How to Measure Windows for Curtains: A General Guide


Measuring windows for curtains may seem like a daunting task, but it is actually a simple process that can be done by anyone. The key is to have the right tools and follow the necessary steps. In this article, we will guide you through the process of measuring windows for curtains so that you can choose the right size and style for your home.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Measure the Width of the Window

Before you can buy curtains, you need to measure the width of your window. Use a metal tape measure to measure the distance from one side of the frame to the other, taking note of the measurement in inches. If you have several windows to measure, it is a good idea to label each measurement to keep track.

Step 2: Measure the Height of the Window

Next, measure the height of the window from the top of the frame to the bottom. Make sure to measure from the highest point of the frame to the lowest point, even if there is a sill present. Record this measurement in inches as well.

Step 3: Consider the Curtain Style

Once you have the window measurements, it’s important to consider the style of curtains you want. If you want floor-length curtains, add 2-3 inches to the height of the measurement. If you want curtains that hang just above the sill, add 1/2 inch to the height. For curtains that sit on the sill, there is no need to add extra inches.

Step 4: Determine the Rod Placement

Before you can hang curtains, you need to decide on the rod placement. Curtain rods should be mounted 4-6 inches above the window frame for a standard look, and 8-12 inches above for a more dramatic effect. Depending on the height of the ceiling, it may be necessary to install the rod higher to create the illusion of height.

Step 5: Measure the Rod Width

Once you have determined the rod placement, measure the width of the window and add at least 2 inches on each side. This will give you enough space to allow the curtains to hang on either side without blocking the natural light.

Step 6: Consider the Stack-back Width

If you plan to open and close your curtains frequently, it is important to take into consideration the stack-back width. This refers to the amount of space the curtains will take up when drawn open. Typically, curtains will take up about one-third of the total width of the window when pulled back, so make sure to add this measurement to your total rod width.

Step 7: Consider the Curtain Fabric

The type of fabric used for your curtains will also impact the measurements needed. If you choose a heavy fabric such as velvet or suede, you may need to add more than the standard 2 inches to the rod width to accommodate the increased weight of the material.

Step 8: Decide on the Curtain Heading

The type of heading you choose will also impact the overall length of your curtains. If you opt for a tab top or eyelet curtain, you can subtract 1-2 inches from the total length as these styles hang down further than traditional pleated curtains.

Step 9: Measure for Pattern Repeat

If you choose patterned curtains, it is important to measure for pattern repeat. This refers to the distance between each pattern repeat in the fabric. To determine this, measure from the starting point of one pattern to the starting point of the next and add this measurement to the total fabric width.

Step 10: Account for Hemming

When buying ready-made curtains, it is likely that they will need to be hemmed to the correct length. When measuring, add an extra 2-3 inches to the total length to accommodate the hem.

Step 11: Account for Multiple Panels

If you have a large window, you may need to use multiple panels to cover the entire width of the window. When measuring, divide the total window width by the number of panels you plan to use, and then add an extra 2 inches to each panel for movement.

Step 12: Double-Check Measurements

Once you have finished measuring, double-check your measurements to make sure they are accurate. It is always best to re-measure before purchasing curtains to avoid any mistakes.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use a metal tape measure for accurate measurements.
2. Measure twice to avoid any mistakes.
3. If in doubt, opt for longer rather than shorter curtains as they can always be hemmed.
4. Consider blackout curtains if you are sensitive to light.
5. Purchase a little extra fabric if you plan to make your own curtains, just in case.
6. Test out different curtain styles before making your final decision.
7. Avoid installing rods too close to the window frame as this can make the window appear smaller.
8. Consider using rings for easy curtain installation and removal.
9. Mix and match different curtain styles and fabrics for a unique look.
10. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colors and patterns to add some personality to your space.

In conclusion, measuring windows for curtains is a simple process that can be done by anyone with the right tools and knowledge. By following the steps outlined in this article, you will be able to choose the right size and style of curtains for your home, creating a cozy and welcoming environment. Remember to take your time when measuring and always double-check your measurements to avoid any costly mistakes.

Advantages and Disadvantages of How to Measure Windows for Curtains


1. Custom fit: Measuring windows for curtains ensures that the curtains fit perfectly, giving a neat and tailored look to the room.

2. Maximum light control: Measuring the windows allows you to choose the right length and width of the curtains to completely cover the window, blocking out any unwanted light.

3. Enhanced privacy: Properly fit curtains provide privacy and prevent outsiders from seeing into your home.

4. Improved energy efficiency: Measuring windows ensures that curtains fit snugly against the window, reducing air leaks and maintaining a consistent temperature in the room.

5. Better appearance: Curtains that are measured to fit well provide an elegant, finished look to the room.

6. Saves time and money: Measuring windows correctly the first time can help you avoid having to purchase additional curtains or make unnecessary alterations to the curtains.

7. Greater design flexibility: Measuring windows allows you to choose from a wider range of curtain styles and designs to fit any room decor.

8. Better functionality: Measuring windows ensures that curtains can be easily opened and closed without getting caught on the window frame or furniture.

9. Increased durability: Properly measured and fitted curtains are less likely to wear out or become damaged due to improper handling or use.

10. Easier cleaning: Curtains that fit well are easier to remove and clean, helping to maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan.


1. Time-consuming: Properly measuring windows for curtains can be a time-consuming process, particularly if you have many windows to cover.

2. Need for accurate measurements: Accurately measuring windows for curtains requires precise measurements to ensure a proper fit, which may be challenging for some people.

3. Expensive: Custom-fit curtains can be more expensive than ready-made curtains purchased off the shelf.

4. Difficult to alter: Curtains that have been custom-measured are more difficult to alter, requiring a professional to make adjustments.

5. Limited mobility: Once custom-fitted curtains are in place, they cannot be easily moved to another location without needing to measure the window again.

6. Limited selection: Some curtain styles and designs may not be available for custom-measured curtains.

7. Risk of error: Inaccurate measurements can result in curtains that don’t fit properly, making them unsightly and ineffective.

8. Potential for damage: Improper installation of curtains can lead to damage to the curtains or window frame, which can be costly to repair or replace.

9. Difficulty in finding a professional: Finding a professional to do the measuring and installation can be a challenge, particularly in rural or remote areas.

10. Requires maintenance: Properly measured curtains require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure they continue to look and function their best.


1. Why is it important to measure windows for curtains?

Measuring your windows properly will ensure that your curtains fit perfectly and look great. Without proper measurements, you risk ending up with curtains that are too short or too long, and they may not provide the coverage you need.

2. What tools do I need to measure my windows for curtains?

All you need is a measuring tape, a pencil, and a piece of paper to record your measurements.

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

Measure the width of your window from left to right at the top, middle, and bottom. Take the largest of these measurements and add a few inches to allow for the curtain to overlap the window frame.

4. How do I measure the height of my window for curtains?

Measure the height of your window from the top of the window frame to the desired length of your curtains. Add a few inches to allow for the curtain rod and the curtain top hem.

5. What if my windows are different sizes?

You will need to measure each window separately and order custom-sized curtains to ensure a perfect fit.

6. Do I need to take into account the type of curtain rod I will be using?

Yes. If you are using a decorative curtain rod with finials, you will need to measure the curtains to accommodate the rod and finials.

7. Can I measure my windows for curtains myself or should I hire a professional?

Measuring your windows for curtains is a simple task that you can easily do yourself. However, if you are not comfortable with measurements, you can hire a professional to do it for you.

8. Should I measure my windows before or after I hang the curtain rod?

You should measure your windows before you hang the curtain rod, as this will allow you to accurately determine the width and height of your curtains.

9. What if my window has blinds or shades already installed?

Measure the width and height of the window above the blinds or shades to determine the size of curtains you need.

10. How can I ensure that my curtains are properly hung once I have the measurements?

Hang your curtains at the desired height and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that they are level and hanging straight.

11. Can I return curtains that don’t fit properly?

Most retailers have a return policy for items that do not fit properly. Be sure to check the return policy before making your purchase.

12. How do I care for my curtains once they are installed?

Follow the care instructions that come with your curtains to ensure that they last as long as possible. Usually, curtains can be machine washed on cold and hung to dry.

13. What are some common mistakes to avoid when measuring for curtains?

Some common mistakes include measuring only one side of the window, failing to account for the curtain rod and hem, and not adding extra inches for overlap. Double-check your measurements before ordering to avoid costly mistakes.

How to Measure Windows for Curtains

Choosing the perfect curtains for your room can be a tricky task. The right curtains can enhance the look of your room and elevate its appeal, while the wrong ones can make it look drab and uninviting. However, before you go out and buy the curtains of your dreams, you need to measure your windows accurately to get the perfect fit. In this article, we’ll tell you step-by-step how to measure windows for curtains like a pro.


Window curtains are a great way to add personality, warmth and style to your home. Measuring your windows for curtains is an integral step to ensure your curtains fit perfectly. The right measurement will ensure that your curtains hang beautifully and add a touch of charm to your room. So, follow these simple steps, measure your windows accurately, pick the perfect curtains, and sit back and enjoy the beautiful transformation of your room.

Thank you for reading through this article. We hope you found it helpful in measuring your windows for curtains. Remember, measuring your windows accurately is crucial to ensure you get the perfect fit. So, go ahead and measure those windows like a pro! Until next time, goodbye.