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How to Measure Windows for Curtains

What Size Curtains Do You Need for Your Window?

Updating your curtains or drapes is an easy and affordable way to refresh the look of any room. Whether you're decorating a new set of windows for the first time or updating old window dressings, the first step is to measure your windows so you know what size curtains to get.

Measuring Single or Double Hung Windows

Before you begin measuring, consider how you want your curtains to look. Do you want them to hang down to the window sill or all the way to the floor? Are you going for a full, gathered look with the curtains drawn all the way to the sides of the window?

If you are planning on hanging your curtains to the bottom of the window sill, then you will need to measure the length of your window from the top of the frame to the bottom of the sill. Extend this measurement to the floor if you plan to hang full length curtains.

When measuring width, consider how much light you want to let in. For decorative window dressings like sheer panels, you may decide to simply mount the curtain rod on the window frame and let light in from the sides.

However, if your goal is to use blackout curtains or to go for a full and gathered look, consider how far to the sides of the window you want to extend your curtain rod. One common rule of thumb for a full and gathered look is to multiply 2.5x the width of your window

How to Measure Bay Windows for Curtains

Bay windows typically involve multiple pieces, but they are measured similarly to the steps outlined above for single and double hung window curtains. Make sure to measure the length and width of each window section and extend those measurements accordingly depending on how long you want the curtain panels to hang.

Measuring French Doors for Curtains or Drapes

French door curtains are generally floor length panels hung above the door molding that extend past the edges of the doors. Make sure to measure the entire length of the door from the top of the molding to the floor.