How to Measure for Curtains?

Curtain measurements are essential if you want the perfect fit for your frames. It is often easy to take the measurements but only if you know what you are doing.

Measure for Curtains

You can always use a steel tape to take the measurements as plastic and fabric tape measures often stretch with time and have a tendency of giving false readings.

Remember that curtain widths often depend on your track or pole while its length will determine where it ends. Therefore, you should select your pole or track for the fit before taking any measurements for your curtain length. This will help you get accurate results be it you are shopping for an easy to fit ready-made curtain or you are commissioning for a made to measure one.

Here is a systematic guide on how to take curtain measurements for a perfect fit.

Measurements for a new curtain track or pole

You will need to measure the inside width of your window recess, that is where the window frame starts and ends. Then decide on how far you want the curtains to go over the window or wall, for each side of the window.

This can be around 20cm or 8 inches on each side of the window, for the curtains to open widely to allow for light and close nicely to prevent light from peaking over the edges of the window when not needed.

You can then add the width of the window recess and the extra length from the window to get your pole or track measurements.

However, if there is an already existing pole or track you want to use, just skip this step.

Measurements for the width of the curtain

When measuring curtain width, it is always important to consider the gather. Therefore, if you want to take measurements for curtains with a medium gather when it is closed. Then you simply multiply your track or pole measurements by 1.5 then divide the results by 2. The result is the required width of each curtain set.

However, for a curtain that has a full or normal gather when closed. The track or pole measurements will be the required width of each curtain set.

Moreover, if you are one to opt for a heavy gather then just multiply the track or pole measurements by 2.5 and then divide the results by 2. What you get is the true width measurement of each curtain set.

Measurements of curtain drop or length

This part will require you to decide if you want curtains that will fall to the windowsill, below the windowsill or to the floor.

Curtains that usually fall to the sill often finish a ½ inch or 1.25cm above the windowsill. While those that fall below the windowsill finish as 15cm or 6 inches below. Nevertheless, you can always adjust it in accordance to your preference and style. That is for those curtains that fall below the windowsill.

However, for floor length curtains always allow about 1 inch or 2.5cm of clearance to avoid too much dragging on the floor.

After making the decision on the length type you want. You can now take your measurements from the top edge of your fitted curtain track or pole to your desired finish length.

For a tab-top or pleated curtains just write down the measurements as they are and make your order. However, for ring or eyelet, top types of curtains take the measurements and add 1.5 inches or 3.5cm. This is often the distance from the eyelets inner edge to the curtains top edge.

This is all you need to get started in getting the right curtain set for your bedroom, living room or kitchen.

Nevertheless, there are other things to consider, especially if you are taking measurements for ready-made curtains.

Things to consider when taking measurements to buy ready-made curtains:

  • The sizes that are often quoted on ready-made curtains are their approximate measurements and not exact measurements
  • Ready-made curtains are often available in certain sizes and not all. So, you might not find the perfect fit depending on your house structure
  • You might need to get some of them shortened or customized for the perfect fit and this will definitely add a number to your initial budget
  • The quality of fabric might be poor, depending on where you are buying it. In-expensive ready-made curtains often have poor quality of material but check first especially if you are buying online
  • You should also know that the first number that is often given is its width followed by length. So, a curtain measuring 228 by 137 cm or 90 by 54 inches has a width of 228cm or 90 inches and a length of 137cm or 54 inches

Measuring for made to measure curtains

Made to measure curtains often give you the freedom to choose the type of curtain you want, its fabric, design as well as exact measurements. It might be a bit pricey depending on your tailor but it is worth it at times, especially if you have a unique home structure and decor.

Besides, you can always use a curtain fabric calculator to know how much fabric you will actually need to have the curtains made. This makes for an easier and cost-effective means of ensuring you get what you actually pay for.


Conclusively, curtain measurements are very important as it ensures you do not end up with a smaller or bigger curtain. It also helps you get the curtain you want depending on the room it is intended for.

This all might seem like a hustle but it the best thing you can do to your home, as curtains accentuate a lot about a living space.

Moreover, curtains often determine a lot when it comes to home décor. They can easily keep intruders out, give in the light as well as limit it and add some value to your living space. You can opt for any be it made to measure or ready-made curtains, either way, make sure you get the appropriate ones for your home.

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