Fact Checked

What are the Pros and Cons of a Cotton Shower Curtain?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

A cotton shower curtain can add color and style to a bathroom, but it's not as formal as some other types of fabrics. Another disadvantage, or con, of many cotton shower curtains is that they tend to wrinkle easily, as they are a natural fabric rather than the less wrinkle prone polyester blends. A strong advantage, or pro, of these shower curtains can be their fresh, natural elegance over the sometimes cheap-looking synthetics.

For example, striped cotton shower curtain styles tend to look more touchable while they brighten a bathroom than polyester and synthetic versions in general. Besides this quality in their favor, cotton fabric must be pre-washed before it's used as a shower curtain or it may shrink and no longer fit the showering enclosure. Cotton shower curtains also may require even more maintenance as they may need ironing after laundering, while synthetics tend to be more wrinkle-free.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

One con in using cotton terry as shower curtain material is that it can look like towels. This can be soft and absorbent, yet look unattractive and too towel-like since most bathrooms have terry towels hanging or folded on shelves. A pro of using a gauze cotton shower curtain rather than a terry cloth style is that the rustic, loosely woven fabric can look elegant in a rough, natural sort of way. A con though is that a liner is necessary underneath due to the light weight of the fabric, and this tends to dull much of the textured look by hiding most of the woven detail. If the liner is plastic, the natural appeal of the gauze is also lost.

A cotton gingham shower curtain, with it's overall pattern of tiny squares, has the pro of being an ideal look for a country-themed bathroom. This kind of cotton shower curtain, which is often available in accent colors such as pink, orange, blue and red adds both color and pattern to the bathroom. Another pro of using gingham for a shower curtain is that even a plastic liner in a matching color can still look fun. Additionally, window curtains made from the same color of gingham could also be used in the bathroom.

Although it could be considered a pro that cotton is available in so many varieties, a con is that many of them may look strange for a shower curtain. For instance, although its softness and neat lines of pile look attractive, cotton chenille is associated with bedspreads and may not be the best shower curtain choice. A cotton denim shower curtain may also appear rather odd even though as window curtains this fabric can look smart.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


As most things when it comes to your home and style - it comes down to personal preference. If you have a very casual look, a cotton shower curtain may be a perfect fit. If you have more of a classy theme, you would probably prefer an elegant looking shower curtain.

There is really no right or wrong when it comes to something like this. There are so many styles, colors and fabrics to fit every decor and budget that it shouldn't be hard to find what works best for you.


I have never used a cotton shower curtain, but saw an organic shower curtain online the other day. It was a basic looking shower curtain in neutral tones, but I don't think I would spend the extra money for something like this. I usually don't like a wrinkled type look, and don't think I would want it in my bathroom either. I can understand using recycled material to make shower curtains, but don't know if I would go to the extreme of having an organic one.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Woman holding a book
      Woman holding a book