The $24 Drill-Free Hack That I Swear By for Heavy Drapes

published May 14, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Living room with sage/olive colored walls, gallery wall, black credenza, 2 peach armchairs with throw pillows, gray patterned rug, gray wardrobe/cabinet, patterned floor to ceiling curtains, sofa with patterned throw pillows, glass and gold oval coffee table
Credit: Erin Derby

Curtains get tricky when you’re renting. It’s hard to decide whether it’s really worth drilling into the wall, only to have to remove it all and fill the holes later on. Further, the hardware is not exactly something you can take with you from place to place — it might not fit the windows of your next home. Still, there’s no doubt that curtains are necessary, above all in your bedroom. If you don’t wait to be woken up before your alarm every morning, blackout ones are essential.

My mom taught me the tension rod curtain-hanging hack a while ago. It’s renter-friendly and beyond easy (and doesn’t require a drill!). I used a cheap IKEA tension rod for years, and it did the job with my sheer, lightweight curtains. For context: I’m not a morning person. I assuredly don’t feel the need to rise with the sun. In retrospect, I’m not sure why I put up with see-through curtains for so long, but I’ve finally made the switch to light-blocking drapes that I absolutely love. The only catch? My flimsy tension rod couldn’t bear their heavier weight. So I took to Amazon and found a heavy-duty option that has thousands of five-star reviews. Read on to find out how it’s held up over the past couple of months.

What Is the ALLZONE Heavy Duty Tension Rod?

This rod is built to not budge. It has a built-in lock-in feature to ensure that it stays in place — unlike my old tension rod and most others on the market, you don’t twist it to secure it. Instead, it has a little metal ball that you can adjust and lock into one of the many slots on the rod, depending on your window’s size. It can support up to 30 pounds, helped along by the sturdy springs inside. The rod itself has a diameter of about an inch, and the grips on either end also make sure it doesn’t buckle under the weight of your drape. It also is compatible with any kind of surface, whether it’s wood on the window frame or tile walls in the bathroom.

Credit: Morgan Pryor

Why I Love the ALLZONE Heavy Duty Tension Rod

After having my old rods come crashing down over and over again, I was on the verge of finding my drill and accepting that I’d have to remove the hardware when I moved out. However, I decided I’d give them one last chance — but the twistable IKEA rods had to go. ALLZONE’s stood out to me most of all because of its locking mechanism. At first, I was worried that it would make installation more difficult, but it actually made it a lot easier and faster. Instead of having to adjust the rod repeatedly, I assembled and put it in place in a single go. In the weeks since, they haven’t slipped even a little bit in both of my windows, and if I wasn’t moving this summer, I would bet that they wouldn’t ever shift or fall. 

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m bringing these with me to my new apartment and all of the ones after. This tension rod is a must-have for any renter, and you can even use it in a doorway, on the patio, in the laundry room to dry clothes — grab two or three, while you’re at it.

Buy: ALLZONE 28-46 Inch Tension Rod, $23.99