How to Choose Curtain Rods: A Complete Guide

Have you ever seen a house without curtains? If you have, there’s a good chance that the house isn’t occupied. Curtains are more than just part of the decor; they protect from the outside elements, apart from providing you with some well-deserved privacy. Considering how important curtains are to your comfort and privacy, the curtain rods that support them must be reliable and durable structures.

Curtains for Home decor

Before we get into the tips of how to choose curtain rods, let’s take a closer look at curtain rods.

What is a Curtain Rod?

Curtain rods

Curtain rods are the hardware required to support curtains and drapes over windows. The rods are attached by brackets either to the wall, ceiling, or window frame. These poles can be made of a wide range of materials such as plastic, wood, metal, or wrought iron and can be either hidden from view or visible. The rods often have to be paired with complementary accessories like end caps, brackets, tiebacks to add to the look by being either fun or formal.

Complementary accessories of curtain rod

Different types of curtain rods add a unique touch to your home decor depending on the one you select.

Types of Curtain Rods

Curtain poles or rods are available in many materials and finishings like painted wood, antique brass, or brushed nickel and can be handmade, mass-produced, carved, painted, etc. Let’s explore these latest curtain rods designs. Overall, they are broadly classified as:

01. Traverse Curtain Rods

Traverse Curtain Rods
Decorative traverse poles

The traverse rods are generally visible when the curtains are open i.e. there is no top treatment installed. Curtain rod holders or carriers are installed with drape or curtain hooks. Decorative traverse poles, on the other hand, are visible even when the curtains are closed. They carry curtains with the help of rings.

Two-way traverse Curtain rod

The two-way traverse type is the most common and used with drapes or curtains that are operated with a wand or cord. It allows the curtains or drapes to move away from the middle to the ends when opened. One-way traverse rods, on the other hand, allow the curtains or panels to move in one direction and are often mounted over sliding patio doors or in the corners.

02. Decorative Curtain Rods

Decorative Curtain Rods

These curtain poles are designed to be highly visible and have a huge impact on the appearance of the window and room. They are available in a variety of designs and sizes and can be made of brass, wrought iron, brushed nickel, wood, pewter, etc. Finishes and colours like gold or black for decorative curtain poles add a nice and glamorous accent to the room. It is an amazing curtain rod design to add in your rooms.

03. Concealed Curtain Rods

Concealed Curtain Rods

As the name suggests, this type of curtain pole or rod is designed to be hidden or covered by the curtains or drapes they support. They are often adjustable, white in colour and may come with metallic finishes. Concealed curtain poles can be of the sash, wide-pocket, or tension types. Generally, the sash concealed rods are used for French doors or casement windows with hourglass curtains or sashes. Whereas wide-pocket poles are used for shirred valances.

04. Double and Triple Rods

Double and triple curtain rods

Compared to single rods, double and triple curtain rods add depth and dimension to a room as they are used to create a layered and decorative treatment for windows. This means that the additional number of rods allows you to add additional curtains or drapes of varying materials, thickness, transparency, and colours. Usually, this setup involves two rods and a single bracket.

05. Cafe Curtain Rods

Cafe Curtain Rods

Generally made of brass, cafe curtain poles or rods are narrow and round or fluted and come with subtle finials. They don’t have rings and are ideal for tie-tab and hand-drawn curtains. Cafe drapery rods can also come in a wide range of coloured finishes and can be used indoors and outdoors.

06. Tension Curtain Rods

Tension Rods

These rods are typically used with lightweight curtains and drapes and keep the ends in place with the help of a spring mechanism. They are easy to install as there is no need to drill holes and can be paired with lightweight seasonal panels and sheers. Tension rods are best suited for the kitchen window above the sink as heavy curtains are not installed in this area.

Tips on How to Choose the Perfect Curtain Rod

Choosing the right rod is essential for the look for your room and home, as well as the stability of your window treatment. Hence, here we have brought curtain rods buying guide for you. Now that we know more about the various types of rods in the market, let’s look at some tips that will help you select the best support rod for your curtains and drapes. If you are in dilemma and want to know how to choose curtain rod color, how to pick a curtain rod, how to buy curtain rods, below we have a detailed curtain rod guide for you:

Step 1 – Figure Out Where to Fix the Curtain

Where to Fix the Curtain

You must first figure out where you want your curtain attached – to the wall, ceiling, or inside the window frame. There are various curtain rod styles, many of which are decorative. It will be easier to narrow down your choice of curtain support once you decide where to fix your curtain.

Step 2 – Figure out the Weight of Your Curtains or Drapes

Weight of Your Curtains

To figure out what type of curtain rod you should pick, you need to know how much your curtains or drapes weigh. This step is important as you will learn how much weight your pole can carry. If you are looking to black out your room with thick curtains or add thermal curtains, the material will be heavier and will need a sturdy curtain rod and brackets.

You can calculate the weight per foot your rod must carry by dividing the curtain weight by the rod’s width. For example, if your curtains or drapes weigh 60 pounds (~27 kgs) and the required width of the rod is 15 feet, the weight the rod should be able to support is 4 pounds (1.8 kgs) per foot.

Step 3 – Figure out the Required Diameter and Width of the Curtain Rod

A curtain rod’s diameter is the width of its cross-section. The diameter of curtain poles is generally 1 to 3 inches, based on the weight of the curtains. Knowing the diameter of the rod helps you determine if a heading fits and helps you find the best bracket if it does not come along with the rod.

When it comes to the rod’s width (length), you first need to know the size of the window, including its frame. If your window is small with just a little space on both sides, you need to pick a rod that’s of the same width. In the case of larger windows, choose a rod that extends beyond the window by 5 inches on both sides. Doing this will ensure that only a small part of your window is still covered by the curtains when open.

Step 4 – Pick a Rod That Matches Your Room

Rod That Matches Your Room

The curtain rod should always match the style of the window and the rest of the room. If you are going for a glamorous look, pick a brass rod that has a polished finish. A black pole, on the other hand, would go great with a farmhouse or mid-century, modern look and a silver-grey rod goes well if you are going for a Scandinavian look.

If you want metal rods, you can make them more interesting by giving them a satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, or antique silver finish. Wooden rods go well in rooms that are designed to look more natural.

Step 5 – Always Choose Quality Products

When talking about curtain rods, you aren’t talking only about the rods, but the whole package. Generally, they come with other curtain rod accessories like brackets, curtain rings, finials, rails, etc. All of these materials need to be of good quality as they last longer and add a different feel to the room.

Step 6 – Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Advice

No matter what you do or who you are, everyone can use some good advice every now and then. So, why should picking curtain rods be any different? The worst thing that can happen when picking curtains to glam up your room is buying the wrong curtain support. It is always best to take the advice of interior designers and others in the business to pick the best hardware to support your gorgeous curtains and drapes.


It is important to give curtain rods as much thought as you would when choosing a material or the colour and shade of the cloth. You can make a fun day of mixing and matching curtain support based on the curtain style, material, colours, and finishes. While choosing the curtain material, if you want any help, we are here with an amazing article which will surely aid you with:

Choose the Right Curtains Materials for your Home

You can also improve or add to your rods by buying fun, ornate, or wild finials and curtain rod brackets to go along with your curtain poles.

We hope this article has helped give you some insight into curtain supports and how to pick the right rod for you.

If selecting curtain rod was helpful, we are definitely sure that whenever you want to buy curtains, you will also have a look at this blog:

Decorate your House with Various Types of Curtains and Drapes!

Image Courtesy: Image 6Image 7Image 9Image 10, Image 11

Author Bio

Andrea Noronha – Andrea Noronha is a content writer and editor with over 4 years of experience. Although she comes from a finance background, Andrea is passionate about blogging about interior design. Her other interests include travelling, baking, and digital marketing.

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