The Best Shower Curtain Liners, According to Our Tests
If you don't have a shower door, you need a shower curtain and liner. A shower curtain adds privacy and style, while a liner keeps water from traveling outside your shower. Although this is a product that tends to lack variety, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't do a little bit of research before you buy.
In fact, the type of material you choose, the weight, and the ease of cleanliness will drastically impact your overall shower experience. We considered all these factors and more when we purchased 14 shower curtain liners to put through our tests, rating each on design, durability, and overall value.
Our top choice, the Gorilla Grip PEVA Shower Curtain Liner, is made of durable PEVA plastic that remained odorless throughout the time we tested it. It also includes weights at the bottom that successfully keep it in place while showering. Plus, out of all our top picks, it has the most sizing options.
Read on for all of our picks and to learn more about what makes a great shower curtain liner.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall Shower Curtain Liner: Gorilla Grip PEVA Shower Curtain Liner
- Best Splurge Shower Curtain Liner: Quiet Town Sun Shower Curtain
- Best Heavy Shower Curtain Liner: BigFoot Shower Curtain Liner
- Best Fabric Shower Curtain Liner: Titan Fabric Shower Curtain Liner
- Best Snap-On Shower Curtain Liner: Hookless Escape Fabric Shower Curtain and Liner Set
- Best Decorative Shower Curtain Liner: Simply Essential Square Dot PEVA Shower Curtain
- Best Shower Curtain Liner Set: Brooklinen Linen Shower Curtain Set
- Best Standalone Shower Curtain Liner: Bathage Shower Curtain
Best Overall Shower Curtain Liner: Gorilla Grip PEVA Shower Curtain Liner
Best Splurge Shower Curtain Liner: Quiet Town Sun Shower Curtain
Best Heavy Shower Curtain Liner: BigFoot Shower Curtain Liner
Best Fabric Shower Curtain Liner: Titan Shower Curtain Liner
Best Snap-On Shower Curtain Liner: Hookless Escape Fabric Shower Curtain and Liner Set
Best Decorative Shower Curtain Liner: Simply Essential Square Dot PEVA Shower Curtain
Best Shower Curtain Liner Set: Brooklinen Linen Shower Curtain Set
Best Standalone Shower Curtain Liner: Bathage Shower Curtain
The Gorilla Grip Shower Curtain Liner is our top choice overall for its low price, strong and odorless PEVA material, weighted bottom, and multiple size and color options. If you prefer fabric shower curtain liners, we recommend the Titan Fabric Shower Curtain Liner, which is waterproof and has stylish design, plus is machine washable.
Our Testing Process
We tested 14 different shower curtain liners, evaluating them based on design, ease of cleaning, durability, and overall value. We also took into account the material type, weight of the liner, and the number of sizes available. We gave each category a score of one to five, one meaning it performed poorly in that category and five being that it performed best. We took these scores into account and used them to come up with the best shower curtain liners.
How to Shop for Shower Curtain Liners
Shower curtain liners are usually made of water-repellent materials such as polyester (for fabric liners) and plastic, most often polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). All of these materials are durable and water-resistant, so they will certainly get the job done at making sure water does not escape out of your shower and onto the floor. However, there are key differences consumers should be aware of.
PEVA and EVA are chlorine-free and contain much lower levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) than PVC, another type of plastic commonly used in shower curtains. If you want a plastic shower curtain liner, it's best to stick with PEVA or EVA varieties. If you want to avoid VOCs and plastic altogether, go for a polyester liner.
Weight is also important for shower curtain liners, due to the phenomenon of the shower curtain liner gravitating and sticking toward you while in the shower. The best way to remedy this annoyance is to buy a thicker and therefore heavier shower curtain liner, or a shower curtain liner with weights at the bottom to hold the liner down. If liners don't have those little weights, check the gauge, which measures how thick a shower curtain liner is. Shower curtains that have a gauge that is less than four tend to be flimsy, while those with gauges higher than eight tend to be thick. Guages 10 or more are the thickest, and as such, the heaviest on the market.
The standard size for a shower curtain liner is 72 x 72 inches, but there are other sizes available as well. The best thing to do before you buy is to measure your shower from the height of the bar where the curtain liner will be held to the bottom of the shower. You don't want to get a shower curtain that is too long as you might run the risk of tripping on it while showering, and it'll take longer to dry. If it's too short it will not be effective at making sure the water stays within your shower or shower/tub combo.
One of the biggest perks of having a polyester shower curtain is that when it gets dirty, you can simply throw it in the washer and dryer. You can sometimes put your plastic shower curtain liner in the washing machine unless otherwise stated on your liner's care label, but it's probably best to hand wash. If you go that route, throw the liner in the washing machine with baking soda and one to two towels, which will prevent the plastic from getting wrinkled during the washing cycle. If you hand wash, you can create a DIY spray mixture using baking soda and vinegar, or, for a deeper clean, use an enzyme stain remover spray or soak it in an oxygen whitener.
More Shower Curtain Liners to Consider
Liba Shower Curtain Liner: The major downside of this shower curtain liner is its strong smell, which reminded our tester of nail polish remover. Aside from the odor, the liner did a good job at sticking to the sides of the shower and was described as "lightweight without being flimsy."
Crate & Barrel White Shower Curtain Liner with Magnets: This Crate & Barrel shower curtain liner has lots of weights at the bottom to help the liner stick to the shower. However, our tester found that it took twice as long to dry as other liners, and didn't feel as durable as the competition.
Stuffits Vinyl Shower Curtain with Mesh Pockets: The idea of adding storage pockets to a shower curtain is good in theory, but it has some flaws. The pockets are difficult to keep clean, making them ripe for mold or mildew growth. Plus, there is a chance that the shower rod may not be able to hold up the weight of all the stored items, especially if they're heavy. Despite these concerns, the quality of the liner is very good.
Maytex Norwich Textured Fabric Shower Curtain Liner: While the thinner material allows for more light to enter the shower, it does feel flimsy. Unlike most shower curtains or liners, it does include the hooks, so this is still a good budget-friendly option.
Questions You Might Ask
Can you use a shower curtain liner without a curtain?
You absolutely can. Having a shower curtain to accompany your liner is done for aesthetics and privacy, since most liners are transparent. Many modern liners, especially colorful or patterned options, are made to be used on their own. If you have a tub/shower combo, just be sure that your liner is dry before draping it outside the tub.
Is there any feature that helps prevent my shower curtain liner from blowing toward me while I shower?
Yes. This annoying phenomenon can be remedied by buying a shower curtain liner made with heavier fabric, and/or one that has little weights or magnets sewn into the bottom. Depending on the weight of the shower curtain liner, you may still get the liner moving toward you, so it's best to buy a heavier liner to prevent this from happening.
Are shower curtain hooks included with shower curtain liners?
Generally, no. It's important to remember to always buy shower hooks with your liner.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Rachel Center, lifelong aficionado of all things home and a product reviews home writer at Real Simple. After evaluating dozens of shower curtain liners on the market, we tested 14 best-sellers in our Lab and judged them on quality, ease of cleaning, durability, and overall value.