While winter is all about heavy blackout curtains and cozy drapes, summer is most definitely the time to welcome that golden hour glow into your home. And picking a curtain panel with light-filtering properties is the best way to do this!
Designed to let in just enough soft sunlight by acting as a diffuser, sheer and semi-sheer window panels provide varying levels of privacy and come in a ton of fabrics, styles, and colors.
To help narrow down your search, I’ve scoured all the best sites and pulled together my top nine picks for this summer. Plus, they’re all single panels — so they'll work in your digs even if you don't have supersize windows or doors. I’ve got you, girl!
Chic curtain panels to shop for your apartment
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From earthy boho picks to sleek and sheer panels, we're hanging these curtains up ASAP in our rooms.
Size (in.): L82 x W54
Starting off real simple, voile panels are perfect if you’re after a window treatment that’s semi-sheer — but also feels really timeless and elegant. I really like this one because you can get it as just one panel rather than two, and its netted white finish will let in plenty of sunlight and air while still protecting your privacy.
Size (in.): L84 x W52 / L96 x W52
If you’re looking to add a splash of color to your space, then might I suggest this gorgeous cotton window panel? I’m obsessed with its delicate floral pattern and can see it looking right at home in forestcore-inspired apartment. Made from 100% cotton, it’s got a light and airy feel and will let ample light into any room.
Material: Cotton, linen, and polyester blend
Size (in.): Various lengths
This beautiful boho curtain has been designed to block out roughly 50% of sunlight — so it’s ideal if you like a little more privacy but still want your room to feel light. I love its natural beige color and feel like the little tassels add a li'l extra sass Plus, you can customize it to suit your preferred suspension method — choosing from either grommet, rod pocket, or tape for hooks.
Sheer & chic
Size (in.): L96 x W52
If filling your room with colorful light is more of a priority than privacy, then this super sheer curtain is exactly what you need. Made from see-through chiffon, this simple panel will give off a gorgeous glow in whatever color you choose. As a certified girly girl, I’m a big fan of both the pink and rose — but there’s also something about the trendy mint hue of the light green one that feels perfect for the summer.
A li'l shade
Material: Cotton blend
Size (in.): L84 x W54 / L63 x W54
Speaking of green, I’m also loving the look of this light-filtering curtain panel from Target. It comes in both sage green and blue denim, has a rod pocket for easy installation, and is perfect for lessening the brightness of the sun without blocking it out completely. Plus, reviewers say that the material feels super soft and luxe!
Size (in.): L84 x W52
Although sheer or semi-sheer curtains are typically lighter in color, it’s completely possible to find a slightly moodier style that still lets in ample light. Strewn with a pattern of pretty wildflowers, this charcoal curtain is ideal if you lean toward darker color schemes — but still want the sun to pour into your home.
Size (in.): Starts at L50 x W30 (lots of other lengths available)
Price: From $17.99
These bright and bold single curtain panels are handmade in India and can be customized to suit your exact window measurements. Each panel is embroidered with pretty cotton tassels, and there are 13 gorgeous fabric colors for you to choose from. Personally, I can’t get enough of the mustard yellow…
Size (in.): L84 x W52 (lots of other lengths available)
With its lightweight feel and light-filtering properties, I feel like linen is the ideal fabric for anyone looking to bring summer vibes into their home. Woven from flax plant fibers, this 100% linen curtain would look right at home in a rustic space filled with plants. It comes in quite a few different colors — but I think this more natural tone is my fave.
Pretty in pink
Size (in.): L84 x W52
Like a modern take on a stained glass window, this chiffon curtain panel boasts a graphic floral design in vivid hues — and will fill your space with its colors and shapes as soon as the sun hits. Completely sheer, it’ll provide you with pretty much no privacy, but if you don't really care it's the perfect pick for adding style to your room.
FAQs about curtain panels
Which types of fabrics are best for letting light in?
All of these window panels have been designed with diffusing light in mind — but the type and style of fabric that’s been used plays a major role in determining just how much light gets through.
Typically made from synthetic fabrics like polyester, sheer chiffon, and netted voile, styles tend to be translucent and will therefore likely let in more light.
Depending on their color and pattern, natural materials like cotton and linen window panels can also be a great option for letting in some light. But they aren’t typically as sheer as ones made from synthetic fibers.
How else can you use window panels in your home?
The perfect functional yet fashionable privacy solution, there’s no reason why you can’t also use window panels in other areas of your home. When used with a tension rod, slightly more opaque panels can work really well as room dividers or in doorways.
Can I put my window panel in the washing machine?
It depends what material your window panel is made from, but the general rule of thumb is that most polyester or cotton window panels are fine to go on a cold wash. But be sure to check the label for more precise washing instructions.