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While glass walled showers are all the rage these days, many bathrooms still require the use of a shower curtain. Particularly if you call a tub-shower combo your own, there are preciously few alternatives to the old classic.

While making use of a rod to suspend your shower curtain of choice seems to be a very boring solution from a bathroom-design point of view, there are quite a few choices you have at your disposal to add your personal touch to the system.

You will need to employ some type of connectors in order to hang your shower curtain, and this is where the option to design and customise comes into play. 

Basically, you have two types of connectors to chose from: rings and hooks.

Curtain rings, as their name suggests, are a type of connector that encircles the curtain rod completely. Some shower curtains come with pre-attached rings, other types allow for using your own set.

Many of us still remember the oftentimes stuck or jamming curtain rings of our youth, resulting in a battle of wills before even the first drop of water hit our skins. Those problems usually were the result of cheap plastic rubbing against even cheaper plastic, the situation not helped along by the moist atmosphere. These days, shower curtain rods often come in metal, or are at least coated with a metallic surface substance that allows for better slippage. Additionally, you can optimise the handling by investing in rings with incorporated roller glides. This option tends to be a bit more pricey, but they easily make up for it with ease of use and durability.

Curtain hooks, on the other hand, are simply hooked over the supporting rod and typically are the more stylish choice. Many curtain hooks come with stylishly adorned clips that are used for fixing the curtain to the hook. These clips can be as simple or extravagant as you want, and typically you won’t have any problems finding the right decorations to perfectly underscore your bathroom’s design theme. 

There is an additional third choice of connector type, which is basically a combination of both ring and hook. In this option, the hook, or clip is attached to a ring, which in turn secures the curtain to your shower rod.

The range of choice for shower curtain connectors is incredible, as a short stint at your local home supply retailer will undoubtedly show you. But don’t fret!  We have done the research for you and have collected the most popular types of shower curtain connectors below.  Bear in mind, though, that this is but a small selection of types and designs, and can only give you a basic overview, but in no way represents all styles available!

Classic Rings

Plastic Shower Rings
Photo: Robert Green

The most basic and traditional style of shower curtain connectors. 

They typically come in either plastic or stainless steel, and have some sort of claps or twist closure allowing for a small opening to insert the curtain.

The simple fact that each ring is a closed system is the biggest advantage of this classic connector type. No matter how quickly or forcefully you tug on the shower curtain, there is little to no possibility of the curtain coming lose. 

On the downside, rings, and plastic rings in particular, can have difficulties with a seamless, jerk-free glide. In extreme cases, this can result in tears in the fabric, or -seldom, but not unheard of- parts of the curtain ripping free from the rings. 

Using stainless-steel/metallic options for both rod and rings minimises the chance for jerking and stalling. Investing in robust curtain fabrics helps to ensure integrity as well. 

Rings with Roller Glides

Metal Rings with Roller Glides
Photo: Crate&Barrel

Roller glides, basically, are tiny balls anchored around the top part of a curtain ring that help to make moving each individual ring easier.

As you can see in our example picture, curtain rings do not necessarily come in an actual circular form. Indeed, they seldom do when enhanced with roller glides. In order to prevent the top-heavy rings to slip down, most curtain rings with added gliders taper down into an elongated oval-ish shape for added stability. 

Rings with roller glides are the perfect option if you want the resilience of curtain rings, but are too impatient to deal with the occasional jamming. They typically are the more pricey option, but their ease of handling more than makes up for the slightly elevated price. Invest in a durable stainless-steel option, and enjoy the added comfort for years to come!

Basic Hook

Basic Metal Hook
Photo: SlipX Solutions

Hooks are the more stylish, and not coincidentally more versatile option of shower curtain connectors. 

Essentially, hooks do just what their name hints at – they are hooked over the curtain rod. As you can imagine, this type of fixing the curtain to the rod is a bit more unstable than using rings. Hooks, generally, do not hold up too well in face of excessive force. When there’s too much jerking, there’s a good chance that one or more hooks will jump free from the rod. The same goes for too quick movement of the curtain as well.

However, when used sensibly, hooks definitely are the better, more aesthetically pleasing option, and offer you a wide range of types and designs.

There are basically two ways in which the shower curtain can be affixed to the hook: via a clip, or by threading the hook through an eyelet in the fabric, whereby the curtain is held in place by some sort of stopper or ornament at the base of the hook.

Additionally, you have the choice between single and double hooked. If you want to hang a liner behind your shower curtain, the double hooked solutions are the best way to go. This option, also, offers quite a bit more stability, since the weight of the curtain(s) is distributed on both sides of the hook, holding it down in the process.

Hook with Roller Glides

Hook with Roller Glides
Photo: Orchard Supply Hardware

Just as with shower curtain rings, some hooks come equipped with rollers that allow for a greater ease of movement.

This variation can be found on all types and styles of hooks, so don’t feel like you need to limit your choice when you want to opt for more ease of motion.

Hook with Stopper

Hook with Round Stopper
Photo: HomesFeed

This is the most basic form of hooks.

The lower end of the hook flares out into a bigger shape (typically something spherical) that serves to stop your shower curtain from slipping off the hook.

Many of these stoppered hooks are made out of stainless steel or other metals, giving an overall unified impression.

There are, however, more elaborate forms that have acrylic or glass baubles attached to the hook itself. Those serve very well to add colour to your bathroom and generally hold up to strain and the damp environment equally well as their metal counterparts. 

Hook with Ornament

Hook with Flower Ornament
Photo: Zulili

In all honesty, once you go the ornament way, the sky’s the limit!

The hook and ornament combo can and does come in endless shapes, materials, and sizes.

At its most basic, the end of the hook flattens out to a disc, which may or may not be adorned with a flat stone, etchings, or other restrained embellishments. At its wildest… well, let’s just say that we have seen everything from (comparatively tame) seashell collections to all out Christmas ornaments made of ribbons, mistletoe, and baubles… 

If it fits your bathroom, your shower curtain, your mood, your style, or your brand of humour, we say: go for it! 

Hook with Clip

Hook with Clip

The hook and clip combo is the perfect solution if you want to cut back on the struggle to find shower curtains that come with the right sized perforations to fit your rings or hooks, or tend to frequently change your shower curtain.

This option is very flexible, but comes with the downside that the clips tend to have trouble to withstand a lot of tugging. If you have lively children holding on to the curtain, for example, this might not be the ideal solution for you. 

Ring and Hook/Clip Combo

Ring and Clip Combo with Roller Gliders

If you want the best of both worlds, a ring – hook/clip combination is your best course of action.

There are a variety of combinations to chose from, giving you the opportunity to find the best solution for your bathroom!