Drapes vs Curtains: The Basic Difference

You might have heard people using the terms-curtains and drapes interchangeably. This is a common misconception even among several interior designers. But, in reality, there are several differences between these two window treatments.

Choosing either of the window treatments can change the feel and look of the room completely. The differences may seem trivial at first but if you choose the wrong window treatment for your room, it might not feel correct. Also, all the investment on the particular window treatment might also be lost.

In this article, we have discussed and tried to list all the differences between the curtains and the drapes. Hope you find the best match for your interiors and your home feels more like you.

What are Curtains?

Curtains are generally sold in the market in pairs. They are available in several widths and lengths. They can also be used on their own or they can be used over blinds. But, they are different from drapes in certain ways.

Curtains come in various kinds of patterns, fabrics, or colours. This feature makes the curtains much more popular than the drapes for any windows at your home. There are a wide variety of curtains from half-length sheer cafe curtains to medium-weight grommet curtains to very basic and simple one colour curtains.

You can choose the curtains from endless options. The shearer texture of the curtains makes them less effective in blocking the sunlight. This is why you have to use shades or blinds with them. Or, you can also use the curtains in spaces that do not need an effect of blackout.

The hanging mechanism of the curtains is similar to that of drapes. You have to first install a rod in the window frame. This rod can be hidden or decorative. Then, the curtains can be hung from the rods that are installed in the window frames.

What are Drapes?

The drapes are fabric panels that usually come with a lining and are sold usually in pairs. The lining might be light or heavy, depending on the required usage. The lining is used to block light from entering or letting in the light. They usually hang from the top to the bottom of the window.

They can be bought longer than the size of the curtains so that the puddling effect stays below the window. To hang the drapes from the top, the drapes are pleated at the top so that the hanging is easy.

There are several options from the box-pleats, sleek, simple to formal tuxedo, and intricate. All the drapes have their own attractive appeal. They are stiffer than the curtains. Also, they are harder than the curtains.

They are also sold in a custom size to fit the window dimensions. Drapes fit more to the formal and luxurious definition for their thicker and custom-made design than the curtains.

How to Choose the Correct Window Treatment

There are various things that you need to consider before choosing the correct window treatment. They are all listed below.

Basis Drapes Curtains 
Blocking out lightDrapes are more suitableHave to be used with blinds
To let the light inDrapes are less suitableCurtains are more suitable
To choose the middle optionDrapes do not work for thisCurtains can be used with blinds for this
To insulate or block noiseDrapes are idealCurtains are less suitable

Blocking out the light

If you want to block the sunlight completely from entering the room, you should opt for the thick-lined drapes. This makes it a popular choice for the private areas and the bedrooms.

To let the light in

The curtains come in several thickness options. They have sheer options that will let the light in. If you opt for a sheer curtain, the beautiful light will shine in the room. This kind of curtain will be flooded with glistening sunlight.

To choose a middle option between the two

If you like having the option of choosing an alternative option between allowing the light in sometimes and not allowing it sometime. If the curtains are used with blinds then this can be achieved easily. The blinds can be raised or lowered according to convenience. If the blinds are raised, then the curtains will allow the light in. similarly, if the blinds are lowered, then the light will not be let in.

To insulate or block out noise

Drapes generally have a thick lining and can extend from the top to the bottom. This feature helps to insulate the home and block the noise out of the home. The drapes which are made with polyester are the best option for insulation and reducing noise.

Final Word

To choose between the drapes and the curtains can be tedious. We have tried to list all the differences between the two. Also, we have tried to list the factors that must be considered before choosing between the drapes and the curtains. We hope that all the doubts are cleared between the two. If you still have doubts, do write to us. Come back later to find the answers regarding your doubts.