Which ceiling curtain rod is best?
Not all windows are built equally. If you’ve ever found yourself mystified by your interior’s architecture, wondering how you’ll ever hang your curtains, a ceiling-mounted curtain rod just might be the solution you need. Specially designed to hang down, these are perfect for any scenario where you can’t install your brackets in the wall.
Which ceiling curtain rod you choose ultimately comes down to your own taste, but the best all-around option is the Room Dividers Now Ceiling Track Set.
What to know before you buy a ceiling curtain rod
What are ceiling curtain rods?
Ceiling curtain rods are made to mount to your ceiling instead of your walls. Just like wall-mounted curtain rods, they use brackets that hold the rod in place. While some wall-mounted rods can also be mounted vertically, ceiling rods are different in that the brackets are designed so they hang down further.
When to use a ceiling curtain rod
There are a few scenarios that call for ceiling-mounted curtain rods. The most common is when you have a window without enough wall space on the sides to mount your brackets. Another is when your windows go from floor to ceiling. In both of these situations, a ceiling-mounted rod allows you to hang a curtain in a decorative fashion.
But these curtain rods don’t just have to be for windows. For example, if you’re looking to make your own canopy bed or place a divider in your room, a ceiling curtain rod is one of the only ways to float your curtains.
Types of ceiling curtain rods
The two most common types of ceiling curtain rods are decorative and traverse rods. Decorative curtain rods get their name from their ornamental brackets and finials. These can be styled in modern or classical fashion, depending on the design and material.
Likewise, traverse rods have decorative elements, though these are often made for function over form. Traverse rods have a gliding track of hooks that allow you to pull your curtain back and forth with ease. Because the track housing sits below the bracket, traverse rods are best for spanning long distances. This means the reinforcing brackets in the center of the rod won’t obstruct the curtain’s path.
What to look for in a quality ceiling curtain rod
Curtain rods are made from a few materials such as metal, wood and plastic. Which you choose comes down to your own aesthetic and whether or not you want it to have a finished look.
- Metal: Stainless steel, brass, copper, nickel and iron are all common materials in metal curtain rods. These can have a raw, unfinished or brushed finish for a shiny accent, or an artificially aged finish for a vintage look.
- Wood: Most receptive to paints, wooden curtain rods and finials give a natural, homey vibe. For modern decors, look for unfinished woods. The natural look pairs nicely with subdued color palettes and simple forms.
- Plastic: The budget option, plastic curtain rods are utilitarian and sturdy. These are colored, but some higher-end plastic rods can have clever finishes that simulate natural materials.
If raw materials aren’t your thing, a finish can be a smart way to blend your curtain rod in with your decor. For classical, rustic and boho rooms, consider an artificial patina for a family heirloom aesthetic. For modern decors, opt for brushed finishes that highlight the metal’s material quality over its lack of ornamentation. If you’re going for an urban flat sort of feel, coated metals that make your curtain rods look like piping are a great way to play off of exposed brick, for example.
Most curtain rods are telescoping, meaning they extend along a manufactured length range to cover your window. While the average window is 24 inches wide, chances are you’ll need something a little less conventional if you’re already shopping for ceiling curtain rods. Make sure you check your window’s measurements before choosing a length. Just like wall rods, you’ll want about 3-5 inches on either side of the window or floor feature for which you’re hanging the curtain rod.
When it comes to ceiling-mounted curtain rods, weight capacity is especially important, as gravity works over time to loosen your brackets. Curtains are typically light and well within the common weight threshold of 5-20 pounds for common curtain rods. If you’re hanging drapes or heavy blackouts, be sure to opt for something sturdy and check the weight before purchasing, as these heftier fabrics can exceed 25 pounds, especially when you pull on them.
How much you can expect to spend on a ceiling curtain rod
A quality ceiling curtain rod can be purchased for $30-$80, depending on length and material.
Ceiling curtain rod FAQ
How do I install my ceiling curtain rods?
A. Just like your walls, ceilings have studs, or beams, as they’re called. You can locate these with a stud finder and screw your brackets into them using standard wood screws. If your beams don’t conveniently line up with your window, you’ll need to use anchors instead. These help to hold your screw into the weak drywall so your curtain rod doesn’t fall and take the ceiling down with it.
Can you hang wall-mounted curtain rods from the ceiling?
A. It depends on the rod. Some decorative curtain rods with hooked brackets can pose a fall risk, as the rod can pop out of the curved seat. Others have locking mechanisms using screws that help to hold the bar in place. If you like a particular wall-mounted design, verify that when hung vertically, your rod won’t fall out when you pull the curtain.
What’s the best ceiling curtain rod to buy?
Top ceiling curtain rod
What you need to know: Discreet and modern, this traverse rod is perfect for windows and room dividers.
What you’ll love: It’s available in three colors: white, black and silver. The aluminum traverse rod uses easily gliding hooks that scale in number to the size you order, making this great for wall-to-wall applications. If you want to use the track for windows, an included hacksaw lets you cut it down to size — just neatly cap it off with the included finials.
What you should consider: This track puts function over form, so it might not appeal to those looking for something a little more decorative.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Top ceiling curtain rod for the money
What you need to know: With a simple black copper finish and understated finials, this steel curtain rod is a great budget option for modern decors.
What you’ll love: The best part of this Rose Home Fashion rod is that it’s interchangeable between wall and ceiling mounts, so your rods can all match, even for that one pesky window. It comes in a few size ranges for single windows and larger installations, the latter of which is aided by the additional third bracket.
What you should consider: You have to buy hooks separately.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The KXLife curtain track is an ingenious solution to ceiling mounts for oddly shaped windows.
What you’ll love: Hang curtains from your ceilings for bay windows, bathtubs and more with this ceiling-mounted, fully customizable track. The unique curtain rod is designed to be cut down to size and flex to conform to your desired shape for easy installation. The hooks are on rollers, so you don’t have to worry about pulling your curtains shut. It comes complete with the necessary hardware.
What you should consider: This is about as utilitarian as you can get when it comes to curtain rods, so aim for a recessed or hidden installation for a clean, invisible aesthetic.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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