How To Measure Curtains: A Guide For Beginners

Apr 26, 2024by Kimberly Foerst

Key Takeaways:

  • Getting the Right Fit is Important: The length and width of your curtains, as well as where they are hung relative to your window, have a big impact on the look of the finished product.
  • Measure Every Point: When measuring your windows, you’ll need to take several measurements. The height and width of your windows, as well as how long you’d like your curtains to be and where your curtain rod is placed relative to the floor and the edge of your windows are all important measurements.
  • Adjust Your Measurements to Change the Final Look: The final look you’d like your curtains to have will impact your measurements. For a more full or draped look, you’ll need to add inches to your length and width measurements.

At Lush Décor, with years of expertise in crafting and curating high-quality home textiles, we understand the importance of getting every detail right—including the fit of your curtains. Are you ready to elevate the look and feel of your space with the perfect curtains but feeling overwhelmed by the thought of measuring for them? Fear not — we're here to make the process a breeze, even if you're a complete beginner.

Whether you're a homeowner looking to refresh your living room decor, a renter aiming to add a touch of personality to your space, or simply someone shopping for home decor inspiration, knowing how to measure curtains is a valuable skill to have. By taking the time to measure your windows correctly, you can ensure a perfect fit and create a cohesive and polished look for any space.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to measuring for curtains like a pro. From determining the right curtain length and width to choosing the appropriate rod placement, we've got you covered.

Understanding Curtain Dimensions: Length And Width

Lush Décor has a wide variety of curtain types to choose from. From vibrant patterns to delicate sheers to room-darkening, there’s a curtain option for every room and style. But before you start measuring your windows, it’s important to understand the dimensions that you’ll be dealing with.

The length and width of your curtains will affect not only the overall look of the room but also how well they function. When measuring, you’ll need to know the size of your windows as well as the length you plan for your curtains to be.

Here's a breakdown of how to measure for curtains like a pro, based on the length that you’d like your curtains to be.


  • Pooling: For a dramatic and luxurious effect, curtains can be designed to pool on the floor. This style involves the curtains being significantly longer than the height from the rod to the floor, typically by 10 to 12 inches. Measure from the top of the curtain rod to the floor and add 10 to 12 inches for a pronounced, elegant pool. This look is best suited for rooms where the curtains will not be frequently opened and closed, as the excess fabric can make movement more cumbersome.
  • Touching the Floor: If you prefer a more modern, tailored look, opt for curtains that just touch the floor without any pooling. Measure from the top of the rod to the floor for a crisp finish.
  • Above the Floor: For a casual, breezy look, you can choose curtains that hang above the floor. Measure from the top of the rod to your desired length, typically around 1/2 inch above the floor.


  • Single Panel Width: When measuring the width of your curtains, start by measuring the width of the rod or track. For a typical fullness look, it's recommended to use 1.5 to 2 times the width of the window for standard fullness. For a more luxurious, full look, you can use 2.5 to 3 times the width.
  • Multiple Panels: If you are using multiple panels, divide the total width by the number of panels to determine the width of each individual panel.

By mastering the art of measuring curtains for length and width, you can achieve a polished, custom look that transforms your space into a cozy oasis.

Ready to find the perfect curtains for your space? Explore Lush Décor's extensive collection of stylish and high-quality curtains today. With our easy-to-follow guide, you're just a few clicks away from transforming your windows into stunning focal points.

Understanding Curtain Dimensions

Why Exact Measurements Matter In Curtain Shopping

When it comes to dressing your windows with the perfect curtains, precision is key. Imagine spending hours selecting the ideal fabric, color, and style only to realize that your curtains are either too short, too long, or simply don't fit quite right. To avoid this common frustration, taking accurate measurements is crucial.

One of the main reasons why exact measurements matter in curtain shopping is to ensure a proper fit. Curtains that are too short can look awkward and unfinished, while curtains that are too long may drag on the floor and collect dust. By measuring your windows correctly, you can guarantee that your curtains will hang beautifully and enhance the overall aesthetics of your space.

When it comes to curtain shopping, don't underestimate the importance of measuring with precision. By paying attention to the details and ensuring that your curtains fit flawlessly, you can transform your space into a stylish haven that truly reflects your personal taste and flair.

Tools You'll Need For Accurate Curtain Measurements

When it comes to measuring for curtains, having the right tools on hand can make the process much smoother and ensure that you get the perfect fit for your windows. Here are a few essential tools you may need before you start measuring.

Tape Measure

A reliable tape measure is a must-have tool for measuring curtains. Make sure it is flexible and long enough to reach the full height and width of your window. Measure in inches for accuracy, as this is the standard unit of measurement for most curtains.

Step Stool Or Ladder

If your windows are situated high up, a step stool or ladder will be necessary to safely and accurately measure the height of your windows. Safety first!

Pencil And Paper

Keep a pencil and paper handy to jot down your measurements as you go along. This will help you keep track of the different dimensions you need for each window.


To ensure your curtain rod is installed straight and that your curtains hang evenly, a level tool is essential. This will help you avoid any crooked installations that could throw off the overall look of your curtains.

By having these tools at your disposal, you'll be well-equipped to take accurate measurements for your curtains and achieve a perfect fit every time.

Step-By-Step Guide To Measuring Your Windows

Are you ready to transform your living space with beautiful curtains? Follow these simple steps to measure your windows like a pro.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you start measuring, make sure you have a sturdy measuring tape, a notepad, and a pen handy. Having these tools ready will ensure a smoother measuring process.

Step 2: Measure The Width

Start by measuring the width of your window from left to right. For a standard curtain rod, you'll want to add a few extra inches on each side to ensure proper coverage and a full look when the curtains are closed. If you prefer a more gathered look or have wider window frames, you may want to add even more inches to the width.

Step 3: Measure The Length

Next, measure the length of your window from the top down to where you want the curtains to fall. If you want floor-length curtains, measure all the way to the floor. For a more casual look, you can measure 1-2 inches above the floor. Remember to account for any curtain rings or clips if you will be using them.

Step 4: Consider Curtain Style

Keep in mind the style of curtains you plan to hang. Different curtain styles may require different measurements. For example, if you're going for a layered look with sheer curtains underneath heavier drapes, you'll need to adjust your measurements accordingly.

By following these easy steps, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect curtains to enhance your home décor!

Considering Curtain Rod Placement In Your Measurements

When measuring for curtains, it's crucial to consider the placement of your curtain rod. The height and width of your curtains will be determined by where you plan to install the rod. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


  • Floor-Length: For a classic look, your curtain rod should be installed a few inches above the top of the window frame. 
  • Above Frame: To create the illusion of higher ceilings, hang your curtain rod a few inches above the window frame. This will draw the eyes up and make the room feel more spacious.
  • Ceiling to Floor: For a modern and dramatic effect, hang the curtains from the ceiling to the floor, with the curtain rod just below the ceiling. This can make a room feel taller and more sophisticated.


  • Extension: Curtain rods typically extend several inches past the window frame on each side. This allows the curtains to fully cover the window when open and allows more light to filter in when pushed to the sides.
  • Stacking Space: Consider the space needed for the curtains to stack back on the sides when open. Make sure the curtains won't cover too much of the window when fully open.

By taking into account the curtain rod placement in your measurements, you can ensure that your curtains not only fit perfectly but also enhance the overall look and feel of your space. Don't forget to adjust your measurements based on the type of curtain rod you have, whether it's a standard rod, a tension rod, or a decorative rod.

Lush Decor Curtains

The Role Of Curtain Fullness In Measurement And Aesthetics

When it comes to measuring curtains, one essential factor to consider is the concept of curtain fullness. Curtain fullness refers to the amount of fabric used in relation to the width of the window when the curtains are gathered or closed. Understanding the role of curtain fullness is crucial not only for achieving the right fit but also for enhancing the overall aesthetics of your space.

The level of fullness you choose for your curtains can significantly impact the look and feel of the room. A more gathered or fuller curtain creates a luxurious and classy appearance, adding depth and texture to the window treatment. On the other hand, a less full curtain offers a more streamlined and contemporary look, ideal for modern and minimalist spaces.

To determine the ideal fullness for your curtains, consider factors such as the style of your room, the type of fabric you are using, and the look you want to achieve. As a general guideline, a fullness ratio of 1.5 to 2 times the width of the window is commonly used for standard fullness. For a more opulent look, you can opt for a ratio of 2.5 to 3 times the window width.

Final Thoughts

Measuring curtains may seem like a daunting task at first, but with the right guidance and tools, it can be a breeze. By following the steps outlined in this guide for beginners, you can ensure that your curtains will fit perfectly and enhance the look of your space.

Remember, accurate measurements are key to achieving a polished and professional look. Take the time to measure not just the width and length, but also consider the curtain rod height and any additional factors that may impact how your curtains hang.

At Lush Décor, we understand the importance of getting your curtains just right. Our luxury-for-less styles are designed to inspire your inner designer and transform your space into a stylish sanctuary. From timeless neutral tones to vibrant hues, we offer a wide range of options to suit any taste. With a commitment to quality, value, and sustainability, our curtains are crafted with care and attention to detail. 

Whether you're a homeowner looking to refresh your space or a renter wanting to add a personal touch to your decor, measuring for curtains is a crucial step in achieving the look you desire. Trust in the process, follow our guide, and soon you'll be enjoying the beauty and functionality of your perfectly measured curtains.

Read also:

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Measure For Curtains

What type of measuring tape should I use to measure for curtains?

For the most accurate measurements, we recommend using a metal measuring tape. Its rigidity prevents it from bending or sagging, ensuring you get precise numbers every time. A cloth or sewing tape measure might seem handy, but they can stretch or fold, leading to less accurate measurements.

How do I measure the width of my window for curtains?

To measure the width of your window, extend your measuring tape from one end of the window frame to the other, horizontally. Ensure you measure from the outer edges to account for the fullness of the curtains when closed. For added fullness, consider adding 2 to 8 inches on each side of the window.

What is the standard length for curtains?

Standard curtain lengths usually run at 63, 84, 95, 108, and 120 inches. However, the ideal length for your space depends on the height of your ceilings and how far above the window you plan to hang your curtains. Always measure before purchasing to ensure you get the perfect fit for your style and space.

How much extra width should I allow for pleats or gathers in curtains?

For a beautifully draped look, we recommend doubling the measured width of your window. This extra width allows for generous pleats or gathers, giving your curtains a full, luxurious appearance. If your aesthetic is more tailored, a width of 1.5 times your window's measurement may suffice.

What's the difference between measuring for inside mount and outside mount curtains?

Inside-mount curtains are installed within the window frame, offering a clean, built-in look, while outside-mount curtains are hung outside the frame, making the window appear larger. For inside mounts, measure the inside width and height of the frame. For outside mounts, measure the width including desired overlap (typically 2-8 inches on each side) and length from where you'll place the rod to where you want the curtains to end.

How do I decide on the length of my curtains?

The curtain length depends on your design vision. For a traditional look, curtains that touch the floor or have a slight break are ideal. For a more modern, casual style, curtains that hover half an inch above the floor work well. If you prefer a romantic or luxurious feel, consider allowing extra length for your curtains to pool gracefully on the floor.

Should curtains touch the floor or window sill?

Curtains can either touch the floor, hover slightly above it, touch the window sill, or fall just below it, depending on the look you're going for. Floor-length is more traditional and creates a stylish, flowing look, while curtains that meet the window sill offer a casual, pragmatic appeal ideal for kitchens or bathrooms.

What if my windows are not of standard size?

No worries! Many homes feature windows that don't conform to standard sizes. In these cases, choose curtains slightly larger than you need or adjustable rods that can be tailored to fit your unique window dimensions perfectly. Remember, measuring accurately is key to ensuring a flawless fit, regardless of window size.

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