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Can Curtains Touch Radiators?

Can Curtains Touch Radiators?

Covering a window that is right above the radiator is hard since there is always the concern about whether you can cover the actual radiator or not.

Curtains can touch radiators as long as they are not made of flammable materials, but it’s always important to stay vigilant if any material is close to the radiator.

However, sometimes even the best kind of curtains fail when you have a radiator under your window. 

Radiators are used to warm up spaces, so you are also blocking the heat if you block the radiator with a curtain. The room will still heat up, but it will take more time and energy. This will also have an impact on your energy bills. 

When hanging curtains over a radiator, you need to think the whole thing through. You need to know the type of radiator you have to make sure that your curtain length can reach or cover the radiator safely. 

Types of Radiators 

1. Water Radiator

Water radiators don’t heat up as much as electric ones do. 

However, it’s still unsafe to hang curtains long enough to touch the radiator or fall in front of it. 

Water radiators may not cause a fire, but they can burn and disfigure the curtains.

2. Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are more efficient and also less bulky, making them more popular.

However, electric radiators heat quicker and with more intensity than water heaters, meaning there is always a chance your curtains will catch fire if they are hanging in front of the radiator or resting directly above it.

The other thing to consider besides the type of radiator you have is the type of curtain.

Fabric Curtains & Radiators

Light and flimsy materials like linen and cotton are highly flammable, so they are definitely not to be used right next to radiators. You can’t hang cotton or linen curtains near your radiator as there is a high chance they might catch fire. 

If you want to add fabric curtains, choose the thicker fabric. It will block some of the sunlight, but it doesn’t catch fire as easily as the lighter ones do. 

Hanging curtains over a radiator is a risk, but you can minimize the risk by taking the right steps. Apart from the curtain fabric, you should also be mindful of the length of the curtains. 

curtain lenght

Length of The Curtains Over The Radiator

Full-length curtains look the best over any window, they are also ideal for high the ugly radiator, but there is always a risk of fire when you hang curtains right above or over a radiator. 

The risk is minimized if you have a water or steam radiator, but there is still a slight chance a fire might happen. 

If you have an electric radiator, the length of the curtains matters even more. The space between the radiator and the window ledge matters here as well.

If there is a big gap, you can lengthen your curtains, but if there is no or less gap between the two, you will need to shorten your curtains

Electric curtains heat up quickly; compared to water radiators, there is a big chance your curtains may catch fire when placed near electric radiators. 

There are a few ways you can still add floor-length curtains to your room despite the radiator underneath your window.

You can also pair floor-length curtains with shades!

Using Roller Shades with Radiators

You can pair your floor-length curtains with roller shades to keep the sunlight levels optimal in your room. 

You can open and shut the roller shades throughout the day as you see fit. This keeps the window treatment practical and aesthetic simultaneously. 

Using Stationery Curtains with Radiators

You can also pair up stationary curtain panels with wooden blinds. 

The amount of light can easily be controlled with the adjustable wooden panels, and the stationery curtains will add style and chic to your room. 

Staying Safe with Curtains and Radiators

Now that you know close or far the curtains should be from your radiator, you can do a couple of things more to keep the risk at a bare minimum. 

Hang the curtains in rooms that are used often, so you will notice if anything goes wrong immediately. 

Moreover, have a small but effective fire extinguisher at hand all the time in case of an emergency.

If you are vigilant enough, you can have your curtains near the radiator without issues.

Conclusion to If Curtains Can Touch Radiators

Curtains are allowed to touch radiators, but you have to be vigilant about what type of curtains you have and how that can impact the space. Flammable materials should never be used as curtains when they’re near radiators.

Some thicker materials can work, but it’s important to keep an eye on the room where the radiator is to make sure you notice if something goes awry immediately.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.