Disposable Curtains VS Traditional Fabric Curtains

Disposable Curtains VS Traditional Fabric Curtains

There is an argument waging in the health care industry. It concerns the need to reconsider the type of cubicle curtains in use in many hospitals and other medical facilities. Like the argument of disposable diapers versus resusable ones, the issue is one that has ramifications on hospitals create a sterile, yet welcoming environment while protecting patient privacy. The issue focuses on what is better: the older traditional fabric curtains or the newer disposable curtains?

The Question

The question is “Which is better for use in a medical facility and other health environment? The answer will depend upon who you talk to. Other factors include environmental concerns, cost and value, and even specific application. What has sparked the debate is not so much a change in the hospital or a specific fad. The reconsideration of traditional fabric curtains is the result of the concern for sanitary improvements. With the spread of certain “superbugs” a very real threat to hospital patients, it is becoming essential to consider a solution that involves even the fabric of the privacy cubicles.

Traditional Fabric Curtains

Costs associated with include:

  • Manpower to take down and replace approximately every three months. This can be backbreaking and time consuming as it may take as much as 20 minutes to take down and replace these fabric curtains
  • Time spent in laundry
  • Time spent doing laundry
  • Cost of replacement of traditional curtains
  • Spares

More importantly than such overhead and daily or monthly maintenance costs is the price patients may pay. Fabric curtains have been found to be potent carriers of a variety of airborne bacteria. Some research indicated that traditional fabric curtains became tainted with bacteria in less than 7 days after being placed on their tracks.

This does not mean antimicrobial fabrics cannot be employed. They are being manufactured. It means the end of traditional curtains but indicates the dawning of new types of cubicle curtains – both fabric and disposable curtains

Disposable Curtains

The savings made from switching to disposable curtains may be substantial for some, you must calculate the savings for yourself each healthcare facility have different needs, requirements and standards they follow as an organization. The benefits are you always have fresh disposable curtains available. You do not have to exert time, energy or resources in washing and drying them. What is also significant is the potential role these cubicle curtains can play in preventing the spread of several serious diseases. Disposable curtains are usually fabricated to be antimicrobial and, therefore, are free from the presence of bacteria, mold and fungi for longer than their fabric counterpart. They could also be treated with antimicrobial topical treatments for additional spread prevention infections.

What remains a question is their sustainability. Environmentally, unless disposable means biodegradable, such curtains add to the landfill problem. At least fabric curtains do not immediately add to this issue. In the end, it is personal choice, hospital policy and other related factors that will result in your medical facility’s preference for either traditional or disposable curtains. For more information, visit website

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