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SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 Review: A Convenient but Noisy Luxury

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $97
SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 smarrt curtain opener installed on a curtain rod.
Mark LoProto / Review Geek

SwitchBot simplifies an already effortless process with smart home automation that’s functional and easy to install. Opening and closing your curtains can be done with the press of a button, but the Curtain Rod 2’s noisy motor isn’t the first thing you want to hear in the morning.

If you’ve ever considered having to manually open and close your curtains a chore, the SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 smart opener can fix that pain point. Having stayed in a hotel with automated curtains, I certainly see the appeal of opening and closing them from the comfort of a bed. However, there’s more to this automated device that amplifies convenience to a degree you probably aren’t even considering.

After tinkering with every aspect of SwitchBot’s app and the many peripherals sent along with the smart curtain opener, I found myself getting a little too used to a luxury that may sound difficult to justify.

Here's What We Like

  • Multiple configurations for different rod styles
  • Setup was surprisingly fast
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Home
  • SwitchBot App is user-friendly

And What We Don't

  • Unit is noisy when running
  • Device will show through sheer curtains
  • Size limit excludes thinner curtain rods
  • Costly for unnecessary automation

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Simple Installation and Quick Connection

  • Weight Capacity: 11 to 17 pounds
  • Battery Life: Approximately 8 months (fully charged)

When you first break into the box, you may feel a little intimidated. There seem to be a lot of different components that go into setting up this smart curtain opener. A beaded strand, a piece of pronged metal, the core unit, a detachable arm, and a few other items are all neatly packed, silently promising a difficult installation. However, the exact opposite couldn’t be truer.

As you work through the easy-to-follow instruction booklet, you realize many of the included pieces are for specific use cases. Even if you have to use them, which I did thanks to a cheap, thin curtain rod, they’re very easily implemented. The main unit also requires little effort to install, as it simply rests on the rod on the inside of the curtain to keep it out of view at all times. At least, so long as your curtains are opaque enough. I spent the most time threading the beaded strand through each grommet, but it was still a quick process.

SwitchBot Curtain Rod smart curtain opener fully assembled
Mark LoProto / Review Geek

You have the option to use 2 SwitchBot Curtain Rods if you want your curtains to split ajar, and although you’ll have to spend another $99 for the second bot, it doesn’t complicate the installation any. Whatever you do to the left side of the curtain rod you repeat on the right. The only difficulty, as I fully expected, came when it was time to tinker with the SwitchBot app.

Getting everything to work requires the app to link with the smart curtain openers, which is done over a Bluetooth connection. I would have preferred the unit to use my in-home wireless connection, though I understand the decision to work over Bluetooth since Wi-Fi is a bigger battery drain. I tend to leave my phone’s Bluetooth disabled when I’m not actively using it, but as I’ll touch on shortly, your smartphone doesn’t need to remain a part of the equation.

Once I overcame the hurdle of getting the Bluetooth connection to link the app with both devices, all that was left to do was train the opener on how far I wanted the curtains to slide when “fully opened.” This was done in the app by following a few onscreen prompts.

As I sat there and marveled at the concept of never having to touch my heavy, velvet red curtains again, I couldn’t help but question if maybe we’d reached the point of too much home automation.

A Little Too Much Automation

It’s tough to justify a $100 price tag for a device that doesn’t really solve a problem. Opening and closing a curtain is maybe the simplest task a homeowner or tenant can undertake, and as I watched the noisy little unit manipulate my curtains, I felt lazy.

I can see using the SwitchBot with extra tall curtains, where a separate rod is needed to work them manually, or where accessibility is a concern. But in the former scenario, you’ll likely have to spend an additional $20 per unit for the SwitchBot Solar Panel to keep the units charged.

SwitchBot solar panel charger
Switchbot Solar Panel Mark LoProto / Review Geek

For the average consumer, though, the SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 smart curtain opener is an extravagance one can live without. Admittedly, I did get a little addicted to the automation, and with how well it actually works, I’ve been eyeing units for curtains all around my house. Especially since I was able to create an entire connected network of devices thanks to the Hub Mini, Contact Sensor, and Remote.

SwitchBot Solar Panel Charger

Keep your SwitchBot smart devices charged with the power of the sun.

SwitchBot’s App Brings It All Together

SwitchBot Solar Panel, Mini Hub, and Remote on display
Mark LoProto / Review Geek

The most impressive and frustrating aspect of this whole process wound up being the SwitchBot app (available on iPhone and Android). Using the app, I was able to connect the curtain opener and all the aforementioned components to create instances where, when I open my primary bedroom door, the curtains open. Then, to close them, I just press the SwitchBot Remote at my bedside.

Note: The Solar Panel, Mini Hub, and Remote are all sold separately through SwitchBot. If you want to purchase all three alongside the Curtain Rod 2, check out the bundle.

There are more than 20 devices that can connect with the hub to create the ultimate smart home. From TV remotes to air conditioners, the SwitchBot Hub Mini and the app feel limitless in their abilities when working together. Again, it’s so very easy to get addicted to automation, and something like the Curtain Rod 2 is a gateway into a broad concept of home automation. If you’re easily frustrated by connection issues, though, getting everything started may be a chore.

I experienced minor inconveniences when trying to initially pair both curtain openers. The Bluetooth took a few tries to connect, though once connected, it never lost its signal.

SwitchBot Hub Mini

Is your home smart? With the SwitchBot Hub Mini, it can be.

A Noisy Addition for a Quiet Process

If there is a major downside to the SwitchBot Curtain Rod opener, it’s that the unit is very loud. You can hear the engines working their hardest from the moment it starts moving to the moment it stops. It’s a little unfortunate, especially considering opening and closing curtains is a relatively quiet task. You can switch the unit between two modes, one that favors speed and one that slows things down to produce less noise, but the difference isn’t that noticeable.

The issue compounds if you have too small a curtain rod, are using an extender, or have multiple units running at once. Too often the opener noisily struggled to overcome the gap in my extender, even when I used the included pronged metal piece that’s meant to keep the transition from the two rods smooth. It’s not a deafening noise, but it’s definitely noticeable.

Should You Buy the SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2?

SwitchBot Curton Rod smart curtain opener installed on rod.
Mark LoProto / Review Geek

After a day of owning the SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2, I couldn’t help but feel guilty over how much I enjoyed the automation. As our houses and apartments move closer and closer to full smart spaces, something like the SwitchBot will be commonplace. You’ll just be ahead of the game when that time comes.

Barring the excess noise when the unit is moving and the few initial connectivity problems I had trying to connect the app to the device, the issues associated with SwitchBot’s curtain opener are negligible. You’ll need heavy or dark curtains if you don’t want the unit to be seen, and the separate Solar Panel attachment keeps you from pulling the unit down whenever it needs charging.

Setting up a near-fully automated bedroom was surprisingly easy through the SwitchBot app, and the curtain opener has remained connected and responsive to the scenes I set. I fully expected the device to lose its connection at some point, but it’s holding strong and hasn’t given me any trouble.

If you are swayed into automating your curtains, pay close attention to the version of the SwitchBot opener you purchase. There are several variations to accommodate U rails, I rails, and rods from 15 to 40mm, and buying the wrong version means the unit won’t fit properly. It would have been more consumer-friendly for all three options to be available in one package as interchangeable arms. Also, the price of $99 will fetch you a single Curtain Rod 2 unit, meaning you’ll need to spend $200 for each set of curtains you want to split open (you can stick with a single unit if you don’t mind the curtains bunching at one side).

The SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 smart curtain opener is a surprisingly effective device that serves as a gateway into home automation. Despite its minor flaws, like its loud motor and hiccups in the initial connection, it’s a well-made unit that works exactly as intended—so long as the conditions are right. Some rods will be too large or too small for the opener to work, so be mindful of which option you choose.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $97

Here’s What We Like

  • Multiple configurations for different rod styles
  • Setup was surprisingly fast
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Home
  • SwitchBot App is user-friendly

And What We Don't

  • Unit is noisy when running
  • Device will show through sheer curtains
  • Size limit excludes thinner curtain rods
  • Costly for unnecessary automation

Mark LoProto Mark LoProto
Mark is a freelance reviewer for How-To Geek and Review Geek, a seasoned freelance writer, and a marketing manager with a strong footing in the gaming and esports industries. He’s been featured across the net on Cultured Vultures, Heavy.com, Bloody Disgusting, and more. Read Full Bio »