Difference Between Curtains and Drapes (With Table)

Home is the most comfortable and beautiful place for a living being. Especially humans, they find the utmost relief in their homes. This is also one of the reasons they do lots of things to decorate or treat their home in the best way possible. This includes cleaning, buying accessories, etc. When it comes to accessories, nowadays there are many options suitable for every type of person.

Among these accessories are curtains. They are used for the windows mainly to give them a beautiful and colorful look. There are curtains, drapes, shades, and blinds that can be used on windows or doors. The most common and confused among them are curtains and drapes. It is important to know their differences to make the best choice.

Curtains vs Drapes

The difference between curtains and drapes is that drape is made up of heavy and special fabrics due to which they are not recommended to be hand-washed, hence for cleaning the dry clean or steam cleaning has to be done which can be quite expensive whereas curtains are made from simple light fabrics that can be hand washed at homemaking is more affordable for long term use. Drapes are more likely to be seen at expensive places or more formal places, while curtains are seen at most of the houses and informal places. Heavy material gives drapes a definite structure that is absent in curtains. To open and close the curtain does not require many efforts, while drapes in some cases may require comparatively extra efforts.

A curtain is a piece of lightweight fabric used for covering windows mainly. It comes in several colors and patterns to give a more interesting look to the home. It is also used as a screen sometimes. It is mainly used for blocking the view, air, and sunlight; it cannot block them completely but partially. They can be put on easily and can be cleaned at home.

Drapes are also like a curtain, made from special and solid fabrics mostly, but they can be made from printed cloths/fabrics (exceptionally). It is used in high-end places such as restaurants or hotels. They can block the sunlight completely. But sometimes, they are made with fabrics that have to be taken care of gently and need require special treatment such as dry cleaning. They can also be quite expensive depending on the material used for the manufacturing.

Comparison Table Between Curtains and Drapes

Parameters of ComparisonCurtainsDrapes
FabricsLight material Heavier material
Mostly used for WindowsRooms
WashingIt can be hand washedDry-cleaning or steam cleaned
SunlightIt does not block it completelyCan block it completely

What are Curtains?

Curtains are a piece of material (fabrics) sold in sets. It comes in different sizes and patterns. It is a versatile choice for decorating the room and other parts of the house. Rather than the house, it can be used in any type of building to make it look more attractive. They are used as they give a proper height to the windows. It can also provide certain width and depth to the window. 

It can be hanged with the help of a hook and rods, presences of rods make it easier to close and open the curtains. It is easier to change them for washing or using new occasionally. There are many types of rods used for hanging them, most common being metal rings or grommets, etc. While designing a room or house, the color combination of curtains plays an important role, as odd colors can create a very disturbing or non-attractive view.

They are widely used for windows as most of them come in short lengths. And it does not stop winds completely but can be used for blocking the view.

What are Drapes?

Some people might be considered drapes a type of curtain, which is not true. They are a type of covering used for rooms or windows. They are different from curtains in many aspects. They are made from expensive and heavy fabric material, which gives them an expensive and classy look. They are used at formal places as it provides the beautiful yet classy look. They can be in different patterns, but mostly they come in solids. With drapes, extra care has to be taken as the material will get spoiled easily.  

They are mostly used in spaces where wind or sunlight needs to be blocked, for example, rooms; it can provide the perfect shadow or environment by blocking the sunlight, which provides the proper and deep sleep. They are pleated from the top and have a proper structure, like curtains. They are also hanged with the help of rods and hoops. Before buying certain things such as how to wash them, iron them or anything has to be cleared.

Main Differences Between Curtains and Drapes

  1. Drapes are considered to be more formal covering the reason behind this can be it comes in mostly solid making it look more formal while curtains are less formal than drapes and it comes in solids as well as in different patterns.
  2. The major difference between drapes and curtains can be the type of fabric used for manufacturing. For drapes, a piece of heavy fabric is used to give it a proper structure, while for curtains, the relatively lighter fabric is used to make it flowier.
  3. Both of them can be used anywhere in the home, but drapes are mainly used for the rooms, while curtains are mainly used for covering the windows. Drapes can be seen easily in places such as dining rooms or hotels, or restaurants, whereas curtains can be seen in homes’ windows, dormitory rooms, etc.
  4. Both of them have different lengths, drapes as mentioned above or used for rooms and hence has longer length whereas curtains are relatively shorter than the drapes.
  5. Drapes can be used for blocking the cold air and direct sunlight as it is made from heavy material whereas curtains are not used for the purposes it can flow with winds and can partially block the sunlight not completely.
  6. When it comes to taking down these, curtains can be easily changed in comparison as they are lightweight and short length while drapes are heavy and long. More effort is required for taking them down or changing them.


Therefore with all the above information and differences, it will be quite easy to make the best choice among them. They are highly confused as both of them have some work and similar appearances. These terms are used interchangeably by many interior designers that are the major root for the confusion.

Every household has a curtain on its windows, but for a different person, there are different choices in this aspect as well. And it also depends upon the overall look or color of the house which one should be chosen. While it does not matter for many people, still few give so much importance to these minor details.


  1. https://trid.trb.org/view/89200
  2. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/tsaconf/76/
  3. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/intellect/eme/2017/00000016/00000001/art00005
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