Shower Door or Curtain: Which is Better?

Shower doors and shower curtains are two of the most common methods used to enclose a shower-bath combo. While the shower curtain offers flexibility, ease of use, and has a wide variety to pick from, the shower door is cleaner and keeps the water within the shower area. 

Shower doors are better than shower curtains since they are easier to clean and maintain, increase the home value and save on the long-term costs. On the other hand, shower curtains are easier to replace and are more affordable. Shower doors are better as a permanent bathroom enclosure.

Shower Door or Curtain

Shower Doors vs. Curtains

If you are contemplating about getting the shower door or curtain, the factors to consider are as follows:

Shower DoorShower Curtain
Has less variety and options when it comes to décor hence less aesthetic appeal.Offers a wide range of colors, patterns, and materials hence higher aesthetic appeal.
More hygienic as it’s easy to clean and maintain.Less hygienic since it’s easy to clean and maintain but has more health risks.
Higher functionality since it has a solid barrier that keeps rogue waters at bay while containing the water and moisture.Less functional since it’s a cheap and practical way to contain water and moisture.
The initial cost is high but is an investment as it is long-term.The initial cost is lower but is costly over a long period due to frequent purchases.
Increases home value as it acts as an accessory.Has no impact on home value.

Aesthetic Appeal

Most people tend to prefer the shower door as compared to curtains when it comes to designs and décor. Having the door does not hide or blur the shower tile and also leaves the room feeling more spacious. However, having a shower curtain allows you to change them giving you ease for when you want to explore or diversify your bathroom décor. 

Hygiene and Cleaning

They both require proper care and sanitization as anything used to contain a shower is at risk of mold, mildew, and hard water spots. Although shower curtains can be washed at home while vinyl can be wiped down, stains can still be left depending on how bad the mold or mildew was. Shower doors are easier to clean since all you have to do after a shower is wipe them down and wash them regularly. You can clean shower doors with vinegar, WD-40 or other commercial cleaners.


Both shower curtains and shower doors do a decent job of keeping water inside the shower stall. A properly installed door gives a solid barrier against rogue water droplets while curtains give more ease when you are helping a young one or the aged with bath time. 

However, there are other factors such as the floor slope and shower head placement that affect functionality.

Shower doors and curtains also differ in the following ways:

  1. Customization 

When it comes to customization, the door is preferred as it can be made to fit your shower area since it can be cut and added to completely and perfectly fit it.

  • Ease of use

Having sliding and swinging shower doors is simpler as they pull and or slide the door to shut. Also, there is nothing more cringe-worthy than the clammy feeling of a damp liner brushing against your skin when using shower curtains.

Impact on Home Value

Having a shower door acts as an accessory and makes your bathroom more appealing especially to prospective buyers. In this way, it increases your market value. With shower curtains, most people tend to get them personally as compared to the already installed ones or worse used ones. They thus don’t create an impact when it comes to value. 


Shower curtains offer more diversity and boldness when it comes to colors, texture, and patterns. From bold patterns and colors to plain colors and geometric designs, to a material of your liking. Curtain doors don’t offer as much diversity as they are less colorful and rather plain.

Shower Doors

Shower doors are undoubtedly sophisticated, and give a feel of elegance and contemporary aesthetics. Most homeowners are installing shower doors due to their durability, effectiveness, clean and simple beauty.  


The advantages of shower doors in your bathroom include the following:

  • Aesthetically pleasing

Shower doors create a clean and open look especially for smaller bathrooms making them feel and look larger by making the entire room visible.

  • A wide variety to pick from 

Shower doors can be custom-made for your bathroom to fit your requirements, personal style, and space perfectly. This is an added advantage for bathrooms with unusual shapes and angles especially if you are limited on space.

  • Reduce/eliminate water splashed across the bathroom

A properly installed door gives a solid barrier against rogue water droplets, as it can be made to fit your shower area since it can be cut and added to completely and perfectly fit it.

  • Easy to clean

Shower doors are easy to clean as all you have to do is wipe them down after every use and you will be guaranteed long-term use.

  • Adds value to a home

Shower doors’ durability, design, and resistance are appealing features especially for potential buyers and can improve the overall value and net worth of a home.

  • Saves cost 

Shower doors, when properly taken care of, last longer as it does not need frequent changes or constant upkeep saving you on costs over time. 


The disadvantages of shower doors include:

  • Expensive

The cost of renovating or installing a shower door is quite high despite its long-term payoff. This is the case especially if your bathroom is uniquely shaped or has a tight space, as it will cost you even more.

  • Requires more space

For your door to be functional, it requires a significant amount of space to open or close. You can opt for a sliding one instead.

  • Frequent cleaning

If you aren’t keen on sanitization and taking care of the door, grime will accumulate quickly ruining the clear and spacious look of your bathroom. It then becomes a health hazard.

  • Less privacy

As shower doors are made of glass, they tend to offer less privacy as one can either see through a clear one or make out your body through a translucent one.

  • May explode

While this is not common, shower doors have been known to explode although it is unclear what causes this. While it’s a rarity, there are still chances of your door exploding. However, the risk of your shower door exploding is quite low and not a major consideration.

Shower Curtains

This is the traditional design for enclosing and protecting your shower while offering you privacy. They are crafted from materials like linen, are versatile, and can easily adapt into any bathroom aesthetic. 


The advantages of having shower curtains in your bathroom include:

  • Affordable

Shower curtains are quite affordable as the cheap ones cost close to nothing. They also don’t need any further labor, installation, or maintenance costs. 

  • More privacy

Shower curtains tend to be translucent and thick thus offering a sense of privacy, which is primary especially when taking a shower. They offer more privacy than a glass shower door in most cases.

  • Aesthetically pleasing

Curtains in the shower soften surfaces and temper with the whole bathroom outlook. They give room to be bold with color at minimum cost and can be changed easily whenever they wear out or you require something different.

  • Kid-friendly

Shower curtains are functional especial when assisting a young one or aged with bath time as it gives you more room to maneuver around.

  • Easy to install and maintain

They are easy to install due to their simple structure and come with components to ease the process. There is no labor or effort required especially since they are easy to clean and maintain. You can easily remove rust from shower curtain rods using aluminum foil and white vinegar.


The disadvantages of shower curtains include:

  • Need to be replaced often

If you are not keen on taking care and sanitizing your curtain every time you get it wet, then it will force you to have the inner shower curtain replaced every couple of months.

  • Frequent cleaning

Although shower curtains can be washed at home while vinyl can be wiped down, stains can still be left depending on how bad the mold or mildew was. There is nothing more cringe-worthy than the clammy feeling of a damp, soiled liner brushing against your skin.

  • Made of toxic substances

Shower curtains are made with PVC, a toxic substance that can cause headaches, respiratory issues, or even cancer. As such, vinyl curtains are often toxic to the household.

  • Makes the bathroom look smaller and darker

Since shower curtains don’t allow as much light through as shower doors, they make the room appear smaller and with less light. Besides that, they may appear crammed due to the gathers they may come with.

Which is Better?

While a shower curtain offers a more aesthetic and cheaper solution, frequent purchases, in the long run, become just as expensive. Shower doors have become preferable as they are more appealing: they give the room a more spacious feeling, easier to clean and maintain, give a solid barrier against rogue waters, and increase its home value. If you are contemplating installing one, the shower door is clearly superior to the curtain.

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