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Curtain Measuring Guide – How To Do It

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Fitting a new pair of curtains is an effective, economical and hassle-free way to revitalise a room without necessarily making any further changes. If you are undertaking a complete redecoration project, well-chosen curtains can complement your furniture and enhance a room’s overall colour scheme, tying the room together perfectly. Getting it right might take a little more time and thought, but the results are always worth the extra effort.

But even perfect curtains won’t look right if your measurements are wrong. So before you reach for your tape measure, have a read through this simple curtain measuring guide we’ve put together to help you ensure your curtains fit your home flawlessly.

Track or Pole Measurements

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Assuming it is correctly positioned, measure the width of your curtain track or pole rather than that of the window itself. Use a metal tape measure, as this will offer the highest degree of accuracy. As a guide, a track or pole should be fitted 15cm (6 inches) above the window, and should allow for 15 to 20cm (6 to 8 inches) of curtain at either end.

For an optimum fit, check that your curtain fixtures meet these criteria. If not, either replace or make suitable adjustments. If you are using a curtain pole, remember to exclude the ‘finials’ (the decorative pieces at each end) from your measurements.

Curtain Width

curtain measuring guide

Now that you have the basic measurement taken from your curtain track or pole, the actual curtain width required will depend on the style of curtain you have chosen. As a general rule, the width of your track or pole should be multiplied by 2 for Pencil Pleat or Eyelet curtains, and by 1.5 for Tab Top curtains. Finally, add 2.5cm (1 inch) to ensure your curtains overlap at the centre when closed.

Curtain Length


To obtain the the length required for your curtains, measure from the top of your track or pole. If you would like to display a decorative pole, install one of the curtain rings you plan to use and measure from its eye.

If you have chosen a floor-length style, measure all way down to the floor and deduct 1.25cm (1 inch). For a shorter curtain, measure down to the window sill and again deduct 1.25cm (1 inch). Alternatively, measure to approximately 15cm (6 inches) below the windowsill, taking care to allow at least 3cm (1.5 inches) above any radiators so that warm air is able to circulate around the room. This measurement should be repeated at a minimum of three separate points to allow for uneven floors or sills.

Ready-Made Curtains


Purchasing ready-made curtains in a standard size can offer the consumer substantial savings on the cost of using a ‘made to measure’ service, especially if you are lucky enough to snap up a bargain in the sales. Ready-made curtains come in pairs, and are typically available in the following standard sizes:

117x137cm (46x54in)                     168x137cm (66x54in)                     228x137cm (90x54in)

117x182cm (46x72in)                     168x182cm (66x72in)                     228x182cm (90x72in)

117x228cm (46x90in)                     168x228cm (66x90in)                     228x228cm (90x90in)

Having calculated the measurements of the curtains you require using the steps outlined above, choose either a very close match and expect to make adjustments to your track or pole, or purchase a larger size which can be altered to fit.

Do you have any questions not covered in this curtain measuring guide?
Please contact our experts on 01252 325525 for more information.

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