How to pick the right curtain size for your windows

Picking the right size of curtains is not always easy

When it comes to home decoration, curtains are important for every homeowner as it provides privacy and protection from the sun. However, many people pick their curtain without measuring their window first. Therefore, we will help measure the size of your windows before going out to buy the right curtains for your windows.

What you need to know before measuring the curtain

Here are 3 main things you need to know before measuring your curtain:

Measuring material

Before you begin, you need a metal tape to measure your windows. In fact, measuring your windows with a sewing tape for example can give an inaccurate measurement. Also, we recommend getting a pen and paper ready to take note of your measurements.

How window treatments are measured

What you have to know next is that all curtain sizes are calculated this way: width by length. The width is measured from left to right, and the length is always measured from the top of the rod pocket to the bottom of the panel. Furthermore, valances are also measured width by length and normally take up ¼ to 1/3 of the window.

How to choose your curtain hardware

To fit the standard window sizes, most curtain rods come with mounting hardware and are available in 2-3 adjustable lengths. We suggest you choose a rod that is 6 to 12 inches wider than your windows so that there is room for your curtains to stack when they are pulled wide open.

The standard measurements

In most curtain stores, there are 4 ready-made curtains available for you. Here are their standard measurements:

Classic pencil pleat and rod pocket curtains

For width, these two types of curtains have the standard sizes of 66 inches and 89 inches.

Tab top and eyelet curtains

This curtain’s width is available in the following standard sizes: 53 inches and 66 inches. There is also an extra-wide size of 89 inches.

The lengths of these 3 standard curtains range from the shortest size of 54 inches, 72-inch medium size, and 90-inch extra-long size.

How to measure for window curtain width?

To know the right curtain’s width size, measure your curtain rod from left to right but do not include the finials. Moreover, if you are using a curtain track that overlaps, you also need to include the overlap in your measurement. Please take note that the curtains and window treatments usually take two to three times more panels if you want to get it right.

For example, if you are using a rod pocket curtain, its width is the flat-out width. As you would not use only one curtain for the whole window, keep in mind that a 60-inch wide curtain would not look all that great if you have a 60-inch wide window. Therefore, you must use two or more panels for a window of that size. Meanwhile, if you decide to use a pinch-pleat curtain, you do not have to add more panels as it is sewn in. Thus, a pair of 89-inch large drapes can perfectly cover an 89-inch window.

How to deal with the fullness ratio for my curtains?

Another important thing is that the curtain must have a natural gather even when fully closed. Therefore, your curtains and drapes can be 1.5 to 3 times the width of your window. Indeed, less fullness can produce a more tailored and casual look while more fullness will provide a more lavish look. In general, the recommended fullness ratio should range between 1.9 to 2.2

How to choose the desired length for your window curtain

Most homeowners measure the length of their curtain by measuring from the curtain rod to the windowsill, to midway between the windowsill and the floor, and finally, to the floor. You can choose your preference of the overall curtain length but you need to consider its practicality as well. A curtain that reaches below the windowsill, midway between the windowsill, and the floor are all good choices for the windows that you frequently open like the ones in your bedroom for example. Also, such curtain length works well in places where radiators or furniture could block your full-length curtains.

Moreover, the full-length curtains that are reaching the floor are perfect for pulled-together windows in the master’s bedroom, living room, and dining area. Effectively, they can elongate the look of the room and make the ceilings seem higher, which always has a neat effect on the eyes. Alternatively, you can also choose a curtain that is longer than the room floor which is called the puddle curtain. To choose a perfect puddle curtain, you should pick one that falls 5-8 extra inches on the floor. This curtain style can give you a romantic vibe.

You can now go choose your favorite curtain with no worries. With our guidelines on how to measure your window curtains, you will get the most out of your room’s decoration.


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