Expert Advice

Interior Designers Have Spoken—These Are Hands Down the Best White Curtains

They make or break a space.

By Megan Beauchamp
Camille Styles white curtains.

Finding the best white curtains for a space is easier said than done. It involves navigating a sea of inconspicuously named shades of white (think: ivory, bone, pure white, off-white), considering weight (how sheer is too sheer?), and selecting a perfect length that hits a Goldilocks ideal of being both not too short, but also not too long. 

Camille Styles home tour white curtains.

The Best White Curtains, According to Designers

The stakes for getting it right are surprisingly high. The ideal white curtains will make your space feel bright and inviting versus smaller and darker than it actually is. To help narrow the search, we asked some of our favorite interior designers to tell us which white curtains they buy over and over again. And they did not disappoint.

Keep scrolling to find out which white curtains get the pros’ stamp of approval.

Kerry Vasquez Sara Tramp home with white curtains.

Restoration Hardware Italian Textured Weave Drapes in White

Los Angeles-based interior designer Kerry Vasquez swears by pleated white curtains from Restoration Hardware. “The quality is top-notch, the weight of the curtain is sumptuous, and the way the curtain falls is just right,” she explains.

“I am a big fan of contrast, so when hanging white curtains I usually opt for black wrought iron hardware like the Antique Bronze Hardware Collection at Pottery Barn,” she adds. “I am also a fan of hanging curtain rods closer to the ceiling than the window if space permits!” 

One mistake Vasquez sees too often is people buying curtains in the wrong size. “Many times, clients end up getting curtains that are too small and make the room and windows appear smaller than they actually are,” the designer explains. When in doubt, opt for the longer version.

Shaun Crha Charlotte Lea Photography

Everhem Drapes in Bone Essentials with a Pinch Pleat

If you’re ready to ditch those IKEA curtains you’ve had forever, Shaun Crha, principal designer and founder of Wrested Interiors, recommends opting for custom drapes. “Everhem is fantastic for upgrading from the big box store curtains since they make it so easy to get all the measurements and proportions right,” he says. “My go-to is their bone fabric with a pinch pleat.”

According to Crha, one add-on is 100% worth the extra money. “I always recommend getting lined panels if you want them to last longer because exposure to UV light really takes a toll on fabric,” advises the designer. Especially if you’re hanging curtains in a sun-drenched dining room, like the one pictured here, or a living room that gets an exceptional amount of light. 

Hot tip: If you’re hanging curtains in your bedroom, Crha recommends a tried-and-true installation technique. “Try a French return rod if you like a classic look and you want to stop that stream of light from hitting you in the face when you want to sleep in,” he says.

Isabella-Patrick-Shannon-Dupre home with white curtains.

Pottery Barn Custom Emery Linen Curtain in Ivory

Designer Isabella Patrick recently purchased these ivory curtains for a client who didn’t want to spend a ton on custom shades for her rental apartment. When it comes to selecting the right white curtains, Patrick recommends considering the undertones of the shade and keeping your space’s entire color palette top of mind. “This Pottery Barn option—when properly installed and styled—lifts up the room and lends to the whole upscale and warm vibe,” she tells us.

So, how do you properly install curtains? “A good rule for hanging is to install the hardware wider than the frame of the window, and don’t be afraid to go way beyond the window frame to create the illusion of a bigger window,” explains the designer. “The same goes for hanging height. You can go a few inches—or more—above your window frame to create that larger window illusion, but also to offset a ready-made curtain length that may be too long.”

Becky Shea Jake Shea dining room with white curtains.

The Shade Store Ripple Fold Drapery in White Linen

New York-based interior designer Becky Shea is partial to white linen curtains from The Shade Store. But in a very particular style. “My absolute favorite drapery style, without a doubt, is the ripple fold drape,” reveals Shea. “The cascading folds of a ripple fold drape embody timeless, quiet luxury.”

She also advises hanging curtains so they create a ¼-inch puddle on the floor. “It lends the drapery a more sophisticated look and feel,” she explains. “My biggest no-no is hanging drapery at the trim of a window or above the floor—never, ever do this. At a minimum, the drapery should kiss the floor, and ideally, it should puddle ever so slightly.”

Threshold™ Light Filtering Farrah Window Curtain Panel

“I’ve purchased an embarrassing amount of curtains over the years in my quest to find the perfect style, and I think I finally found ‘the one,’” says Carrie Waller of her go-to white curtains. One major selling point for Waller is that they’re sheer, but not too sheer. “These lightweight curtain panels look opaque but allow just the right amount of light to filter beautifully through,” the founder of Dream Green DIY explains.