What's the first thing you notice when you walk into a shower? You might focus on the tile pattern, the sink, the commode, or the cabinet. You'll probably take a cheeky peek behind the shower curtain. But you probably won't notice the shower curtain rod … unless it's not there.
Shower curtains are essential, but you can’t hang them without a shower rod. And if you buy the wrong one, it could collapse, leaving you soapy and exposed. So how can you be sure you’ve bought the best shower curtain rod? Here’s a list of ten options to consider.
Our Top Recommended
AmazonBasics Tension Shower Curtain Rod
This rod snaps easily into place and can be used in multiple rooms and spaces. It barely weighs a pound, which cuts shipping rates. And it has a wide sizing variation, stretching from 28 inches for its shortest model to 108 inches for its longest.
The Best Shower Curtain Rod on the Market of 2019
1. Zenna Home NeverRust Tension Mount Curved Shower Rod
Sometimes, you get tired of asking ‘the man of the house’ to do tiny tasks around the house. Especially if it’s a task he doesn’t think is important. Shower curtains fall in this category because men are generally less self-conscious. They’ll gladly shower without that flimsy fabric.
So when you really need that curtain, you can install your own curved Zenna Home shower curtain rod. Its outward-facing curve stretches your shower enclosure by up to 6 inches. It’s perfect for high-traffic showers because all its coating options are rust-proof.
The shower curtain rod easily screws into place using TwistTight technology, meaning you don’t need tools. It adjusts for different shower lengths, from 50 inches to 72 inches. And it’s easy to take down, so you can carry it when you move out. It barely takes a minute to dismantle!
The shower rod clips to both walls, so it wouldn’t work with a freestanding shower or tub. You can curl it around a corner shower though, because of the 6 extra inches. And it has a limited lifetime guarantee. Read the T&Cs carefully to confirm what those limits are.
This curvy shower curtain rod can support bulky fabrics. But at 2.5 pounds, it’s almost double the weight of competing brands, so be careful not to drop it on your feet or squash your fingers!
- Its lightweight aluminum base is easy to install.
- It needs no drilling, so it’s suitable for tile walls.
- It has three finish options – chrome, bronze, and nickel
- It’s a single shower rod, so you can’t add a liner for cotton curtains.
2. AmazonBasics Tension Shower Curtain Rod Our Top Pick
The popularity of tiny houses has taught us a lot about minimalist living and multipurpose fixtures. And whether you live in a container house or a dorm room, this shower curtain rod is a must-have. You can move it from room to room, providing instant pop-up dividers.
Because it installs in seconds, you could set it up when you need to shower. You can then pull it down and move it to another part of the house. It can create a temporary dressing room, closet, or even an extra guest bedroom for added privacy. And its rubber ends don’t scratch surfaces.
The rod is made of stainless steel. Its brushed finish makes it waterproof, rust-proof, and suitable for multiple styles of décor. It uses compress-and-release technology to spring into position. Color options include nickel, black, white, bronze, and chrome.
Once the shower curtain rod twists and snaps into place, it never sags or lags. The tension is consistent and reliable, covered by a 1-year warranty. The ends do screw off, so you can remove them completely if you want to slip your shower curtain hooks onto the rod.
Be careful though. If you keep moving the rod or unscrewing the caps, the part that sticks to the wall may lose grip. It might be helpful to keep spare rod caps in your bathroom drawer, just in case. This AmazonBasics model is lighter than most tension rods, but it still does the job.
If you want a fuss-free pocket-friendly shower curtain rod, this is it. It needs no special skills to install, and if it does get bumped and bruised, it’s cheap to repair … and cheaper to replace.
- It has rubber feet at both its ends, so it won’t scratch your wall.
- It adjusts from 36 to 54 inches, but there are other sizes ranging from 24 inches to 108.
- It’s built for bathrooms, but you can use it in other spaces too.
- If you live in California, you can’t ship this rod because it has a BPA Prop 4 warning.
3.Kingston Brass Adjustable Double Curved Shower Curtain Rod
Many buyers rush for cheap tension shower rods. They’re easy to set up, and anyone can do it. But sometimes, the convenience isn’t worth the hassle. Sometimes, you want something with a lot more heft. Something you can use to show off your superior workmanship.
The Kingston Double Curve lets you test your home handyman skills. It comes in rustic oiled bronze, sleek black, contemporary chrome, or brushed nickel, so you can pick according to your style. These finishes are coated onto a stainless steel 201-grade base.
The secondary rod lets you add a curtain liner or maybe hang your damp towels. It also gives you 6 to 9 extra inches of shower space. The rods are 60 inches at their shortest and can be extended to 72-inch width. Read the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your accessories.
You’ll need basic tools including a power drill, so this is tricky for tile walls. It does come with flanges though, and all the necessary hardware is included. And although it’s a rust-free brand, it does acquire rust spots over time, so it may need additional maintenance.
This double curve shower curtain rod is full of extras. It gives you twice the amount of hanging space while increasing the width of your shower enclosure. It takes longer to install though.
- The inner rod is thinner, making it ideal for a curtain liner.
- You can choose from four finish options to fit your varying style selections.
- Its length is adjustable from 60 to 72 inches.
- During installation, it’s tricky maneuvering a power drill into the 3-inch space between the two rods. You may have to screw it in by hand.
4. BRIOFOX Shower Curtain Rod
A lot of bathroom hardware is brushed to dull its finish. This reduces watermarks and lowers maintenance needs. The BrioFox goes in the opposite direction. It’s made of 304 grade hand-polished stainless steel, giving it a spotless mirror-like appearance if you buy this glossy shade.
The base is always stainless, but the topcoat could be black, bronze, white, or nickel. These color selections are applied in multiple layers to maintain the Never-Rust guarantee. The steel base is followed by colored paint then sprayed with sealing oil. It can stretch from 42 to 72 inches.
The sealing spray prevents water droplets from clinging to the shower rod and leaving unsightly marks. And when you want to slip your shower curtain hooks into place, you can easily screw off the rod caps. They screw back tightly to keep the rod in place so it never falls.
The BrioFox wall plates are 2.6 inches in diameter, offering firmer attachment to the wall. The rod itself is about an inch in diameter and weighs a typical 2.35 pounds. It has rubberized ends and works well on wood, tile, concrete, wallpaper, or painted shower walls.
Many shower rods claim to be rust-free. This rod backs that promise with a 5-year warranty, so if you do see rust-spots – which you won’t – you can call HQ for a viable, no-cost solution.
- It can hold up to 12 pounds of fabric.
- Its broad metal non-slip wall plates make it more stable.
- It has a 5-year no-rust warranty plus a 1-year BrioFox guarantee.
- It has a slight bump at the point where the rod extends, and shower curtain hooks sometimes snag on the bump.
5. Barclay L-Corner Shower Rod
Almost every tension shower curtain rod is extendable. They do this by twisting or slipping into position. Which means the rods sometimes stick at the joint or slip off altogether. This L-Corner shower rod adjusts manually. You have to cut it to size.
The Barclay L-corner rod is designed for two-sided shower enclosures. The two sides are fastened to your bathroom walls. For added support, a ceiling pillar reaches down near the shower rod’s rounded right angle. And unlike many shower rods – which are hollow – this one is solid metal.
The tube is 1 inch thick, with its brass base coated in chrome. You can decide how high or low you want it to hang because the ceiling-mounted downrod is fully adjustable. The wall-mount flanges are widened to support the heavier weight of your solid shower rod.
The rod ships in two pieces, not counting the downrod that links it to the ceiling. It also comes with screws and wall flanges included. The joints are smooth, giving it a seamless appearance. The inset screws dig into the metal, living no chinks to snag your shower curtain.
If you don’t mind a lot of sawing and screwing – and if you have a standalone tub or corner shower – this is a suitable purchase. Just measure carefully before you cut anything.
- Its shorter side has a curve at the tip for added aesthetics.
- Its large 2-inch by 4-inch wall plates support its 4-pound mass.
- This added support lets you drape heavier curtains and towels on your shower rod.
- This installation is certified frustration-free, but all that cutting and measuring isn’t workable for amateurs. You’ll probably need outside help to set it up.
6. ALLZONE Tension Shower Curtain Rod
You can tell when a brand has done its market research, and AllZone is a good example. Its previous model – like many shower rods – had a joint in the middle. Shower curtain hooks often slip into this joint and get stuck, so you have to tug the curtain harder to pull it loose.
This extra effort might rip your curtain, stretch your hooks out of shape, or break your hooks altogether. It might sag your shower rod or break the rod to pieces. This upgraded AllZone shower rod has removed the joint, allowing you to tug your curtain in smooth, effortless sweeps.
The rod itself carries loads of up to 20 pounds. Its wall brackets work on all surfaces, thanks to their smooth, non-scratch combination of rubber and PVC. And instead of standard spring loading, it adjusts using a series of one-touch buttons that take mere seconds to lock in place.
If your bathroom is super small (24 inches) or extra-large (120 inches), this brand has the best size range for you. Spend some time studying the push-buttons. You don’t want to break them.
- It has high industry ratings for safety and stability.
- Its push-button adjustment is easier than spring loading.
- This model stretches from 42 to 81 inches.
- It takes a minute to understand how the push-button works. Especially if you previously used typical tension systems. Unfortunately, the instruction manual isn’t user-friendly.
7. AMG Ultra-Twisted Cage Shower Curtain Rod
In some ways, the flange is the most important part of your shower curtain rod. It’s what attaches your rod to the wall, so any flaws will bring down the whole rod. Unfortunately, many of these flanges and brackets have the same design flaw – they have a small bushing gap.
That tiny crevice between the rubber or adhesive and the metal can be detrimental. It lets moisture seep through, gathering dust and breeding mold. That’s where the Ultra Twisted Cage wins. Instead of a solid flange, it uses chrome coils twisted into a gorgeous bauble.
These intricate coils reduce the surface area where dirt, soap scum, and condensed water droplets can cling. And that reduces your points of weakness, meaning your shower rod adheres to the wall more effectively. The rod is made from polished chrome for a glossy jewel-like look.
The twisted structure also provides additional tensile strength to your shower rod. This helps when the metal expands or contracts due to shifting bathroom temperatures. It adds to the contemporary style and elegance of your potentially boring bathroom.
When you want a healthy mix of glamour and function, this intricately carved shower curtain rod is a good choice. It only comes in one color, but that’s fine – metallics go with everything.
- It gives your bathroom a striking aesthetic touch.
- It’s easy to install and requires no fastenings or tools.
- Its hollow head leaves a smaller surface for you to clean, so it needs less maintenance.
- It’s polished chrome rather than steel, so it’s somewhat susceptible to rust.
8. Claw Foot D-Shaped Shower Kit
Shower curtain rods aren’t just for shower enclosures. If you have a standalone tub, it can be a quick way to add privacy. This can be an especially fun addition to your summer home. Go beyond the standard outdoor shower and install an outdoor tub with a D-shaped enclosure.
This bathroom kit has everything you need for your outdoor bath. It comes with faucets, a showerhead, ceramic cartridges, and a shower rod. The rod measures 60 inches and has a D-shaped frame. You may need awnings because the kits have a ceiling-mounted downrod.
The shower’s metallic sections are glossy chrome-coated aluminum. All screws and flanges are included. Use the adjustable downrod to set the right height for your shower rod – it can hang 32 to 12 inches below roof level. The shorter sides of the D-shaped shower rod are 27” across.
The included shower head is 61.5 inches high, but the straight side of the D needs a wall to support it. So even if you install it outdoors, you need to lean the tub against an external stud. The rod is brass while the shower faucets are plastic. Both the rod and the tap-ware are chrome-coated.
For a comprehensive bathroom set-up – indoors or outdoors – got for this D-shaped shower kit. It’s a convenient way to convert your old clawfoot tub into a modern, stylish shower.
- It has everything included except the tub.
- The D-shaped shower rod is a single piece that needs no assembly.
- It’s made of heavy aluminum for low rust and long life.
- The rest of the kit does need to be assembled, so you may need a plumber.
9. Moen CSR2167BL Triva Shower Curtain Rod
Many consumers prefer gleaming metallics for their shower fixtures. And if you want to go the conventional route, you can buy your Moen 5-foot in polished chrome or brushed nickel. But if you’d like to make a statement (and you don’t mind spending a little extra), go bold and black.
They say once you go black, you’ll never go back. Fortunately, the Moen shower rod comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can go back for replacements at any time. It’s a limited warranty though, so double-check the fine print. This shower rod measures 5 feet, so it seems to fall short.
That said, it’s designed to fit standard shower dimensions. The matte black curve provides extra space within your shower enclosure. This 2-pound piece installs onto the wall via a wide, sturdy, rectangular flange. And if you like, you can buy matching bathroom faucets and accessories.
The escutcheon measures 3 inches by 3 inches, providing a solid base for the matte shower rod. Its length isn’t adjustable though, so cut with care. And remember, it’s already 5 feet short!
- The color choices all offer a modern touch, whether its glossy chrome or matte black.
- The curvy side gives you 6 inches of extra stretching space while you shower.
- The rod pivots on its square escutcheon for added load balancing.
- It needs tools and skills to install. At the very least, you’ll use a saw, some tape, and a spirit level. You’ll also need a power drill to screw it into position.
10. Bendable Curve Arch Chrome Finish
What happens when your bathroom, bathtub, or shower enclosure has an irregular shape? Or maybe you have a wet room and you’re undecided on the right dimensions for your shower section. Well, you could invest in a bendable shower curtain rod designed by ShowerAuthority.
These flexible shower curtain rods can bend and stretch into any shape you desire, from U’s and D’s to circles and asymmetric coils. Plus, you don’t need shower curtain hooks. The shower rod comes with built-in rust-free hooks. Just slip in your curtain as needed.
The rust-proof promise lasts a lifetime and covers both the rod and its hooks. These hooks slide along a track carved into the rod, which hangs up to 40 feet off the ceiling, Don’t worry, the ceiling downrods won’t snag the hooks, because they’re well laid inside their groove.
The shower curtain rod is heavy – nearly 3 pounds. But because it’s supported by ceiling rods in addition to wall mounts, it holds its weight well. All its fastenings and parts are included in the package. And its limited lifetime warranty allows replacement of certain spares.
The rod is 10 feet long, so you can cut and curl it to your desired size. Its aluminum frame is covered in chrome for added rust protection and is suitable at practical and aesthetic levels.
- The rod comes with 24 curtain hooks and stainless steel gliders.
- It’s 10 feet long so it can comfortably provide full shower coverage on all sides.
- It has two 40-inch downrods, so it works well with high bathroom ceilings,
- While it’s possible to coil your frame into a circle, the manufacturer doesn’t advise it.
We put a lot of emphasis on shower curtains. They play a big role in bathroom décor, but they also protect our privacy as we shower or bathe. But before you buy your curtain, you need the right kind of shower rod. What factors help you purchase the best shower curtain rod?
Your shower curtain does three things. One, it prevents peeping toms from watching you while you shower. Two, if you have a shared bathroom, it allows multiple people to use the bathroom without exposing themselves to each other. And three, it helps you keep the bathroom floor dry.
Any water that splashes onto the curtain trails back into the bathtub or shower tray. Meaning less of it spills onto the floor, causing potential slips or falls. It also reduces moisture damage on the floor. That said, some shower curtains are heavier than others, so they need stronger rods.
As an example, canvas curtains are bulky while polyester ones are more lightweight. You don’t want a shower rod that will crack the moment your curtain gets wet. Also, if your shower fabric is cotton, you need a plastic liner for waterproofing. Your rod has to support both these drapes.
This means it has to be tough enough to hold dual layers of fabric. Alternatively, you need a double rod so that one holds the liner while the other holds the curtain. Similarly, your rod depends on whether your shower curtain uses hooks, rings, or tracks.
Shower curtain rods are made of three main materials – plastic, wood, or metal. Plastic shower rods are the cheapest, but they also provide the widest variation. Because their production cost is low, they’re released in multiple styles, colors, sizes, and design options. They’re prettier too.
Wooden shower rods can be attractive and sturdy. But they need additional treatment to make them waterproof. They might need to be painted, varnished, oiled, or pressure-treated. This all adds to the buying price. They’ll also need additional maintenance in a humid bathroom.
The wood could warp, or it may develop fungus and mold. Timber doesn’t generally do well in moist spaces, so it may not be worth its aesthetic appeal. Plus, you can’t always see the damage under the surface of your wood. Not until it splinters and comes crashing down mid-shower.
Metal shower rods are probably best because they can hold the weight of wet fabric. They're less likely to break if you slip and tug the curtain. But they do need a waterproof coating to prevent rust and corrosion. And they cost much more than their lumber counterparts.
The design of your bathroom may dictate your shower curtain. If the tub or shower tray is tucked into a corner, you could buy an L-shaped shower rod. Spiral shower rods are ideal for freestanding showers and outdoor showers. A freestanding bathtub works well with D-shapes.
If the tub is set against a wall, you could buy a U-shaped shower rod instead. Straight shower rods need to rest against shower walls, so they only work if you have a shower niche. You could use a straight rod for a corner shower, but that shrinks your shower space into a tiny triangle.
Beyond shape, think about the permanence of your shower space. Rental houses are a little stricter in terms of home modifications. So if you want to install a shower rod, you may need a temporary tension rod held up by a spring. It’s easier to dismantle when you move out.
Alternatively, you may want an adjustable rod that can be bent as needed, especially in squashed bathrooms. If you do own the house and your renovation shifts the dimensions of your bathroom, you could buy a custom-sized shower rod. It can be cut or stretched as needed.
A shower rod can be attached to the walls or the ceiling. Sometimes, it uses a combination of both. Longer shower rods might stick to the wall and get extra support from perpendicular ceiling rods. The mounting plates are called escutcheons. They can be plain or decorative.
Plain mounts may be a simple set of screws or nails. But many bathrooms and shower enclosures are made of glass and tile. This means the escutcheon has to be installed without damaging the wall. Suction cups may work for plastic shower rods, but not for metal.
Concrete shower walls are a little more flexible. And natural stone walls are strong enough to support metal shower rods. But in both these cases, the design of your shower rod has to match the ambiance of your wall. Tile needs a modern aesthetic while stone can be more rustic.
You could also tile your wall with distressed, matte patterns. In that case, a bronzed or brass-toned shower rod would better fit your bathroom theme. If your shower rod is a DIY-product, make sure it’s simple enough. Otherwise, you’ll need extra help – and extra money.
Glossy finishes are a nice touch in any shower. From glossy tile to glass doors, they help keep your bathroom clean and elegant. That’s why we recommend the AmazonBasics Tension shower curtain rod. You can pick whichever finish matches your preferred style and décor.
This rod snaps easily into place and can be used in multiple rooms and spaces. It barely weighs a pound, which cuts shipping rates. And it has a wide sizing variation, stretching from 28 inches for its shortest model to 108 inches for its longest. Pity you can’t buy it in California.