The 5 best places to shop for curtain rods in 2021

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Best curtain rods 4x3
  • While there are hundreds of curtain rod options out there, an attractive, high-quality rod can be hard to find.
  • We spoke with an interior designer about what makes a great curtain rod and the best places to purchase them.
  • We’ve selected five retailers that sell durable rods that complement a wide variety of curtains.

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If you’ve splurged on high-quality curtains for your home, the next step to ensuring a clean finish is purchasing a durable and attractive curtain rod. The best ones are made from sturdy materials like metal or wood and can support even the heaviest curtains easily.

We spoke with interior designer Whitney Jones, of Whitney J Decor to get the scoop on the best places to buy curtain rods and tips on what to look for while shopping. While expensive rods don’t necessarily ensure great quality, Jones recommends avoiding super cheap rods as they are often made of low-quality materials and can be easily bent or broken. “My recommendation would be a high quality metal rod, but wood rods are great too,” Jones said. Overall, Jones suggests that shoppers pick a sturdy rod and stick with the same design throughout their home.

With Jones’ advice in mind, we’ve selected five retailers that make great curtain rods. We’ve also included tips on the best installation practices for seamless curtain hanging.

Here are the best places to buy curtain rods in 2021

Bed Bath & Beyond

Best curtain rods_Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond offers shoppers an impressive range of rod lengths and finishes, at a low price.

Jones says Bed Bath & Beyond’s high-quality options, large color selection, and affordable prices are the reason she continues to pick the retailer’s curtain rods for her designs. “I’ve been using the same curtain rods from Bed Bath and Beyond since 2013,” said Jones. “I never buy any other curtain rod, I just change the colors.” 

As for its selection, those that are looking for longer curtain rods are likely to find several options they like while shopping, as the retailer offers rods as long as 170 inches. Its many finishes don’t disappoint either, with heavy-duty steel, bronze, brass, and other metal rods available. 

If you’re likely to shop with Bed Bath & Beyond multiple times throughout the year, you may want to purchase the retailer’s $29 Beyond+ yearly membership, which gives customers 50% off interior design services, 20% off all purchases, and free shipping on all orders. 

What to buy:

Cappa Adjustable Window Curtain Rod Set (medium)Metro (medium)Home Smart Rods Adjustable Window Curtain Rod (medium)
Lowe’s

Best curtain rods_Lowe's

If you prefer a traditional look, Lowe’s offers a wide selection of simple, affordable curtain rods in classic finishes.

Jones also lists Lowe’s as another favorite curtain rod retailer that makes quality rods at inexpensive prices.

The majority of Lowe’s curtain rods are made of durable steel which is great for those looking to hang heavy curtains. The retailer also offers curtain rods in multi-packs of two to four rods, which can come in handy if you’re looking to outfit multiple rooms. 

As for finishes, Lowe’s specializes in classic curtain rod colors with silver, black, brown, gold, and bronze options available as well as curtain rod lengths up to 240 inches.

With curbside and in-store pickup, Lowe’s allows customers to make online purchases and pick them up all in one day.

What to buy:

Matte Black Steel Single Curtain Rod (72-in to 144-in) (medium)Brushed Nickel Steel Single Curtain Rod (48-in to 84-in) (medium)Satin Nickel Steel Single Curtain Rod (28-in to 48-in) (medium)Black Steel Double Curtain Rod (48-in to 84-in) (medium)
Target

Best curtain rods_Target

If you’re looking for curtain rods with unique finials and finishes, Target offers a wide selection.

Target offers attractive perks for those making home upgrades, including a generous return policy if you’re someone who needs to see items in your space before you decide if they’re right for you.

For curtain rods, Target offers multiple colors, finishes, and length options. The selection also includes exclusives that are only available at Target, as well as affordable, unique rods. Many of the rods sold on the site offer bold finial designs that’ll add small elements of decor into your space. 

What to buy:

Faceted Pyramid Drapery Cafe Rod (medium)Cagio Curtain Rod (medium)Dauntless Curtain Rod (medium)
West Elm

Best curtain rods_WestElm Curtain Rods

West Elm offers high-quality curtain rods for those whose style skews minimalist or mid-century modern.

West Elm’s curtain rod selection includes rods made of unique and sturdy materials such as wood and carbon brass. With mid-century and antique design influences, each rod will bring different vintage elements into your space. 

West Elm is currently experiencing some pandemic related shipping delays, so we recommend checking each individual product’s estimated shipping date prior to making a purchase. 

If you prefer to visualize items in your space prior to purchasing them, West Elm’s free virtual design services and AR room planner allow you to seamlessly integrate future purchases into your space. 

What to buy:

Mid-Century Rod – Wood/Brass (medium)Simple Metal Rod – Antique Bronze (medium)Mid-Century Rod – Carbon/Brass (medium)
The Shade Store

Best curtain rods_TheShadeStore

With its mission to make custom-designed home products more attainable, The Shade Store allows plenty of design options for a curtain rod that feels unique to your aesthetics.

If your windows have hard-to-fit dimensions or you’re looking for a more customized feel, made-to-order curtain rods from The Shade Store can add polish to your space. 

The brand allows customers to pick from 15 rod styles, ranging from solid wood poles to steel tubing dotted with rust for a weathered, antique look. From there, you input your desired length and choose a single rod or a double set. There’s also an option to add finials, including crystal balls and Swarovski-studded cylinders. 

The Shade Store offers design assistance through free consultations and measurement and installation services. You can also find measuring instructions on its site if you’d rather go the DIY route. 

What to buy:

Custom Steel Hardware Curtain Rods (medium)Custom Tribeca Hardware Curtain Rods (medium)
Curtain rod FAQs

What are the best materials for curtain rods?

According to Jones, a quality rod will not bend, even when it’s holding up heavier curtains. Look for durable materials like steel and brass, as well as solid wood. Cheaper metals and plastic should be avoided if you want your curtain rods to last a long time.


Should I buy custom curtain rods? 

Custom curtain rods, while great for adding a unique decorative element to your space, are not typically necessary. Jones usually uses pre-measured rods in her designs, but recommends going the custom route if you have exceptionally large windows that don’t fit most curtain rods sold in stores.


How do I ensure the best curtain rod fit?

It’s important to note that ideal rod placement depends on the position of the window. If you’re dealing with a window that is not in the center of your wall, Jones recommends choosing a rod that is slightly longer than the window. Allowing more space at the left or right sides of the window applies an illusion-like effect that makes them appear more centered. If your window is centered, you should hang the rod with about 6 to 8 inches of space outside of your window trim for the best fit.

See more great home guides

bedroom bedding pillows wood bedframe framed picture blue curtains
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We compared 3 of the most popular online plant shops – here’s how their shipping and return policies and plant care advice stack up

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Online houseplant delivery comparison 4x3

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • The Sill, Leon & George, and Bloomscape are three popular online shops that sell and deliver a variety of indoor houseplants.
  • We’ve tested all three and found all convenient and reliable, but they differ on shipping and return policies.
  • Bloomscape offers the best overall shopping experience and the lowest shipping fees.

You’re not just imagining it – everyone around you is suddenly interested in owning a houseplant. Beautiful Instagram photos of sun-soaked, greenery-filled rooms, combined with the realization that taking care of a living thing is emotionally fulfilling, are making millennials buy up Swiss cheese-like Monstera plants and resilient snake plants with renewed vigor.

The growth of cool, millennial-focused online shops is also playing a role.

Instead of going to a traditional nursery, you can browse and order attractive, low-maintenance plants online, plus receive the guidance and tips needed to take care of them properly. For anyone who lives in a metropolitan area or doesn’t have access to a car, these online stores make it much easier to receive or gift plants without the hassle.

The Sill, Leon & George, and Bloomscape are a few of the more popular names in the houseplant delivery space. We tried each of them to send plants to ourselves and loved ones, and we were satisfied overall with their easy shopping experiences and reliable shipping processes.

But if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of how they differ in features like shipping and return policies, plant care advice, and types of accessories offered, we’ve laid out the facts below.

Here are the similarities and differences between The Sill, Leon & George, and Bloomscape

Types of plants sold

Online House Plants Graphics Types of Plants

All three companies have a large variety of plants, from small and desk-friendly vines to tall and dramatic leafy species. Each site makes it easy to shop by size, pet friendliness (toxic vs. nontoxic), and the amount of light required.

None of the plants offered should be extremely difficult to take care of, but you’ll find that the websites often have separate categories for low-maintenance plants, specifically. Even people who don’t think they have green thumbs will feel comfortable shopping the stores. 

We found each site’s most unique and interesting plants: 

The Sill

Hoya Heart Plant (small)Pilea Peperomioides (small)

Leon & George

Calathea Medallion (small)Braided Money Tree (small)

Bloomscape

Tradescantia Zebrina (small)Chinese Fan Palm (small)
Where they deliver

Online House Plants Charts Delivery areas

If you want to send your plant to someone in the US or even select areas of Europe, Leon & George emerges as the clear winner. It’s the only service that also ships to Alaska and Hawaii, plus France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

However, there’s also a catch: all of its large and extra-large plants are only available in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles with white-glove delivery. 

Shipping fees

Online House Plants Charts Shipping fees

Expect to pay shipping fees starting at $5. For each service, the standard shipping fee depends on your order total. Overall, it seems like Bloomscape offers the best shipping policies since it’s a flat $7 for orders up to $50, which isn’t a high bar, and then free for orders $50+.  

Plant prices

Online House Plants Charts Sample price comparison

We compared the prices of each service’s potted, medium-sized Calathea Medallion (not currently available at all retailers). While The Sill had the lowest price for the plant itself, Bloomscape is ultimately the cheapest place to buy it after you factor in shipping. We’ve found these results to be fairly consistent across each brand’s product range.

Since both plant and shipping prices vary by company, we recommend that you check each website if you want to pay the lowest price. The example above is for one specific plant and the same results may not apply for other plants. 

Packaging

Online House Plants delivery:unboxing Gif

We’ve ordered plants from all three services, and the way they all arrived is pretty similar: in a cardboard box, wrapped carefully in generous padding or bubble wrap. We were impressed by how safely delicate plants reached us.

Sometimes, there was a little soil spillage, but overall they arrived unscathed and ready to place on our desks or windowsills immediately. 

Caring for your plant

plant care leon and george

Care instructions are enclosed in the deliveries from each of these services, but what if you lose the instruction card, or you need additional assistance? 

The Sill: You’ll find many online and offline resources for plant care, including a library of articles with answers to common questions; virtual 1:1 consultations ($29-$39) with a houseplant expert; and weekly care and project-based workshops. I tested one of The Sill’s classes and found it informal and informative, here’s the full review.

Leon & George: La Résidence is the brand’s dedicated blog for plant care tips and guides, decor tips, and more. You can also email the company for specific questions about your plants. 

Bloomscape: The company offers general care tips along with guides for every single type of plant sold. Its library of resources is the most organized of the three services, and if you want to speak to a real person, you can ask Joyce Mast “the Plant Mom,” a horticulturist and the mother of Bloomscape’s founder. 

Return policies

return policy bloomscape

It’s tricky to return a live plant when you didn’t buy it directly from a brick and mortar store. However, the three online shops may be able to provide a replacement depending on the situation, and they won’t require a direct return. 

The SillReturns and replacements are handled on a case-by-case basis. 

Leon & George30-day guarantee for plants that have not died due to negligence of care. Leon & George will replace your plant, but a delivery fee may apply. 

Bloomscape30-day guarantee for plants and pots that arrive damaged. Bloomscape will replace your plant and won’t charge a delivery fee.

Additional accessories

Online House Plants Graphics GIF 2 Additional accessories

In addition to plants, these shops offer items that help you take care of your new greenery (or just accessorize it). 

Here are some fun products we found in each online store: 

The SillSells planters, potting mix, watering accessories, and decorative “message pops”

Ceramic Message Pop (small)Potting Supplies Duo (small)

Leon & GeorgeSells planters, stands, fertilizer, watering accessories, and artwork

Plant Animal Trio (small)

BloomscapeSells planters, propagation kits, and grow lights 

Arch Propagation Kit (small)
Where to shop in real life

the sill store location

Just because they originated online doesn’t mean they can’t be found in real life. If you want to see the plants in person and still have them delivered directly to your home, you can visit one of these physical storefronts. 

The SillStores in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Leon & GeorgePartner showrooms in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more metropolitan areas

BloomscapeCurrently does not have any physical stores. 

The bottom line

Online houseplant delivery comparison 4x3

Depending on the specific type of plant you’re looking for and the level of plant education you expect from your experience, you’ll prefer one service over another. You may also take shipping locations, shipping fees, and return policies into consideration. 

While The Sill offers the best giftable plants and care resources (on- and offline) and Leon & George is the only service that ships to all 50 states, Bloomscape has the best overall shopping experience and the cheapest shipping fees.

Having tested them all, we trust each to get you the plant you want, but we like Bloomscape the most because the site is user-friendly and offers a large variety of plants, from simple ferns to towering cane plants. It has unique accessories, plus you’ll feel supported as you learn how to become a successful plant parent. The reasonable prices, 30-day guarantee, and good shipping policies don’t hurt, either.

Comparatively, we found the selections of Leon & George and The Sill to be less robust, and The Sill’s various tiers of shipping costs can get cumbersome. 

Shop houseplants at The Sill

Shop houseplants at Leon & George

Shop houseplants at Bloomscape

Read more stories about houseplants

the sill
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The 4 best blackout curtains in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • If outdoor light tends to wake you up before your alarm does, you may want to purchase blackout curtains.
  • Not only do they keep your bedroom dark, they also save energy by trapping hot or cold air inside.
  • Some of our top picks include blackout curtains with thermal insulation and noise reduction.

A mediocre curtain in your bedroom impacts your quality of sleep, and life, more than you might imagine. Without a blackout option, you’ll likely be awoken by the sunrise, street lights, or outside activity.

Blackout curtains block all sources of light from entering your sacred sleep chamber, ensuring your precious eight hours or more go as uninterrupted as possible. There are also many other benefits to blackout curtains in addition to darkening rooms, which makes them well-suited for all types of rooms. They offer superior privacy protection, with some panels even boasting noise-blocking, and others featuring energy-saving properties that help to keep rooms warm in winter and cool in summer.

With so many options on the market, we rounded up the top blackout curtains based on meticulous research and ratings.

Here are the best blackout curtains in 2021

Best thermally insulated blackout curtains

blackout curtains

With a ton of color and size options, the Deconovo Blackout Curtains work with just about all decor and are highly effective at blocking light.

Pros: Lots of color and size options, saves energy, affordable

Cons: Sold per panel and not in a full set

If limited options have been holding you back from trying a blackout curtain, consider the Deconovo Room Darkening Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains. Available in 20 colors and three lengths, it’s easy to match any room’s decor.

These curtains are remarkably effective as far as blocking both natural and artificial light because each panel has three layers of material that work together to block sunlight and deaden sound. The top and bottom layers are polyester while the middle layer is a woven black yarn meant to do the bulk of the light blocking. Choosing a darker colored curtain will also make them more effective.

The curtains also claim to help regulate the temperature of your rooms, which will help you save on energy costs. The grommet holes along the top make it easy to install on most curtain rods. However, you’ll have to purchase them as individual panels, rather than as a full set. The fact that they’re remarkably affordable helps take the sting out of needing to purchase each panel separately.

Best rod pocket blackout curtains

BedBathandBeyondcurtains

If you prefer the look of a rod pocket curtain, the Sun Zero Oslo Rod Pocket 100% Blackout Window Curtain Panel is a great light-blocking option that comes in a variety of attractive colors and sizes.

Pros: Light, noise, and temperature blocking capabilities, available in multiple colors and sizes, affordable 

Cons: Panels sold individually

If you don’t like the look of grommets, a rod pocket option neatly hides the rod for a clean, secure hold.

The Sun Zero Oslo Rod Pocket 100% Blackout Window Curtain Panel is a great option that not only uses light-blocking technology but also is available in eight neutral colors and three lengths. The curtain is made of 100% polyester and is rated on the brand’s light block meter as being ideal for blocking out all light. 

In addition to advanced blackout technology, the curtains also have noise reduction and temperature insulation features. While the curtains are only sold in individual panels, the affordable price makes it easier to purchase multiple. This can also be a bonus if you have an uneven number of windows you’re looking to add blackout curtains to.

Best noise-reduction blackout curtains

curtains

Nicetown Noise Reducing Blackout Curtains dull any sound and ensure you can sleep in peace no matter what’s going on outside your window.

Pros: Noise-cancelling, blocks 85-99% of light, stain-resistant, wrinkle-resistant, cost-effective

Cons: Some reviewers said the colors are different in person than in the photos online

If your next-door neighbors are having a backyard barbecue until 3 a.m. on a Tuesday, noise-reducing curtains won’t erase the problem, but they might help. For those that want to block out light and noise, try the Nicetown Noise Reducing Blackout Curtains to ensure you enjoy as much peace and quiet as possible.

In addition to claiming to reduce sound, Nicetown also says its curtains will block 85-99% of the light from outside, and that the curtains are thermal-insulated and resistant to stains and wrinkles. They come in several lengths and a bunch of solid colors to fit a variety of decor and window sizes.

These are also more cost-effective than similar options and come in packs of two. The price does vary depending on the size, but nearly all options are cheaper overall than others on the market.

Best blackout curtain liner

blackout curtain liner

You can transform existing window treatments into blackout curtains with the Eclipse Thermaliner Blackout Panel.

Pros: Can be used with curtains you already have, come with hooks, help reduce light, noise, and heat

Cons: Size probably won’t work for all curtains, won’t work as well as true blackout curtains

If you already have curtains you love and don’t want to give them up, turn them into blackout curtains with the addition edition of a blackout liner. Our top pick is the Eclipse Thermaliner Blackout Panel, which can boost your existing curtains’ light-blocking properties.

The attached drapery hooks allow you to pin the panel to the curtains already hanging in your house and turn them into light- and noise-reducing window treatments, with likely more privacy than was offered before.

From the outside, you’ll be able to see the white panel, so if that bothers you aesthetically, you may want to look into blackout curtains that have decorative fabric on both sides. 

Check out our other guides for getting a good night’s sleep

linens
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