Which wood curtain rod is best?

Wooden curtain rods make for a beautiful natural accent to any home’s interior decor. These hardy features can soften a minimalist design scheme or add a touch of luxury to elegant drapes and luscious upholsteries. There are a ton of woods and finishes to choose from when decorating your home. 

With its sturdy construction and ornate details, the best wooden curtain rod is the Classic Home 72-inch Single Curtain Rod in English Walnut with Finial

What to know before you buy a wood curtain rod

Types of curtain rods

There are many different kinds of curtain rods. Which you choose will depend on the size and shape of your window, as well as a few other factors. 

  • Single or double: These are the most common types of decorative curtain rods. They mount with brackets on either side of your window. You can either attach your curtain by the curtain’s hem or with rings.
  • Wraparound curtain rods: Also known as French-return rods, these curve the bar into the wall so that it mounts directly without a bracket. These allow you to pull the curtain all the way around for maximum privacy and light blocking.
  • Traverse rod: This is best if you’re looking for a curtain rod to cover super-wide windows. Traverses have a built-in track for easy curtain sliding. 
  • Swing arm: These rotate 180 degrees to work with French doors or cafe-style windows.
  • Tension rods: These spring-loaded curtain rods lock between two surfaces so you don’t have to drill into the tile or drywall. 

Types of wood for curtain rods

You’ll have your choice between hardwoods like oak, cherry, mahogany, walnut and maple or softwoods like cedar or species of pine. While hardwood is more durable than soft, your curtain rods won’t be seeing the same amount of use as, say, a couch. The one you choose comes down to which raw material you like the looks of best.

Finishes

If you’re looking to match your wooden curtain rod to your decor and don’t like the raw, unfinished look, opt for a finished rod. These are painted or lacquered with a coat of color, such as cream, black, white, gold or natural.

Styling a wood curtain rod

Wood is a classy, organic element sure to brighten up any room that you’re decorating. Oak, ash and walnut are all popular choices for midcentury modern and boho decor. Cedar looks excellent in modern takes on rustic, country living. 

Consider decorative aspects such as the finials and brackets. Fluting and ornamentation look best in classically inspired homes but might be a little loud for minimalist decor. In the latter case, consider understated finials or brass/copper end caps. This way, the material is the accent rather than the rod’s embellishments.

What to look for in a quality wood curtain rod

Length

When purchasing a curtain rod, you need to measure your windows. Most are 24 inches by 24 inches. And a double window will be 48 inches wide, and so on. But check the rod against your own measurements to be sure, especially if you’re covering a casement window or bay window. 

Most curtain rods telescope so that they can extend within a specified length range. You’ll want to err on the shorter end of that range to avoid sagging. A third, center bracket can help with structural rigidity. Remember to leave 3-5 inches on either side of your window for your curtain rod’s finials to show.

Finials

What kind of finials you choose is a matter of taste and decor. These decorative caps attach to either end of your curtain rod and typically add another one-half inch to 3 inches each. Classically inspired finials include such popular shapes as ball finials, pine cones, buds, pikes, square-urn shapes and hooks. More modern takes on the finial include simplified cylindrical, ball or square end caps. 

Weight capacity

Most curtain rods are capable of holding any curtain right off the shelf. The standard curtain rod holds about 5-20 pounds. That said, if you need a curtain rod that can hold blackout curtains or drapes, you’ll need to ensure that your curtain rod can bear that load. This means finding a wooden curtain rod with a weight capacity of at least 25 pounds to accommodate heavy fabrics.

Tension rods are particularly important. These can easily fall if your curtains are too heavy. A hearty pull or tug on your curtain can also be the straw that breaks the curtain rod’s back. 

How much you can expect to spend on a wood curtain rod

You can find a simple wooden curtain rod on a budget for about $25-$40. These are rare, however, and many are steel with faux wood finishes. If you’re looking for quality, authentic wood, expect to spend between $50-$120. 

Wood curtain rod FAQ

How do I hang curtain rods?

A. Your curtain rods will most likely come with brackets and sometimes even mounting hardware. If you’re hanging them in a location with studs (use a stud finder), you can either use the accompanying screws or your own wood screws. Drywall plaster is weak, so if you can’t find a stud, make sure to hang your curtain rods with anchors. 

What curtains go best with wood curtain rods?

A. Wood is a very versatile material that can elevate just about any color or motif. Lighter woods are currently more popular when paired with primitive or minimalist patterns. Darker woods are great for anchoring rich or dark solid-color curtains.

What’s the best wood curtain rod to buy?

Top wood curtain rod

Classic Home Curtain Rod in English Walnut with Finial

Classic Home 72-inch Single Curtain Rod in English Walnut with Finial

What you need to know: This stately wooden curtain rod is decadent with a royally ornate crown finial.

What you’ll love: It comes in three sizes with two finishes: “English Walnut” and “Historical Gold.” The five-piece set comes with two resin finials, two brackets and the rod. This is a sturdy curtain rod capable of holding up to 25 pounds.

What you should consider: The Victorian look of this curtain rod might not fit in with modern and contemporary decors.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Top wood curtain rod for the money

LTL Home Products Single Curtain Rod in Classic White finish with Finial

LTL Home Products 63-inch Single Curtain Rod in Classic White finish with Finial

What you need to know: Perfect for the home DIYer, this simple wooden curtain rod has all the trappings.

What you’ll love: This lightweight, budget-friendly wooden curtain rod comes in an off-white finish. If you’d like to apply your own finish, you’ll have to sand it down. The pole is long at 63 inches. So you’ll need to cut it down and predrill a new hole for the finial if it’s too big for your window. It comes with two finials and two brackets. It’s 1.1 inches in diameter and can hold 18 pounds. The understated look makes even the finish look good in contemporary interiors.

What you should consider: Users have found that the accompanying installation hardware is flimsy, so you should be prepared to buy your own wall anchors. 

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Worth checking out

Alcott Hill Wood Curtain Rod

Alcott Hill Wood 1.375-inch Single Curtain Rod

What you need to know: Bring a little sophistication to your little cottage or roomy classical home with this fluted, decorative curtain rod.

What you’ll love: Featuring a simple ball final with a touch of ornamentation, this curtain rod will pair nicely with a vintage or antique aesthetic. It’s available in three finishes: mahogany, heritage oak (a golden ocher color) and white. It comes in three sizes and is thick at 1.375 inches in diameter. 

What you should consider: The mounting brackets and finials must be purchased separately.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

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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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