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13 Different Types of Curtain Rods

The curtain rod is a recent invention and was invented by Samuel R. Scrottron in 1892. Curtain rods were not widely used until the 1920s, and are a common site in bathrooms and windows.

A curtain rod is a necessity if you plan on using curtains over your windows or in the shower. You want to purchase the right one to match the curtain as well as fit correctly in the space it will be installed in.

You will want to know how to buy a curtain rod before purchasing one so that you are happy with your buy. There are several things to keep in mind when buying a curtain rod.

The first thing to consider is the type of curtain rod you plan on buying. Will you be using your rod in the shower or over a window? If over a window, what room do you plan on installing your rod in?

If you have more than one window, plan on buy several rods to match all the windows in your room.

You also want to do some research on the cost of a curtain rod. Rods can cost anywhere between $40 – $200, based on need, material, and other factors.

Once you know how much you need to set aside to pay for your rod or rods, you will need to find out which size you will need to purchase. Measure the space around the window or shower to determine what size you will need when you purchase your curtain rod.

Make sure the color you pick for your rod matches the curtain and room it will be placed in. Colors vary, based on type and style of rod you are looking for.

Are you still not sure which kind of curtain rod you will need to buy? Several various types of curtain rods are listed below.

By Type:

Standard Curtain Rod

Standard Curtain Rod

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A standard curtain rod has a long, thin body with the ends curved in to attach to the wall. Screws are needed to make sure the ends are snugly fit against the wall so that the rod does not detach and get damaged.

This standard curtain rod is white and only weighs less than two pounds, although the weight and material can vary with standard types. A rod in this style would look great with a short kitchen valance or other lightweight curtain hanging from it.

Shower Curtain Rod

Shower Curtain RodPin

Another type is a shower curtain rod. This one is curved to match the curve of the bathtub border. It is made of metal and low enough so that the blue curtain hangs below the tub to keep water in while in use.

This one is attached to the wall. Other common shower rods are made to suspend themselves against the wall for a tight fit.

The one in the picture matches the metal on the shower head, faucet, and handle so that is blends in with other features in this shower and tub combo.

By Style:

Single Curtain Rod

Single Curtain RodPin

A single curtain rod is made to fit one curtain on it at a time. This is great for a simple look in a shower or to cover a window with a single curtain.

Single curtain rods come in plenty of styles, sizes, and colors. This single curtain rod is made of metal with decorative ends for a fancy look.

Hooks are included near the middle and ends so that a curtain will hang evenly on the rod. Extra metal pieces can be attached to a wall above a window with screws so that a curtain hangs nicely to complete a window treatment in a room.

Double Curtain Rod

Double Curtain RodPin

A double curtain rod includes two rods so that two different curtains can hang from a window. The metal rods in the photograph match well with the gray curtains and gray details on the wallpaper behind it.

Sheer curtains in the back with thicker ones in the front create a stylish window treatment in a living room or bedroom. The sheer curtains allow some light and heat in while maintaining some privacy. The thicker curtains can be pulled closed at night when light from outside is not needed.

Return Curtain Rod

Return Curtain Rod

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A return curtain rod is one that curves inward toward the wall. This allows your panel to wrap itself to the wall to keep out sunlight. These rods pair up well with blackout curtains when you want complete privacy and a darker room.

The one pictured is called a darkening curtain rod since it is used for this purpose. The rod comes in several sizes, so make sure you measure the length of your window to get the right size. These do extend but only by a certain amount.

This curtain rod comes in black, nickel, and bronze to match a variety of curtains and rooms. Buy your curtain at the same time or close to when you purchase your rod so they both match.

Wire or Cable Curtain Rod

Wire or Cable Curtain Rod

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A cable or wire curtain rod is another choice to keep the focus on the curtain and for a more urban look to your window. The curtain hangs from a thin cable attach to ends that fit on the wall.

A wire rod can hold more than a curtain on it. It can be used to hang pictures, art, decorative blankets, and backdrops. This rod is much more diverse than others and is very reasonably priced.

The one in the photograph is made of stainless steel chrome and is 16.5 feet long. It can be installed in the bathroom, since both ends can stretch out and be mounted on either wall next to the shower and bathtub.

You can also install the cable above a window. Once the rod is installed the hooks can be hung from the wire and a curtain clipped at the top for privacy.

Tension Curtain Rod

Tension Curtain RodPin

Tension curtains rods are a popular choice of rod since they are inexpensive, easy to install, and can be placed in a variety of areas in the home. The one in the picture is placed in a bathroom with a colorful shower curtain attached to it.

A tension curtain rod is a great choice for bathroom curtains. These are also great to use on small curtains and valances in the kitchen, and in a closet or other area to hang items for storage.

Curtain Track

Curtain TrackPin

A curtain track is a type of rod that tracks the curtain to easily open and close. These come in several styles and can be used in different rooms in the home, based on how the track will be used.

The one in the photograph is against the wall and would be a great place to install a backdrop for pictures or a party. There are other curtain tracks that can be installed on the ceiling to be used as a type of room divider.

These are fairly inexpensive and another option if you do not want to use a traditional curtain rod.

By Function:

Traverse Curtain Rods

Traverse Curtain Rods

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A traverse curtain rod has a set of eyes or clips that can be moved on a track inside the rod. The clips or eyes are at the same height to keep the curtain even when it is hung on this kind of rod.

Many traverse rods have a cord that is longer than the rod to allow you to easily pull your curtains opened or closed. If you want a layered window treatment, you can get a cleaner look by using traverse rods.

Motorized (Automated) Curtain Rods

Motorized (Automated) Curtain Rods

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You don’t need to worry about opening or closing your drapes manually with motorized curtain rods. An automated curtain rod is a great solution for those who find it difficult to open and close heavy drapes or curtains that are too high up.

This one has a smart curtains system that can be connected to Alexa. Only curtain hooks will work with this system. There is a one way and two way option, based on how you want your curtains to open and close.

One con to this type of curtain rod is that it is the more pricey option. If you enjoy technology at your fingertips, you will be very happy with a motorized curtain rod.

By Material:

Wooden Curtain Rod

Wooden Curtain RodPin

Another type of curtain rod that you can consider purchasing is one made of wood. This wooden curtain rod has huge rings to attach to a heavy curtain in a bedroom to cover up a window.

A wooden rod will look great in a bedroom or living room that had wooden furniture or details throughout the room. Wood can also give a rugged or rustic look to a room.

Sheer curtains surrounded by thicker lace ones on the wood rod complete the window treatment in this space. Wood matches a variety of colors and designs so other curtains can be used throughout the year to go with the seasons as well.

Metal Curtain Rod

Metal Curtain RodPin

A metal curtain rod will give a window space a sophisticated look. Two different rods are shown in this picture.

One has a wide end that tapers toward the rod with tiny crystals on it. The other has a crystal-like orb attached to each end. The rings attached to each rod are made in the same color to blend in.

Sheer, cotton, or curtains made in thicker material will look great with these metal curtain rods. Updated a window with decorative curtains attached to metal rods.

Plastic Curtain Rod

Plastic Curtain RodPin

Plastic curtain rods are a great choice when you want to save money or are on a budget. Plastic rods can go in the shower or window in a bedroom or bathroom. They come in a variety of colors and styles to match your room and curtain.

This plastic shower curtain rod is white with a little bit of design on the ends. It is a tension rod, so can be twisted on either wall until it is tight enough to fit without falling down. The blue plastic hooks on the sheer white shower curtain add some color to this part of the bathroom.

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