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Don't Get Hung Up: How to Measure Curtains

Measuring curtains for your home? Don't sweat it! The process is simple, but it is important if you want your curtains to look good and last season after season. So grab your tape measure, follow these three easy steps, and measure your curtains like a pro.

Curtain Hanging Height Guide Step 1: Determine your style.

There are multiple curtain styles on the market, but how high you hang your curtains plays into this style as well. Typically speaking, curtain panels hung from ceiling to floor create a dramatic, luxurious look, while panels hung just above the window trim offer a more casual vibe. Either way is correct –it's just a matter of personal preference.

Once you've decided how high to hang your curtains, install your curtain track or pole – this will be your starting point for all measurements.

Diagram for measuring curtain length Step 2: Measure length.

Your curtain length will depend on where you want the curtain hem to fall – above the sill, below the sill, or just above the floor. Start with your tape measure at the top of the pole or track and measure down to the corresponding stop point (listed below).

  • 1/2 inch above the sill
  • 6 inches below the sill
  • 1/2 inch above the floor

This guide keeps the curtain hem from touching the sill or floor, preventing wear and keeping the look polished.

One exception: If you're hanging panels from curtain rings, measure down from the eyelet of the ring.

Diagram for measuring curtain width Step 3: Measure width.

For curtain width, multiply the width of your curtain track or pole by two and add one inch for overlap where the panels meet. If you're using a pole that features decorative finials, only measure the width of the pole. The extra material allows your curtains to gather softly when closed, so they don't look flat or stretched.

Looking for more information on curtain types, features, and hanging hardware? Read our Window Treatment Buying Guide.

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