The Ultimate Guide For Choosing The Right Curtain Length

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Hanging curtains in your room can instantly change your space. Curtains can make your room feel bigger and more elegant. They also add warmth and texture. And more importantly privacy. Or at least the option for privacy when needed. But what should your curtain length be?

Hanging curtains makes a big impact. But when done wrong it becomes a very noticeable negative impact. And curtains seem to be a big frustration when it comes to decorating. Here are the main tips for choosing the right curtain length and everything you need to know. 

Tips For Measuring Your Curtains

Measure with a metal tape measure for correct measurements. 

Measure and take notes of each window separately. Don’t assume all your windows are the same size. 

Make measurements for each window and the wall space either side. You typically want your curtains to be symmetrical so account for your wall space beyond your window frames. 

You should always place your curtain rod slightly higher than your window frame. 4 inches above is a good rule of thumb.

Make sure the width of your curtain rod extends further than your window frame as well. This is to let more light in and make your windows look bigger.

Remember to take into account the curtain hardware like curtain rings and hooks. Which will impact the length of the curtains and how they hang.  

For the width of your curtain panels, measure your window width and then double or triple the width of your curtain fabric for a fuller look. This is so when your curtains are drawn the fabric isn’t a flat sheet. Eg. for a window that is 3 foot (36 inches) width, the curtain panel would be 72 inches or 108 inches in width. 

Standard Curtain Lengths

Typically curtain lengths come in standard sizes that are ready made:

  • 6 feet (72 inches)
  • 7 feet (84 inches)
  • 8 feet (96 inches)
  • 9 feet (108 inches)
  • 10 feet (120 inches)

You can get curtain lengths longer in 11 foot and 12 foot. But typically longer curtain lengths would be custom made.

Curtain Lengths and styles

Floor To Ceiling Curtain Length 

curtain length styles floor to ceiling

Why hang your curtains floor to ceiling?

For standard ceiling height floor to ceiling, curtains will make your room feel and look bigger. Even if your windows are a smaller size.

Placing your curtain rail nearer to the top of the ceiling and having your curtains reach the floor, enlarges the space. You just need to know the height of your ceiling.  

8 ft and 9 ft ceilings are usually the standard height for a home. Use a metal tape measure to get your correct ceiling height.

So you would buy your curtains the same length and what your ceiling height is. This makes it easier for you to adjust the length slightly. By turning the fabric up and hemming where needed.

It’s a lot better to have a longer curtain length than for the curtains to fall too short. These style curtains should kiss the floor and come about ¼ inch above the floor.

Floor to ceiling length curtains look good in the living room, bedrooms and dining rooms. If you have a room with sliding glass doors or french doors this is a good option to use. As they’re easy to use and low maintenance.

For rooms that have a ceiling height of 10 feet and over, it’s down to preference. You won’t need to make your ceilings look higher and make your room feel bigger. And the cost of curtains of custom made curtains is an important factor too.

If you want to make your room feel cozier just hang the curtains a few inches above the window frame. For the full grand impact go for ceiling to floor curtains. 

Puddle Length Curtains

Puddle length curtains

Puddle curtains are made slightly longer than floor to ceiling curtains. Usually about 3 to 6 inches longer so the curtains will puddle on the floor. To give a dramatic, elegant and formal feel.

As puddle curtains are sitting on the floor it’s a bit more maintenance. And dust can easily collect there. The more of a puddle or the longer the fabric the higher the maintenance.  

These styles of curtains are best for formal spaces. Like dining rooms for an elegant look and bedrooms for a pretty romantic feel. And any rooms where it’s low traffic and access isn’t needed regularly. 

If you do like this style where there’s access to the outside, have them sit on the outsides of your window frames for decoration only. And pair with sheer curtains for some privacy or none at all. 

Apron Style Curtains

Apron style curtains

Apron curtain length falls just below your window sill. Typically about 84 inches in length. And are practical if you have a radiator or another fixture underneath your window. These curtains would be a good place for the bathroom. 

Window Sill Curtains

These types of curtains sit just at your window sill. They’re useful for kitchen areas if you don’t want shades or blinds. Window sill curtains are a safe option for a children’s room as well. 

Cafe Curtains

Having cafe curtains are great for a breakfast nook or at a kitchen sink window. This is a style where the curtains start half way down the window and touch the windowsill. Great if you don’t want to be overlooked while eating. But still lets natural light through at the top of the window. 

Curtain fabrics

Cotton Curtains

Is the popular choice for curtain fabric. It’s easy to clean and maintain and the fabric is affordable. It’s a good weight and thickness for what you would need from your curtains. And cotton curtains have lots of colours and patterns available. 

Linen Curtains

Linen curtains are also a popular choice with lots of options available. A slightly thicker feel and texture than cotton but very durable and easy to take care of. 

Blackout Curtains

Are for light sleepers who need a totally dark space. Blackout curtains are made from thicker fabrics like velvet. Or a lining can be applied to the back of a fabric like cotton to make the curtains block out the sun. 

Velvet curtains

Heavy curtains like velvet give a more structured look when hung. Velvet curtains are ideal for formal rooms where you want luxury and elegance. 

Silk Curtains

Silk curtains are on the higher end in cost. But they are the perfect fabric for any rooms that you want the high end look for. Using silk is one of the best options for the puddle curtain style. 


You can get sheer curtains made from cotton, linen or a synthetic fabric. It’s an ultra thin and lightweight fabric for dressing your windows. The main function for sheers is lighting some light through to the room but keeping some privacy. 

Lace Curtains

Lace curtains can add a really pretty element to your room. Depending on what look you’re going for. This style would work really well with cottage style homes. Lace curtains will still let plenty of light into your space. The cost of lace can vary from where it’s from. It’s typically made from cotton or silk. 

Where To Shop For Curtains

I know when deciding and measuring your curtains can be a bit of a pain. But this is one thing in your room you want to get right. So I hope this curtain length guide has helped you in planning your properly.


ultimate guide for the right curtain length

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