Curtain window treatments are the only item installed before moving day. They require a few holes to properly place, but they are crucial in making a bare room bearable. Curtains provide the most fundamental level of seclusion in any home. But good curtains can also give color to a room.
In the US, standard curtain panel sizes are 48” wide and come in four lengths: 63”, 84”, 96”, and 108”. Curtains 84 inches or longer are only used in rooms with low ceilings to create the appearance of height.
Their length and shape will alter the perception of your space, from its size to the amount of light it receives in the morning. The right curtain lengths can be vital, so curtain widths to cover your windows effectively.
Because there are so many window sizes and curtain types, it’s challenging, especially if you have never bought curtains before.
You can learn more about what interior designers already know by using our standard curtain lengths chart in our guide.
By the end, you’ll comfortably be able to get your window’s width, take your measured width of the length and choose the right curtain from standard curtain sizes or if you have very wide windows where you need multiple panels. (Read Vacuum Hose Sizes Chart)
How Do I Know What Size Curtain I Need?
The standard rule for curtain sizing is that you’ll find curtains have a finished curtain flat-out width, which should be twice the width of the window size.
Curtain panels in the United States are 48″ broad and come in four distinct lengths: 63 inches, 84 inches, 96 inches, or 108 inches.
Curtains with a width of 84 inches or more are only used in rooms with very low ceilings to provide the appearance of height.
The curtain size chart and curtain length chart are equally crucial to comprehend.
Standard Curtain Sizes & Charts
Curtains, like everything else, come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, and still, it can be hard to please some individuals.
Made-to-order custom-made curtains can be a solution, but even then, you still need to know the dimensions.
Here is a breakdown of the curtain types and the standard curtain length options and sizes you’ll often find.
Standard Curtain Width
Most of the time, the curtain width isn’t an issue. The standard width of curtain panels is 48 inches. If your windows are very large, you can always add more curtains. The main issue is the length of the curtain.
The curtain length is often one of these here:
- 63 inches (160 cm)
- 84 inches (213 cm)
- 96 inches (244 cm)
- 108 inches (274 cm)
- 120 inches (305 cm)
The most important thing to remember when selecting an optimum curtain length is to avoid purchasing drapes that are the same size as your windows.
This won’t cover your entire window, leaving you with half-open windows where the bottom meets the window sill.
When choosing optimal curtain measurements, please consider the height of your ceiling and the impression you want them to produce in your home.
Curtains should always be at least 6 inches longer than where your window sill sits.
This provides more length below the window for better privacy from all angles and enough space above the window to fill the gap between the window and the rod.
Here are three styles of how curtains could fall toward the floor and affect the right curtain lengths. (Read Nutsert Drill Size Chart)
Floating light or sheer curtains can provide an exotic effect in a space with a wide or panoramic view. Add a second layer of window treatments such as tied draperies or cascades for more exotic views.
Those curtains have a gap between the floor and the curtain’s end.
Cleaning behind these curtains is easier because they are not touching the floor. This is perfect for homes with pets, especially cats or children who cannot reach them.
Floating curtains should be avoided when they make your ceiling appear low, thus making your area appear smaller. Instead, they should dangle 4 inches from the window sill or 2 inches from the floor.
Floor Kissing Length
If your room has high ceilings or needs blackout curtains, you may choose to buy floor kissing-length curtain panel styles. Those lengthier drapes that “kiss” the floor but do not spill or pool.
When buying them, get a lengthier length than you need and shorten it. It’s tough to measure them correctly, so don’t risk it.
Buying custom floor kissing curtains may be a fantastic option. They look good on narrow windows or thick grommet-style rods.
Puddling Length Curtains
These puddling-length drapes are designed to look like a puddle on your floor. As a result, they look official and traditional. They usually look better in thicker fabrics like velvet for a more dramatic look. Many older, wealthy homes have these drapes in the dining rooms.
However, these floor-length curtains are difficult to clean and maintain. A family with children should avoid them. They should not be placed near French doors or windows in dusty areas. They are also difficult to open and can easily trap dirt or dust. (Read Oil Filled Heater Vs. Ceramic)
Special Length Curtains
Most standard curtain panels don’t require full-coverage curtains. However, these are not tailored, and you can find a few standard lengths to meet your needs.
Kitchen curtains should not be fully covered as they trap grease and odors. Bathroom windows and windowsills that are exceptionally high also do not require full coverage. Both types often meet the window sill to avoid excess dirt on the bottom.
Windowsill curtains: If you have furniture beneath your window, you can use these to prevent damage.
Valances: Valances are around 5 inches and cover the top window part. You can find these in cottage-styled homes to cover bay windows or doors.
Tier curtains: Tier curtains are 34 to 36 inches and cover two-thirds of a window on the top or the bottom.
How To Measure For the Correct Curtain Length?
You should measure from the floor up to the rod where you plan on placing your curtains and make sure to measure it with a trustworthy measuring tape.
Your window may appear smaller if your rod is placed too low. The rule of thumb is around 4” up from the top of your window, but you are safe to go even higher.
What Size Is A Standard Curtain Rod?
Although curtain rods come in various lengths, 28, 48, 84, 66, and 120 inches are the most typical.
Measure the size of the curtain rods required; to do this, measure your window dimensions, and add 6 inches on each side. Mark your walls with a pencil to accurately place your rods.
How To Choose The Right Curtain Size?
If you are moving into a property without curtain rods, you should plan ahead of time.
First, make sure your rod is at least 4 inches above the window. You must be sure of the exact location of your rod. If you perform this correctly, your rod will not be visible through the window.
If you want a quieter room, place your rod two inches below the ceiling and use thick or blackout fabric. You need four support points for blackout curtains, but regular curtain sizes only need three.
The recommended width of your curtain size is 1.5 – 2 times the window’s width. In addition, you should have ample fabric to flare the curtains for complete coverage.
Rods should be at least three inches apart from the side ends of windows for easy shutting and opening.
Always buy curtains longer as they are easier to shorten if they do not fit by a few inches. Also, furniture near the window may need to be moved, especially if the drapes are floor-kissing or puddling length.
|Curtain Pair Pack |
|Approx. pole or track length |
|Approx. pole or track length
|46 inches (117 cm)||46 inches (117 cm)||66 inches (168 cm)|
|66 inches (168 cm)||66 inches (168 cm)||90 inches (228 cm)|
|90 inches (228 cm)||90 inches (228 cm)||112 inches (284 cm)|
|112 inches (284 cm)||112 inches (284 cm)||157 inches (400 cm)|
Dos and Don’ts to avoid the wrong curtain size.
- Do have a curtain rod wider than your window.
- Use blinds as extras to your curtains for greater coverage.
- Have wide enough curtains to ensure good opening and closing.
- Hang curtains a few inches above your windows.
- Don’t pick narrow curtains unless you use several curtains to cover the window.
- Don’t buy too short curtains; the curtain lengths of your floor-length curtain mean they should barely touch the floor.
- Don’t hang your standard curtain sizes too low.
- Don’t put the curtain rod of rod pocket curtains inside your window frame.
How To Measure Standard Curtain Lengths and Curtain Panels?
Here you can find how to measure for different curtains. Our size chart can be a great starting point, yet knowing how to measure your standard curtain sizes means you’ll never get stuck.
1. Pick the spot you want your hardware to be fastened.
The “mount” can have hardware inside or outside of it. For example, curtains hung inside the mount will hang inside the window opening.
You want to keep the hardware as near the window frame as possible in the scenario of living room windows. (Read Ground Wire Size Chart)
For more privacy, curtains will hang around the windows for an outside mount, such as in bedroom windows.
This is the most typical option when seeking a sleek and stylish style. An exterior mount might also make the window appear more prominent. Curtain rods can be found in most local home improvement stores.
2. Measure your window width.
A rule of thumb is to add 12 inches to the window’s width on each side for a total width of 24 inches.
This will give you enough slack in the standard curtains panels to ensure that they completely cover the window when your curtains are closed.
You can also choose the number of panels you want to put up.
Standard windows often feature only two panels, but if you have a larger window, want a complete look, or want to create a layered impression, you can use four or even six.
Divide the number of panels by the window’s modified width after knowing how many there are.
If your window is 60 inches wide, for example, multiply that by 24. This gives you a measurement of 84 inches.
So, if you wish to cover your window with two panels, divide 84 by two. This equals 42, so your panels must be a minimum of 42 inches wide.
3. Measure the length
You’ll want to measure from the spot where you’d hang the rod to the lowest point you’d like the fabric to hang now that you know where you’re going to put your hardware.
You can feel confident in making your curtain purchase once you’ve determined how long you want your curtains to hang and the width of the panels you’ll need.
Here is a recap of curtain types and how they differ from standard curtains. You can use your standard size curtain rod in most cases, though it could change based on curtain position.
Standard Tier Curtains
Tier curtains are used on smaller windows or don’t need to be fully covered. For example, a tier curtain covers the bottom half of a window, perfect for windows above a kitchen sink.
Depending on the window’s positioning and size, this curtain style could be used in the bathroom. Pre-made tier curtains are available in two lengths, 24 and 36 inches and 45-inch width.
You can have these custom produced to your exact proportions with standard curtain panels.
A valance is a window treatment that covers the top of the window. Depending on the pattern, a valance is 50 inches broad and 3 to 5 inches deep. Notable uses include bay windows and windows with various privacy coverings.
Full drapes can sometimes detract from a bay window’s primary purpose of creating an outward, extra area. A valance is a great alternative. It can conceal privacy screens, shades, or blinds.
The curtains will now barely touch the floor. Remember that this procedure requires exact measurements. You should also think about how you hang the curtain and the hardware you use. These can all affect the base of the curtain and affect a “kiss” look.
This length of curtain can be hung in two ways. You can hang floating-length curtains that hover just above the floor, or you can hang curtains that fall just below the window. Depending on your window, this may float higher off the floor.