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Which shower curtain rods are best?

High-quality bathroom designs lead with functionality but also focus on décor. Bath fixtures, lighting, cabinets, countertops, materials, flooring and other features all contribute, but the shower curtain and its rod also play a key role. They can make the difference between an elegant bathroom and one that doesn’t impress. Curtain rods come in different styles and forms, and the best is the Kingston Brass Adjustable Double Curved Shower Curtain Rod.

What to know before you buy a shower curtain rod

Types of shower curtain rods

Shower curtain rods come in two main configurations: curved and straight. Each comes either single or double. They also may be adjustable or fixed.

  • The adjustable rod, also known as a tension rod, uses springs at each end as the locking mechanism. The rod’s length can be changed to fit different shower sizes. Typical sizes are 24-36 inches, 36-54 inches, 54-90 inches and 78-108 inches.
  • Fixed rods come in specific lengths, usually 41 inches, 60 inches and 72 inches.

Fixed single straight shower curtain rods

The fixed single straight shower curtain rod is perhaps the most secure. The rod mounts to metal flanges or brackets attached to the shower wall with screws. Properly mounted, the fixed rod is unlikely to fall even with heavy wet towels draped over it.

Adjustable straight shower curtain rods

Adjustable straight tension rods are a good choice for nonstandard-sized showers and lightweight curtains. The rods are easy to install and eliminate the need to drill holes in the wall.

Fixed single curved shower curtain rods

A curved shower rod extends away from the shower, creates more space and prevents the curtain from moving into the shower and clinging to your body. The fixed curtain rod is more secure than an adjustable rod, and some find the curved shape of the curtain more appealing.

Adjustable curved shower curtain rods

A curved adjustable shower curtain rod can be altered to different lengths, making it ideal for non-standard showers. However, like the straight adjustable rod, the curved model supports less weight than a fixed rod.

Double shower curtain rods

Available in both straight and curved forms, the double shower curtain configuration consists of two parallel rods separated by a small gap. One rod can be used to support the curtain and the other a waterproof liner. When the bottom of the liner is placed inside the tub and the curtain remains outside during a shower, water runs down the liner and back into the tub instead of onto the bathroom floor. In a bath without a liner, the second rod provides a place to hang towels.

Odd-shaped curtain rods

Some bathrooms require a unique shape to hang the curtain. The L-shaped rod, used to fit a corner shower, is an example. Although adjustable models are available, a fixed L-shape rod attached to the wall with a flange is best for supporting heavier curtains.

What to look for in a quality shower curtain rod


The best rod is strong enough to support a heavy shower curtain plus other items that might be draped over the rod, such as wet towels or clothes. A rod’s weight capacity partly depends on the attachment method.

In the case of a tension rod, a strong spring provides pressure against the wall to prevent the curtain from falling. A typical tension rod is designed to hold the weight of the average wet curtain, about 20 pounds.

A mounted shower curtain rod with brackets will support a curtain weight of 30 pounds and more.


Shower curtain rods are typically made of high-grade coated plastics or metal, although wood is also an option.

Plastic rods have made significant improvements in strength and appearance in recent years, but they still aren’t as durable as metal rods. They are best used for lightweight shower curtains.

While plastic rods do not rust, the best metal shower curtain rods are made with a water-resistant coating to reduce rust and corrosion.

Bathroom décor

The bathroom is usually the smallest room in the house, so any décor anomalies are greatly exaggerated. Even a fixture as simple as a shower curtain rod that doesn’t conform to the bathroom décor can degrade the overall design.

Metal rods come in various finishes, including aluminum, brass, stainless steel and even copper. The rod looks best when it matches the finish of other fixtures such as the showerhead and the faucet.

Plastic rods come in many colors and when matched to the other bathroom fixtures are an effective complement to the bathroom style.

How much you can expect to spend on a shower curtain rod

Straight tension rods are available for a little as $20, while double rod configurations with a polished brass finish can cost as much as $130.

Shower curtain rod FAQ

Why does a shower curtain hung on a straight rod cling to your body during a shower?

A. The effect is due to the Bernoulli principle which says that as fluid speeds up, pressure drops. The air pressure inside the shower lowers while the outside pressure stays the same. The imbalance pushes the curtain inward.

Will a tension shower curtain rod work on drywall?

A. If you are hanging a heavy shower curtain, the tension required to support the weight can crack the walls.

What’s the best shower curtain rod to buy?

Top shower curtain rod

Kingston Brass Adjustable Double Curved Shower Curtain Rod

Kingston Brass Adjustable Double Curved Shower Curtain Rod

What you need to know: The curved double rod provides up to 9 inches of extra shower space and a second thinner rod for hanging a curtain liner or damp towels.

What you’ll love: The rod assembly is adjustable from 60 to 72 inches, making it ideal for a non-standard shower width. Available in contemporary chrome, sleek black, rustic oiled bronze or brushed nickel, the finishes are applied to a stainless steel 201-grade base and match any bathroom décor.

What you should consider: Some buyers suggested using more robust screws than those shipped with the product to securely attach the wall flanges.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top shower curtain rod for the money

Briofox Tension Curtain Rod

Briofox Tension Curtain Rod

What you need to know: This durable tension rod is rated up to 30 pounds, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to install a lightweight curtain without drilling holes and mounting a bracket to the wall.

What you’ll love: Made from thick, high-strength alloy steel, the rod is coated with rust-resistant, non-corrosion electroplating, and can be installed on a variety of wall surfaces including wood, tile, painted walls and even wallpapered walls. Available in chrome, bronze, matte nickel, matte black and matte white, the curtain rod goes well with almost any décor.

What you should consider: To prevent the shower curtain from falling, the rod must be turned for maximum tension. It works well when mounted on clean dry tile or fiberglass showers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

PrettyHome Adjustable Curved Shower Curtain Rod

PrettyHome Adjustable Curved Shower Curtain Rod

What you need to know: This curved aluminum metal shower rod features a telescoping design that expands from 38 to 72 inches in length, appropriate for non-standard-sized showers.

What you’ll love: The wall-mounted design provides up to 9 inches of extra shower space, and the durable aluminum material will never rust. The single-rod configuration is also available in bronze, chrome and nickel.

What you should consider: The installation of this curved rod can take longer than a straight rod and is best done with two people to ensure proper alignment of the mounting brackets.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Jeffery Harper writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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