Which bay window curtain rod is best?

Bay windows are gorgeous architectural features. Prized for how they illuminate interiors, this kind of window also makes a cozy nook to place a desk or fill with pillows. Because of their odd shape, however, bay windows can be tricky to hang curtains in. 

Whether you’re trying to block out excess light or want the decorative flourish of accenting drapes, you need the right kind of rod. The best curtain rod for bay windows is Rod Desyne Bay Window Double Curtain Rod In Satin Nickel With Finial.

What to know before you buy a bay window curtain rod

How are bay window curtain rods different?

Bay window curtain rods are multipiece fixtures designed to conform to the trapezoidal or arced shape of a bay window. These are comprised of three or more telescoping rods that connect via adjustable hinges so they can conform to the shape of your interior. The rods hang over your window openings.

Number of windows and curtains

A typical bay window curtain rod is designed for three windows and hangs four curtains. The middle two curtains perform double-duty to cover the center window, and the outer two cover the side windows in full. Depending on your bay window’s design, you can get rods designed to traverse double and triple center windows, or even curved alcoves. 

Styling

Bay window curtain rods are designed just like regular curtain rods. With multiple materials, finishes and finial types, which you choose depends on your taste and interior. Warm metals and raw finishes with simple finials look great in modern and minimalist decors. Aged finishes with ornamental endcaps are the perfect embellishment in vintage or classically inspired interiors.  

Installation

Bay window curtain rods can be a little tricky to install. Like single-window rods, most bay window rods use brackets, but the bend in the wall can complicate things. For seamless installation, affix the brackets to the flat wall above each window.

In a standard bay window alcove of three windows, this means two brackets over the center window, and one each on the outer edge of the outside windows. Make sure you account for the hinge while placing them. Aim for the studs so they don’t fall from the weight of your drapes. If you can’t find any where you need to place the bracket, use properly weight-rated anchors. 

What to look for in a quality bay window curtain rod

Material

  • Metal: Metal is the most common curtain rod material, typically made from brass, steel, iron or nickel. These can have an aged, brushed or raw finish. They’re durable but heavier than the alternatives, and they often require brackets to install.   
  • Wood: If you’re after a natural look for your mid-century modern or boho interior, woods offer a softer appearance that looks great painted or raw. Like metals, you can get these aged for an antique feel. 
  • Plastic: This budget option can be made to mimic the appearance of woods or metals. Generally less sturdy than these materials, plastic is still useful because it’s easier to conform to odd shapes. For example, when it comes to bay window rods, plastic tracks offer a malleable alternative to other rigid materials.

Finials

Finials are the decorative endcaps that adorn the tips of the curtain rod. They come in such shapes as balls, squares, cylinders, cones, fluting and other ornamental flourishes. Which you choose depends on your decor, but in general, simple, unembellished finials look best in modern or contemporary interiors, whereas intricate and elaborate interpretations of these shapes look best among antique, rustic or classical decors. 

Size

While the standard window is 24 inches across, a bay window’s construction varies dramatically. Installation is made easier by the fact that most of the rod components of the fixture telescope so you can adjust their length. However, you should measure to be sure.

One way to get more coverage is to telescope the center rod out all the way and mount the two middle-wall brackets on the side walls instead. This pushes the side rods out further if they’re coming up a little short, but you have to be wary of weight with this method, as the lack of brackets on the middle wall can cause the center rod to sag. 

How much you can expect to spend on a bay window curtain rod

Because they involve more components, bay window curtain rods cost more than standard curtain rods. Expect to pay $25-$125, depending on the material. 

Bay window curtain rod FAQ

Can you use eyelet curtains with a bay window curtain rod?

A. Think of the bay window curtain rod as one long track. The corner brackets and hinges obstruct that track, which prevents you from pulling the curtain to cover two windows at once. While eyelets can be installed on this kind of curtain rod, you need to account for the side windows. A bay window rod is designed to cover these using a single panel that you pull from the outer edge in toward the middle.

Are there bay window curtain rods without obstructions?

A. Most bay window curtain rods use brackets and hinges to install. The challenge is the hinge at each end. If you want a seamless curtain path, your best option is to use a plastic track.

What’s the best bay window curtain rod to buy?

Top bay window curtain rod

Rod Desyne Bay Window Double Curtain Rod In Satin Nickel With Finial

Rod Desyne Bay Window Double Curtain Rod In Satin Nickel With Finial

What you need to know: Featuring a double-rod construction, this fixture allows you to hang blackout and sheer curtains.

What you’ll love: Light is one of the best features of bay windows, but sometimes you want a middle ground between blackout and wide open. This type of curtain rod not only has sturdy brackets for heavy drapes, but also a rod in the back to hang sheer curtains so you can dim the room while still getting plenty of daylight. The center extends from 38-72 inches, and the sides from 20-36 inches. You can get this metal fixture in antique brass, black, cocoa and satin-nickel finishes.

What you should consider: This rod is on the pricey side.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Top bay window curtain rod for the money

Decopolitan Bay Window Curtain Rod In Oil Rubbed Bronze

Decopolitan Bay Window Curtain Rod In Oil Rubbed Bronze

What you need to know: This curtain rod offers a classy finish on a budget.

What you’ll love: With unembellished, classically inspired finials, this is a versatile curtain rod for both contemporary and ornamental interiors. It covers 36-72 inches in the center and 18-36 inches on either end. Made from metal, it’s available in four finishes: black, white, antique silver and oil-rubbed bronze.

What you should consider: The brackets stick out pretty far, so consider pairing your curtains with roman shades if you’re sensitive to light. 

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Worth checking out

Meriville Bay Window Curtain Rod Set For Bayview Windows

Meriville Bay Window Curtain Rod Set For Bayview Windows

What you need to know: Made in the French-return style, these are an excellent set of curtain rods for light-sensitive users.

What you’ll love: Great for privacy and blackout curtains, the design of this rod curves flush into your wall. The bracket-less mount lets you pull the curtain all the way around to the gap between your wall and the rod. The center rod extends from 38-72 inches and the sides from 20-37 inches. You have your choice of light and dark finishes among pewter, satin-nickel and oil-rubbed bronze.

What you should consider: Some users found that when fully extended, the telescoping rods can be a bit flimsy. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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