Curtains are an easy way to add depth and character to any room. Something about curtains that helps a house feel more like home. Blue curtains can create a calm and cozy feeling in a bedroom or office. Spice up your living room with sage curtains. When in doubt, a soft cream curtain adds that cottage core vibe to any room in your home. But how long are your curtains supposed to be? How do you know which curtain length is right for your space?   

 In general, curtains should touch the floor. When curtains run from just below the ceiling or crown molding to the floor, it draws the eye and helps your room feel larger. Floor-length curtains add an element of drama and elegance to your home. Curtains come in various standard lengths, but you can always hem them to fit your space. Use this guide to help you measure your windows and choose the right curtain length for your home. 

Measure Your Window

Interior designers recommend hanging curtains slightly higher than your window to allow natural light to enter your room. To achieve this light and bright feel, measure from ten inches above the window frame and ten inches wider than your window. You can adjust this by a few inches based on your space. For example, if your window is close to a wall, you may want only to measure four inches wider than the window. Also, consider how tall your ceilings are. You may need to go up a few more inches for high ceilings to achieve a long and elegant look. 

Choose Your Curtain Drop 

The curtain drop is the measurement from the top to the bottom of the curtain. You’ll use your window measurements to determine what curtain drop suits your space. Typically manufacturers offer curtains in drops of 54”, 72”, or 90”. Sometimes, you can find extra long curtains with a drop of 108”. Every brand has different set lengths, do your research to find the best style, fabric,  and size for your home. Depending on the type you choose, you may want a little extra length. 


This elegant style of hanging curtains requires the drop to be 6” longer than it would take to reach the floor. The extra fabric causes a puddling effect, where the curtain pools on the floor. It mimics the ornate style of traditional European-style homes. While this style adds more drama to your room, it also requires more upkeep. You have to rearrange the curtains whenever you open them, vacuum, or sweep. The bottom accumulates more dust and pet hair than other drops, meaning you will have to clean your curtains more often. 


A breaking drop will extend an inch or two past the floor to create a loose, broken look at the hemline. This is a more casual style drop but still slightly more difficult to maintain. You can more easily open and close breaking curtains than puddling ones,  but the ends still accumulate pet hair and dust. 


Grazing curtains have the most precise drop. You want them just barely to skim the surface of your floor. You may need to hem your curtains or hire a tailor to sew them since most floors are uneven. 


Floating curtains are the easiest to maintain. You can effortlessly sweep and vacuum beneath them; they don’t collect dust as quickly as other drops. A floating drop will sit about half an inch above the floor. Your measurements can be a little looser for floating curtains unless your floors are very uneven. 


An apron curtain will drop to just one inch below the window sill. These curtains are not very popular as they tend to make your room look shorter. However, they are much easier to keep clean and slide open and closed. 


Sometimes a counter or object, like a radiator, may sit under the window preventing the curtains from falling to the floor. In this instance, a short curtain that grazes the windowsill can work. You’ll most commonly see this length curtain in a bathroom or kitchen. Although, if you have a small window in your bedroom and keep your dresser beneath it, a short curtain could work fine. You could also implement a cafe-style curtain, a short curtain that extends only halfway up the window to let in even more natural light. 

Order Your Curtains 

Once you’ve measured your window and determined which curtain drop best suits your home, it’s time to place an order. To achieve the most coherent look, you can special order curtains which perfectly match your window measurements and preferred drop length. However, this can get expensive. Some online companies, like Pepper Home, allow you to customize curtain lengths by adding a few inches to their standard curtains. This can help you achieve a flawless look without a hefty investment.