Creating a functional and beautiful space that works for you — rather than you working around it — invariably requires a bit of creativity. This is especially true in apartments and dorms, where space is at a premium and older buildings have their quirks. One of the best hacks for transforming small spaces is adding a strategic room divider. You needn’t shell out a lot of money for it, either. Some of the best cheap room dividers strike the perfect balance between decoration and disguise — offering supremely easy set-up and breakdown, too.
A cheap room divider doesn’t mean you’re relegated to curtains and pray-they-hold tension rods (although I found a brilliant alternative for that, too). Now you can find customizable hanging flat panels, folding screens with built-in shelves, and even a portable standalone divider you can pop up anywhere. I also found a lightweight dupe for the popular IKEA KALLAX shelf you’ve probably seen on Pinterest. My favorite pick below is the gold-framed folding screen, which offers a luxe look for less than $100 — but know that half of these picks ring up well under $50. Whether you’re hiding a storage nook or sectioning off a studio, these six room dividers will help you design a custom space at an accessible price point.
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1. This Seriously Beautiful Hanging Room Divider With Adjustable Privacy Panels
- Dimensions: 15.7 x 15.7 inches per square (with 12 squares included)
This lightweight hanging room divider is a fully customizable curtain of PVC panels that includes decorative cut-outs and solid squares for coverage where you need it without blocking light or making your space feel completely closed off. You can choose between options with solid squares to create a separate room entirely, or a full grid of airy screens that let in more light. They hang from the ceiling via the included mounted hooks, and apartment renters (or the drill-averse) may be able to get away with using these adhesive hooks that work on ceilings. If your needs are more decorative in nature, be sure to also consider this gorgeous geometric room divider as well.
2. A Chic And Modern Gold Room Partition
- Dimensions: 72 x 71 inches
This beautiful room divider combines clean and classic lines with a satin gold finish that integrates seamlessly with most decorating styles, for a luxe accent that subtly elevates your space. The frame is built from lightweight pine with fabric panels woven to resemble traditional rice paper, so it’s easy to move by yourself (although some shoppers wished for more heft). “Absolutely stunning. My office looks amazing with this piece. It hides my clutter and provides the glam I was looking for,” one fan raved. Not a fan of gold? It also comes in silver.
3. The Wildly Customizable Hanging Room Divider That Fits In Every Corner
- Dimensions: 5 meters (197 inches)
It’s hard to imagine where this thing can’t go. A flexible ceiling curtain track can bend and curve around any floor plan that’s “full of character” the landlord throws at you – hell, even use it in an RV. The 16 feet of track can be cut to size and comes with snap-on ceiling brackets, 40 track rollers, four end caps for a finished look, and all the necessary mounting hardware. “Exactly what we were looking for to create a flexible divider in a room. Easy enough to install and seems pretty sturdy especially for the price,” a satisfied reviewer remarked.
However, do note that curtains are not included with this purchase, but you can can grab these fan-favorite blackout room curtains and you’ll be good to go.
4. A Genius Room Divider With Built-In (Removable!) Shelves
- Dimensions: 70.9 x 31 inches
This hand-woven wooden folding screen with built-in shelves separates spaces without sacrificing real estate for storage or decoration. “Really useful and affordable,” one shopper commented, who was wary of the budget-friendly price and pleasantly surprised when it showed up, adding, “Not only attractive and versatile, but more sturdy than I hoped it would be. I can see getting a lot of use out of it.” The shelves are completely removable for flexibility of use — and for less than $100, it’s a total deal since you’re gaining more organizational space.
5. This Portable Room Divider That Can Even Be Used As A Door
- Dimensions: expandable from 35 to 66 inches (width) x 84 to 120 inches (height)
A damage-free tension rod room divider is a lightweight and easily installable solution for small spaces. Use it as a door for your closet or to cordon off an entire room: the height adjusts seamlessly up to 10 feet, and the width can be expanded from three to a little over five feet. It also makes a great pop-up window curtain rod thanks to its wraparound angle that blocks out any light. “Super easy to assemble and install and I am horrible at doing stuff like that so I really appreciated the simplicity,” one renter confessed. “I use this to separate my sleep and work space in my room and wish I would’ve bought this sooner!” Note: The curtain itself must be bought separately.
6. A Hyper-Functional And Lightweight Modular Storage Divider
- Dimensions: 11.8 x 11.8 x 11.8 inches per cube (with 12 cubes included)
This budget-friendly alternative to the IKEA KALLAX shelf serves as an incredibly useful room divider with storage. Each shelf holds up to 15 pounds and fits up to an 11.5 inch storage cube for a totally concealed look. If you move somewhere and don’t need a full-scale shelf, it even breaks down easily into smaller components that are great for corralling toys or organizing closets, with one reviewer noting, “Didn’t want to spend $3000 on built in closet organizer, instead spent $70 on a pair of these and it came out great.” It doesn’t have the visual heft of a wooden bookshelf, but it’s a lightweight alternative that can really transform a cluttered space into an intentional one. Choose from black or white units.