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Shower Curtain vs Shower Door: Which One is Right for You

Elevating your bathroom’s style and functionality starts with a simple choice: shower curtain or glass shower door?

This decision impacts more than just aesthetics – it affects maintenance, safety, and durability.

This guide will help you weigh the pros and cons of each option to find the perfect fit for your bathroom.

shower curtain vs shower door

Shower Curtains

Shower curtains are usually made of polyester, linen, cotton, nylon, or a combination of these materials.

shower curtain

Typically partnered with a shower curtain liner, they prevent water from splashing onto your bathroom floor.


  • Shower curtains can help you create the desired aesthetic

If you have a bathroom that is mainly made of elements that have a hard, solid, or rigid feel, shower curtains can help temper this aesthetic.

It can soften surfaces and give your bathroom a more welcoming ambiance.

Shower curtains are also the easiest and most cost-effective way to give your bathroom a new look.

If you want to add a pop of color or freshen the space up with a new print, a new shower curtain will instantly add more personality to your bathroom.

  • Clean up is easy

Shower curtains can be washed or replaced at the very first sign of staining or mildew.

When purchasing a new shower curtain, choose a machine-washable one that can be easily cleaned at home.

  • Affordable

You can find shower curtains that are as affordable as $10.

Although there are more expensive options available depending on the material and brand, it is still more common to find a shower curtain around $50 rather than $150.

If you are remodeling your bathroom on a tight budget, choosing a shower curtain is a decision that can help you save considerably.

  • Shower curtains are kid and pet friendly

If you have small children or pets, it is more convenient to push the curtain aside to help them with bath time.

  • Ideal for family members with mobility problems

When you are taking care of someone with a disability or mobility issues, a shower curtain would be a more convenient enclosure to have, since you can easily sweep the curtain to the side to assist them bathing.

  • Great for hiding clutter

If you are like most people whose shower is not always immaculate, having a shower curtain can help you hide some of the clutter when you need to.

Your shower curtain can help conceal old tiles, shower products, and toys for when guests arrive or whenever you want to keep them out of your sight for a while.

  • You can pick from so many options

If you want a photo of your favorite bird or a group of dolphins on your shower curtain, a quick search online would most likely get you a bunch of recommendations.

You can also find a lot of choices in discount bins or designer stores, get one that is sheer or opaque, or choose one from the many cloth and vinyl options.


  • They require frequent maintenance

While shower curtains can easily be washed or replaced, they provide the best conditions for mold and mildew development.

To prevent long-term issues with mold and mildew buildup, you need to wash and clean them frequently.

  • Shower curtains can make your bathroom appear smaller

Shower curtains can block the light stream coming through your bathroom.

Since light is a major factor in opening up your space, dark-colored and heavy curtains can make your bathroom look smaller and darker.

  • Vinyl shower curtains may be harmful to your health and the environment

Vinyl curtains are made of materials that contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC), volatile organic compounds, organotins, and DEHP, which is a suspected carcinogen.

These toxins are harmful to your health and the environment.

If you have children at home or someone very sensitive to these chemicals, it may cause nausea, headaches, and respiratory problems.

In severe cases, these toxins may cause kidney and liver damage, as well as impair central nervous system function.

Some companies have discontinued PVC curtains due to its adverse effects.

However, some retailers still sell them at stores, so make sure to check the label carefully before making a purchase.

  • They don’t last forever

Wear and tear may cause your shower curtains to breakdown. After frequent use, you may notice rips and stains.

That may be a sign that it is time to replace your shower curtain.

  • Shower curtains do not increase the resale value of your house

Most people bring their shower curtains when they move into a new house.

Even though a nice shower curtain will make your bathroom look more appealing to potential buyers, they do not factor much into upping your home’s value.

Glass Shower Doors

Shower doors keep water from leaking to your bathroom floor while showering.

shower door

They are typically made of tempered glass, laminated glass, or laminated tempered glass.

While some shower doors are sheer, others are made up of material that makes them opaque to provide privacy.


  • Shower doors give you a full enclosure

Shower doors or sliding panels fully prevent water from escaping onto the bathroom floor.

  • They make your space feel bigger

Glass shower doors allow for the light in your bathroom to flow continuously.

If you have a smaller bathroom, a glass door is ideal, as it takes up less space and makes it feel roomier.

  • Shower doors complement bold bathroom decor

If you made bold choices such as graphic tiles, fancy sink features, or paneled furniture, a shower door is a simple fixture that will not compete with all the other design elements.

  • Shower doors are easy to clean

Most glass shower doors come with a squeegee that can be used daily to keep the mold and mildew from developing.

Make this quick wipe down a habit after every shower and you won’t have problems with stain and bacteria buildup.

Some glass doors have a special coating that keeps dirt and limescale from accumulating.

  • Glass doors are an eco-friendly option

Shower doors don’t contain chemicals that are harmful to humans or the environment.

They also last for years even with little maintenance and will not require frequent replacement.

  • Shower doors can increase the resale value of your house

They can showcase your shower and make it look more appealing to prospective buyers.


  • Shower doors are expensive

They can set you back a few hundred dollars to more than $1000.

If you plan on renovating your bathroom, a glass shower door can also cost you more in terms of materials and labor.

If you want to give your bathroom a quick and inexpensive makeover, a shower door may not be the best option for you.

  • You might need to have them customized

Factors such as the slope of your floor or how your shower head is positioned may require shower door customization.

Make sure you communicate any feature of your bathroom that is out of the usual to your shower door provider and those who are working on your bathroom.

  • Glass shower doors may not give you enough privacy in a shared bathroom

Some types of glass doors are too sheer for use if you are sharing your bathroom with others.

Before making a purchase, make sure to check the opacity of the material.

If you have the opportunity to see it in person, do so.

If not, ask for photos in different settings as light can affect the opacity of glass.


Whether you are building a new bathroom or just looking to give your existing one a makeover, you need to weigh each of the advantages and disadvantages of a shower curtain compared to a shower door before making a decision.

Now that you know the pros and cons of these two options, it will be easier for you to choose which one fits your bathroom and your lifestyle better.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

We work closely with qualified experts and follow a thorough editing and fact-checking process before publishing content.

Published content is regularly fact-checked and revised so that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date.

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