7 Shower Curtain Alternatives that Beat Cheap Vinyl

Shower curtain alternatives

Tired of boring vinyl shower curtains? Or maybe you’re looking for something more sustainable? Regardless of why you’re looking for shower curtain alternatives, we’ve got seven options that will beat cheap vinyl every time.

Shower curtain alternatives include hemp, cotton, shower blinds, sliding doors, pivot doors, bamboo panels, half screens, and open showers. Each alternative has it’s own benefits and drawbacks and the one you choose depends on your personal situation.

Now, you could go out and start searching for these alternatives on your own. But, we’ve got them all broken down right here for you. All you have to do is keep scrolling and take a look at our list.

7 Shower Curtain Alternatives

There’s a couple of things you should probably know before we get started.

First, you should know what size of shower curtain that you need. Although we don’t have time to go into that here, we have another article that takes you through it step by step here.

Another thing you should consider is why you’re replacing your shower curtain. Do you want a more eco-friendly alternative? Are you remodeling your bathroom and want a more modern looking shower?

There are alternatives in this list that work with certain types of showers and there’s some that will really only work if you’re already remodeling your bathroom. Keep that in mind while you’re deciding which alternative is best for you.

1. Hemp

Bean Products Hemp Shower Curtain (See on Amazon) *we receive commissions on qualifying purchases

Hemp is becoming a more popular alternative to plastics and cotton because of its sustainability and eco-friendly nature.

A hemp shower curtain doesn’t require the use of a liner and effectively keeps the water in your shower without one. But, because of this, it needs to be washed more frequently than other shower curtains.

Hemp is also machine washable as long as you wash it on cold. If you wash it on warm the curtain may shrink. But, the next time you shower, the shower curtain should stretch back out when it gets wet.

Hemp is naturally mold resistant but it can be prone to mildew.

There are two things you can do to prevent mildew. First, you can wash your shower curtain regularly, once every couple of weeks. Second, after you shower, open your shower curtain and pull the bottom outside your tub so that it can dry completely.

Hemp is a great alternative if you’re looking for something chemical and plastic-free, but it does require more care than a regular shower curtain.

2. Cotton

mDesign Cotton Shower Curtain (See on Amazon) *we receive commissions on qualifying purchases

A cotton shower curtain is another good alternative. This type of shower curtain gives a natural appearance along with softness and strength.

Cotton shower curtains are machine washable in cold water but they need to be hung up to dry otherwise they will shrink. If you get a cotton-polyester blend, the shower curtain is less likely to shrink in the washing process.

It is recommended to use a plastic liner with this shower curtain since cotton by itself is not water repellent.

If you’re looking for a homey, natural-looking shower curtain with no plastics, then a cotton shower curtain is a good option. Just be careful when washing it to prevent shrinkage.

If you’re considering getting a hemp or cotton shower curtain to replace your old one, you may want to check out our article about how to recycle and/or reuse your old shower curtain. You can find that article by clicking here.

3. Shower Blind

Jakooz Rollup Shower Blind (See on Amazon) *we receive commissions on qualifying purchases

A new modern concept for your shower is a shower blind. This is basically a shower curtain that rolls up similar to a window blind.

It rolls down to the desired length for your shower and then when it’s not being used, it can be returned to its housing and be completely out of the way.

This is a great alternative if your bathroom looks best without a shower curtain hanging such as with a stand-alone tub.

A shower blind is also useful if you use your tub a lot for baths, especially for baths for kids or pets.

Before you roll the curtain back up into its housing, you need to make sure it’s 100% dry or else mold and mildew could grow within the metal housing.

If you have hard water, you could easily stain this shower blind which may ruin the aesthetic, but, it’s still a great way to keep your shower curtain out of the way when you don’t need it.

4. Sliding Shower Door

Woodbridge Sliding Shower Door (See on Amazon) *we receive commissions on qualifying purchases

A sliding shower door slides, imagine that. This is a great option is you want to get rid of your shower curtain and rod completely.

A sliding door can be installed on both walk-in showers and traditional shower and tub combinations.

If you’ve never installed anything like this before, it would be a good idea to have a professional come and install this for you.

This is especially important if you’re getting one installed on top of a tub because the seal to the top of the tub must be waterproofed properly.

A sliding door can provide a modern appearance as well as the benefit of being low maintenance. However, if you have hard water, you will have to clean it more often because of scum build-up.

5. Pivot Shower Door

DreamLine Pivot Shower Door (See on Amazon) *we receive commissions on qualifying purchases

A pivot shower door is one that swings open like a regular door (instead of sliding).

These types of shower doors are best if you have a walk-in shower and aren’t typically used for the traditional shower and tub combo.

They can be made of both plastic and glass, but glass is more common. They give a modern feel to your bathroom and can be textured for privacy.

Because this is more expensive, you probably won’t pursue this style unless you’re remodeling a bathroom or already have a pivot door installed.

The glass doors can build up with scum if you have hard water and so will need to be cleaned regularly to keep the modern appearance.

6. Half Screen

DreamLine Half Screen (See on Amazon) *we receive commissions on qualifying purchases

A half screen kind of gives you the benefits of a sliding door without having to slide it.

It’s a permanent fixture that covers half of your shower.

It prevents the water from getting onto the floor and allows you to get in and out without having to slide a door back and forth.

This is a great alternative to both shower curtains and doors. It gives a sleek modern appearance but also gives a minimalist look.

As with the other glass door options, this panel will need to be cleaned regularly if you have hard water to keep it looking sharp.

7. Open Shower

Shower curtain alternatives

This is something that you probably don’t want to try and do unless you’re remodeling your entire bathroom.

An open shower is a shower that’s designed to work without the need for any kind of shower curtain or door.

The shower is built on an angle to allow all the water to drain into a central drain in the bathroom. This makes it look very modern and minimalist.

Because there’s no doors or curtains, you don’t have to worry about cleaning scum off of the glass or washing your curtains.

But, because of the way it’s designed, this kind of shower cannot be built with a tub attached. If you don’t want a tub or don’t use one, then look into this option.

While this is a great alternative if you want to get rid of shower curtains and doors entirely, it does require the right kind of shower design and will require major remodeling if you aren’t already set-up for it.

Do you need a shower curtain?

Most showers will need to be used with a shower curtain, or at least a liner. The purpose of a shower curtain and liner is to prevent water from splashing onto the floor. This can be accomplished by only using a shower liner. However, using both a curtain and liner give additional benefits.

Can I use a cotton shower curtain without a liner?

Using a cotton shower curtain without a liner is not recommended. A cotton shower curtain can grow mildew if it remains wet for long periods of time. A liner helps to prevent this from happening. However, a hemp shower curtain can be used without a liner because it dries quickly after use.


Leslie has lived in tons of different places that were all in different states of repair. She has experience remodeling and replacing just about everything in a home including the roof. When she's not working on a project, Leslie blogs about home improvement tips to pass on her knowledge to others.

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