Window treatments, almost as much as the windows they enhance, are an essential part of living spaces, providing shade and privacy as well as style. With different drapery and curtain sizes available, determining the right one to fit your needs and lifestyle might seem arduous, but understanding the standard curtain lengths and widths can help you narrow your options and make the best choice for the different windows in your home.
Curtains generally come in lengths of 84 inches, 96 inches, and 108 inches.
Standard Curtain Sizes
It isn't difficult to find off-the-rack curtain sizes with widths between 42 and 52 inches and lengths ranging from 63 inches to 144 inches, with some common shorter lengths even available for café style curtains. In general, though, most common and standard curtains come in lengths of 84 inches, 96 inches, and 108 inches. Where the curtains fall and the style they produce will depend on how high you hang the curtain rod.
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Curtain Length Styles
Curtain length should be specific to the room and the window it dresses. For example, kitchen curtain measurements will be vastly different than curtain measurements for a living room or bedroom. Keep this in mind as you choose window treatments and curtain lengths throughout your home.
- Café length: The shortest of the drapery lengths, café curtains, also known as tier or sill-length curtains, are a casual choice perfect for kitchens and bathrooms, sitting just above the windowsill. Since they are smaller, they create a nice opportunity to liven up the space with a bold pattern or color.
- Apron length: Hanging several inches under the windowsill, apron-length curtains are a practical choice when furniture would block a longer curtain, especially if the curtain will be opened and closed often.
- Floor length: For a formal look that works well in dining and living rooms, consider curtains that hang from about the window frame all the way to the floor. The length will depend on how high you hang the curtain rod, but generally, the common 84-inch and 96-inch curtains work well for this style, which gently grazes the floor.
- Puddle length: The longest and most formal style, curtains that are longer than the space they hang, with a few extra inches puddled gently on the floor, look best accompanying tall windows in formal sitting rooms and other low-traffic areas. For most homes with average ceilings, the standard 108-inch length will accommodate puddling, but longer, ready-made curtains with a length up to 144 inches can sometimes be found.
Choosing the Right Length
Most standard-length curtains will work in many settings and will save you the cost of custom-made draperies. Fist, decide what style suits your space by considering different factors, such as traffic through the area, formality of the room, and where furniture and registers are located near windows. Once you have determined what will look best, measure accordingly.
Most curtains look best and work most efficiently when they hang higher and wider than your window frame, so plan to hang the curtain rod several inches above the window trim and out a few inches on each side. Also, make sure the total width of the panels equals at least double the width of the window.