threaded on a rod.

Tab top curtains are casual or dressed up depending on the fabric.  Variations on the style abound: Embellished loops, tie tops and bows let you change the basic look.

Box Pleat

Box pleat styles are full yet have a tailored appearance.View in gallery
Box pleat styles are full yet have a tailored appearance.

Pleat curtain panels have box pleats and sport a clean look and long, uninterrupted vertical lines. The fabric is folded inward, which looks lush but tailored.

It’s a modern yet luxurious look that still has a fabric width of double the window. Box pleat curtains are common in living rooms, dining rooms or bedrooms.

Pinch Pleated

Pinch pleated drapes are among the most formal styles.View in gallery
Pinch pleated drapes are among the most formal styles.

The curtain types have small sets of pleats – anywhere from two to five in a grouping – that are spaced across the top of the panel. The pleats are also known as fingers, hence the most popular style is the three-finger pinch pleat.

Each pleat is stitched a few points below the top, allowing the folds to billow from the pleats. This adds a full texture and greater detail. For a more contemporary look, two-fingered pleats are tailored for detailed style.

The curtains are attached to rings or a traverse rod with metal pin hooks that are inserted through pleats. This type of drapery is common among contemporary or modern styles.  

Pencil Pleats

""</aView in gallery

These types of curtains are sometimes also called Tape Top or 3” Tape curtains.  The curtains have successive small pleats across the entire top of the panel. If you want a more versatile window treatment, try this pleat design.

On the back, the curtain heading has three rows of string that run through the back horizontally. This allows for three hook positions to fit your curtain rod.

Pleat curtain styles include:

  • Pinch pleat curtains
  • Pencil pleat curtains
  • Goblet pleat curtains
  • Tailored pleat curtains

Colors And Fabrics

Once you decide whether you want curtains or drapes, you need to consider fabrics and colors. If you are choosing from among ready-made products, your choices will be more limited than if you go custom, where the world is your oyster as far as the available fabric range is concerned.


With regard to colors, most decorators will advise that you stick to neutrals if budget is a concern or if you plan to keep the same curtains or drapes for a longer period of time.

  • This will allow you to freshen up the look of a room’s décor and not be limited by the color of your window treatment.
  • It’s also a more budget-conscious choice for expensive custom draperies that are meant to last a long time.
  • Finally, if the space is exposed to heavy sunlight, fading of bright colors is a concern that can limit the lifespan of any types of curtains.

Curtain Samples

Properly hung, drapes look luxurious and full.View in gallery
Properly hung, drapes look luxurious and full.

With regard to the textile, it will determine the appearance of your window treatment. It will also have an effect on how your curtains or drapes function.

Curtain Selection Tips

  • Bring large samples into your space and hold them up where the curtains will go.
  • Try manipulating the fabric in the style that it will be on your window. 
  • She also suggests working with a larger sample of about 2 yards or more. This gives a good idea of how the material will drape or pleat, especially for costlier custom window treatment projects.

Fabric Selection

Designers advise that linen, silk, faux silk and velvet are optimum choices because they have the best qualities for hanging and draping.

  • While silk is the most luxurious, the new faux silk fabrics are certainly more durable.
  • Real silk must be lined to prevent rotting and deterioration from the sun.
  • Heavier choices like velvet, tweeds and brocades can also block out more light. They also insulate the window from drafts and outdoor temperatures.

Curtain Lining 

Modern curtains are often a single color.View in gallery
Modern curtains are often a single color.

The choices involve not only lining but also interlining. This is a piece of fabric that goes between the main textile and the lining. The interlining can help enhance insulation and room darkening properties.

The lining also plays an important role in giving many types of curtains and drapes their body and fullness when hanging.

Curtain Length

A slight pooling on the ground can still look contemporary.View in gallery
A slight pooling on the ground can still look contemporary.

Before heading to the store, decide how far above the window you want to mount the curtains and whether you want them to pool on the floor or hang above it.

Six inches above the window frame is the best place for the mount. The curtains, it is possible to make a room look taller or more dramatic by installing them farther above the window frame.

Measure Curtain Space

Curtain measurements should extend past the window on each side.View in gallery
Curtain measurements should extend past the window on each side.

When you measure curtains, do it from the top of the window to the floor, then add the distance above the window to the mount.

  • You will also need to add length if you want the curtains or drapes to puddle in the floor. Designers say that you should add two or three inches for a more tailored puddling. 
  • Curtains that hang flush with the floor are a modern look.

For the width, they advise adding four to eight inches on both sides and then doubling the total to get the actual size of the drapes you need. Skimpy measurements will make the window look awkward. 

Curtain Length Styles

Here are the four common curtain lengths;


Sill-length curtains are designed for heavy use. You’ll find sill-length curtains in kitchens, bathrooms, and smaller window sizes. The curtains are hung so that the ends are even with a window sill, or right above it.


Apron-length curtains are used to make windows look longer. The curtains are used on smaller windows like in kitchens and bathrooms


Floor-length curtains are great for floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors. Floor-length curtains traditionally break just above the floor, by less than an inch. If you’re looking for a versatile window treatment, then look no further.


Puddle-length curtains are floor-length curtains. They’re longer than the size of the window, breaking on the floor. The curtain style is reminiscent of a royal gown procession. If you’re looking for a romantic window treatment, this would be it. 

Curtain Hardware

Types of CurtainsView in gallery
Traverse rods feature a cord that closes and opens the curtains.

More than just the metal from which to hang your new curtains, rods and other hardware add style to your curtains.

There are some basic kinds that are not meant to be seen:

  • Basic curtain rods are cheap, inexpensive and provide an uncluttered look. They are suitable for valances, sheers and rod pocket panels.
  • Traverse rods are for pinch pleated draperies that you will open and close by pulling a cord.
  • Tension rods have a spring and rubber-tipped ends that hold the rod inside the window frames. No brackets or hardware are needed and these are good temporary set-up or easy options for a rental property.

Finishing Touch

Curtains are more than just window dressing - they are an integral part of home decor.View in gallery
Curtains are more than just window dressing – they are an integral part of home decor.

Decorative hardware is also a decor element that adds visual interest with pieces like finials, colored rods, and decorative brackets. And just like custom draperies, the sky’s the limit.

This is another chance to pick up on a theme in the room or to add a metallic touch. Coordinating rings, rods, finials and holdbacks can really tie together an overall look when used properly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What Are Eyelet Curtains?

Otherwise known as ring top curtains, eyelet curtains are a contemporary curtain heading used with curtain poles. Eyelet headings feature large pleats and have metal rings at the top of the curtain instead of header tape.

What Are The Hooks Called That Hang Curtains?

A drapery hook is a piece of metal that can be hooked through a curtain ring with an eyelet and pinned into the buckram heading of a drape. One end points up and has a sharp point, which is the side that goes in the curtain header

What Color Curtains Make A Room Look Bigger?

You can make a small room appear larger with neutral, light colors. White, beige, and grey are good base colors.

What Are The Different Types Of Sheer Curtains?

Sheer curtains are made with a variety of materials which are all lightweight. They include polyester, gauze, chiffon, silk, lace, cotton, and linen. They are available in solid colors as well as different prints and embroidered designs.

What Is A Casement Curtain?

This curtain style has many names. The casement curtain is described as the top that forms a pocket in the fabric that’s threaded through a rod.  Fixed outside the window frame.

Types Of Curtains: Conclusion

From casual and understated to luxe and grand, curtains are an integral part of interior design. Choosing a curtain style that matches your personality enhances your room. Curtains also control natural light sources by insulating a room or protecting it from extreme outdoor temperatures.  

Before you purchase curtains, make sure you’ve looked at other curtains and what they have to offer. Today, more contemporary country styles are available than ever before. You should go with curtains based on your personal style, first and foremost.

If you want a casual vibe, then follow that plan throughout your space. Curtains combine functionality with interior design flair. Certain styles may offer more, but most curtains serve the same purpose. With rich textures and abstract elements, you’ll find that curtains are powerful indoor decor items.