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How Long Should Curtains Be on a Window? (Read This First!)

Windows are there to give you and access to air and sunlight inside your room, and curtains are there to help you control their extent. Calculating curtain length is as essential as putting them in the first place.

Misfit curtain is both a waste of money and can make your room look distasteful. So, in order to find the ideal curtain length, let’s explore what to consider and how to calculate.

Curtains length on a window

Depending on the height of the room, and size of the window, the curtain size on a window can be determined. Ideally, there are three types of curtains based on their length- 84 inches, 96 inches, and 108 inches. A perfect curtain will cover the window from 10 inches above the window to the floor.

Curtains have become a good source of indoor aesthetics. With matching colors of the room interior and furniture, a curtain can become the finishing touch for beautification in any indoor space.

The functional object also protects a room’s privacy and exposure to high sunlight. A curtain should be covering a window in all direction that leaves no gaps.

For that, the curtain must be bigger than the window. The practices of curtain positioning have given some standards that suits almost every situation.

In the past, people chose curtains which had length that only covers the bottom window sill.

But the curtain in now days should be long enough to reach the floor. The change of curtain size is proportional to the change of window size, that has more purpose than past practices.

Also, the size of a curtain can vary depending on the room height. Even, you would find variation in horizontal size of curtains to match the tiny rooms and tiny surfaces, where a big curtain may feel overwhelmed.

So, in order to match the room capacity and cover the window according to its size, you should take consideration of the variables mentioned before. Let’s explore some curtain length for some ideal window sizes.

36 inch window:

One of the most common window size, which is ideal for 10 feet high rooms and positioned four feet above the ground.

Given the height of the window and its position from the floor, 84 inches long curtains are suitable for such windows.

However, considering a 10” gap from the upper corner of the window, you may choose 96 inches long window curtains. Please notice where the curtain bars are positioned, that may also affect the curtain length required for the window.

72 inch window:

Any curtain that is more than 72 inches in length should be able to cover such window. But practically, you have to consider other factors such as height of window sill and position of the window from the ground.

A curtain should be long enough to almost touching the floor, leaving a 3/8” to ½” gap to prevent it from getting moist.

120 inch window:

If your room leaves no space above a 120 inch window, you may want to place the curtain bar from the roof. Normally a 120” curtain will be best fit due to no need for additional place to consider.

Can curtains be longer than the window?

Curtains are one good functional component in a room that can both cover a window to protect from sunlight and increases aesthetics of the space. With perfect color combination and positioning, a curtain can certainly magnify the beauty of the room.

Ideally, curtains should be longer than the window. To cover the window completely an protect your room from sunlight and for privacy you don’t want something that cannot cover the window gap properly.

Any steep corner uncovered can lead to events that you may want to avoid. Thus, it is better to choose curtain that is longer than the window. Similarly, it should cover more than just the window horizontally.

Best way to choose a minimum size for curtain is to add 10 inch with the window in all directions. Also, people tend to choose curtains that cover till the floor.

Should curtains touch the floor or window sill?

Change of time has lots of effects on the perception of people on how they how they want things to appear.

The older conception of curtain was a simple coverage for windows that would prevent cold air, and sunlight to enter when not required. But now days, curtain is also a tool for beautification and aesthetics.

Human historically chose curtains from window sill at top to window sill at bottom, which is enough to cover the window to prevent light and other things.

However, the case has changed since people found color combination and different texture, design can make a curtain aesthetically important and functional for a room.

Now people choose curtain that starts from 10 inches above the window to all the way ½ inches above the floor. So, in modern households, curtains should be long enough to touch the floor.

4 factors that affect curtain size for windows

Curtains are as essential as windows and variation among curtain suggests that people really consider curtains to be a significant décor.

Apart from the beauty, curtains come in different sizes. Here are some factors that lead curtains to come in different sizes- 

Window Size:

Window size is the most prominent factor that affects curtain size. It is obvious that the bigger windows will require larger curtains compared to smaller ones.

There are some standards for windows and homes and offices usually choose ideal windows best serve their structure.

However, there are some minimum sizes for curtains, so no matter how small your windows get, you must get curtains of some minimum length.

Additionally, commercial manufacturers produce some ready-made curtains that come in either 7 feet, 8 feet or 9 feet in height.

Position of window:

Windows are usually positioned 3 or 4 feet above the ground depending on the size of the windows.

However, Positioning matters a lot because now you must consider the height to figure out the length of the curtain that would cover the area without exposing the wall or breaking into floor.

Location of the window:

People tend to put longer curtains in their living room and bedrooms. So, for other places, the curtain sizes can be window sill long.


Considering the theme of the interior you can choose curtain size. If you are looking for a vintage look, longer curtains might be overwhelming. Also, there are lots of designs you may consider before choosing the curtain size.

Types of curtains:

Curtains such as apron curtain, café curtain, window sill curtain, grommet curtains and panel pair curtain; all have different size and shape. So, depending on which curtain you choose, the size of the curtain will vary.

How to choose the right curtain lengths for a window?

Choosing the right length of curtain for a window is the first step you take to decorate your room by not compromising its privacy and controlling the exposure to sun and circulation of air. Here are some steps you may follow for right curtain length-

Clear the way:

At first you may want to move all the furniture or object you have put in front of the window. So that, you can get a clear view of window from inside and decide which curtain you want and can measure the lengths easily.

Measure window size:

As the main purpose of a curtain is to cover a window, the size of the window is the most important one. Use a tape measure to find the window size. From top to bottom, measure accurately for perfect size of the curtain.

Position of the window:

Now measure where is the window located from the floor. Measure it and decide how long of a curtain you need. You may want something of a sill length, also, you may want it to be floor length.

Whatever it is, decide it because it is the most important measurement for your curtain.

The hanging bar:

Ideally it is placed 10 inches above the top window sill. But there might be variation depending on the window size. Taller windows don’t have 10 inches above, so the measurement may vary.

So, you may want to measure the length from hanging bar to top window corner.

Choose the curtain:

If you are choosing curtains with heavy fabric, you should choose floor length curtains.

You can choose shorter sill length curtain for rooms where you need to feel cozy and need lots of light. Decide the curtain and measure accordingly.

Final Thoughts

The size of a window curtain should be according to the window it is covering. From 10 inches above the window to the surface of the floor, is the ideal curtain length altogether 84-108 inches. Thus, room height and position of the window also matters.