I'm a shopping writer − here's where to buy the best curtains

Forget the specialist stores. These top home retailers stock the prettiest panels and the most dramatic drapes

A vase of pink flowers against a hot pink curtained backdrop.
(Image credit: Homes & Gardens)

Curtains create a shield between your room and the rest of the world. When they’re closed, they can filter out light, heat, noise, and prying eyes to keep you cool and comfortable. The best curtains are pretty but practical, and look just as good tied back as pulled shut. 

There are sheer curtains to let the light in and blackout drapes to block it. Cotton curtains are durable and breathable, while velvet curtains have theatrical flair. There are so many types of curtains, sold in so many home stores, that it can be hard to know what is and isn’t quality. 

That’s where I come in. As a shopping writer and an interiors enthusiast, I’m paid to follow curtain ideas and keep track of where they’re coming from. I’ve spent hours scouring the sites of the top home retailers to assess their curtain selections. Here are a few of my favorites from each store to make your search that much easier. 

Whether you want something light-filtering or room-darkening, cool and classic or ultra-modern, you’ll find it at one of these stores. 

Best places to buy curtains 2024

1. West Elm

Linen curtains against a white wall.

(Image credit: West Elm)

 A simple search for ‘curtains’ on the West Elm website yields over 130 results, including listings for curtain rods and hanging hardware. Luckily, there are some highly specialist filters to help narrow the search. You can shop for curtains by material, ranging from breathable cotton to plush velvet. There’s also an option to set your preferred opacity and pattern. Best of all, you can fix your budget down to the dollar with a sliding scale, so that you only see the products within your price range.  

2. Ashley HomeStore

Patterned curtains against a brown wall.

(Image credit: Ashley HomeStore)

Ashley should be your first port of call for patterned curtains. Where most stores only distinguish between ‘plain’ and ‘patterned’, Ashley offers curtains that are floral, damask, geometric, striped: the list goes on. You can even sort by star rating, so that you only see the curtains that have been bought and loved before. Ashley’s curtains are pretty reasonably priced, with the vast majority costing less than $200, though it isn’t possible to set and stick to your own budget. The biggest downside is the limited selection of sizes: most of these curtains are exactly 84 inches long and 50 inches wide. 

3. Wayfair

Blue curtains against a white wall.

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Wayfair has one of the widest ranges of any home store on the market. There are over 50,000 results for ‘curtains’ alone. There’s breadth to their selection, for sure, but there’s depth and specificity, too. Wayfair offers no fewer than five light-filtration options and four hanging styles for their curtains. You can shop for curtains with special features, such as thermal insulation and water-resistance. While these curtains aren’t made to measure, Wayfair's precise length and width filters get you pretty close. 

4. Pottery Barn

Striped curtains against a wall.

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

If you’re dressing French doors - or any type of larger windows - you’ll appreciate the length of the curtains at Pottery Barn. Some of these drapes are over 180 inches long. That’s more than fifteen feet of material. Pottery Barn stocks all styles of curtain in all kinds of opacity, from total blackout to sheer and shimmering. Anyone who knows how to hang curtains can shop by specific hanging styles, including rod-pocket, ring-top, and ultra-modern grommet curtains. All that’s missing is a bit of color: most of these curtains have a cool blue or neutral base.  

5. Anthropologie

Patterned curtains against a patterned wall.

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Of all the curtain retailers on this list, Anthropologie has by far the best selection of colors. There are bright yellows, hot pinks, and sunny oranges to choose from, in addition to the ordinary ivory and cool blue shades. With plenty of panels under $100, and only a few creeping over the $200 mark, Anthropologie’s offering is fashion-forward and relatively budget-friendly. However, it helps to know what you’re looking for. Anthropologie’s search filters aren’t the most specific. If you’re prepared to sift, you can find some great pieces. 

6. Lulu & Georgia

Beige curtains against a white wall.

(Image credit: Lulu & Georgia)

Lulu & Georgia’s curtains are on the more expensive side. Most of their pieces sit somewhere between $100 and $300, with a few inching towards the $500 mark. However, many of these curtains are made from expensive materials like plush velvet or smooth silk, and all in a range of warm neutral tones. Lulu & Georgia combine delicate materials with durable design: these curtains are breathable, absorbent, and a few are even fade-resistant. 

Best places to buy curtains FAQs

Are curtains out of style?

Not at all. While curtains are some of the most traditional window treatments, there are plenty of modern curtain ideas to try out in your home. Geometric patterns add depth and dimension, while block colors are cool and contemporary. Sheer curtains have a soft, floaty feel that’s totally timeless.  

Why are curtains so expensive?

Not all curtains are costly, but many of the best are on the more expensive side. Heavy curtains are made from thicker material, which costs more money, but they’re great for blocking out noise and light. Curtains made from silk or linen are more expensive than synthetic options, but they’re often smoother and more stylish, too. 

Where should I hang my curtains?

You can hang curtains over any door or window you choose. All you need is your cloth and a curtain rod. To ensure your curtains sit at the height that suits your space, it’s worth learning how to measure for curtains

Are curtains supposed to touch the floor?

Whether curtains should touch the floor all depends on the window you’re dressing. If you’re working with French windows, and you have a lot of glass to cover, then floor-length curtains are your best bet. A longer cut of cloth will create a cleaner, more modern silhouette. If your tastes are more traditional, you might appreciate extra-long curtains that pool on the floor. When you’re dressing smaller windows in bathrooms or bedrooms, your curtains should sit at sill-length.  

Final thoughts

Once you’ve bought some of the best curtains, it’s important to take good care of them. It’s worth learning how to wash and care for curtains and drapes to make the most of your window treatment.

If you know you want a window treatment, but you just can’t make your mind up, then you’re in luck: we’ve outlined all the pros and cons of drapes vs curtains vs shades vs blinds.  

Emilia Hitching
Sleep Editor

Emilia is our resident sleep writer. She spends her days tracking down the lowest prices on the best bedding and spends her nights testing it out from the comfort of her own home – it's a dream job. Her quest to learn how to sleep better has taken her all around the world, from mattress factories in Arizona to sleep retreats in Scandinavia. Before she joined Homes & Gardens, Emilia studied English at the University of Oxford. She also worked on the other side of the aisle, writing press releases for regional newspapers and crafting copy for Sky.