The 5 best shower curtains in 2021

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Best shower curtains

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A shower curtain that keeps water where it belongs and also looks great is a surprisingly tall order.
  • We spoke with Donna McMahon, an award-winning bath designer, about how to choose stylish and functional shower curtains.
  • These are the best shower curtains that blend longevity with washability and versatility.

A good shower curtain looks great, dries quickly, and keeps mold and mildew away. Whether you’re the type of person who spends hours poring over designs and colors or just buys the first one within budget, you’ll want to keep two things in mind to make sure your shower curtain is a keeper – fabric and size. We spoke with Donna McMahon, an award-winning kitchen and bath designer and founder of KE Interior Solutions in Denver, on how to choose a shower curtain and how to measure them – you can check out her tips at the end of this guide.

If you’re just here for the best shower curtains, these picks were all chosen with McMahon’s guidance in mind and blend longevity with low-maintenance materials and versatile style.

The best shower curtains of 2021

A shower curtain with waterproof lining

N&Y home curtain

The N&Y HOME Ultimate Waterproof Fabric Shower Curtain is an all-around winner for most bathrooms for its good looks and dual functionality at an unbeatable price. 

The N&Y HOME Ultimate Waterproof Fabric Shower Curtain is simple but everything you’ll ever need in a shower curtain. It’s machine-washable and made of 100% polyester, but what sets it apart is the interior PVC-free waterproof coating. That means if you prefer the look and feel of fabric liners but need the waterproof benefit of plastic ones, this might be the closest thing to getting both. 

Looks aside, this option checks the other boxes that most people want in their curtain, including a reinforced top header to prevent rips and tears and magnets in the bottom hem to help prevent billowing — or worse, sticking to your legs. The curtain is available in the standard 72 x 72-inch size, as well as four additional narrow and extra-long sizes.  

This curtain is a workhorse that should meet your basic shower curtain needs, and the clean white shade complements any bathroom decor. We’re calling it the best bang for your buck.

A universal white shower curtain

mDesign curtain

With a plush textured style that fits into any bathroom, the cotton-poly mDesign Waffle Weave Fabric Shower Curtain in Stone White is a can’t-go-wrong option at an affordable price point.   

Scandi-inspired farmhouse? Modern minimalist city apartment? New baby’s nursery en suite? Whatever your bathroom’s scheme or theme, there’s a white curtain to match, and chances are the mDesign Waffle Weave Fabric Shower Curtain will fit right in.

We have millions of standard-issue white curtains to choose from, but this neutral Stone White color is neither too cold nor too warm, so it should feel right at home in most bathrooms. The soft cotton-poly fabric has a slightly weighted heft that lets the curtain drape and hang naturally. And its classic waffle texture feels comforting, fresh, and clean while adding a subtle element of style. 

This isn’t a water-resistant curtain so you’ll need a liner, but it’s much lower maintenance than an all-natural cloth option. You’ll also be able to throw it in a cold wash cycle and a low-heat tumble dry without worrying too much about shrinkage and wrinkles. It comes in the standard 72 x 72-inch size, plus longer 72 x 84 and 72 x 96 options for taller ceilings.

A hookless shower curtain with detachable liner

Hookless curtains

Flex-on rings make the elegant Hookless Waffle Fabric Shower Curtain and Snap-in Liner Set extra easy to slip on and off the rod, and its snap-on liner doubles the convenience.  

The cool thing about this Hookless curtain — aside from its clean, elegant design and its machine-washable 100% polyester fabrication — is that hanging your curtain has never been faster or less annoying.  

The rings on this curtain are designed to flex open, so you can easily slip your curtain onto the rod (or off again) in a matter of seconds. If that time-saving convenience isn’t enough to convert you away from hooks forever, it also comes with a detachable liner that snaps onto the curtain and goes inside the tub, so there’s no need to deal with a double rod (unless you want to, of course). 

The curtain is available in a variety of styles, textures, designs, and fabrics (even satin) to match your aesthetic. Just be sure to check the care instructions if you opt for a different fabric, and keep in mind that certain styles only come in a 71 x 74-inch size.

A unique shower curtain

blue shower curtain Society6

With thousands of designs to choose from, Society6 is second to none for unique and one-of-a-kind shower curtains by independent artists.

Sometimes you want a shower curtain that just blends into your bathroom. But if you want something that stands out, then you’ll want to check out the curtains on Society6

Society6 is a marketplace for creative artists to sell their work on everyday products like phone cases, office supplies, yoga mats, and — you guessed it — shower curtains. By making a purchase, you’ll get to support independent artists like illustrator and muralist Alexandra Bowman, who created this gorgeous watercolor-style print, or poet Morgan Harper Nichols, who designs inspiring prints. And you’ll hang up a beautiful, eye-catching piece of art in what’s usually an under-decorated space.

The shower curtains themselves are made from machine-washable polyester, though some reviewers say the soft material has a plasticky feel to it. One thing to note is that they’re only available in the 71 x 74 size, so you’ll want to make sure that the bottom won’t drag on your bathroom floor before buying.

A shower curtain that feels custom made

Barossa design curtain

The Barossa Design Herringbone & Striped Fabric Shower Curtain has an intricate design that will subtly dress up your bathroom. 

The Barossa Design Herringbone & Striped Fabric Shower Curtain is priced like a basic fabric liner, but it looks and feels way more luxurious thanks to its sheen and woven texture.  

Made from a machine-washable polyester blend, the curtain is water repellant and won’t require an additional liner. And thanks to its textural pattern, silky finish, and cool white shade, it’s a quick way to elevate any bathroom in need of a crisp and clean pick-me-up. 

With 11 sizes to choose from — from shower stall options to extra wide and long options — this curtain might also be the best looking and most precise fit for your bathtub or shower.

An eco-friendly fabric shower curtain

Quite Town

If you’re on the hunt for a sustainable and responsibly-made curtain with clean designs, you’ll fall in love with Quiet Town’s Organic Canvas Shower Curtains.

Let’s cut to the chase: At $148, this isn’t the kind of curtain you buy to replace two or three months down the line, but with Quiet Town — a small Brooklyn biz started by artists Lisa and Michael Fine — that’s the whole point. 

The brand is also committed to sustainability, its machine-washable 100% canvas shower curtains, which are also available through West Elm, are made of domestically milled cotton that is organically grown in the US. Then the curtains are dyed locally and handmade in Brooklyn — same deal with its ultra-cool $62 EVA curtain

There’s nothing “assembly line” about their offerings — and that’s a welcome departure. 

How to choose shower curtains

shower curtain Society6

First, choose a material that’s durable and easy to care for. According to Donna McMahon, there are three main types:

  • Natural fabric: These are your cotton, linen, canvas, hemp, and bamboo blends. A good quality cotton curtain is a top choice for most people, according to McMahon. Simply toss it in the wash on laundry day to keep it in good shape (other fabrics may have specific care instructions, though). The drawback is that they can be expensive — up to $60 and sometimes more — and cannot be used without a liner. All-natural cloth curtains need a protective liner to stay dry and mildew-free.
  • Polyester and polyblend: If you’re on a budget, curtains made out of polyester are another long-lasting and low-maintenance choice. They’re machine washable, quick-drying, and water-repellant, which means they don’t need a liner though they can double as one.
  • Plastic: Plastic curtains shouldn’t go in the wash and instead must be regularly wiped and scrubbed clean. They’re the cheapest option (most are under $20) and tend to be replaced frequently. They’re the most waterproof material of the bunch, so they’re usually used as liners but can work as standalone curtains too. Be sure to steer away from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), cautions McMahon, which contains a mix of chlorine, phthalates, and other chemicals that give vinyl plastic curtains that pungent headache-inducing smell. Plastic curtains made with PE (polyethylene), PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate), and EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) are safer alternatives, but when in doubt, “search for ‘PVC free’ in product descriptions,” says McMahon. 

The rest is a matter of your personal taste. Natural fabric curtains drape beautifully and have a more elevated look, and polyester curtains can have a similar soft, woven-fabric feel.

In terms of colors, patterns, and prints, go with what makes you happy. If you really don’t know where to start, McMahon said, “Pick a curtain design that has a touch of the prominent color in your bathroom tile or other finishes to tie it all together. And if the tones of your bathroom are soft and subtle, a curtain that’s bolder in color can be the perfect contrast too.”

Keeping it simple with white though will never go out of style — just think of every hotel bathroom you’ve ever seen.  

How to measure shower curtains 

The standard size that fits most built-in tubs is 72 x 72 inches, but before you add your brand new curtain to your cart, break out the tape measure to make sure you’re getting the proper size. 

  • Width: Measure along the entire length of the curtain rod and add 12 inches so the curtain can drape and extend nicely. For reference, the standard bathtub is about 60-inches long. Shower stalls will be narrower and clawfoot tubs will be longer because the curtain needs to fit around a full circular rod, says McMahon. For this, look for 180 x 70, or you can use two 72 x 72-inch curtains. 
  • Height: The curtain height will also vary depending on what kind of shower you have, but generally the bottom hem should float at least one to two inches above the floor. “This allows air to circulate and prevent mold and mildew growth,” says McMahon. Measure from below the rod — or end of the shower curtain hooks — to the floor, then subtract at least two inches. 

Check out other bathroom-related guides

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The 4 best linen sheets for summer 2021

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  • Linen sheets are the most breathable sheets you can buy in the summer.
  • The wrinkled texture is an acquired taste for some, but we love the casual look and durable feel.
  • Linen is notoriously expensive, but we found high-quality options that come at accessible prices.

Linen is a contentious textile. It wrinkles very easily, feels a bit rough, and is notoriously expensive. On the other hand, some prefer the casual, lived-in look, and it does get softer with time and use. Most importantly, because it’s made from hollow flax fibers, which absorb moisture and let air pass through, linen is breathable and stays dry even on the warmest, stuffiest nights.

We became believers from the first night we tried linen sheets. We felt their cooling benefits instantly and didn’t wake up sweaty or uncomfortable. If you sleep hot, you should try introducing linen to your rotation of bed sheets.

Product care can vary by brand, but you’ll typically want to hand wash or machine wash your linen sheets on a gentle cycle, without bleach. Then, tumble dry or line dry them.

Here are the best linen sheets in 2021

Best linen sheets overall

best sheets 2021 what else we recommend

The cool, airy, and beautiful linen sheets from Sijo will be your summer favorite, or if you regularly sleep hot, a durable yearlong standby.

Pros: Stays dry and cool, casually wrinkled style, flexible flat sheet option 

Cons: Doesn’t come in as many colors and sizes as competitors, may experience some shedding

Sijo sheets are the best linen sheets I’ve tried because they strike the right balance of comfort, coolness, durability, and price. After a couple months of testing, they knock out our former best pick, MagicLinen, because of how downright soft and comfortable they are, even while having the signature grainy texture of linen. And, they get softer and better after multiple washes. If your preconception of linen is that it’s too scratchy to enjoy, Sijo’s sheets will change your mind. They’re also airy and light, keeping me cool on California spring-nights-that-already-feel-like-summer (we recently had temps in the high 80s in late March). 

I personally loved the wrinkled look, especially combined with the soothing Blush color. I’m also a fan of Sky, a dusky blue. The color and overall construction have held up well so far, and the fabric continues to feel both substantial and lightweight. You should expect some shedding in the first few washes — it’s a natural part of the process but a little annoying to pick off your bed.

Unlike with MagicLinen, I didn’t have any sizing issues with Sijo’s sheets. All the sets have a 15-inch depth. You can also opt in or out of a flat sheet, which provides great flexibility and can bring the price of your purchase down.

Best linen sheets for variety

best linen sheets magiclinen

MagicLinen’s comfortable linen sets include a deep option for thick mattresses and wear beautifully over time. You’ll also get the most color choice here. 

Pros: Looks and feels better over time, comes in many colors, suitable for thick mattresses, OEKO-Tex certified 

Cons: Takes some time to become softer and more comfortable 

Linen is the only thing you can buy from MagicLinen, which is precisely the reason it’s been able to edge out other brands that have only treated the material as one more piece of their larger bedding puzzles.

All of its products are handcrafted in Vilnius, Lithuania. The linen is stonewashed — a softening process that’s completely natural and non-toxic — and OEKO-Tex certified, meaning it meets chemical safety standards and is free from harmful substances. 

One reason these sheets stand out so much to senior editor Sally Kaplan is that they come in deep options for mattresses up to 18 inches tall, a sizing that’s usually difficult to find for linen. That means you can use mattress toppers or pads and still enjoy the comfort and feel of linen. 

According to Sally, MagicLinen’s sheets aren’t the softest out of the bag, but after two years of use, they’ve aged well, getting softer and cozier with every wash.

If you’re not sure yet about committing, you can get fabric samples. A set of all the colors only costs $5, plus you’ll get a $5 discount off your next purchase. 

Read our full review of the MagicLinen linen sheet set here

Best organic linen sheets

best linen sheets coyuchi

Truly organic linen is hard to come by, which is why we appreciate Coyuchi’s thoughtful and careful approach to the fabric. 

Pros: Organic and eco-friendly, durable weave 

Cons: Pricey, not available in twin and full sizes 

Coyuchi, a brand that’s always been committed to organic products, transparent and ethical practices, and nature-inspired designs, is one of the few makers of organic linen.

As it turns out, if you’re buying linen, you’re already being somewhat of an environmentalist. Flax is an eco-friendly plant that doesn’t require much fertilizer or irrigation in order to thrive. However, Coyuchi goes one step further by only working with farmers in France who grow other organic crops (e.g. wheat, legumes) in the soil that the flax rotates through. This process ensures that the flax is 100% organic. 

In addition, the linen is Global Organic Textile Standard certified, Made Safe certified, and colored with organic dyes. 

Expect to pay a premium if you care about shopping organic. Coyuchi’s durable and heavyweight Linen Set, which comes with one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases and is available in seven colors, costs twice as much as other options in this guide. 

Best linen sheet design

best linen sheets primary goods

Primary Goods has a clever design that snaps the top sheet to your duvet, so you’ll never wake up with a bundle of fabric at your feet. 

Pros: Clever top sheet design, quality construction 

Cons: Only comes in three colors and stock is often low, pricey, not available in twin sizes 

I never enjoyed sleeping with a top sheet because it simply didn’t stay put throughout the night. After trying Primary Goods’ linen sheet set, I don’t hate top sheets anymore. The set features 10 snaps each on the long sides of the top sheet and duvet cover, so they’ll always move together. 

The linen itself is great and thoughtfully produced, too. It’s sourced from France, stone-washed for softness, and naturally dyed. It’s also OEKO-Tex certified and Global Organic Textile Standard certified. Soft and breathable, it feels great on my skin, plus the light pink color I own looks effortlessly casual. 

The Primary Goods Primary Set only comes with the flat sheet and duvet cover; the Complete Set, which also includes a fitted sheet and pillowcases, is currently sold out in most sizes. For now, you can buy a fitted sheet and pillowcase set separately. 

Read our full review of the Primary Goods linen sheet set here

Check out our other great bedding guides

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This startup makes shopping and caring for beautiful house plants easy – even if you don’t have a green thumb

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leonandgeorge magenta triostar

  • Léon & George’s indoor house plants are easy to care for and each comes in a stylish ceramic planter. 
  • I still own the plant I ordered in 2018, and continue to recommend Léon & George for its robust plant selection.
  • I’ve also tested plants from The Sill and Bloomscape, see how they compare to Léon & George here. 

Bird of Paradise (small)Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Home and interior design magazines frequently espouse this simple trick for refreshing your space: add a house plant. It’s not only a strategic aesthetic move – research has found exposure to nature improves emotional well-being, making you happier and even more creative.

I’m no scientist, but plenty of anecdotal evidence has also confirmed that shopping for and taking care of these beneficial house plants isn’t as easy as the magazines make it out to be.

After hearing similar feedback from friends, plant enthusiasts Ron Radu and Nico Bartoli wanted to show people that owning plants can actually be hassle-free and thus created Léon & George, a full-service online startup that delivers potted, responsibly sourced plants right to your door.

What is Léon & George?

Radu and Bartoli started in 2016 by partnering with local growers who were looking for a change from big box stores and nurseries, which often placed unrealistic demands on crop growth or didn’t store plants in optimal growing environments.

Though the company has now scaled to a point where the founders don’t need to turn their own homes into mini-greenhouses, the level of care and attention remains: they source the highest-quality greenery from US growers, and all plants are stored under conditions that imitate their native climates. 

Customers can choose from a collection of attractive plants, like the airy Birds of Paradise or the Jade Pothos, then pair their selection with a simple and stylish ceramic planter. You can also shop by “Benefits” (easy-care, air purifiers, safe for pets) and “Light” (medium-to-bright, low). Everything except shipping is included in the price: the plant, pot, wood stand, and care instructions. Shipping is only free on orders of $100 or more. 

Review of Léon & George

leon and george plant care

I ordered the Zanzibar Gem, namely because the website indicated it’s “near indestructible” and can “handle long periods of neglect” – music to the ears of traditionally terrible plant owners like myself. It can also handle low-light environments, so I could plan to keep it right at my office desk instead of a distant window sill. 

The potted plant arrived upright in a box, and thanks to layers of cardboard support and bubble wrap, it emerged from the shipping journey fresh and unscathed. 

my leon and george plant

Caring for my Zanzibar Gem has been a breeze. In the two years that it’s sat on my desk, I basically water it whenever I think to (which is really not often) and coworkers comment how green and shiny it is. I’ve been pleasantly surprised about the plant’s resiliency. Despite many desk moves and imperfect care, my plant has held up. Unfortunately, I haven’t been at the office for the past six months due to the pandemic so I can’t say how it’s held up without water for half a year, but it was a great desk mate nonetheless.

If you’re worried about plant care falling by the wayside, Léon & George sends Weekly Plant Care Reminder emails to nudge you to pay a little more attention to your plant. You can also email a “plant doctor” at plantdoctor@leonandgeorge.com if you have specific questions and need personalized attention. 

The bottom line

leon and george 2

My experience with the service couldn’t have been easier. Since I live in a big city, it’s inconvenient and tiring to visit a nursery and haul a large plant onto the subway, so having it delivered (the company delivers nationwide) instead was a major boon.

The potting was already done for me, and the site offers a lot of support if you run into any trouble while caring for your plant. Buying greenery from Léon & George is also an investment back into the Earth because the company plants one tree in a US National Forest through the National Forest Foundation for every plant sold. 

Léon & George‘s selection of high-quality plants will appease plant parents of all types. If you’re new to plant care, the site offers guidance and low-maintenance options, and if your room is already filled with greenery, Léon & George’s all-in-one service makes it that much more convenient to add to your collection. 

Shop all plants at Léon & George here

Bird of Paradise (small)

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Grafomaps’ custom map posters and T-shirts make great personalized gifts – here’s what it’s like to design them

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Grafomaps

  • Grafomap is a website that lets you design custom map posters and T-shirts of any place in the world.
  • We went through an easy design process and created posters and a T-shirt of our favorite vacation spots – the finished products are really cool.  
  • Custom map posters start at $49 without a frame and can go up to $119 for metal frames, while T-shirt prints cost just $35.
  • Right now, you can save $15 on everything except T-shirts with the code “AFF15” through December 31.
  • Grafomaps makes great gifts, but you can read all our gift guides here for more holiday gift ideas.

I lived in my previous apartment for six months before I found wall art my partner and I both liked enough to hang in it.

We’re picky about what we should hang on our walls. Neither of us wants to decorate our space with Van Gogh reproductions and movie posters. Like a lot of people, we want to decorate it with wall art and photos that mean something to us.

What is Grafomap?

A few years ago, I stumbled across an answer to our problem in the form of a website called Grafomap that lets you design map posters of any place in the world.

You can make one of your hometown, your college town, your favorite travel destination, or the place where you got engaged or married – you’re only limited by your imagination.

Once you enter your desired location, Grafomap takes you to its poster editor where you can further customize your location down the exact address or coordinates. After that, you can continue personalizing your map by adjusting, panning, and zooming the map exactly to your liking, adding or removing text, and selecting the finish (paper, framed, or canvas), orientation, and size.

Additionally, Grafomap has 11 unique color themes to choose from (including Noir, Bourbon, Minimal, and Modern) that transform your map from just an ordinary map into a work of art you’ll love displaying in your home or wearing in T-shirt form.

Grafomaps also has a partnership with One Tree Planted to plant one tree for every map sold.

How does Grafomap work?

My custom map poster of Sint Maarten took all of five minutes to create, and the finished product is undeniably cool. It’s also very affordable. An 18-by-24-inch print sets you back $49.

If you want to get something that’s ready to hang right out of the box it’s shipped in, you can get an 18-by-24-inch framed print for $104, a print on canvas for $99, a print on metal for $119, or one with a hanger for $69. The T-shirts are the most affordable at $35 each.

I tested the service for free but other colleagues who’ve bought and created their own maps can attest to the easy design process and cool results. 

Learn more about how Grafomap‘s custom poster editor works below. And try it out for yourself here.

Start by selecting a location for your map poster. I chose Sint Maarten since my partner and I have been vacationing there together for years.

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Once you enter your desired location, Grafomap takes you to its poster editor where you can continue personalizing your map by adjusting, panning, and zooming the map to your liking, adding or removing text, and selecting the size, frame, and orientation.

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I most enjoyed toggling between color themes. My favorites were Wheatpaste, Modern, and Carbon.

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I ultimately went with Modern since I liked its colors and font best.

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Here’s a picture of the final product:

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Here’s a look at my colleague Malarie Gokey’s map of Stockholm. She chose Wheatpaste as her color theme.

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You can also choose to print your map on metal, a canvas, or a T-shirt.

Grafomap

Malarie also tried Grafomaps’ T-shirt and Canvas options. The canvas map turned out beautifully and made an excellent birthday gift for her mom. The T-shirt print was well done and looked great, though the cotton wasn’t the softest. After several runs through the wash, it’s still doing well and has gotten softer over the past year.

Keep Grafomap in mind for a fun and memorable gift for family and friends.

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Create your own custom map poster and T-shirt at Grafomap here.

Read all our holiday gift guides here.

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