How To Measure For Curtains to Get the Best Look

How would you feel entering a room with the sun's rays seeping through it because there were no curtains on the windows? Or how about a window with curtains that fall short of the length of the window?


Curtains not only help keep a room cool by blocking the light from coming in: it also gives the room depth and personality. A well-curtained room gives you a feeling of being welcome so that you feel at ease when entering one. If the room is a conference room, then participants will feel comfortable and at ease and will be able to participate well in the discussions. Thus, it is very important to get the correct measure for curtains to give a room the best look.

There are really no hard and fast rules on how to measure for curtains. But based on the look you want, decide first on it.

Where Do You Place Your Curtain Rod

For a clean, streamlined look, you can mount your curtain rod just right below the top of the window frame but inside the frame. This is called the inside mount. This creates a streamlined but minimalist appearance.

For a more traditional look, you can do an outside mount, that is, putting your curtain rod outside of the frame of the window. This mount is done when you would want to totally block off the sun's rays. An outside mount also has the capacity to make your window look larger especially when you put your curtain way above the window frame.

What is Your Preferred Style

Your curtain measure would greatly depend upon the look you want to achieve when putting up your curtains.

Streamlined: If you are a person whose main reason for setting up curtains is for privacy, you may opt for this curtain style. Here you would usually have an inside mount and your curtains would just be the size to frame your window.

Floating: For a more luxurious effect and to achieve the effect of length, have your curtains hanging up to less than an inch above the floor.

Kissing: This style requires more fabric as you would want to hang your curtains about 6 inches from the top of the frame with the curtains almost touching the floor.

 Pooling: For this style, you would need sheer soft fabric so that the curtain ends will make a beautiful pool of cloth as it hugs the floor. Your curtains will be hanging just below the ceiling so that you will be able to achieve a tall elongated feel of the room.

How Do You Measure Your Window to Measure for Your Curtain

Your curtain length and width will be dependent on the style of curtain that you would want to install in your window. To get the most accurate measurements use a metal measuring tape when measuring your window.


For this style, you will do an inside mount. Put the tape measure just at the bottom of the top bar of your window frame and measure the length up to the top of the window frame's base. This should be the length of your curtain if you would want a streamlined look.

Please note that within this length, you will be incorporating the curtain rod access so keep this in mind so that the curtains would exactly be of the same length with the window when mounted. Also, as the curtains just about frame the window, there will be a small portion at the side where light may still pass through.


For this style, you will be doing an outside mount but the curtain rod is placed just above the top of the window frame. Curtains hang less than an inch above the floor. Therefore, your curtain length will be measured just above the top of your window frame until an inch from the floor.

This style of curtains gives a fuller look. Also, since you have more cloth, you can experiment with larger bolder patterns to make the room more lively.

Since this is an outside mount, it is advisable to have your curtain rod 3 to 5 inches wider than the window frame to have the window fully covered.


For this style, you will put your curtain rod a good 6 inches above the top of the window frame with your curtains almost touching the floor. This style gives the impression of a well-thought- of curtain design.

This style gives the impression of having long windows

Like the floating style, curtain rods should again be 3 to 5 inches wider than the window width.


This style requires the use of sheer material to project a luxurious look. Curtains suspend just a few inches from the ceiling and end pool on the floor to create a fluid look. To create this look, your curtain's length should extend six to eight inches from the floor.

Stiff materials should be avoided as this would not create the fluid look that sheer materials portray.

For curtain width, you may opt for 1 ½ to 3 times the width of your window, depending on the effect you want to project. The higher your multiplier, the fuller your curtains will look like. Window-framing curtains may use a material maximum of twice the width of the window to give a more tailored look.

Curtain Dimensions

When shopping for curtains, it will be best to take note of the following:

Width: This refers to the distance from left to right of a single panel (even when they are sold in pairs). Thus, when you want fuller looking curtains, multiply your window width from 1.5 to 2 times to determine how many curtain panels you will need. For longer curtains, you can go as wide as 3 times your window size.

Length: There are 3 kinds of curtain tops and it is best that you know how the length of these different curtains are measured.

• Rod pocket curtains. The length of these curtains are measured from the top of the rod pocket to the hem and does not include the ruffled portion on top of the rod pocket.

• Tab-top curtains. These curtains hang from fixed hangers that look like tabs. Curtain length of this style is measured from the top of the tab to the hem of the curtain.

• Tie-top curtains. The top of these curtains have ties that are knotted when hanging the curtains. Curtain length of this type is measured from the top of the panel and does not include the tie portion.

It is important to know these dimensions when shopping so that you get the perfect look for your curtains when you mount them.


Did you find this article helpful? After discussing the different the curtain styles, I hope you are now able to determine what style of curtains you need to hang up when faced with the decision of choosing the one that fits the situation. Is this for a conservative, corporate look? Or is it for a formal occasion where you need the added drama? We hope this article was able to take away your doubts when determining the appropriateness of the curtain style for a room.

If this article helped you in your quest to get the right measurements for your curtains, we would be happy to get a word or two from you. Curtain styles are evolving so we do welcome your suggestions so that we can improve this article to adapt to the changing times. Again, thank you for your comments.

Share this: 

Sophia Helen

I am Sophia Helen.I am 25-26 years of age. I am a strong woman who believes in herself and what she does. I am an idea-oriented individual who loves to share my best ideas with the world and hear from everyone around me as well.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: