What is the difference between drapes and curtains?

You may think this a trick question. After all they’re both made up of material that covers the window, right? The terms curtains and drapes often get used interchangeably and that might be because as far as most people are concerned they do the same thing. But actually, there are some subtle but important differences that we’re going to share with you.


Drapes are the classic nobleman of the two, usually they signify opulence because of their weightier, thicker make up. They are usually made of heavier material and are lined. This makes them good for keeping out the light and even drafts from the window. As well as being made of a denser material, they are usually use more material as they are pleated and gathered. Drapes also tend to hang all the way to the floor, unlike curtains.



Distinctively curtains are generally lighter and can also be lined. In recent years blackout lined curtains have become increasingly popular. Not just for night workers who need to get their z’s in the day, but for families that have difficulty keeping their baby and small children asleep past 5 am. Or simply anyone who wants to be woken by their alarm, not the sunlight.


Curtains can be short and reach the bottom of the window. In larger room curtains that reach the floor often give a more fitting look to the size of the room. Long cut, lined curtains can be a great middle ground to meet both blocking out light and drafts as well as decorating the room and providing a stylish finish.

Should you get curtains or drapes?

Ultimately this comes down to you and the purpose and style you want to create. Curtains can usually be opened to reveal the full width of the window to allow all the light in when you want it and close fully to shut it out when you don’t. The material is usually much lighter texture and easier to manipulate and position. Drapes have heavier material but also more of it. This can mean that they may need to be tied back when they are open. In this case they don’t fully expose the window, which is intended to create the feeling of luxury.

Most people look for the balance of practicality and design. Modern, simplistic, uncluttered design and fashion has meant that drapes aren’t as popular as they once were. You will find them in restaurants and hotels that convey an element of luxury.


Whether you decide to opt for curtains or drapes both will offer a good way to keep out the light and make an impact on the design and look of any room. Often classed as a finishing touch the correct design can have a big impact on the overall look and feel your trying to achieve, as well as potentially help you get a bit more shuteye by extending your morning sleep.

Contact Abbey blinds and curtains and our mobile showroom will come to you.


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