How to Measure Curtains and Drapes - 5 Quick Steps

Choosing the right curtains or drapes can transform the look and feel of any room, adding style, warmth, and functionality. However, the key to achieving the perfect fit lies in accurate measurements. Whether you're a seasoned decorator or a novice DIY enthusiast, this guide will walk you through the essential steps to measure curtains and drapes effectively.

What do we need to measure curtains and drapes?

Before diving into the measurements, make sure you have the following tools and materials on hand:

  1. Measuring Tape: A reliable measuring tape is your best friend for obtaining accurate measurements.
  2. Step Stool: Ensure you can easily access all areas around the window, especially tall ones.
  3. Pen and Paper: Keep a notepad or use your smartphone to jot down measurements.
  4. Clearing the Area: Remove any obstacles or furniture hindering your measurements.

Measurement 1: Window Width

Start by measuring the window's width from one side to the other. For a standard look, extend the measurement slightly beyond the window frame. Add extra width if you desire a more luxurious appearance with fuller curtains.

Measurement 2: Window Height

Measure the window's curtains height from the top of the frame to the bottom. Decide if you want your curtains to hang just below the window sill, reach the floor, or puddle for a dramatic effect.

Measurement 3: Curtain Rod Width

If you already have a curtain rod, measure its width. This will help you determine the appropriate width for your curtains or drapes. If you still need a rod, consider purchasing one extending a few inches beyond the window frame on each side for a balanced look.

Measurement 4: Curtain Length

Decide where you want your curtains to fall – just below the window sill, to the floor, or even paddling on the floor for a more abundant appearance. Measure from the curtain rod to your chosen length point.

Measurement 5: Additional Fabric for Fullness

Calculate extra fabric based on the desired fullness for a more luxurious and full appearance. Typically, doubling the width for light to medium fabrics and tripling for heavier materials is a good rule of thumb.

Measurement 6: Tie-Back Length

If you plan to use tie-backs, measure the length from the top of the curtain to where you want the tie-back to sit.

Measurement 7: Drapery Rings or Hooks

If you're using rings or hooks, measure the distance from the top of the eyelet curtain to where the rings or hooks will be attached.

Measurement 8: Curtain Drop

Measure the distance from the top of the curtain rod to the bottom edge of the curtain. This is crucial if your curtains have a unique design or pattern you want to showcase.

Measurement 9: Hem Allowance

Leave some extra fabric at the bottom for hemming. This ensures that the curtains will reach your desired length after hemming.

Measurement 10: Checking for Uniformity

Double-check all measurements to ensure uniformity. Consistent measurements contribute to a polished and professional look.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

A. Underestimating Fullness

Remember to consider the importance of fullness, especially for heavier fabrics. More fabric can make curtains look sparse and less luxurious than intended.

B. Ignoring Fabric Shrinkage

If your chosen fabric is prone to shrinkage, account for this in your measurements. Wash or pre-shrink the fabric before cutting to avoid surprises later on.


Accurate measurements are the foundation of well-dressed windows. Taking the time to measure curtains and drapes properly ensures a tailored and polished appearance. Whether aiming for a cosy, casual vibe or a more sophisticated ambience, these measurements will guide you toward achieving the perfect look for your space.


Can I measure the curtains without any help?

Absolutely! While having a partner can make the process quicker, you can achieve accurate measurements independently with the right tools and patience.

What if my windows are not standard size?

No worries! These measurements are adaptable to various window sizes. Simply adjust the measurements based on the size and shape of your windows for a customized fit.