Which spring curtain rod is best?

Affordable and easy to install, the spring curtain rod is the quickest solution for DIY curtain installation. These are the go-to curtain rods for renters who can’t risk damaging their walls. But homeowners with tiling, ornate moldings, concrete or just plain-awkward interiors will also want a tension rod as well. The best is the RoomDividersNow Tension Curtain Rod in Silver.

What to know before you buy a spring curtain rod

What is a spring curtain rod?

A spring curtain rod, also known as a tension rod, is a fully adjustable fixture used to install lightweight curtains. The rod has two pieces: one large-diameter rod capped at the end, and a smaller rod that slides in until it hits a compressible spring. That small spring lets you telescope the fixture to span a variety of spaces in your home so you can put up a curtain in a window, in your bathroom or elsewhere as a divider.

Installation

Spring curtain rods require no hardware to install. Other curtain rods use brackets to mount on the wall or screw into it. A spring rod, however, uses tension to stay in place. This makes them great for renters whose leases don’t let them drill holes, or for rooms such as the bathroom where homeowners don’t want to damage their tile. Installation is easy — just make sure you purchase a rod large enough for where you’re installing it. You’ll want a smooth surface against either end of the rod so it doesn’t slip when the spring is loaded.

Weight limit

Because spring rods don’t mount to the wall, they can’t bear as much of a load as a conventional or a traverse curtain rod. This means that you can only really use them for lightweight curtains, not heavy drapes. When purchasing, be sure to check the weight capacity. These types of curtain rods can typically hold 4-12 pounds. 

What to look for in a quality spring curtain rod

Material

Spring curtain rods are largely made of either plastic or treated steel. Wooden tension rods are rarer, and their scarcity makes styling difficult. Budget plastic curtain rods have a rubber cap on either end to prevent marking up the wall. Higher-end steel and plastic rods use a rubber or foam pad on either end, hidden from view when snug against the wall. If you’re looking for something lightweight and affordable, plastic is the best choice for places such as bathrooms or dorm rooms. Stainless steel tension rods are a little more durable and interior-design oriented for kitchen windows, bedrooms and master baths. 

Size

Just because a spring curtain rod is fully adjustable doesn’t mean one size fits all. Be sure when purchasing to verify the maximum length of the bar against the measurements in your home. Also, check the diameter of the bar, as this can affect the aesthetics of the room. Worse still is getting the wrong-sized bar for the curtains you already have on hand.

Curtain type

You can install your curtain on a tension rod in a few ways:

  • Rod-pocket: These curtains have a sewn-in slip at the top that you slide the curtain rod through. They’re a little more difficult to install and can get caught where the smaller rod meets the larger rod when opening. But their styling makes for an unassuming, classy home addition.
  • Ring-top: Ring tops affix the curtain via ringlets already on the curtain rod or on the curtain. These are a more ornamental option for home decor.
  • Eyelet: Also known as grommet curtains, these have rings built in so you slide the curtain on. They’re low-hassle for opening and closing but can look a little institutional. So you might want to spruce them up with decorative hooks. 

How much you can expect to spend on spring curtain rod

Basic plastic spring rods range from $5-$30. Stainless steel rods can go for $20-$50, and higher-end tension rods with brushed finishes or detailing can cost anywhere between $100-$300. 

Spring curtain rod FAQ

What else can I use a spring curtain rod for?

A. Spring rods are surprisingly versatile. Smaller tension rods work wonders for preventing things from sliding around in cabinets. You can also use them for makeshift shoe racks, clothing racks or even utensil hangers under kitchen cabinets. There are so many diameters, you don’t need to use them only for curtains.

Can spring curtain rods damage my walls?

A. While they’re touted as a non-invasive solution to home decor, spring rods aren’t totally damage-proof. Drywall is the most susceptible to tension-rod damage, as the consistent pressure can leave impressions in the weak plaster. Luckily, most window frames have solid wood around them for structural integrity, so even renters need not worry about angry landlords. Just be careful with installation elsewhere and opt for a square foam base instead of a rounded rubber cap if installing on drywall. 

What’s the best spring curtain rod to buy?

Top spring curtain rod

RoomDividersNow Tension Curtain Rod in Silver

RoomDividersNow Tension Curtain Rod in Silver

What you need to know: This gorgeous stainless steel rod goes with just about any home decor scheme.

What you’ll love: Available in matte black, gold, silver and matte white, this is a versatile solution for bathrooms and windows in the modern or minimal home. You can get it in four lengths: 28 to 50 inches, 48 to 80 inches, 80 to 120 inches and 120 to 150 inches. It holds up to 10 pounds, is 1 inch in diameter and requires either a rod-pocket or eyelet curtain. Each end uses a large foam end cap neatly hidden from view.

What you should consider: Make sure that the length of the rod will be toward the lower end of the specified range when installed. Users have found that, when stretched over long expanses, these rods tend to sag in the middle.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Top spring curtain rod for the money

Tension Curtain Rod in White

Tension Curtain Rod in White

What you need to know: This is a simple white rod good for kitchen and bathroom windows.

What you’ll love: At 48 inches maximum, this steel tension rod is an affordable option for lightweight window treatments. It cannot hold more than a pound, so it works best for sheer or decorative rod-pocket curtains. 

What you should consider: If you’re looking for something a little more sturdy, or larger, you’ll want to go with a different choice. 

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Worth checking out

Briofox Shower Curtain Rod

Briofox Shower Curtain Rod

What you need to know: Users love this sturdy tension rod for its durability and weight capacity. 

What you’ll love: Ideal for bathroom shower curtains, this rod can hold up to 30 pounds. That’s plenty for heavier curtains or a wet towel while you shower. It’s available in black, gold, bronze and nickel and uses a foam pad to brace against the wall. You can get it at either 27 to 43 inches or 43 to 73 inches, and the smaller option allows it to double perfectly as a window curtain rod with a touch of industrial modernism.

What you should consider: Some users find that the pads can slip, so be sure to clean any surface with alcohol before installing and make sure you’re not stretching the bar to its absolute limit

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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