How To Measure For Curtains: A Complete Guide

  • 5 min read
  • Sep 25, 2023
Measuring Curtain rod width order length Labeled Abda Window Fashions
Measuring Curtain rod width order length Labeled Abda Window Fashions from

Greeting Ihsanpedia Friends!

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to measure for curtains. Whether you’re redecorating your home or simply looking to update your window treatments, proper measurements are essential for achieving the perfect fit. In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of measuring for curtains, along with the advantages and disadvantages of different methods. So let’s dive in and ensure your curtains fit flawlessly!


When it comes to curtains, accurate measurements are crucial for achieving a polished and professional look. Ill-fitting curtains can make a room appear cluttered or unfinished, while perfectly sized curtains can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal. Before you begin, gather a measuring tape, pencil, and paper to record your measurements.

Measuring for curtains involves determining the correct width, length, and height of the window area you wish to cover. It’s important to consider factors such as the desired amount of fabric fullness, curtain type, and installation method. By following our guide, you’ll be able to measure for curtains like a pro.

Step 1: Measure the Width

The width measurement determines how wide the curtain panel needs to be to cover your window properly. Start by measuring the width of the window frame or the area you want the curtains to cover. For a standard look, add an extra 4 to 8 inches on each side of the window frame. This additional fabric allows for proper fullness and ensures that the curtains can be fully drawn aside, allowing maximum natural light into the room.

Once you have the desired width, double-check your measurements to ensure accuracy. It’s always a good idea to measure at least twice to avoid any mistakes.

Step 2: Measure the Length

The length measurement determines how long the curtain panel needs to be to reach the desired height. Start by deciding where you want the curtains to fall – just below the window sill, to the floor, or even puddling on the floor for a luxurious look.

For curtains that fall below the window sill, measure from the bottom of the curtain rod to your desired length. If you prefer floor-length curtains, measure from the bottom of the curtain rod to the floor. To achieve a puddling effect, add an additional 4 to 6 inches to the length measurement.

Remember to account for any hardware, such as curtain rings or hooks, when measuring the length. This ensures that the curtains won’t be too short or long once hung.

Step 3: Measure the Height

The height measurement determines how high the curtain rod or track should be installed. Measure from the top of the window frame to the desired height of the curtains. This will depend on personal preference and the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve.

Generally, curtains are hung 4 to 6 inches above the window frame to create an illusion of height and to allow ample space for the curtains to stack when fully drawn aside. However, if you have high ceilings or want to create a grander look, you can hang the curtains closer to the ceiling.

Step 4: Choosing the Curtain Type and Fabric

Now that you have your measurements, it’s time to choose the type of curtain and fabric that best suits your needs and style. There are various curtain styles to consider, such as rod pocket, grommet, tab top, or pinch pleat. Each style has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of functionality and aesthetic appeal.

When selecting the fabric, consider the amount of natural light you want to filter in, the level of privacy desired, and the overall décor of the room. Thicker fabrics like velvet or heavy cotton offer more privacy and light blocking, while sheer or lightweight fabrics allow more light to filter through.

Step 5: Installation Method

Before finalizing your curtain measurements, it’s essential to consider the installation method. This will determine how the curtains are hung and affect the final size needed. The most common installation methods are curtain rods, tracks, or tension rods.

If you’re using a curtain rod, ensure it extends beyond the window frame on both sides to allow the curtains to fully cover the window when drawn closed. For curtain tracks, measure the width of the track instead of the window frame. Tension rods are a great option for lightweight curtains or temporary installations.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Measuring for Curtains

Like any other home improvement task, measuring for curtains has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore these in detail:


1. Custom Fit: By measuring for curtains, you can ensure a custom fit that perfectly complements your window and room.

2. Aesthetic Appeal: Well-fitted curtains add a polished and sophisticated look to any room, enhancing its overall aesthetic appeal.

3. Light Control: Properly measured curtains allow you to control the amount of natural light that enters your space, creating the desired ambience.

4. Privacy: Well-fitted curtains provide increased privacy, preventing prying eyes from peering into your home.

5. Energy Efficiency: By covering the entire window area, properly measured curtains can help insulate your space, reducing heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.

6. Noise Reduction: Curtains that fit well can help reduce external noise, creating a more peaceful and serene environment.

7. Versatility: Accurate measurements allow you to experiment with different curtain styles and fabric options, giving you the freedom to refresh your space whenever desired.


1. Time-consuming: Measuring for curtains can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have multiple windows or complex window structures.

2. Complex Window Structures: Windows with unusual shapes, sizes, or architectural features can pose challenges when it comes to measuring for curtains.

3. Cost: Custom-made curtains or specialized window treatments can be more expensive than ready-made options.

4. Limited Options: Measuring for curtains may limit your choices, as certain curtain styles or fabrics may not be available in the exact measurements you require.

5. Skill Required: Accurate measuring requires attention to detail and some basic mathematical skills, which may not be everyone’s strong suit.

6. Room for Error: Any miscalculations or mistakes in measurements can lead to ill-fitting curtains, which might need to be altered or replaced.

7. Temporary Fixtures: If you’re renting or prefer temporary curtain solutions, measuring for curtains may not be a viable option.

Complete Measurement Guide for Curtains

Measurement Instructions
Width Measure the width of the window frame or desired area to be covered. Add 4 to 8 inches on each side for proper fullness.
Length Measure from the bottom of the curtain rod to the desired length – below the window sill, to the floor, or puddling on the floor for a luxurious look.
Height Measure from the top of the window frame to the desired height of the curtains, usually 4 to 6 inches above the window frame.
Curtain Type Choose the curtain style that suits your needs and style – rod pocket, grommet, tab top, or pinch pleat.
Fabric Select a fabric based on the desired level of light filtration, privacy, and overall room décor.
Installation Method Determine whether you’ll be using a curtain rod, track, or tension rod for installation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use the same curtain measurements for all windows in my home?

No, it’s essential to measure each window individually, as they may vary in size and shape.

2. Should I measure the curtains when they are open or closed?

Measure the curtains in the closed position to ensure they cover the entire window when drawn closed.

3. Can I use ready-made curtains instead of custom-made ones?

Yes, ready-made curtains are a cost-effective option, but you may need to compromise on the exact measurements and styles available.

4. How do I measure for curtains in a bay window?

For bay windows, measure each section individually and consider using flexible or bendable curtain tracks for a seamless fit.

5. Is it necessary to add extra fabric for fullness?

Adding extra fabric on each side creates a fuller look when the curtains are drawn aside. It also ensures that the window is fully covered when the curtains are closed.

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