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If you’ve ever been shopping for curtains, you might have been overwhelmed by all the options you have and not know the difference between all the styles available. I totally get it! I’m currently in the process of ordering curtains for my own home from Homerilla, and these days, there are so many option available! I remember decades ago when we really only had a couple of different styles to choose from, but not anymore- there are so many good options. And now we even have custom options that cost the fraction of the price as they used to!
To simplify it for you, curtains vary by how the top (also known as the header) looks. In this post, I’ll cover different curtain headers available, as well as which ones you should be buying and which ones to avoid- especially if you’re going for that designer look! Ready to dive in?
Tab-top curtains give your space a super casual look but they can also look very dated. These curtains are one of those styles that we saw decades ago when there weren’t too many options to choose from. But today, we have options. And since there are so many styles to choose from, this tab-top curtain style should be avoided. If you wanted to go with this look, it would be best for a children’s room or even a nursery, but you should avoid these in your living room and bedrooms.
Rod pocket curtains are also known as pole pocket curtains. This style is where there’s one long pocket for the rod to slip into. To me, these also look very dated, not to mention that they are super inconvenient to open and close regularly. With that being said, they are cost-effective and readily available, but there are so many better options these days.
Back tab curtains are where the back of the curtain has vertical tabs for the pole or rod to slide into. Very similar to a pole pocket curtain, these back tab curtains can also be inconvenient to open and close. These don’t look quite as dated as the rod pocket curtains do, but if you plan on using your curtains often, there are way better options that are more efficient- like a ripple fold curtain, which I will talk about later in this post.
A pinch pleat curtain has a very timeless look that we’ve been seeing a lot of lately. Pinch pleat curtains feature two pieces of fabric that are gathered at the top and sewn in place to create the illusion of a very full and luxurious curtain, whether your curtains are closed or open.
Until a couple of years ago, you wouldn’t be able to find these curtains readily available. But these days, some companies specialize in these pinch pleat curtains and give you the designer look. One such company is Homerilla, which I’m currently working with for some custom curtains for my home. You should also know that most pleated curtains will need to be used with drapery hooks or pins, which will allow you to hang them from rings.
A triple pinch pleat curtain looks very similar to a regular pinch pleat; however, it incorporates three pieces of fabric gathered at the top instead of two. The triple pleated look is much more traditional looking than a standard pinch pleat, but it’s a great option if you’re going for a transitional aesthetic. Once again, there are some great ready-to buy and custom options available these days. Check out Homerilla if you’re going for this look. That’s where I’m ordering mine, and they’ve been fantastic to work- not to mention SO many different options available!
An inverted pleat has a very tailored and custom look that still gives you the fullness of a pleated curtain, but this style looks a little more masculine and contemporary.
This header style can also be called a box pleat, depending on the manufacturer or workroom. This is another great option, however, I don’t feel like we see these as much as we do pinch pleated curtains, which is a bummer!
A Euro pleated curtain has a very timeless look, and it is a great choice if you want the look of a pinch pleat, but you want it to feel slightly less traditional. You still get the same fullness as you would with a pinch pleated curtain, but a Euro pleat feels a little more contemporary. This is a great choice for more modern or transitional spaces, depending on your aesthetic. There are many other styles of pleated options available. However, most of them should be avoided as they are going to look extremely dated, so I’ll spare you with the details of those.
I’m sure you’ve seen this one many times, and that’s a grommet-style curtain. These curtains feature grommets, making it extremely easy for the curtain to glide across the rod. The downside of this is that it still looks dated, in my opinion. This was another option that was readily available back in the ‘90s, and we’re not in the 90s anymore! We have way better options to choose from.
Amazon – Choose grommet when you customize
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, if you like the look of the back tab curtains but actually want them to open and close easily, a ripplefold curtain might be exactly what you’re looking for. These are also called a wave-fold or S-fold curtains…they go by many names, so just be aware of that when you’re shopping.
A ripplefold curtain is typically hung from the ceiling and uses curtain tape (which is sewn onto the back) and snaps to keep the ripples perfectly in line so they look perfect no matter if the curtain is open or closed.
Amazon – choose ripplefold when you customize
Another option that you’re going to see a lot of when shopping is a three-in-one, or also sometimes called a four in one style curtain. This style typically features multiple ways to hang it, such as a rod pocket, back tab, or by hanging it by clips with rings attached. Personally, I feel like this type of curtain, especially when you use the clips and rings, looks cheap. Once again, we have way better options these days so this style should be avoided.
Another style of curtain that you’re going to see more of are curtains that use a drapery tape, which is sewn onto the back of the curtain. This style of curtain can be hung in many ways, but you’ll most likely need to use drapery hooks or pins. Depending on the manufacturer, some types of curtain tape will have a back tab option as well. This is a great look to use with drapery pins to give the illusion of a pinch pleated curtain without investing in an actual pinch pleat curtain.
There you have it- different styles of curtains and my opinion on which ones you should choose and which types you should avoid. I hope you found this post helpful and gave you some insight into which curtains will give you the designer look, and which ones look dated. Do you have a favorite style? Let me know in the comments, and, of course, if you have questions, leave them below and I’ll get back to you!