What Kind Of Curtains Go In A Bathroom? (Quick Guide)

We’ve always had blinds in our bathrooms, but curtains are certainly an option. So what kinds of curtains work in a bathroom?

As bathrooms are humid, choose a synthetic curtain fabric such as polyester that will repel water. Synthetic fabrics are much less likely to get mildew or mold than cotton and other natural fibers, so they are ideal for making bathroom curtains.

Let’s dive down into the subject of bathroom curtains in more detail, and discover which types are best, how long they should, and what fabric they should be made of. We’ll also consider what else you can use instead…

What Kind Of Curtains Go In A Bathroom?

Which Curtains Are Best For a Bathroom?

Because the bathroom is more humid than the other rooms in your home, you have to choose a curtain fabric that can handle moisture. Synthetic fabric like polyester is better in the bathroom than cotton, as it won’t hang on to the moisture and will repel water.

Even if you have a powerful extractor and open the window after you shower, a bathroom is still going to have a higher humidity level than your living room or bedroom. Curtains that are often damp will eventually develop unsightly (and smelly) mildew patches.

There are two other things you can do to keep your bathroom curtains fresh and fragrant. One, you can buy curtains specially designed for bathrooms, with a waterproof backing. Two, choose curtains that can easily be washed, so you can regularly clean and line dry them.

Do You Even Put Curtains in Bathrooms?

The answer is: you can put curtains in your bathroom if you want to, and if there’s space to do so (if your window is directly above your bath, you may decide there isn’t enough room for a decent drape). 

It really depends what look you are going for. Blinds give you a modern and minimalist feel; however, if you want a more opulent-feeling bathroom, drapes create a really luxe look.

If your bathroom isn’t overlooked, you may decide against any window covering, although of course, your early morning shower or bedtime bath won’t seem as cozy without them.

What Else Can I Put at My Bathroom Window?

There’s a great choice of window coverings for bathrooms. As with curtains, make sure that your coverings are able to withstand the high humidity levels of a bathroom, and that you’re still able to open the window easily.

If you have a smaller bathroom, curtains aren’t always the best option as they do take up more space then blinds or shades. So, if it’s curtains for curtains in your home, try one of these ideas:

  • Faux wood blinds. These give you a rustic-chic vibe while remaining wipe-clean and moisture-resistant. Choose from painted and natural-effett finished.
  • Window shade. Have one tailored that fits just inside your window frame, making it perfect if you need something minimalist and space-saving. Again, make sure the fabric is suitable for the damp environment.
  • Vinyl shutters. We love the old-fashioned elegance of traditional shutters. Vinyl versions make sure that the shutters won’t warp or crack in the humid air.
  • No covering. If your window is small and isn’t overlooked, you may decide simply to leave it be. If you don’t have frosted glass, you can get window film that creates a frosted effect for extra privacy.

Can You Use Sheer Curtains in a Bathroom?

Yes, you can use sheer curtains in the bathroom. Their light and drapey feel is perfect for a cool and calm look, with the added benefit that they’ll dry quickly. Sheer curtains look especially good if you’re going for a longer length of drape.

Again, make sure that the fabric won’t attract mold or mildew. This can be a compromise with sheer cotton curtains, as you’ll have to launder them more often to prevent this.

What Length Should Bathroom Curtains Be?

The length of your curtain drape depends on your personal taste and how much space you have in the bathroom. Some people prefer their curtains to stop at the sill, while others go for a more lavish, long drape.

Think about where the curtain hems will fall. Will they get in the way of the lavatory or any storage? If they reach the floor, could they get wet or splashed? 

If you love the look of curtains but don’t have the room for a traditional pair of pull curtains, try simply installing a valance. This gives you the warm and elegant look of a curtain without the drape, and lets you introduce a new color or print to the room.

Bathroom with long curtains

How Do You Cover a Bathroom Window in a Shower?

Sometimes the layout of a bathroom means that the window falls in the shower cubicle. This is especially common in smaller en-suite bathrooms and wet rooms. Naturally, this is a privacy issue in many homes; however, there are a few options for covering that shower window.

  • Install frosted window film. This is the quickest and easiest solution, making it impossible to see into the shower while still letting in natural light.
  • Fit a vinyl shutter or faux wooden blind as we mentioned earlier. These should fit neatly into the window recess.
  • Do you have a shower curtain? If you, you can extend this using a shower curtain rail, so that it covers the window as well.
  • You can always make a shower curtain into a window curtain, making sure that your window curtains are super-waterproof. 
  • A more expensive but very stylish approach can be to remove the window and replace it with glass bricks. Or, if you have other ways to get light and ventilation into the bathroom (more about this later), remove the window then fill it in. 

Just remember that you’ll also need to make sure that any internal windowsill in a shower is made from waterproof material or is finished with the right sort of paint.

Can You Put Long Curtains in a Bathroom?

Yes, provided you have the space and that the curtains won’t end up with wet hems, you can put long curtains in the bathroom. They can be used to create a light and airy effect.

One thing to watch out for: candlelit baths. If you like to unwind in the tub after work, surrounded by scented candles, maybe long, flowing drapes are not the best idea…

Do You Even Need a Window in the Bathroom?

You don’t need to have a window in a bathroom; however, many local regulations stipulate that if your bathroom is windowless, you’ll need to have a working extractor system that provides ventilation, and a water-safe form of lighting.

The main function of the window in a bathroom is to let out all that steamy air and prevent mildew from developing. It’s also good to have plenty of fresh air in your bathroom. If you are building a new bathroom in your home and a window isn’t possible, you’ll have to have a proper ventilation system installed that vents to the outside.

Natural light is desirable but isn’t essential (many hotel rooms don’t have windows, for example). You’ll need to make sure that you get the lighting just right. Take a look at this short film for bathroom lighting tips and ideas. It shows you how to use a combination of ambient, accent, and task lighting in your bathroom.

So no, you don’t need a bathroom window. However, what if you want one? An alternative can be a roof window. Is this a possibility? A skylight will make sure your room gets natural light and ventilation without having to install a conventional window.

If that isn’t possible, you may still be able to install a sun tunnel, a clever tube-like system that can get daylight into even the trickiest spaces: speak to your builder or architect about these. 


We’re seriously considering changing the habit of a lifetime and swapping out our bathroom blinds for curtains.

We’ll definitely go for polyester-based fabrics if we do, as there’s nothing worse than seeing mold-covered curtains and shower curtains in someone’s bathroom – least of all your own! 🙂