Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Shower curtains are a comparatively inexpensive, practical visual and splash protection in the bathroom, available in a variety of designs. Various mounting options make it easy to attach and not only easy to maintain, but also easy to replace.

Different materials from natural fibres to plastics, as well as the sustainable PEVA material, adapt to the individual needs of each buyer. Most shower curtains have a coating that protects against mould and mildew stains, making cleaning easier. In our product comparison, we have compared different models with each other and worked out our favourites for you.




Summary

  • Shower curtains are suitable for all circumstances: Whether for the shower or the bath, in a sloping roof or for 360-degree all-round protection, they protect against water leaking out during personal hygiene.
  • Important criteria for evaluation and in the final purchase decision are the size, the material, the appearance, the method of attachment and the ease of cleaning.
  • Shower curtains are available in a wide range of price categories. High-quality products are already available from a medium price range.

The Best Shower Curtain: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for shower curtains

In order for you to find the best shower curtain for you, we have compiled and analysed the most common factors in this purchase decision for you. The criteria by which shower curtains can be most easily compared with each other are:

We explain the differences between these criteria in the following sections.

Size

Depending on where you want to install your shower curtain, you will have to decide on a different size and shape. There is a wide selection here, from square to XXL variants. To choose the right size, you should measure the distance between the two mounting walls and from the floor outside the bath to the desired mounting height. Shower curtains are also available by the metre or made to measure, so that you can optimally adapt your product to your circumstances.

Material

The choice of material depends on the different properties and maintenance. Basically, you can choose between shower curtains made of textile or plastic. The following table provides a better overview of which materials fall into each category and what the advantages and disadvantages are:

Material Examples Advantages Disadvantages
Textile Trevira, synthetic fabrics, cotton, linen Easy-care and machine-washable, natural, robust against mould due to coating Stick to wet body more quickly due to lighter weight
Synthetic PVC, vinyl Dry very quickly, robust against mould and mildew stains, easy to wipe off, durable, inexpensive, not so cuddly on body due to weight Not suitable for washing machine, foil curtains crease easily, partly toxic or harmful due to composition. hazardous to health, chemical smell

Textile fabrics used to be shunned more, but are now popular mainly because of their naturalness. PEVA material (also called Eva) is an innovation here. This plastic is as robust and elastic as vinyl and at the same time as cheap as PVC. Hazardous plasticisers were not used in its production, so it can be recycled in an ecologically compatible way and is particularly convincing as a sustainable variant. It dries very quickly and is easy to clean.

Design

But there is no need to make any functional concessions when it comes to design either. Shower curtains are available in all kinds of colours, with and without printed motifs and in various styles. From a flamingo to a periodic table for the inquisitive to a classy version with crystals, everything is possible here.

Even if a transparent product appeals to you, you can realise your idea with a foil curtain. If you want to design your own shower curtain or shorten it to the perfect length, you should use textiles. These are also suitable for upcycling after use by cutting out beautiful patterns and motifs and stretching them on a wooden frame.

Attachment

Shower curtains are easy to position with the right rod, not only in built-in showers and floor-level showers. With the right accessories, any installation is possible. For corner showers, there are shower curtains in U-shape or poles that go over three corners.

For 360-degree shower curtains, rail systems like those used for window curtains are suitable.

This means that shower curtains can also be attached to sloping roofs and, in the case of variants with suction cups at the ends of the rod, can even be attached without drilling in rented flats. Clips for fastening to the rod make the shower curtain easier to remove than rings, and a lead tape in the bottom hem provides the necessary weighting, especially for textile curtains, so that they do not stick to the wet body.

This helps to counteract the so-called Bernoulli effect, which describes the process by which warm air rises as it expands, creating a suction from the bottom to the top that triggers the shower curtain's magical affection.

Ease of cleaning

Textile curtains are usually washed at 30 degrees Celsius. However, for occasional more intensive disinfection, you can even wash them at up to 60 degrees Celsius, which is not possible with synthetics. With the exception of some foil curtains, these are generally not machine-washable, but their smooth surface makes them easy to wash. Water runs off them more easily, so dirt particles do not settle as quickly as in natural fibres. This not only protects them more from yellowing, but also automatically makes them more durable.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about shower curtains answered in detail

To help you make the best decision when buying a shower curtain, we have compiled the most frequently asked questions here. Short answers should give you the information you need to make the best choice.

What types of shower curtains are there?

In general, shower curtains can be distinguished primarily by their material. They can either be made of plastic or of natural fibres such as cotton and the like. You can read about the advantages and disadvantages of this in the explanation of the purchase criterion "material".

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Shower curtains are not only practical, but also eye-catching. The simplest and most popular way to attach them is with a rod and rings.
(Image source: Andrea Davis / unsplash)

Apart from that, there are basically only differences in how you attach your shower curtain. Depending on where you want to fix it and whether it should be between two walls or a semi-circular protection - there are different shower curtain mounts. From rods to rail systems, you can make the best choice for you in accessories.

What does a shower curtain cost?

The price of a shower curtain depends on the accessories included. The costs for shower curtains can be divided into price categories ranging from low to high. The following table gives you an overview:

Price class Features of these products
Low-priced Usually only the curtain without attachment, made of plastic, only standard sizes available
Medium-priced Antibacterial, often with weighting tape as well as washable and ironable, also water-repellent textile fabric and PEVA fabric as well as available in various designs
High-priced Washable, with reinforced perforated strip, with weighting tape, with shower curtain rings, noble design

Even though prices can vary greatly depending on the model, material and retailer, despite the same quality, it can be seen that high-quality shower curtains are already available from a medium price range, which convince with satisfactory quality and various designs.

How do I clean a shower curtain properly?

With the care you decide on the longevity of your shower curtain. Both textile and plastic curtains can develop mould over time. It is generally important:

  • Drying: After showering or cleaning, you should allow the shower curtain to dry completely. To do this, spread it out as much as possible so that as few folds as possible are formed in which water often remains.
  • Protect: For shower curtains without a coating, spray the surface with a little baby oil to impregnate it and prevent mould and mildew stains.
  • Check: You should regularly check your shower curtain for holes and damage. If too worn, dispose of plastic curtains in the plastic waste, textile curtains in the household waste and PEVA fabrics in the organic waste.
  • Treat stains: Treat limescale stains with vinegar and citric acid if necessary and anti-mould spray for red discolouration.

Coated shower curtains are the least likely to absorb water containing dander, hair or dirt. Therefore, it is best to choose such a product when buying. In addition, textile curtains can usually be washed in the washing machine at a minimum of 30 degrees Celsius in the gentle wash program and even ironed afterwards. Washing powder and, if necessary, some baking soda should be used for additional brightening.

What alternatives are there to a shower curtain?

Instead of a shower curtain, there are other ways to prevent water from leaking out of the tub while showering. Not only the classic glass shower screen or shower enclosure are suitable for this. A shower roller blind that is attached to the ceiling can also be pulled down and a shower spider can guarantee semi-circular protection.

Conclusion

Shower curtains are available in all kinds of designs and for a wide variety of applications. The most important thing for most buyers these days seems to be that the material is waterproof, of high quality and environmentally friendly. More and more people are turning to textile curtains with a coating to prevent mould stains and mildew.

These are not only easier to clean in the washing machine, but are also less harmful to health than the competition from the plastic corner. To prevent the curtain from sticking to your wet body, make sure it is the right length and, if necessary, choose a product with a lead tape sewn into the bottom hem. Plastic curtains are heavier and at the same time easier to wipe clean, which increases the longevity of the product.

Image source: Alejo Reinoso / Unsplash

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