How Wide Should I Get My Curtains?


When choosing the right curtain for your windows, it is very important to buy a curtain of the correct size. Many people prioritize the length but ignore the width of the curtain. However, getting a curtain of the correct width is just as important. The most crucial point is that the width of your curtains should not be shorter than the width of the windows. The most ideal dimensions are that the width of the curtains should be at least twice the width of the window. Thus, when you close your curtains, you will get the fuller curtain look you want.

Now, let’s take a closer look at how wide the curtains should be.

What are the standard measurements I can find while shopping? 

Here are some measurements for the curtain’s width you can find while you are shopping:

  • 40, 42, 50, 52, and 55 inches if you will use two panels for one window. 52 inches is the most common measurement you can see. 
  • 100 inches if you will use one panel for one window.
  • 39 inches if you use the curtains for doorway curtains.

These standard measurements are for standard windows. Your house might have bigger or smaller windows. Remember that when you close your curtains, if you want them to completely cover your windows, the width of the curtains should never be less than the width of the windows.

What is the ideal measurement for the curtain width?

As we said before if you will use your curtains very frequently, the curtain width must be at least double the size of the window frame width. It can be up to 3 times wider than the window. Especially, if you want to have a fluffier look when you open your curtains or if you want to have a proper curtain look when they are closed, you should choose wider curtains.

However, there are always exceptions in any case. And here is the exception: If you won’t open and close your curtains and use them like a window frame or an ornament that will stay still at the edge of the two sides of the windows, you don’t have to buy very wide curtains. They can be 1,5 times or less wide than the window frame or equal to it. Also, remember that if you plan to have curtains as frames, you may want to use a longer rod. When the curtains are open, extending the rod 3 to 6 inches past the edge on either side of the window makes it appear larger and lets in more light.

Don’t forget that wider curtains will create a deeper dimension and make the room look larger.

Do different curtain styles affect the measurements of the curtains?

All curtains have columns created by the top style of the curtains. And curtain styles are named after these top parts (eyelet, tab top, rod pocket, etc.). Different curtain styles may affect the measurement of your curtain’s width. Because some curtain styles need to be wider. If you don’t get the right measurements, you can’t get the result you want. Of course, nobody wants that. That’s why we’ll briefly explain what you need to do, highlighting some types of curtains below.

Eyelet and tab-top curtains, for example, have very remarkable shapes. The columns of these types of curtains can be damaged so easily. And if your curtains’ width is not wide enough, you won’t be able to see these columns after closing them and it won’t look good. Therefore, we recommend you have curtains with at least double the size of the window width.

Rod pocket curtains and tulles, on the other side, are lighter curtains. Their shape won’t be affected that easily which means 1 to 1,5 inches wider than the window frame will be enough. After opening and closing frequently, they won’t lose their shape.

How to measure the width of the curtain?

Get your tape measure along with a pencil and paper. Measure starting right from the end of the window frame. If you will use a longer curtain rod or want to buy wider curtains or just to be safe, keep in mind that you should measure 2 to 4 inches outside of the window frame on both sides.

What to consider while buying curtain rods?

Most people may tend to think that curtain width and rods are unrelated. On the contrary, curtain rods are mostly about curtain width and window width measurements. After taking the measurements for curtain width, you have to consider the rod’s length. Curtain rods shouldn’t be shorter than the window width. In some cases, rods may be equal to the window’s width. However, for the best result, we recommend you have a slightly longer curtain rod. If you start measuring from 4 to 6 inches outside of the window frame, you will have a longer curtain rod that will result in a better look and better light management.

Even though your curtains are 2 or 3 times wider than the window, the rod should always be shorter than the curtain’s width but, generally, longer than the window’s width. So if your curtain’s width is 55 inches and will use double panels, your rod’s length can be nearly 40 inches.

Nonetheless, you don’t have to worry about rod measurements. Because you can see some descriptions on a rod’s label which state the ideal window width measurement that can fit this specific rod, these pieces of information are written as follows: for windows 48 to 84 inches, for windows 28 to 48 inches, for windows 72 to 144 inches, and so on.

How to sew a curtain step by step?

If you want to sew your curtains, here is the step-by-step guide you need.

Step 1: Get the necessary tools.

First of all, don’t forget that this sewing process is for the easiest and cheapest option which is rod pocket curtains. If you want to sew a different kind of curtain you will need extra tools such as rings and clips. So you should decide that beforehand, too. If you are planning to sew rod pocket curtains, get the tools you will need during the sewing process. The necessary tools are:

  • Curtain fabric (you can choose the most chosen fabrics for curtains such as wool, polyester, and cotton. The color or pattern of the fabric should be according to your room’s design.)
  • Curtain lining fabric (drapery linings are essential because they will block the light better and give you the privacy you desire. You can find them very easily on online shopping sites such as this one available on Amazon. The lining color can change according to your curtain fabric’s color. The drapery linings are generally sold in neutral colors such as white, creme, and black.)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Iron (for a better result but optional)
  • Pen and paper (to note down the measurements)

Step 2: Measure the window area for your curtains’ width and length.

Measure the distance from the top of the curtain rod to the desired curtain landing point. Next, determine the window’s width by using a measuring tape. Your curtains’ width should be at least double the size of the window width to create a fuller look. We can say the wider the better. Get your pen and paper to note down these specifications. If you’d like, you can extend the length and width, and change the measurements a little bit. Nevertheless, we will add more inches for the parts to be sewn in the next step.

Step 3: Get the fabric and the lining fabric and determine the parts to be sewn.

Add 8 inches to the height and width to accommodate the pocket at the top, side, and bottom hem. Then, cut the curtain fabric according to those specifications. On the other hand, the lining must be 3 or 4 inches shorter in length while the same width as the curtain fabric.

Step 4: Pin the fabric and lining together.

Before using the sewing machine, pin the fabric and lining together to keep them in one place. Doing this is especially important to minimize slippage and get a smoother result after sewing.

Step 5: Sew the first side.

Let’s start sewing. Sew the fabrics in a straight line along one side to create the first hem.

Step 6: Sew the bottom hem.

Fold the bottom 2 inches of the curtain fabric and fold the bottom 3 or 4 inches of the lining fabric. To make the hem at the bottom of the curtain, pin and sew where they are overlapping.

Step 7: Sew the second side.

Sew the second side in a straight line as you did for the first side.

Step 8: Flip the curtain.

The three sides are sewn until now. At the bottom corner, flip the curtain right side out.

Step 9: Iron the fabric and then, sew the pocket.

To get a better result for the pocket, iron the fabric in this step even though you will iron it again when you finish the product. And then, fold the top part of the fabric over 3 or 4 inches. Use the pins to determine the line to be sewn. After that, sew this line to create a pocket at the top of the fabric.

Step 10: Cut the excessive threads and iron the curtain.

Cut the excessive threads by using scissors and then, iron the curtain for a more beautiful and professional look.

Step 11: Hang your brand-new curtains.

The curtains are ready. Get the rod and you can hang your finished product over the window.

Tips

In this part, we wanted to compile the necessary tips about curtain width.

Tip 1 If you will use a double curtain rod the curtain you hang to the outer rod must be wider than the other curtain. Because the front curtain will be the first thing to see when you enter the room as well as it will look like a frame of the other curtain. So it is always a better option to buy a wider curtain.

Tip 2 If you want your curtains to completely cover your windows, the width of the curtains should never be less than the width of the windows.

Tip 3 Double the size of the window is the safest choice. It will make measuring and shopping processes much easier.

Tip 4 If you will use two panels in one rod, the width of one curtain can be the same as the window. When you close these two curtains, their measurement will be equal to double the size of the window width.

Tip 5 Rods are very crucial in the sense of curtain width. We recommend you buy adjustable (or extendable or telescope) rods. You will be able to adjust the length of the rod later according to your needs.

Tip 6 If your curtains stay stable or you will use them as some kind of frame at both edges of the window, your curtains can be slim.

Recommended products

Before finishing, we want to recommend you some curtains and curtain rods below. All of these products are available on Amazon.

Yakamok 63 Inch Long Ombre Curtains, Thermal Insulated Light Blocking Greyish White to Purple Gradient Color Curtains, Room Darkening Grommet Window Drapes for Bedroom/Living Room(2 Panels,42W x 63L)

This is a 42 inches wide eyelet curtain.

You can find it on Amazon.

MIULEE Tan Brown Semi Sheer Curtains 84 Inches Long, Premium Thick Linen Look Window Curtains Rod Pocket Light Filtering Voile Drapes for Living Room Bedroom, 2 Panels, 52×84 Inch

This is a 52 inches wide rod pocket curtain.

You can find it on Amazon.

JINCHAN Linen Textured Curtains for Living Room Bedroom Room Darkening Curtains Window Curtain Panels Drapery Grommet Top 1 Panel W100 x L96, Greyish Beige

This is a 100 inches wide eyelet curtain that is best suited for slide doors and large windows.

You can find it on Amazon.

Grommet Top Black Curtain Panels 79 Inches Long Thermal Insulated Solid Curtain Draperies for Kitchen Privacy Protection Door Panels Window Curtain for Bedroom 39 Inches by 79 Inches 1 Panel

This is a 39 inches wide eyelet curtain. This type of slim curtain is best for doorways and as frame curtains that stay stable on both edges of the window.

You can find it on Amazon.

Gold Double Curtain Rods for Windows 36 to 72 Inch(3-6Ft), Adjustable Telescoping Double Curtain Rod with Metal End Cap,1 Inch Diameter Heavy Duty Double Drapery Rod Set 36-72”, Gold

This is a double curtain rod for 36 to 72 inches windows and it is adjustable according to the width of your window and curtain.

You can find it on Amazon.

Wood Curtain Rods for Windows: 1 Inch Diameter Adjustable Drapery Rods 48″ to 86″, Decorative Window Curtain Rods with Leaf Pattern Finials,2 Pack Heavy Duty Curtain Rods for Bedroom Kitchen Window Office

This is an adjustable wooden curtain rod for 48 to 86 inches windows.

You can find it on Amazon.

Curtain Rods for Windows 30 to 144 Inches, 1 Inch Black Curtain Rod Set, Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Drapery Rods with Adjustable Brackets for Room Divider, Bedroom, Living room, Kitchen, Bathroom, Black

This one is a black curtain rod for 30 to 144 inches windows.

You can find it on Amazon.

Last word

In this post, we have seen that the width of the curtains is as important as the length of the curtains, contrary to popular belief. As a result of buying or sewing a curtain with the right dimensions, when we hang the curtains, we can have the look we dream of and the perfect curtain folds and columns that we think only exist in catalogs. After approaching the issue of the width of the curtains from a very wide range, we can conclude that if you are going to open and close your curtains frequently, and you do not want to see straight curtains when you close them, the width of your curtains should be at least twice the width of the windows. Remember that larger sizes are always good, and it is possible to increase the width measure up to 3 times your window.

Savaş Ateş

I like home decoration. I have a good interest in carpets and curtains. I have visited a lot of manufacturers and stores. I have lots of friends in this area. I like to share my experiences with it.

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