The Difference Between Curtains and Drapes, And Why it Matters

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In relation to window therapies, the terminology can get a bit complicated—beginning with “window remedy” itself. Is it a protecting coating for home windows, or a course of like treating wooden? Is it referring to the methods to repair damaged or growing older home windows? (You get the image.)

The time period “window therapies” refers to a broad class of merchandise which might be designed to dam, scale back, or higher handle gentle coming in by way of the home windows, whereas additionally offering various ranges of privateness. They will also be an integral a part of a house’s decor and inside design. Curtains and drapes, for instance, do the entire above.

And whereas we’re speaking terminology, we must always point out that regardless of typically getting used interchangeably, curtains and drapes will not be the identical factor. Right here’s what to know concerning the distinction between curtains and drapes, and why it issues.

Curtains vs. drapes: The similarities

One of many causes for the confusion over the phrases is that curtains and drapes have fairly just a few issues in widespread, together with:

  • Each are material panels
  • Used to cowl home windows
  • Sometimes offered in pairs
  • Cling from a rod positioned exterior a window body

Curtains vs. drapes: The variations

Regardless of the similarities, there are distinct variations between curtains and drapes, together with:


  • Accessible in any size (together with reaching all the way in which to the ground)
  • Comprised of extra informal supplies like linen, wool, poplin, and cotton. Sheer curtains are sometimes made utilizing lace, muslin, or voile.
  • Are available a big selection of sizes, types, colours, patterns, and supplies, making them simpler to purchase “off the rack” (with out having them custom-made)
  • Gentle-colored sheer (or thinner) curtains are greatest for letting pure gentle right into a room


  • Cling from the highest of (or above) a window, all the way in which to the bottom (in some instances, with further material piling on the ground)
  • Comprised of stiffer, thicker, higher-end materials like silk, velvet, rayon, sateen, satin, and brocade (which make them really feel extra formal and opulent)
  • Include a lining (accessible in various ranges of thickness)
  • Extra often custom-made than curtains
  • Thick, lined drapes are greatest for blocking out pure gentle and in addition for insulating and lowering noise in a room

Why it issues

Again when most (or at the least a bigger proportion of) procuring was accomplished in particular person—the place you had the chance to the touch totally different materials and maintain them as much as the sunshine, and/or ask an actual, dwell human questions in realtime—it didn’t matter as a lot whether or not we paid consideration to the identify on the packaging. However now that much more procuring is completed on-line, it implies that the product descriptions and labels indicating whether or not window therapies are curtains or drapes are extra vital than ever.

Finally, understanding the distinction between curtains and drapes means that you can make extra knowledgeable selections about your house’s decor and power utilization. For instance, heavy drapes masking drafty older home windows may help scale back power prices. Equally, deciding on curtains or drapes based mostly on the quantity of pure gentle they permit right into a room might also aid you minimize down on the variety of hours every day you’ll want to depend on synthetic gentle.

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