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Best cheap curtains 2023: Affordable window coverings from £29

Now you can dress every room of your home with a set of stylish drapes

Curtains are a year-round wonder, keeping your home cosy in the cooler months, and blocking out the heat of the sun when the weather becomes warmer. However, they’re not always affordable: opt for made-to-measure curtains cut from plush fabrics, and kitting out a whole house could run into the thousands. Whether you’re moving into a new house and on a tight budget, or you want to refresh your home without splashing the cash, cheap curtains are the answer.

Buying cheap curtains can sometimes mean compromise, however, so we’re here to help you get the best out of what’s on offer. Our buying guide reveals the key factors to consider when choosing a set of cheap curtains, while below that you’ll find our selection of some of the best cheap curtains you can currently buy.

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Best cheap curtains: At a glance

How to choose the best cheap curtains for you

How much does size matter when choosing cheap curtains?

When it comes to choosing a set of curtains, there’s a huge choice of materials, patterns and colours on offer; but the one thing you’re likely to be restricted by is size. Most cheap curtains come in set dimensions, with only a handful of sizes to choose from. In some instances, none of these might match your window opening precisely.

In this case, it’s best to choose longer rather than shorter – just make sure they don’t sit at the top of a radiator, preventing heat from diffusing around your room. Longer curtains can make your window look larger and more luxurious, too, especially if they “pool” on the floor. We’d also suggest going wider rather than narrower, since it’s better to have full-looking curtains than ones that allow light to peep through at the sides or centre.

Of course, the main benefit of opting for curtains that are longer and wider than you need is that you can have them altered to fit your needs. Prices can vary, though, so check the cost of alteration services before you buy your curtains.

What else do I need to consider when choosing cheap curtains?

  • Features – A lower price can mean your curtains will have fewer desirable extras as standard, such as blackout linings, the option of matching tie-backs, or a choice of headings. Most cheap curtains will likely feature a traditional pencil pleat heading, although you’ll also find eyelet curtains that need a curtain pole. Of course, if you’re combining your cheap curtains with another window treatment such as blinds, they can offer a great opportunity to add colour and pattern without having to worry about leaking light.
  • Materials – While there are some cheap curtains made entirely out of cotton, it’s more common to find poly cotton mixes at the affordable end of the market. However, improved manufacturing processes have allowed for a wide choice of options to become available, with pocket-friendly velvets, prints and vibrant shades also on your list of choices.

READ NEXT: The best blackout curtains

How much should I spend on cheap curtains?

Cheap curtains can cost as little as £20 a pair for the smallest sizes in polyester, but begin to creep up as their size increases. Plain designs tend to be more common at these lower price points, but it’s possible to find pretty patterns if you shop around. Cotton curtains tend to start at a slightly higher price, around £30 per pair.

The best cheap curtains to buy in 2023

1. Peacock Floral Pink Eyelet Curtains: Best cheap curtains for a bedroom

Price when reviewed: From £35 | Check price at Dunelm

Feminine without feeling fussy, these pretty peacock-patterned curtains are a perfect choice for your boudoir. That’s because not only are they lined, helping to protect your furnishings – and their pattern – from fading, but they also feature an elegant velvet trim on the leading edge. Available in a good choice of widths and drops, there’s sure to be a set to suit the size of your window or, with the longer lengths, create a covetable floor-sweeping effect.

Also available is a coordinating cushion – just right for scattering across your bed or on a statement chair. Of course, if you’re fitting these curtains from scratch, their eyelet style means you’ll need a curtain pole, too, so you may have to factor that into your budget.

Key specsMaterial: Cotton; Sizes available: 9 (W117 x D137/182/228cm, W168 x D137/182/228cm, W228 x D137/182/228cm); Colours available: 1; Heading: Eyelet

Check price at Dunelm

 2. Argos Home Crushed Velvet Fully Lined Eyelet Curtains: Best cheap curtains for a luxury feel

Price when reviewed: From £30 | Check price at Argos

Whether you choose delicate pink or more neutral shades of grey, these crushed-velvet curtains are sure to make an impression. They bring a lot to the table: a metallic shine combined with a tactile fabric, plus they’re fully lined, making them great for temperature regulation in a living or dining room all year round. In addition, their eyelet style means they’ll hang easily and evenly without any bunching.

Like all eyelet styles, you’ll need a curtain pole, potentially increasing your window dressing budget. Plus, since the curtains have silver eyelets, you may need to coordinate the pole with them. However, for a little affordable luxe, they offer great value.

Key specsMaterial: Polyester; Sizes available: 3 (W117 x D137cm, W168 x D183/228cm); Colours available: 3, pale pink, charcoal, grey; Heading: Eyelet

Check price at Argos

3. Woodland Friends Curtains: Best cheap curtains for kids

Price when reviewed: From £34 | Check price at Happy Linen Company

So cute you’ll want a pair for yourself, these patterned curtains come with a beautifully illustrated animal design that coordinates across the company’s lampshades, throws and bedding ranges. There’s even a toy storage bag to match. Unlike some cheap kids’ curtains, these are fully lined – to keep bedrooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter – and include matching tiebacks. They also offer multiple mounting options; they can be hung on a track, pole or rings.

Perhaps the only downside is that you get only two sizes from which to choose. While the drop of 183cm on the larger size affords some shortening options, if you have a wider window to cover, you might be out of luck.

Key specsMaterial: Poly cotton; Sizes available: 2 (W168 x D137cm, W168 x D183cm); Colours available: Multiple other patterns; Heading: Pencil pleat

Check price at Happy Linen Company

4. Woven Striped Pencil Pleat Curtains: Best cheap curtains for a coastal look

Price when reviewed: From £31 | Check price at Marks & Spencer

Few things are as classic as a blue and white striped curtain, instantly evoking the sound of crashing waves and invigorating salty air. The pocket-friendly price of these curtains is equally refreshing, allowing you to bring some coastal charm to any room in your home. A good choice of sizes means they’re as suited to a bedroom as they are a living space; they’ll even add character to patio doors. Even better, they’re lined, so you don’t have to worry about their jaunty colours fading.

Perhaps a little frustrating is the fact that even though they’re 100% polyester, dry cleaning – rather than just popping them in your washing machine – is recommended.

Key specsMaterial: Polyester; Sizes available: 5 (W117 x D137cm, W168 x D137/183/229cm, W218 x D229cm); Colours available: 1; Heading: Pencil pleat

Check Price at Marks & Spencer

5. Linear Stem Room Darkening Eyelet Curtain Pair: Best curtains for a designer look

Price when reviewed: From £56 | Check price at Wayfair

Dark colours are perfect for adding a cosy feel to any space – and you can strike just the right note with these stunning Charcoal curtains. Finished in one of Orla Kiely’s iconic prints, they’re perfect for introducing a bold shot of mid-century charm. Also in their favour is that they’re available in a whopping 10 sizes – meaning that whether your window is big or small, you’ll probably find a pair to suit. The largest size – W229 x D274cm – is especially suitable for dressing French doors.

These curtains also come with a coordinating cream Linear print lining; but you’ll need to factor in the cost of a coordinating pole – and be aware that they’ll need dry cleaning to keep them in top condition.

Key specsMaterial: Poly cotton; Sizes available: 10 (W117 x D137/183/229cm, W168 x D137/183/229cm, W229 x D137/183/229/274cm); Colours available: 1; Heading: Eyelet

Check price at Wayfair

6. So’Home Cosy Check Lined Eyelet Curtains in Red: Best cheap blackout curtains

Price when reviewed: From £29 | Check price at La Redoute

For those who favour a traditional look, checks are the way to go. These lined blackout curtains don’t just tick the box for affordability, they’re also great at keeping out unwanted light. Another bonus is that they’re low maintenance – any grubbiness and they can be popped in the washing machine on a delicate cycle for cleaning.

There’s also a good choice of sizes, so you can hang them in almost any room, from a home office to a lounge, and a matching cushion. And should their red colourway feel a little too bold, there’s a more neutral grey on offer, too. Just note that their eyelet design means you’ll need to purchase a coordinating pole.

Key specsMaterial: Polyester; Sizes available: 8 (W117 x D137/183/229cm, W168 x D137/183/229cm, W229 x D183/229cm); Colours available: 2, red and grey; Heading: Eyelet

Check price at La Redoute

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