Curtains buying guide

Curtains offer more than just privacy and warmth - the right choice of design and fabric can transform your home's style and complement the pre-existing aesthetic.

There is a vast range of different curtains out there that cater to a range of needs and preferences, including thermal curtains, blackout curtains, lined curtains, decorative curtains, bay window curtains or kitchen curtains. Fabric and colour are important considerations, you might want bright feature curtains that stand out against your walls, bold patterns, or a distinctive material that matches the upholstery of your furniture.

From draught exclusion to adding decorative flair to your home, keeping out the sun's rays to adding extra privacy, take a look at Tesco's buying guide to find the right curtains for you.

Choosing the right curtain

New curtains can dramatically change the look and feel of different rooms in your house for the better. Are you looking for decorative purposes, or to add extra colour and style to your home? Alternatively you might be seeking energy efficient curtains to help keep your property warm and cut down on heating costs. Or you might want a blackout curtain to keep the sun out of a bedroom window in the evenings or mornings.

Whatever you need your new curtains for, or if you are unsure whether to choose curtains over blinds, our buying guide provides you with all the information you need to find the right pair of curtains for you.

Thermal curtains

Even the most modern windows let out some heat, so with insulated thermal curtains you can ensure that this is kept to an absolute minimum. One of the main advantages of thermal curtains is that they can boost your home's energy efficiency by ensuring less heat escapes through windows, helping you to save money on your energy bills in the process.

Blackout curtains

We all need our beauty sleep, and the best way to make sure the early morning sun doesn't disturb your slumber is by choosing blackout curtains for your bedroom. Blackout curtains come in a range of styles, and are not necessarily black, so there is no need to sacrifice style for a longer night's sleep. The advantage curtains have over a blackout blind is that little light escapes at the sides meaning you can rest in total darkness should you wish to.

Voile curtains

Voile curtains offer a timeless elegance to any room. The thin material lets a great deal of light in while still protecting your privacy. Voile or net curtains are often used in the summer months, or as a second set of curtains during daylight hours.

Curtain headings

One of the defining features of any set of curtains are the curtain headings. These fasten the curtain to the track or curtain pole. Ranging from the traditional to the contemporary there are many different types of curtain heading. Read our guide to learn more.

Eyelet curtains

Eyelet curtains offer a modern look with an uncluttered and easy to use design. These types of curtains are also known as “chrome ring top” curtains due to the reinforced metal eyelets at the curtain heading. This lets the curtain pole easily slide through the curtain with little resistance making closing and opening the curtains easy.

Eyelet curtains just require a curtain pole and not a track or rail. The solid design is also ideal for thick and heavy curtain fabrics, as the chrome rings prevent any damage to the fabric itself.

Tab top curtains

The tab top in these curtains describes the fabric loops that hold the curtain pole. They offer an attractive and unique look as the gaps between the loops make a feature of the curtain pole.

Pencil pleat curtains

One of the most traditional styles of curtain, pencil pleats refer to the tightly bunched fold, which is attached to the curtain rail or pole. Pencil pleats offer an attractive classic look and can easily be made to fit over most window spaces cleanly and neatly.

Slot top curtains

Slot top curtains have one long loop that allows for the curtain pole to pass through. Slot top curtains are often made of lace or lighter fabrics.

Curtain length

Different lengths of curtain have different advantages and disadvantages. They also tend to be suitable for different rooms, so whether you want bedroom curtains, bathroom curtains, or kitchen curtains, here is what you need to know about curtain length:

Window sill-level curtains

These curtains sit around 1.25cm above the window sill to prevent wear and tear and to keep them clean. This means that they don't block as much light as other curtains, which makes them ideal for kitchen curtains or bathroom curtains, especially as an alternative to window blinds.

Mid-length curtains

Floor length curtains are ideal as lounge curtains or living room curtains as they give a luxurious feel to a room where you might sit with guests. The length lets them graze the floor, which helps cut out draughts as well as offering a theatrical finish that can easily complement the look of your home.

Curtain maintenance

Caring for curtains is a relatively simple affair. Heavy lined curtains may need dry cleaning, so make sure you check. However, unlined curtains should be machine washable without any problem. Voile curtains may need to be hand washed as they are more delicate.

Curtain tie-backs

Since curtains are a simple product, there are not a great deal of accessories that go alongside them. One extremely useful curtain accessory is curtain tie-backs. These offer an easy way to keep the curtains open and out of the way. Curtain ties can also add to the look of your window area and match any pre-existing colour scheme.

Another final consideration is whether you want to hang them on a curtain track or a curtain pole - this will influence which products are suitable. Curtains are a home essential, so make sure you measure the width of your windows, purchase a fabric that you like and get the right length and style for living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms.