How to Choose the Right Curtain Length

How to Choose the Right Curtain Length


This is the guide on how to choose the right curtain length for your specific windows.

Why a separate guide for this topic?

Well, correctly measuring the curtains is more involved than you might think.

Here’s the proof:


Curtain fail that proves you should learn how to choose the right curtain length



So if you don’t want your curtains to look like this, read on!


The Right Curtain Length Can Make Or Break A Room


If you talk to any pro home designer, they’ll tell you that choosing the curtain length is important.

And if you dig deeper, they might tell you their secret.

Here’s the one hard and fast rule in order to achieve the perfect dimensions:

Your curtains should graze the floor!


Custom curtains grazing the floor of a living room



But there’s a couple of more bits and pieces involved in this.

(It’s related to correctly measuring your window and ordering your fabric.)

So if you want to create a streamlined finished piece, follow these necessary steps to choosing the right bedroom curtain length.

Related: 17 Cheap Decorating Ideas for Living Room Walls


How To Measure For Curtains


You should hang curtains higher and wider than your window.

That prevents them from blocking light and air from your windows during the day.

And if you need shade, a good idea is to use woven or solar shades mounted inside the frame.

That’ll create a brighter space and make windows feel bigger.

Now, let’s move to our original question: How to choose the right curtain length?

Well, it’s all about measuring properly.

Generally, 10 is the golden number here.

That is, 10 inches above the trim and 10 inches wider than your window on each side is the best fit.

But what if you don’t have that much width?

Well, then you can cut the curtain in half and go with 4 or 5 inches instead.

If your room has higher ceilings, use those to determine your curtain placement.

Install the curtain rod or hardware at the ceiling, just below your crown molding.

Or you can go 12 to 24 inches above the window trim.

Either way works!

Should curtains touch the floor?


The longer curtains create a more stylish and elegant look for your bedroom or living room decoration. So always prefer longer curtains!

Take several measurements.

Like many other rooms, your floors and ceilings might not be level.

So take multiple measurements along the width of your curtains.

This way, the curtains can be fabricated to adjust for this.


Buying Standard Length Curtains


In the US, the standard curtain panels are 48 inches wide.

On the other hand, you’ll find these standard curtain lengths in inches on the market:

63 inches (the shortest curtain length in standard), 84 inches, 96 inches, 108 inches or 120 inches.


Different standard lengths of curtains



These standard curtain sizes in cm will be: 160.02 cm, 213.36 cm, 243.84 cm, 274.32 cm and 304.8 cm.

That doesn’t mean you’ll find only these lengths: It’s just what you’re likely to find online and in-stores ready-made.

In most cases, avoid the 84-inch standard curtains. 

This is just an awkward length and doesn’t feel right.

The only exception to this rule is you have very low ceilings.

The 96-inch and 108-inch work in most scenarios.

Choose the length that is closest to your measurements.

And if you’re in doubt, prefer longer rather than awkwardly short.

Now, if your curtains are behind a sofa or other furniture, this rule still applies.

Don’t fake it:

You don’t want to end up with curtains that don’t have as much physical and visual weight to them.


Investing In Custom Curtains


If you can invest in custom curtains, you should invest in custom curtains!

I know you want to argue that a room you plan to redo, like the kids’ rooms or a soon-to-be-renovated office, will still look good with standard curtains, like those famous Bed Bath & Beyond curtains.

But prefer custom curtains over standard lengths in every situation.

And to get a custom look on a budget, ask your local tailor to hem pre-made curtains according to your measurements.

Working with a professional interior designer is an expensive option.

But you’ll get the look you want in the end.

A pro knows what goes into making window treatments.

But it’s up to you:

If you want to do it yourself, just be careful and follow all the guidelines I’ve mentioned above!




  1. Make sure your curtains are exactly the right length even if the floor isn’t level.
  2. For best fit, have 10 inches above the trim and 10 inches wider than your window on each side.
  3. Choose longer curtains rather than awkwardly short ones.
  4. Take multiple measurements in case your floor isn’t level.
  5. Prefer custom curtains over standard ones.
  6. Choose a print or pattern that works with your curtain length and your space.

Window treatments can be a good investment.

And it’s not something you want to make a mistake on.

So take your time while working on them!


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