The best curtains for every room of the house

Curtains can make the perfect finishing touch to any room, but with so many different designs to choose from, how do you find the best ones?

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Bedroom curtains, living room curtains, curtains for the kids’ rooms or curtains for the dining room – they have a purpose in pretty much any corner of the house but how do you find the best ones? 

Well, to start, it’s all about the look you’re after and how they fit into your existing scheme. Match your curtains to your bedding or a sofa throw for a quaint matchy-matchy look, go for a solid block colour that picks out accents from elsewhere in the room, or even choose a different pattern altogether in a similar colour for on-trend print clashing. It’s not just about colour and pattern though, because curtain material also plays a big part in setting up the vibe of a room. Extra-heavy fabrics such as velvet and things like thick damask not only serve to block out more light and keep in more heat, but give a cosy look and feel. Feather-light voile in pale colours brings a beautifully airy quality to a room, but lets quite a lot of light through, so it’s perhaps best kept for living rooms rather than bedrooms.

There are practical considerations to hanging a gorgeous pair of curtains, too. When choosing ready made curtains like our picks below, take a look at whether they’re pencil-pleat, which can be hung from a curtain pole or a track, or eyelet, which can only be used with a pole. As windows come in all shapes and sizes, you should also be sure to measure carefully before you order to make sure you won’t end up fighting through bunches of material to open the window, or with too-short curtains that dangle a bit too far off the floor like a pair of outgrown trousers.

If you’re not sure where to begin, take a look at our handy guide to measuring up for curtains. l. If you’re starting completely from scratch, you may want to add step-by-step guide to hanging a curtain pole to the reading list too. 

Dorma Winchester pencil pleat blackout curtains in grey damask

1. Dorma Winchester Pencil Pleat Blackout Curtains

For quality sleep in the bedroom of your dreams, these are a good place to start

Best for: Quality
Material: Polyester and cotton
Sizes (WxD, cm): 168 x 137, 168 x 182, 168 x 228
Colour: Silver
Reasons to buy
+ Sumptuous damask + Lovely weighty quality 
Reasons to avoid
- A little fussy for some modern rooms 

These decadent damask curtains tick all kinds of trend boxes: soft grey? Tick.  Botanical print? Tick. Heritage-look pattern? Boom. But they don’t just look fantastic, reviewers who’re lucky enough to already have the Dorma Winchester curtains in their homes have paid testament to the quality, saying they feel pleasingly heavy and look lovely once they’re up. The combination of excellent value, a great look, and blackout lining giving them the edge over some similarly priced options, makes these our best curtains for bedrooms. 

Floor-length fully-lined curtains in grey velvet

2. Biba Athena Curtain Range

These sumptuous velvet curtains are as divine as the goddess they’re named after

Best for: Luxurious bedrooms
Material: Velvet and polyester
Sizes: L229cm
Colour: Mocha
Reasons to buy
+ Gorgeous velvety feel + Really heavy and thick 
Reasons to avoid
- Might be a bit OTT for some 

Interior design’s long-standing obsession with sumptuous texture doesn’t seem to be cooling off, but why would we want it too? These amazing statement curtains by Biba promise to feel just as good as they look with their deep grey crushed velvet panels that entice you to come and have a scrunch. When you do, you’re sure to find they’re satisfyingly weighty, in part because they’re fully lined to improve the drape, the look of the velvet, and the curtains’ ability to block out light while you’re trying to get your beauty sleep, or squeeze in forty winks on the sofa. 

Floor-length taupe curtains with subtle gold patina

3. John Lewis Compton Textured Lined Eyelet Curtains

These best-selling curtains add just the right amount of shimmer to a neutral room

Best for: A hint of glamour
Material: Polyester and cotton
Sizes (WxD, cm): 167 x (137, 182 or 228), 228 x (137, 182 or 228)
Colour: Gold/taupe
Reasons to buy
+ Subtle shimmer + Fully lined 
Reasons to avoid
- Sell out quickly 

With a background of elegant taupe and subtly reflective gold detailing, from afar this curtains seem to have a subtle shimmer, while close up you can really admire the metallic patina that John Lewis call “reminiscent of a distressed plaster surface”. If you’re after something a little different for a grown-up space, these are a sublime choice. 

Modern tree-print curtains in grey, blue and yellow on white background

4. Bluezoo Knights and Dragons Curtains

Grown-up but still playful, on-trend tones and a cute tree print makes these curtains great for kids’ rooms

Best for: Growing kids
Material: Polyester and cotton
Sizes (WxD, cm): 168 x 137, 168 x 183
Colour: White, blue and grey
Reasons to buy
+ Cute but contemporary design + Versatile colourway 
Reasons to avoid
- Name is a bit misleading 

Forget that it’s a bit of a misnomer (although we suppose the scaly beasts could be hiding behind those trees) these Knights and Dragons curtains by Bluezoo are perfectly adorable for a child’s bedroom or nursery. The pared-back Scandi stylings of the minimal tree pattern, plus oh-so on-trend grey and pale blue colourway with popping yellow accents, are sweet enough that they won’t look out of place, but not so clearly kiddy-focused that they’ll grow out of them straight away, giving them admirable longevity for kids’ curtains. 

Navy blue mid-length curtains with glow-in-the-dark star print

5. Little Home Glow in the Dark Star Blackout Curtains

A reassuring twinkle for those who don’t dig the dark

Best for: Smaller children
Material: Polyester and cotton
Sizes (WxD, cm): 117x (136 or 182), 165 x (136 or 182)
Colour: Navy and white
Reasons to buy
+ Quality blackout lining + Glow in the dark details 
Reasons to avoid
- Some found they bunched a bit 

If your little one has drawn the short straw and wound up in the bedroom with the street lamp outside, these blackout curtains will make short work of any snooze-interrupting light that tries to get through. The star print fabric doesn’t just look cute, the glow-in-the-dark paint also soaks up light during the day ready to give off a soothing luminescence when the nights draw in, perfect for nippers who aren’t too happy in the dark but would have trouble sleeping with a higher level of ambient light. Reviewers found the quality to be excellent, with a reassuring weight to the curtains that does double duty as insulation on cold nights. 

Off-white voile panel curtain

6. Boucle Tape Top Voile

For a lush living room, layer up a few of these airy voiles

Best for: An airy feel
Material: Polyester voile
Sizes (WxD, cm): 137 x (122, 137, 182 or 228)
Colour: Cream
Reasons to buy
+ Lovely airy feel + Give the illusion of more space 
Reasons to avoid
- Lets light through 

The use of voile panels in a window can transport you from a semi in Croydon to a spa-hotel in Bali in an instant, and these cream voile curtains from Dunelm are our favourite. They have just a hint of texture and an off-white shade that stops them looking too ‘done’, and the overall effect is one of simple elegance that would look equally at home in a period townhouse as in a modern flat. Of course, that gorgeous translucent finish means they’re not adept at keeping light out, so we’d recommend these for a communal space rather than a bedroom, or suggest doubling up with a blind. 

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