What are the Pros and Cons of Sheer Curtain Panels?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Sheer curtain panels are delicate window or glass coverings made of somewhat transparent materials. They may serve to bring a light, breezy feel to a room, or serve as an additional layer of concealment under heavier curtains.

Sheer curtains let light into a room.
Sheer curtains let light into a room.

Price can be an excellent advantage of sheer curtain panels. Typically far less expensive than traditional curtains, panels are found at nearly every home decor or home supply store, and can be easily ordered online. The low cost of many types of these panels allows the smart decorator to have the option of changing them frequently; some people have several sets that can be switched out seasonally, turning a summery sage into a fiery autumn orange into a lovely pine green for the holidays.

Sheer curtain panels are often easy to install and fit to any window size. Many simply hang on a central bar much like a shower curtain, though more elaborate models may have pleats or draping. Most come in standardized sizes, making it easy to choose the right fit by a simple measurement. If no exact fit exists, the simple design of a panel can allow it to be easily cut and re-hemmed to suit a custom or unusually sized window. Redecorating by adding sheer curtain panels can be the work of only a few minutes, and may change the look of a whole room.

Though breezy and casual alone, sheer curtain panels can add drama to a room by providing a multi-layered effect under regular curtains. By creating a curtain set that can pull back or be tied off to reveal the sheer panel, a more formal and color-coordinated look can be achieved. Having a dual layer of curtains also allows more light to spill in by pulling back only the top layer, or allows more heat to be retained by closing both layers.

The cons of sheer curtain panels depend on the situation. As they are made of light fabrics, they are very poor insulators and may allow rooms to grow much hotter in warm weather or chillier in cool weather. This may be a problem for those with poor insulation systems to begin with, or for those who try to reduce heating and cooling costs by mitigating insulation problems.

As they are sheer, the panels do not usually provide much privacy. While this may not matter in a kitchen or living room, sheer panels in a bathroom or bedroom may be a problem for some. This matter is often solved by using a second layer of thicker curtains to provide additional privacy.

Sheer panels are also not very good at blocking out light. This may be a blessing to sun lovers, but for anyone trying to watch television during the day, it may become a glare nightmare. Avoid placing sheer panels in rooms where low light may be necessary, such as in a television or computer room.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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Discussion Comments


@talentryto- I have a friend who has stainless steel appliances in her kitchen, and she has black sheer curtain panels on her windows. They give the room a dramatic look, and go perfectly with the colors of her appliances.

The only problem with black sheer curtains is that black is not a popular curtain color, so they may be difficult to find. If you would like to check out your options, you should probably go to a store that specializes in home decor, because a retail store most likely will not have black sheer curtain panels in stock.


@talentryto- Depending on the shade of your blue walls, I think that sheer curtain panels in lighter or darker blue would look great in your modern kitchen. Pairing blues will contrast and compliment the room.


@talentryto- I think that sheer curtains will look great in your kitchen, which sounds like it has a contemporary design. To compliment this look, I think you should choose white sheer curtains. These basic panels won't clash with your beautiful appliances that are most likely the focal point of the room.


I have a large window in my kitchen, and I am thinking about putting sheer curtain panels over it. I'm wondering how to match my decor, which consists of blue walls and stainless steel appliances.

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