Curtain Width Guide

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Welcome to your go-to resource for all things curtain width! Much like choosing the right brass bathroom faucet or the perfect throw pillows, the width of your curtains is indispensable in shaping your home’s interior. But before you start measuring, you must know what style of curtains you’re eyeing. Whether you’re interested in elegant pinch pleats or modern grommets, each style has its own specific guidelines for measurement. This will help you understand how to measure for curtains and when the double width rule applies. In this comprehensive curtain width guide, we’ll unravel the details that will help you select curtains made to measure using a width calculator, ensuring a perfect fit and a luxurious look for your windows.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

breakfast nook with made to measure curtains using my curtain width guide
Sconce, art, dining table (similar), floral throw pillow. Find out more kitchen details here.

Why Curtain Width Matters

Much like the strategic placement of furniture and art, the width of your curtains plays a crucial role in how a room looks and feels. Opting for curtains made to measure ensures that your window treatments enhance, rather than detract from, your overall decor. Too narrow, and your windows will look skimpy; too wide, and they may overwhelm the space.

bedroom with curtains around windows using double width rod pocket curtains
Bed frame, large pillows, lamp, throw blanket, art, marble dish, vase, flowers, curtains

Curtain Styles to Consider 

Before you whip out your tape measure or consult a curtain width calculator, take a moment to consider the style of curtains you’re interested in. Each style requires proper measurement and fullness, from elegant pinch pleats and classic rod pockets to modern grommets and sleek tab tops. Knowing the style you’re purchasing in advance is crucial for obtaining accurate dimensions. This will ensure that your curtains fit your windows and seamlessly complement your room’s overall aesthetic.

kitchen with full length doors and windows
Kitchen details. Shop the kitchen: Bridge faucet, Cabinet latch, cabinet pulls, cabinet knobs, toaster, floral fields art.

The Basics of Measuring Curtain Width

Before you search for that curtain width calculator, let’s cover the essentials of measuring. First, measure the width of the window itself. Then, for a fuller look, multiply that number by 1.5 or 2. Remember that some calculators will help you decide and then add this. This is particularly important if you’re looking for double-width curtains, which offer a luxurious fullness that can’t be achieved with narrower options. If you are considering pleated curtains, this is not the case, so keep reading!

Expert Tips for Double Width Curtains

Double-width curtains provide an extra layer of volume and elegance that elevates a room. The fabric choice is crucial; lighter materials like linen or sheer cotton can look fabulous when given that extra width, while heavier fabrics might appear too bulky.

bedroom featuring pinch pleat made to measure curtains with the perfect curtain width
Bed frame, rug, armchair, throw blanket, mirror, curtains, curtain rod, floor mirror (similar)

The Pleat Factor: Pinch Pleat Curtains and Width

When it comes to pinch pleat curtains, the game changes a bit. Unlike other styles where you have to calculate the fullness, pinch pleat curtains have the fullness already built into them. This style features tight, uniform pleats sewn at the top, giving the curtain a fuller, more tailored appearance without requiring extra width. So, if you’re using a curtain width calculator, keep in mind that you don’t need to double the width for pinch pleat styles. Opting for curtains made to measure in this style can result in a very sophisticated look without the extra bulk. This is a perfect option for rooms where you want elegance without extravagance.

dining room with made to measure curtains that I made with my mum using double with pinch pleats
Art, Chairs, Rug, Chandelier, Curtains (similar), Dried Hydrangeas (similar), Dining Table is antique, and decorative items are mostly thrifted.

Using a Curtain Width Calculator

There’s a reason we have technology at our fingertips: to make our lives easier! A curtain width calculator takes the guesswork out of measurements, ensuring you have curtains made to measure that fit your windows like a glove. Input the window dimensions, and voilà! You have the ideal curtain width that complements your space beautifully.

Want designer advice on where to splurge and where to save in home decor? Learn more here.

Made to Measure Curtain Tips

  1. Take Multiple Measurements: To get the most accurate curtain width, measure your window at three different points: the top, middle, and bottom.
  2. Factor in the Rod: Your curtain rod extends beyond the window itself, so include it in your calculations when using a curtain width calculator.
  3. Check the Stackback: This is the space the curtains take up when fully opened. Ensure you have enough room on either side of your window for the curtains to sit comfortably when open. Check a calculator like this for stackback.
  4. Sample, Sample, Sample: Before making a final decision, hanging a sample of the curtain in the room where it will be installed is advisable. This will give you an idea of how the fabric interacts with light and fits within the space.
living room featuring pinch pleat curtains I made with my mum
Sconce, Sofa, Throw Pillow, Rug

Curtains in my Home

In my own home, I’ve had the experience of opting for curtains made to measure, and let me tell you, the results are nothing short of fabulous. With the help of my mum, we crafted two sets of pinch pleat curtains that bring a tailored sophistication to my space.

Later, I also invested in two sets of linen curtains from TwoPages, which lend a relaxed elegance to my rooms. Once I had the curtain rods in place, I turned to a curtain width calculator to finalize the dimensions. This handy tool guided me through the measuring process and offered valuable insights into different styles, making it easier to decide on width and length. The TwoPages pinch pleat curtains even come with adjustable drapery hooks, allowing for minor tweaks in length, ensuring that I achieved the exact look I envisioned.

I will also add that the TwoPages curtains ended up costing less than the ones I made with the help of my Mum because of the cost of drapery fabric.

kitchen peninsula with cream paint and warm natural decor

Are You Ready for the Perfect Curtains for your Space?

Selecting the right curtain width can add that finishing touch that brings a room together. This curtain width guide is your go-to resource for making an informed decision that aligns with your aesthetic goals. So use that curtain width calculator, opt for curtains made to measure, and watch as your home transforms before your eyes.

bedroom featuring double width curtains with rod pockets


How wide should my curtains be?

Use a curtain width calculator to determine how wide your curtains should be. It will help you decide on the ideal curtain width, factoring in your preferred style and fullness.

Does it matter if the curtains are too wide?

While too wide curtains won’t harm functionally, they may overwhelm the space aesthetically. Opt for curtains made to measure for a tailored fit.

Is it cheaper to buy ready-made curtains?

Generally, ready-made curtains are cheaper than curtains made to measure, but they may not offer the perfect fit or fabric choices you desire.

How wide should curtains be per window?

Per window, curtains should typically be 1.5 to 2 times the window’s width. For double width curtains, you may need to double this measurement.

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