High Impact and Low Commitment, the 9 Best Shower Curtains Belong on Every Renter’s Radar
Editor favorites in gingham, ombre, psychedelic swirls, and more.
Published Sep 9, 2021 7:00 AM
Shower curtains are a renter’s best friend: they’re low-cost, high impact, and perhaps most importantly, they are landlord-approved. Sure, you may not be able to tile the floor or replace a dated medicine cabinet, but the right curtain works wonders to inject color and personality (and hide those cracked tiles from the last tenant).
We’ve found a style for every design personality. Think: playful gingham in cinnamon and turmeric for those who want to bring a hint of cottagecore nostalgia into their bathroom or a classic white option with tassels for traditionalists who don’t take themselves too seriously. From soothing gradients to graphic prints and punchy florals, here are the best shower curtains to instantly upgrade your bathroom.
- Best graphic: Quiet Town Arco Phlox Shower Curtain
- Best ombre: Hay Aquarelle Shower Curtain
- Best gingham: Heather Taylor Home Gingham Shower Curtain
- Best floral: Schoolhouse Blooming Field Shower Curtain
- Best waffle: Hawkins New York Simple Waffle Shower Curtain
- Best stripe: Hall & Perry Tassel Shower Curtain
- Best ’70s-Inspired: Kierkegaard Design Studio Liquid Swirl Shower Curtain
- Best tassel: Serena & Lily French Tassel Shower Curtain
- Best liner: LiBa Bathroom Shower Curtain Liner
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Curtain Material: There are two main options: fabric made from natural fibers (such as cotton, hemp, silk, or canvas) and synthetic weaves (including polyester and vinyl). We prefer products made from Global Organic Textile Standard-certified cotton (GOTS), since they’re processed with non-toxic chemicals and meet social sustainability standards for workers. However, polyester varieties tend to be most popular because they’re easy to clean and can be more affordable.
Size: The standard size for shower curtains is typically 72 inches x 72 inches, however some designs may run a bit wider (up to 79 inches) for larger spaces.
Lining: Shower curtains typically do not come with a liner and must be purchased separately. A thick, durable vinyl liner is a popular option since it’s easy to spray clean with disinfectant and won’t get waterlogged. But there are also linen and cotton liners available that can easily be thrown in the wash machine and left to hang dry. They do, however, require a bit more up-keep since they tend to attract mold and mildew.
Our Top Picks
Best Graphics: Quiet Town Arco Phlox
Best Ombre: Hay Aquarelle Shower Curtain
Best Gingham: Heather Taylor Home Gingham Curtain
Best Floral: Schoolhouse Blooming Field Shower Curtain
Best Waffle: Hawkins New York Simple Waffle Shower Curtain
Best Stripe: Hall & Perry Tassel Shower Curtain
Best 70s-Inspired: Kierkegaard Design Studio Liquid Swirl Shower Curtain
Best Tassel: Serena & Lily French Tassel Shower Curtain
Best Liner: LiBa Bathroom Shower Curtain Liner
Q: Are all shower curtains machine washable?
Nearly all shower curtains (even plastic or polyester varieties) are machine washable or can be hand-washed with either regular detergent or a natural cleaner made from baking soda and white vinegar. Hang dry to reduce shrinkage and lightly iron or steam the fabric to reduce any wrinkles. Of course, as with any new fabric, be sure to check the specific recommended care from the manufacturer.
Q: Do you always need a shower curtain liner?
Yes! While polyester and vinyl curtains are waterproof, a liner helps protect the fabric and keep your bathroom floor dry.
Q: How often should I replace my shower curtains?
If you use a shower liner and regularly spray it down with bleach or a disinfectant of your choice to fight mold and mildew, your shower curtain should last several years. However you should probably throw it in the wash every couple months since the bathroom is one of the most bacteria-ridden places in the home.
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL.
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