What Type of Curtains Look Good in a Bathroom?

With all the humidity, water, make-up, soap and hairspray, a bathroom can be a messy place. Because of the mess issues, many people shy away from using curtains in bathrooms and instead go with frosted glass or plastic mini-blinds. However, the undecorated look is stark and boring. If you'd like to add the colour and softness of fabric to your bathroom, there are plenty of curtain styles that work well.


Shorter curtains are the way to go in bathrooms. While there are exceptions, bathrooms are small, casual rooms. Short, simple curtain panels not only look best, but are up off the floor so they're more likely to remain dry and clean. Also, in a small room such as a bathroom, long curtains can take up too much space, get in your way, and overpower the room.


Because of the high likelihood that your bathroom curtains will get wet or dirty, machine-washable fabrics work well for bathroom curtains. Most cotton fabrics or cotton blends are machine washable and have a casual look and feel. Synthetics such as nylon and polyester wash and wear well. Avoid silk, as it often shows water stains when it gets wet. If you'd like your window curtains to perfectly match your shower curtain, purchase two shower curtains and use one to make window curtains.


Short, simple panels can't be beat in bathrooms. If you like, dress them up with tabs or ties at the top, or ruffles either across the bottom or up and down the entire panel. Window-length, ruffled priscillas offer a classic look that allows you to use a generous amount of fabric without overpowering a small room. Lace panels and sheers provide privacy without blocking light. While they look delicate, if they're made of polyester they can withstand water and washing without suffering wear and tear.

Curtain Alternatives

Fabric shades are smart options if you want to add colour, pattern and softness without putting excess fabric in your way. If your window is already outfitted with frosted glass or mini blinds, a valance also provides a simple way to add fabric without going overboard. Like mini-blinds, woven shades made of natural fabrics such as thin strips of wood, bamboo or grasses won't overcrowd your small bathroom, but add much more texture, colour and visual interest than plain white mini-blinds.

Other Considerations

If your bathroom is large or formally decorated, you can use curtains with longer lengths and more elaborate styling. If you have a long, billowy shower curtain close to your window, match or coordinate you window treatment with the shower curtain, but keep your window treatment neat and fairly small, so the two don't compete with each other. Some bathrooms have a window in the shower. If this is the case, go with frosted glass, as any other material will likely mould or deteriorate from the high humidity and water over-spray. Fresh air is a nice option in a bathroom. Ensure that any window treatment you use allows you to access your window and open it.

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About the Author

Sandra Rousseau has been writing since 1990, covering such topics as home decorating, fashion, health, beauty, gardening and cooking. Her articles appear her hometown newspaper, the "Aledo Community News," and on various websites. Rousseau holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and advertising from the University of Texas at Arlington.