Design Decisions

How High to Hang Curtains

With so many window covering options out there, curtains tend to be the most popular. But, Knowing how high to hang curtains in your home can be quite the challenge. It seems like something so simple, but in reality, the complete look of the windows in a room can change based on the height of a curtain.

Standard curtain lengths come in 63, 84, 94, 108, and 120 inches. This doesn’t mean you cannot customize your length, but the average curtain panel comes in these particular sizes. Most companies will allow you to customize and order a length, but it may cost more and, of course, take more time to make. The standard curtain sizes are generally in stock.

Here are a few tips to think about when ordering and hanging curtains. Hopefully, this helps you answer the question of how high do I hang my curtains.

Different Length Options and Curtain Length Rules

There are a few different options for hanging your curtains a few curtain length rules we try and refer to. All of these options should first start with the top being at least 4-6 inches above the window frame depending on your ceiling height.

The top of most of our windows are 8ft, and we used 108″ panels almost everywhere. So we hung our curtain rod about 13 inches above the windows.

The higher the curtain rod, the taller your window will appear. I recommend to always install a rod closer to the ceiling than the top of the window.

Tip: Before hanging your rod, you should already know if you are going to be using rings or not. This will add a couple more inches to your overall length.

The three top curtain lengths are apron, floor-length, and puddle. Floor-length curtains tend to be my favorite, offering more of an elegant, classy look. Our favorite curtains are the Belgian Flax Linen Curtain. We chose to use this curtain in the color ivory throughout most of our home. They are hung to barely touch the floor and are the easiest to open and close. You can see this height in our dining room above.

A puddle curtain length extends 1-3 inches further onto the floor. This creates more of a dramatic look for a room such as a formal dining room or living area. This option may be a little harder to keep clean with dust gathering, but they sure do look great!

The other option I mentioned isn’t one of my favorites, but it is one that several people use. The apron curtain length is more of a casual look that people tend to use in informal areas such as a breakfast nook. They come down about 4 inches from the window sill.

How to Measure for Curtains

When figuring out how high to hang curtains, the first step is measuring. You need to know your lengths before you even purchase your curtains, so this is a very important step. Before measuring, figure out where you want your curtains to fall. This means before doing anything, you need to choose one of the options above: apron, floor-length, or puddle.

Measuring is actually quite simple. If you have a measuring tape, you are good to go! Measure from the floor to where the rod will be. To make sure you get them long enough, I would add a couple of inches to your measurement. This will assure that the curtains will not fall too short. There is nothing worse than high water curtains. And you can always mount your curtain rod a little higher to make sure the bottoms of your curtains hit where you want them to.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Siya

    I have a window at the corner of my room, it starts from the very edge of the adjoining wall, how do I measure the length of the curtain rod in this case? Should I buy a rod longer than the window frame and have it be disproportionate or should I just take the exact measurements of the window and have the curtains be in the area of the window even when they are drawn?

    August 14, 2020 at 3:06 pm
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