How to Measure For Curtains the Right Way

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Correct measurements are the key to success when you’re installing new curtains. 

There’s nothing worse than spending hours measuring and then putting up curtains that are hilariously too short or ridiculously too long. But don’t let that scare you. Once you know how to measure curtains accurately, the rest is easy! 

Check out this handy guide to learn how to measure for curtains the right way.

How to Measure for Curtains

Step 1: Get the Right Tools

You probably already have the tools you need to measure curtains for windows. Here’s all you need: 

  • Metal measuring tape: Using a metal measuring tape ensures the most accurate dimensions. A fabric measuring tape can droop or stretch, leading to measurement errors.
  • Pencil and paper: Record your measurements the old-school way

Tech tip: You can also make measurements easy by using an app like Tape Measure for iOS or Ruler App – Camera Tape Measure for Android devices.

Step 2: Measure for Width

Next, measure the window width to determine how wide your curtains should be. The fullness you choose depends on the look you want to achieve: 

  • Standard curtain fullness: two times the window width
  • Deluxe curtain fullness: two and a half times the window width
  • Maximum curtain fullness: three times the window width

Never hang curtains that are exactly as wide as your window (like a 45-inch window with a 45-inch curtain). Window coverage will be incomplete, and pulling the curtains closed creates a severe, unfinished appearance.

Curtain rods should extend three to six inches past the window on each side so you can see the entire window. If your curtain rod is the exact width of the window, your curtains will cover part of the window even when they’re open. Your window will look smaller, and you’ll be blocking the view outside.

Step 3: Measure for Length

Curtain lengths vary based on your window and the style of curtain you’re installing. 

To measure curtains for shorter windows, choose from: 

Sill: Short curtains that hover slightly above the edge of the windowsill. Measure sill length curtains from the top of the window frame to one-half inch above the window sill. 

Apron: Curtains that extend just below the window casing. Measure apron length curtains from the top of the window frame to one inch below the window sill.

For a full-length appearance, try these styles: 

Float: Curtains that hover just above the floor. Measure hover length curtains from the top of the window frame to one inch above the floor.

Kiss: Full-length curtains that graze the floor. This method requires precise measurements – be sure to account for the curtain rod and curtain rings while measuring. Measure kiss curtains from the top of the curtain rod to the floor using a metal tape measure. 

For a stylish or elegant look, add even more length: 

Break: Curtains that lightly touch the floor and have a slight “break” at the bottom, creating a stylish, tailored look. Measure break length curtains from the top of the window frame to the floor and add one inch. 

Puddle: Curtains that “pool” on the floor, and are ideal in dramatic, romantic or formal decor. Measure puddle curtains from the top of the window frame to the floor, adding anywhere from one to eight inches depending on your preference:  

  • Minimal puddle: Add one to three inches to your original measurement
  • Moderate puddle: Add three to six inches to your original measurement 
  • Opulent puddle: Add six to eight inches to your original measurement 

Learn more: Curtain Length Rules

Curtain Measuring Example

measuring for curtains

Curtain style: Hover

Window width: 36 inches
Medium curtain fullness: 36 inches x 2 =72 inches wide

Window height (from the top of the frame to the floor): 96 inches
Hover curtain style: subtract ½ inch
Curtain height: 96 inches minus ½ inch = 95 ½ inches long.

Curtain Measurements: Your curtains should be 72 inches wide × 95-½ inches long

Standard curtain length sizes are 63, 84, 95, 108 and 120 inches. If the length you need falls between any of these measurements, go one size longer and have the curtains tailored to fit.

If you’re using curtain rings, make sure to add their length into your calculations.

Step 4: Double-Check Your Measurements

When it comes to hanging curtains, there’s no room for error. 

Always double-check your measurements to make sure they’re correct, especially if you’re tailoring your curtains. Crooked curtains are an eyesore and a pain to re-measure and re-hang.  

Now you know how to measure for curtains accurately – great! But that’s only half the job – you still need to hang your curtains. Luckily, a quick and easy solution is within reach.

How to Hang Curtains Right Without Drilling Holes

With Kwik-Hang’s no-drill, damage-free curtain rod brackets, measuring is the hardest part. The rest is simple! Just place the brackets on top of the window trim, tap them in and hang your curtains.

Installation takes minutes and doesn’t require any drilling. Kwik-Hang’s curtain rod brackets fit most size windows with trim. Hang curtains quickly and effortlessly with no drills, nails or damage.

Don’t let hanging curtains stress you out – try Kwik-Hang today!

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