How to measure for curtains?

how to measure for curtains by loft curtains

How wide should curtains be?

To ensure that curtain panels look ample when closed, they should have a combined width that is 2 to 2.5 times the width of the window/rod. That means if you are ordering Grommet style or Rod-pocket style, the total drapery width should be at least 2 times the window/rod widths. 

French pleat and Tailored pleat style panels have 2:1 to 2.2:1 fullness built-in, so if you are ordering French pleated or Tailored pleat heading style, you should order the panels that fit your window(rod) width. They will cover your window with a nice fullness. 

Ripple fold style curtains have 1.6x to 2.4x fullness built-in, you can order Ripple fold style in the ripple fold custom curtains page. Be sure to enter the coverage width (the track/rod width). 

Exceptions: If you’re hanging curtains just to frame a window and don’t intend to shut them, you can round down to 1.5 times the width. 

Stack Back Width

Stack back is the amount of space the curtains occupy when in the fully open position. We made a stack back calculator for your reference:  Click here for the Stack Back Calculator 

How long should curtains be?

There is no right and wrong answer to this question. A rule of thumb is that it is always better to go higher and to go full length, no matter what sizes are your windows. 

Where should curtains tops be?

Tracks look the best when they are mounted directly to the ceiling. They work perfectly with full height curtains. Rods are usually mounted between ceiling and window. If you find it hard to decide where to go. Go with the rule of thirds. 

Where should curtain bottoms be?

  • Floating above the floor. It creates a "breathable" floating look. If you would like to have straight curtains, this is the best option. 
  • Just hitting the floor. It is hard to make right but it creates a custom-made classic and tailored look. 
  • Puddling. Panels extend to the floor by one to three inches. It adds coziness to space. It is the best for those who are seeking European style and romantic feel. Another upside of the choice is that you don't need to worry about precision measurement in length. The downside is it is high maintenance, and if you have pets it might not be your best choice.

Measure from the floor to where you’ll hang the rod, then round up. You can always have the dry cleaner hem them a bit if needed. Custom-made panels are perfect for extra large windows and for tailored looks. 


  • Susan V. Robertson

    I am interested in ordering sample flanders/0yster.
    We need pinch pleat closing drapes. My existing rod is 11 ft. long, and I need 9ft closing panels. I have 18 black round drapery hooks and think I will need more for panels to close. please advise how much this project will cost.
    thank you.

  • Michael Nicoles

    How many rings do I need for an 80” double tailored pleat drape? How far apart are the hooks?

  • Nhi Lieu

    Hello! I just ordered sample swatches! I can’t wait to get them. I’m curious to know how I should go about ordering the curtains. I measured my windows. They are floor to ceiling glass with curtain tracks recessed into the ceiling. They came with existing 2 inch hooks that I assume I can affix a french pleat (I think this is the style I want to go with). I would like to have the curtains not touch the floor (maybe 1 in above). How shall I move forward with the measurements for you all. For example, my children’s game room will require two panels. One is 90"w X 120 1/2" long and the other is 96" w and 120 1/4 long. They are different in length because the glass is encased in steel. I would appreciate your guidance on this.

  • Loft Curtains Support

    @francine snisky, Hi Francine,

    For the ripple fold heading style that is ceiling mounted, the track will take up one inch from the ceiling. For example, if the floor the ceiling height is 100", and you want the curtain to be 1" off the floor, you would order the panel height as 98". Please let me know if this doesn’t make sense, or if you have any other questions, have a great day!

  • francine snisky

    i’m interested in ripple fold curtains with ceiling mount…in calculating length the recommendation is ‘bottom of track to floor distance’…what is track width so i may subtract that from ceiling to floor measurement?…thank you!

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