Curtain Rod Types

This is your one-stop guide to understanding the types of curtain rods available in the market. Also, get tips on selecting the best curtain rod for your home.

Looking to change the look of your room? You could consider a new set of curtains - but before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a step back. What holds those curtains up? That's right, curtain rods! They can be a small but essential decorative detail in your home, and it's worth taking the time to choose the right type of curtain rod for your needs.

If you're shopping for a new curtain rod, you may be unsure about the various types. How do you figure out which one is best for your needs? This guide explains the different curtain rod types and helps you select the right one for your home with a curtain rod guide.

Types of Curtain Rods

This segment discusses the different types of curtain rods and their features.

Tension Curtain Rod

The quickest and easiest solution.

Tension curtain rods are a great way to add privacy to your home without drilling holes in the wall. They get the said name from the fact that they are manufactured with consistent tension and are held in place by said tension. This means that these rods can be installed without brackets or drilling.

They are available in various sizes and lengths to fit any window. You can also find them in different materials, such as metal or plastic. These are ideal for light to medium weight curtains and can be used with tab tops, rod-pocket curtains, and sheer fabric drapes. They are ideally used in bathrooms but can also be installed in other areas. The installation is as easy as it gets, as they can be directly mounted on the sill.

Swing Arm Curtain Rod

Swing arm curtain rods have unique functionality, and their implications exceed the other style of curtain rods. They are easily identifiable as they are attached only to one side of the window and operate on a hinge. This means that the rod or, in this case, the arm, slides into a bracket mounted on the wall.

The installation is fairly simple, and all you need is a drill to make two holes in the wall on either side of the window. These are perfect for small windows as they open up the space and let in more light. They also act as a stylish cover for the doors and are easy to operate. Get creative with the design and color to make a bold statement in your home.

Acrylic Curtain Rod

The closest you can get to invisible.

Acrylic curtain rods are a great choice if you are looking for something different. Made with glass-like material, these rods have a unique look that can add a touch of luxury to your home. The material makes the rod appear transparent, which gives the curtain a sense of floating. Plus, the movement of the curtains on the rod is smooth, and they are ideal if you are looking to add an elegant drape.

They offer smooth operation and add a touch of sophistication to your home. They are not that pricey for the convenience and look they offer. With acrylic curtain rods, you don't have to compromise on functionality for style. These are an apt choice for anyone who wants the best of both worlds.

Continental Curtain Rod

Continental curtain rods are the stars of the curtain world, loved for various reasons. The first and most important one is how they are designed to be mounted on the ceiling. They are flat-faced bars with a discreet look that can be easily mounted on the wall. This flat profile conceals the rod beneath the curtains and gives the illusion of a floating curtain.

These are ideal for heavy curtains or drapes and valances with rod pockets. You can expand or curve them for bay windows. Also known as dauphine rods, they are the perfect way to add a touch of luxury to your home. The installation is more complicated as you need to mount brackets for stability - but it's definitely worth the effort.

Adjustable Curtain Rods

Jack of all trades.

Adjustable curtain rods are a versatile and convenient option as they can be, as the name implies, adjusted to fit any window size. If you don't want to bother measuring and cutting the curtains, they are a perfect choice. These should be your first preference if you have non-standard windows or doors in your home.

They are also ideal if you want to change the look of your home frequently. You can adjust the length of the curtain rods to create a new look or accommodate new curtains. The best part is that it doesn't take much effort to install them, and adjusting them is quite easy. Their convenience and versatility make them a popular choice among homeowners.

Decorative Curtain Rod

Fancy a bit of flair?

Decorative curtain rods are the perfect way to add a touch of elegance - or other styles - to your home. With decorative rods, you have no scarcity of options to choose from. They are available in different materials, such as metal, wood, or glass. You can find them in several colors and designs to match your specific needs and taste.

Depending on the material and design you choose, they can be a little expensive, but they can uplift the entire look of your home. These are suitable for all curtain types, from light sheers to heavy drapes. They can be installed in different ways, such as on walls or ceilings. If you want to make a statement with a unique design, go for a decorative curtain rod.

Electric Curtain Rod

Even the curtains are getting smart.

Over the years, technology has advanced, and there are now electric curtain rods that can be controlled with a remote. These are perfect if you want the convenience of opening and closing your curtains with the push of a button. They offer a high-tech look that can add value to your home. They are also commonly found in offices and hotels.

Although they are pretty pricey, electric curtain rods are a great addition to any home. They are ideal for a conference room or large living room where you need large curtains to control the light. With an electric curtain rod, you can easily adjust the large drapes and adjust the light without getting up.

Traverse Curtain Rod

Traverse curtain rods are also called track rods. They're mostly used for drapes that are opened and closed frequently, such as in a bedroom or living room. They have carriages that slide back and forth on the rod so you can open and close the drapes. These are available in both manual and motorized options.

The installation process is a bit more complicated than a conventional rod. You'll need to mount brackets on the wall and connect the tracks. The carriages need to be attached to the drapes, and then you can hang them on the tracks. They are primarily used for pinch-pleated curtains or sheer fabric drapes. These are a stylish addition to any home and are available in various materials, such as metal or plastic.

Double Curtain Rod

Double the rod, double the curtain.

A double curtain rod is, as the name suggests, a rod with two poles, and it allows you to hang two curtains. These are perfect for layering different types of curtains or drapes. There are steel brackets that hold the curtains together, and you can get creative with the design.

They also add a touch of luxury and can be used to create different looks for your home. With a double curtain rod, you can use sheer curtains and heavier drapes. This way, you can achieve both privacy and style. You can also use them to add texture and color to your home. These curtains can take the visual appeal of any room up a notch and can also serve as a brilliant sunlight filter.

Corner Curtain Rod

The ideal choice for a more modern and elegant look.

If you want to add curtains to a corner window, you need to get a corner curtain rod. As the name suggests, these are designed to fit in the corner of the room, and they come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different window sizes. Ideally, they are used in corner spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms.

Corner curtain rods can be a great addition to your home as they offer a unique look. Plus, they are perfect for windows that are hard to reach. With these rods, you can easily add curtains to any corner of your home. They can add a fancy vibe to your room while making the corner standout and adding privacy.

Wooden Curtain Rod

Wooden curtain rods are a classic choice that adds a touch of warmth and rustic elegance to your home. They are obtained from different woods, such as oak, cherry, mahogany, and even bamboo. Depending on the wood you choose, they can be a little expensive. Even so, they are definitely worth the investment as they can last for years.

They are ideal for adding a natural feel to your home and can be used with all types of curtains. You can use them in several ways, such as on the wall or ceiling. They work wonderfully if you have a farm or a barn-style house. Getting wooden curtain rods can give an earthy vibe, and they are also eco-friendly.

PVC Curtain Rods

A go-to choice for minimalists.

PVC curtain rods are a popular choice as they are durable and long-lasting. As the name implies, they are made with PVC, a type of plastic. Since they are made with plastic, they are quite lightweight. However, this doesn't mean that they are not durable. They can last for years without showing any signs of wear and tear.

PVC curtain rods are highly functional as you can fit a smaller curtain rod in it and make it fit a larger pole. They are pretty easy to handle, and you can use them for multiple purposes. Overall, this is a great choice if you want something lightweight and durable. On top of all that, they are affordable and do not require cutting in most cases.

Magnetic Curtain Rod

Magnets; how do they work?

As the name states, these curtain rods use magnets to stay in place. They are the right choice if you want an easy-to-install option. All you need is a metal surface for the magnets to adhere to. Provided that you properly install the adhesive metal strips, you can use them on any type of window or wall, including wooden windows.

Magnetic curtain rods are a great choice if you want an easy way to hang curtains. Plus, they offer a clean look as there are no visible hardware or brackets. The lack of visible hardware also makes them ideal for small spaces. However, they can be a bit pricey and involve additional effort in installation. Overall, they offer a sleek look and are perfect for covering small spaces.

What is the Difference Between a Curtain Rod and a Drapery Rod?

There is some confusion between curtain rods and drapery rods, so much so that these terms are often used interchangeably. While they may appear to be the same, there are some key differences between the two. Curtain rods are generally thinner and smaller in diameter, while drapery rods are thicker and larger.

Curtain rods are generally used to hang lightweight curtains, while drapery rods are better suited for heavier drapes. If you're not sure which type of rod to use for your project, it's always best to consult with a professional.

What is the Standard Size of Curtain Rods?

The standard curtain rods range from 60 to 365 cm (44" to 144"). If you consider small curtain rods, their standard size ranges between 30 to 121 cm (12" to 48"). However, if you are dealing with a custom size, you can measure the window as per the thumb rule. Measure the window and add about 7 to 15 cm (3" to 6") on both sides.

However, these days adjustable curtain rods are prevalent, and you can go for them if you don't want to bother about the size. These curtain rods can be adjusted to fit any window size.

Do Curtain Rods Require Center Support?

This depends on the weight and length of your curtains. If you're using lightweight curtains, they will most likely not require center support. However, if you're using heavier curtains, it's always best to err on caution and use center support. Additionally, if you are using a longer curtain rod, it's also good to use center support to prevent sagging in the middle.

How Much Weight Can Curtain Rods Hold?

The weight capacity of a curtain rod depends on the type of material it's made of. For example, aluminum and steel rods can generally hold up to 15 kg (33 lbs), while brass and wrought iron rods can hold about 20 kg (44 lbs). If you're not sure about the weight capacity of your curtain rod, it's always best to consult with a professional.

Is there a Way to Hang Curtains Without Brackets?

Yes, there is! The best and simplest way to do this is by using a tension curtain rod. Tension curtain rods are held in place by tension, which means they can be installed without brackets or drilling. These curtain rods are available in different sizes and lengths to fit any window. You can also find them in other materials, such as metal or plastic.

They are mounted with adhesives, making them easy to install and giving you the freedom to change the arrangement. These are ideal for light to medium weight curtains and can be used with tab tops, rod-pocket curtains, and sheer fabric drapes. Usually, they are used in bathrooms but can also be installed in other house portions.

Can Curtain Rods Be Covered?

Yes, they certainly can be! There are several ways you can cover the curtain rods and achieve a different, more inclusive look. These are the methods you can use:


Quite the retro aesthetic.

A pelmet is a decorative fabric valance that is used to cover the curtain rod and hardware. This can be made from different materials, such as plywood, fabric, or PVC. They act as a frame for the curtains and can be used to add a touch of elegance to the room. In addition, they add more insulation to the room by blocking out light and drafts.


The most common solution.

A cornice is similar to a pelmet but is generally more ornate and decorated. They are also used to cover the curtain rod and hardware. Typically, they are made of wood or PVC molding and can be decorated with fabric, paint, or wallpaper. This is the primarily used option as it does the job well and uplifts the room's aesthetics.


A valance is a short piece of fabric used to cover the uppermost part of the window. They are usually used in combination with curtains or drapes and can be made from various fabrics. Valances can be used to add a touch of color or pattern to the room. In addition, they can also be used to block out light and drafts. Compared to pelmet or cornice, valance is a cost-effective solution.

Velcro Tapes

Velcro is like the duct tape of textiles.

This is not a very popular option but can be used if you want a temporary solution. All you need is some Velcro strips and adhesive. Place the adhesive on the back of the Velcro strips and then attach them to the curtain rod. This will give you a clean look and will also be easy to remove when you want to change the room's look.

Guide to Choose the Right Curtain Rod

Now that you know about the different types of curtain rods, it's time to choose the right one for your home. Here are a few factors to keep in mind while choosing a curtain rod:

Curtain Rod Style

The first thing you need to consider is the style of curtain rod you want. We discussed several style rods, and from their varied characteristics, you can choose the one that sets best with your home's interior. Consider the weight of your curtains, the design, and the installation method before deciding. If you have the type you want in your mind, you can move to the next step.

Measurement and Dimensions

Once you have the style, it's time to get the measurements right. This is extremely important, as a wrong measurement can result in a bad fit. Measure your window's width and the length from the top of the window to where you want the curtains to end. Rule of thumb says to get a curtain rod with about 7 to 15 cm (3" to 6") extension on both sides of your window frame. This will give your curtains a nice and full look. Also, make sure that the brackets are deep enough to hold the weight of your curtains.

Curtain Rod Material

Now that you have the style and measurement, it's time to choose the material of the curtain rod. This decision is usually based on personal preference and the overall look you want to achieve. For a modern look, go for metal rods and for a more classic look, choose wood or glass. Consider the weight of your curtains before making a decision, as some materials may not be able to support the weight.

Pick the Right Color

When choosing the color of your curtain rod, make sure it complements the wall color. If you can't decide on a color, go for a neutral color that will go well with any color scheme. Typically, the color should complement your curtains and the overall look of your room. However, for a more subtle look, opt for a rod that is the same color as your walls. You can also choose a color that matches your curtain fabric. If you want to make a statement, go for a bold color that will stand out.

Curtain Rod Finishes

Once you have decided on the material, it's time to select a finish. Finishes can be in the form of paint, plating, or even a patina. For metal rods, you can choose from various finishes, such as brushed nickel, chrome, bronze, or even gold. You can choose from different stains for wood rods or even go for a natural finish. And for glass rods, you can choose from different tints or even go for frosted or stained glass. There are a vast array of options, and you can choose between a minimalistic or decorative finish.

Additional Tips

Here are a few additional tips to help you choose the right curtain rod:

  • If you want an easy installation, go for a tension rod, as it can be easily installed without any tools.
  • If you have heavy curtains, go for a rod made of a strong material such as metal or wood.
  • Make sure that the brackets are strong enough to hold the weight of your curtains.
  • For a more decorative look, go for a decorative curtain rod.
  • Consider the overall look of your room before choosing a color.
  • Get a measuring tape to get accurate measurements of your window.
  • Choose a style that complements the look of your room.

Choosing the right curtain rod can be a daunting task, but if you keep these factors in mind, you will be able to find the perfect one for your home. With so many options, you will be able to find a rod that fits your style and budget. So, get started today and give your home a makeover with new curtains. Good luck!

Posted by Pavneet Lobana

Pavneet is a home and lifestyle blogger with a passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces. A self-taught chef, she also loves to cook and share her recipes with others. Whether you're looking to create a cozy reading nook or upgrade your kitchen, she has advice that will help you get the most out of your space.