Which blackout curtain rod is best?

One in three American adults aren’t getting the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. This can have drastic effects on your day-to-day life and put you at greater risk for chronic illness. One way to ensure that you get a good night’s rest is by eliminating ambient light. Blackout curtains are a popular solution to this problem, casting your bedroom in total darkness so you can slumber peacefully like a bear in hibernation. But these special curtains use heavy fabrics that can cause your standard curtain rod to sag.

You’ll want a special curtain rod for blackout curtains that can accommodate these hefty fabrics. The best is Sun Zero Bronn Wrap-Around Window Double Curtain Rod.

What to know before you buy a blackout curtain rod

What are blackout curtains

Blackout curtains are specially made to block out light. The tightly woven, double-lined fabric is not only great at making your room completely dark, but also helps to save on energy costs. These prevent harmful UV rays from damaging floors and furniture while providing an insulating barrier between your home and your windows.

Hanging blackout curtains

Blackout curtains are heavy, so they require sturdy curtain rods to prevent sagging. In addition to the weight, you’ll also want to make sure the rod is long enough to accommodate your curtains. If you’re covering a particularly large window, look for curtain rods that come with center brackets. 

Types of curtain rods

  • Decorative: These are the standard curtain rod that uses brackets to mount to your wall. You can either get them in a single or double formation. The latter is perfect for blackout curtains, as the secondary rod allows you to hang lighter or sheer fabric. This way, you’re not blacking out your room when you just want a little privacy. Make sure these have a high enough weight capacity for your curtains.
  • Traverse: These sturdy curtain rods have hooks on a track that allow you to pull your curtain rod with ease. This design is the best at spanning long distances as additional brackets don’t obstruct the curtain rail. 
  • Wrap-around: These curve so that they mount directly to your wall instead of using brackets. This lets you pull your curtains all the way to the wall, making them an excellent pairing for blackout curtains as they block light that might leak out the sides.
  • Swing arm: Used for fixtures that open in the middle, such as French doors or café windows, swing arms have a single mounting point on a hinge so that each can open with your window..
  • Tension: The preferred rod of renters and bathroom decorators, tension rods are great if you don’t want to damage your drywall or tile. You’ll need lightweight blackout curtains if you’re using a tension rod, as these don’t hold as much weight and can fall if used roughly. 

What to look for in a quality blackout curtain rod

Length

The standard window size is 24 by 24 inches. But you’ll want to measure before choosing the curtain rod that’s best for your home. Allow for 3-5 inches on either side of the window so your brackets have adequate room to mount. Square that measurement off by mounting 3-5 inches above your window frame so you’re blocking out as much weight as possible.

Weight capacity

Curtain rods hold about five to 25 pounds. This should be sufficient to hold up your blackout curtains, which can weigh anywhere between one to 20 pounds. Remember that curtains are usually sold as single panels, so double the weight when purchasing. 

Material

Curtain rods are typically made from either wood, plastic or metal. The type you choose depends on your personal aesthetic. Raw, unfinished woods can look good in boho or mid-century modern interiors, whereas brushed metals can add a touch of class to modern and contemporary decor. For vintage, antique or classically inspired homes, you’ll want to opt for a finished material.

Finish

Finishes are a great way to add a little flair to your curtain rod. Artificially weathered curtain rods, such as antique brass, have a rich, dark patina that looks great with luscious color palettes. A weathered-white finish on a wooden or metal curtain rod can be the perfect detail to achieve that country home or beach house look. And a simple black finish is a sophisticated accent to just about every interior design scheme.

Finials

Finials are the removable caps on the end of your curtain rod. These typically come with your curtain rod, but you have to screw them on. Common finial shapes are balls, cylinders and squares. A more decorative finial will have lots of low-relief detailing and embellishments, whereas a modern finial will use this shape in its simplest form and instead substitute an alternate material, such as polished brass finials on a black curtain rod.

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

Curtain rod prices depend on the length and material. You can get a budget rod for anywhere between $10-$35. High-quality materials, complex rods such as doubles and traverses as well as longer curtain rods all cost $80-$200.

Blackout curtain rod FAQ

What do I do about light coming in from above the curtain?

A. If you have the space, you can hang your curtain rod higher than the recommended 3-5 inches above your window frame. This can help cut down on the amount of light that gets through, especially if you use a wrap-around. Another option is to install a window valance, which adds an extra, decorative curtain above your standard drapes. 

What do I need to install a blackout curtain rod?

A. At minimum, you’ll need anchors, a level, a measuring tape and a drill. Anchors are crucial. Drywall can only hold about one pound, so you’ll want to ensure that your brackets are adequately supported. If you’re lucky enough to have studs that line up with your window frame, a wood screw and a stud finder can replace the anchors.

What are the best blackout curtain rods to buy?

Top blackout curtain rod

Sun Zero Bronn Wrap-Around Window Double Curtain Rod

Sun Zero Bronn Wrap-Around Window Double Curtain Rod

What you need to know: With a refined yet industrial look, this wrap-around curtain rod works in tandem with your blackout curtains to block out light.

What you’ll love: The textured piping aesthetic of the Sun Zero rod pairs beautifully with modern homes. It has a double-rod construction so you can hang blackout curtains with sheer or lighter weight curtains. You have a choice of black or polished pewter. It’s sturdy with a weight capacity of 25 pounds and comes in two telescoping length ranges.

What you should consider: Some users report that pocket curtains don’t slide as well on this rod.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top blackout curtain rod for the money

Decopolitan Urn Telescoping Double Drapery Rod Set

Decopolitan Urn Telescoping Double Drapery Rod Set

What you need to know: Featuring an elegant black finish with gold-detailed urn-shaped finials, this Decopolitan curtain rod adds a touch of class to any room.

What you’ll love: The ornamental brackets artfully accommodate two rods for the mixed use of sheer and blackout curtains. There are eight total finishes and four different sizes to choose from, including single-rod packages. 

What you should consider: Spacing between the two rods isn’t big enough for large curtain grommets.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Art Decor Kontur Wood Nonadjustable Single Traverse Window Curtain Rod Set in Chocolate with Vintage Brass Endcap

Art Decor Kontur Wood Nonadjustable Single Traverse Window Curtain Rod Set in Chocolate with Vintage Brass Endcap

What you need to know: Understated brass end caps and a smooth wood finish set this beautiful traverse curtain rod apart from the rest.

What you’ll love: Seamlessly integrating a curtain-hook track, Art Decor dramatically upscales the standard traverse curtain rod. There are a number of different end-cap colors to style your home. And the rod is made from sturdy, quality materials all the way down to the steel brackets, so you won’t have to worry about your curtains’ weight. 

What you should consider: Given its quality, this rod comes at a significantly higher price point than the other options. 

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.