Straight vs. Curved Shower Curtain Rod: Which One’s the Best?

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There’s an ongoing ‘supremacy battle’ between a curved shower rod and a straight shower curtain rod.

If you’ve been to luxurious hotel bathrooms, you must have noticed how excellent display curved shower rods give, not to mention the additional space they seem to offer.

But that is not to say straight shower rods are any lesser. On the contrary, these two are an admiration to many, and if you’re planning to replace them with curved ones, you must get every important information about them before making a move.

Therefore, if you’re looking to answer the question, of which is the best option between a curved shower rod and a straight shower rod, you came to the right place.

You’ll understand the functioning of these two shower rods and know why you should pick one over the other. Here's what we have to say about the straight vs curved shower curtain rod debate after evaluating each one.

Curved vs. Straight Shower Rod – Their Pros and Cons

Straight shower curtain rod
Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash

When carrying out an entire home remodeling exercise, you will always have to touch up your bathroom to give it a new bathroom layout.

One way to change your bathroom’s look is by changing the type of shower curtain rod you’re using.

Whether you’re using straight or curved shower rods, it all starts with knowing the advantages and disadvantages of using either choice.

Here’s what to expect from these two types of shower rods, straight vs curved shower curtain rods.

Benefits of Using Straight Shower Curtain Rods

Straight shower rods are the most common curtain rods used in bathrooms today. You’ve probably seen many of these in showers in public swimming pools or schools and some hotels.

Some of the benefits of using these shower rods include:

They are easily and cheaply available in your local store

Nearly any curtain shop you enter today will have various types of straight shower curtains from which you can choose.

Whether you’re looking for an adjustable straight tension rod or are okay with a fixed double rod, you can always easily get them from your local shop.

What’s more, straight vs curved shower curtain rod, straight ones are more affordable than curved shower rods. So if you’re working on a fixed budget, you’ll most likely want to choose a straight shower rod.

They help you understand your showering space better

A straight shower rod will cover the exact showering space in most shower rooms. This means what you see from the outside is the same size you get when inside.

You might not easily enjoy this space estimation with a curved shower rod. You may need to get inside to understand how much room is there for you fully.

They take less bathroom space and yet provide enough space


A straight shower curtain rod
Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

The bathroom space is normally not enough, especially if you have a tub and shower installed in the same space.

Having a shower curtain that takes just enough of the available space is an added advantage.

These rods always cover minimum space in your bathroom, whether you’re using a single tension rod or an adjustable double rod.

However, that’s not mean they have limited space inside. On the contrary, they offer enough room for you to bathe comfortably.

Disadvantages of Using Straight Shower Curtain Rods

It is always not all merry when using these shower rods. You’re always going to meet some challenges.

Some of the most common disadvantages of using these rods include:

They offer a smaller space

Straight vs curved shower curtain rod, straight rods do not curve backward to ‘steal’ extra room from the bathroom to offer you enough room for bathing. Whatever you see covered from the outside is what you’ll get once inside.

The shower curtain gets dirty easily

When using a straight shower rod for your shower curtain, the chances of getting the curtain smeared with soap and foam from your body are high.

Since there is just enough space for you to shower, your body will always rub against the curtain as you move, making it dirty in the process.

They're plain and ordinary looking

If you’re concerned about the picture your bathroom portrays, especially if it’s a visitors’ bathroom, you will need to rethink before installing a straight rod.

They are not the best choice if you’re considering achieving an outstanding bathroom décor with curtains and the bathroom ceiling and walls speaking the same décor language.

Video: Straight versus Curved Shower Rod

Benefits of Using Curved Shower Curtain Rods

The increasing demand for curved shower rods indicates that these rods come packed with full benefits.

Some of the main benefits of curved shower rods include the following:

You enjoy more space in the shower

After evaluation, a curved shower rod will allow you to enjoy up to 33% more room than using a straight rod. This is because of the outward bulging design that makes it curve in more space from the bathroom into the shower area.

You can always enjoy free movement inside the shower without worrying about staining the linen with foam.

Lower risks of harm and accidents in the bathroom shower space

With more space in the shower, you can always trust that you’ll have lesser risks of getting entangled in the curtains and sprawling to the floor when taking a shower.

Cases have been reported of people falling and getting injured in small-spaced bathrooms and even pulling off the rod from where it’s attached to the wall.

To avoid being in such a situation, you can choose to buy and install a curved shower rod that offers more space.

A curved rod also helps to efficiently hang a shower so that water doesn’t escape through the floor to your bathroom. This reduces the probability of sliding and falling in your bathroom when walking around.

Makes your bathroom more luxurious and upgraded


A curved shower curtain’s design will make your bathroom look more up to date and luxurious when you install it perfectly.

More often, you’ll need to purchase an extra-long shower curtain that will cover the length of the rod from near the ceiling down to the floor.

Comparing a straight vs curved shower curtain rod, a long and curved shower curtain gives an irresistibly awesome look for a modern bathroom.

Disadvantages of Using a Curved Shower Rod

There are not many disadvantages to count for a curved shower rod, but there are some challenges you might face when you opt for a curved shower rod.

Here’s the main challenge you’re likely to face when using curved shower curtain rods.

They’re not fit for use in a small-sized bathroom

If you’re using a smaller bathroom, a curved shower rod might not be an excellent choice of rod. We've tested this out.

The extra room you enjoy inside the shower comes at a cost. Space is taken away from your main bathroom, which means lesser space in the main area.

A small bathroom will make the remaining space feel cramped and useless.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Shower Curtain Rod

The type of shower curtain rod you use can affect the flow and feel of your bathroom. Shower curtain rods come in two varieties: straight or curved. To decide which one is right for me, I considered several factors.

Space requirements

After testing a straight vs curved shower curtain rod, straight shower curtain rods are more popular because they take up less space than curved ones. If your bathroom is on the smaller side, a straight shower curtain rod would be the best choice for you.


Straight shower curtain rods are usually more affordable than curved ones. Factors such as material type, size, and brand can affect the price of either option. If budget is a big consideration for you, then a straight rod may be the better choice.


Curved shower curtain rods add a touch of sophistication to your bathroom and are available in a variety of finishes, such as chrome and brass. If you want to give your bathroom an elegant look, then opt for a curved rod.


Both straight and curved shower curtain rods are generally made from strong materials that can withstand daily use. However, when it comes to durability, straight rods tend to last longer than curved ones due to their simpler design.

Shower Curtain Rod Type Cost Style Durability
Straight Shower Curtain Rods 5/5 3/5 4/5
Curved Shower Curtain Rods 4/5 4/5 3/5

Maintenance of Straight and Curved Shower Curtain Rods

The maintenance requirements for either type of shower curtain rod are relatively similar. When you're looking at a straight vs curved shower curtain rod, both types will require periodic cleaning with mild soap and water. It is also important to regularly check for rust or corrosion and make sure all components are firmly attached.

Straight or Curved Shower Rod – FAQ

What are the benefits of using a curved shower curtain rod versus a straight one?

A curved shower curtain rod offers a few advantages over a straight rod. The large radius of the curved design allows for more open space in the shower area, giving you a feeling of roominess and spaciousness. Additionally, because it is rounded, it provides more stability than a straight rod when hung on walls that are not perfectly even or plumb. Finally, curved rods create an interesting visual contrast against straight-lined bathrooms, adding some visual interest to the bathroom décor.

Does the shape of my shower curtain rod influence the amount of water that escapes into my bathroom?

Yes! A curved shower curtain rod will provide better coverage around your bathtub and keep more water from escaping onto your bathroom floor due to its contoured design. I tested this out myself by replacing my straight rod with a curved one and noticed that the water stayed in much better than before.

Are curved shower curtain rods more aesthetically pleasing than straight ones?

It really depends on your personal taste and style, but I found that the curved rods provided an elegant look to my bathroom, while still being practical! The curves also added some visual interest to the space without looking too busy or overwhelming. After using both types of rods, my opinion is that curved shower curtain rods are definitely more aesthetically pleasing than their straight counterparts.

How do you install a straight shower curtain rod?

If you're not getting your shower rod installed by a professional, you can:

  1. Install the shower curtain rod brackets. At either end of the space where you wish to install the rod, position the brackets. To make sure the brackets are even and straight, use a level.
  2. With the use of screws and a drill, fasten the brackets to the wall. Ensure that the brackets are flush with the wall and that the screws are well secured.
  3. Put the brackets on the shower curtain rod. Ensure that the rod is stable and level.
  4. On the rod, hang the shower curtain and make any necessary adjustments. Ensure that there are no gaps or voids and that the curtain is positioned evenly along the rod.
  5. To make sure the shower curtain pole is stable and won't collapse, test it by pushing on the curtain.

Which One Should You Pick: A straight or Curved Shower Rod?

Going by the standards of the two rods, straight vs curved shower curtain rod, we can confidently recommend curved shower rods as they stand out in all aspects.

Curved rods will give you the aesthetics you need in your shower and offer extra room for comfortable bathing.

After installing the rod and curtain, you’ll not have much to worry about concerning the bathroom’s décor.

The cost difference is not huge, so you can always spare a few extra bucks to buy a new curved rod and curtain.

Mark Weber

Mark Weber

Mark started out as an electrical engineer before he became a licensed bathroom remodeling contractor. He loves writing about bathrooms and remodeling in his spare time, as it relaxes him to think of something besides work.

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