Design Tips

Choosing the Right Curtain Length for Your Windows

what length are curtains

Curtains are a great way to soften the appearance of a room, add some texture, and create privacy. But when it comes to choosing the right length, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s important to take into account your window size, your window placement, and how you want the curtains to hang. So let’s break down some tips and tricks for finding the perfect curtain length for your windows.

What Length are Curtains?

The standard length of curtains is 84 inches, 96 inches, 108 inches, and 120 inches. The length you choose depends on the height of your window header and how far above the window you want to hang your curtains.

Measure Your Windows to Determine Curtain Length

The tops of most windows are approximately 7 feet, 8 feet, or 9 feet off the floor. And this usually depends on ceiling height. A room with 8 ft or 9 ft ceilings will have windows with 7 ft headers. A room with 10 ft ceilings will have windows with 8 ft headers. And a room with 12 ft ceilings will have windows with 9 ft headers. But keep in mind this could vary. So it’s always a good idea to measure the specific window you are buying curtains for.

To measure your window height off the floor, you will need a step ladder and a tape measure. While standing on the ladder, extend the tape measure down until it touches the floor and keep extending it until the other end is above the top of the window. I always take the measurement of the top edge of the window moulding.

Make Your Room Look Taller

I always recommend hanging your curtains above the window. Doing this will give the illusion that your room is taller than it actually is. This is especially a good idea in rooms with 8 ft ceilings. But we always hang our curtains above the windows no matter what the ceiling height is. Not only does it create the illusion of taller ceilings, but it also gives a more dramatic look.

Which Curtain Length to Choose

Now that you know your window height and that you should hang your curtains above your window, you choose the right curtain length. You can go ahead and rule out the 84 inch length. Based on the tips above, this would only work on a window that has a height of 6 ft, which is very uncommon.

If your window height is around 7 feet, you should choose a 96 inch length for your curtains. If your window height is around 8 feet, you should choose a 108 inch length for your curtains. And for a window height of around 9 feet, you’ll need a curtain with a length of 120 inches.

How High to Hang Curtains

As I mentioned above, it’s best to hang your curtains higher than the top of the window. How much higher will be determined by how you want the bottom of the curtains to hit the floor. There are two options: just touching the floor or puddling on the floor. I prefer my curtains barely touching the floor or just slightly above. Another factor in determining how high you hang your curtains is whether or not you are using curtain rings. If so, you will need to adjust accordingly. Usually, you’ll end up hanging curtains about 10 inches above the window trim.

I’ve written another article which goes into more detail about how high to hang curtains.

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