How Wide Curtains Should Be? (3 Factors that Affect Their Width)

Wide curtains

Are you in the market for new curtains and wondering how wide curtains should be?

Here’s something to help you with this decision…

Ideal Curtain Width

The general rule of thumb is that your curtain should be around 2 to 2.5 times the width of your window. These dimensions apply to the total width of the fabric, regardless of whether you use one or more curtains. That said, there are some factors that influence curtain width, such as purpose, length, and texture.

Here’s everything you need to know about how wide curtains should be.

Measuring the Right Fit

No matter what style of curtains you go for, getting the correct measurements is crucial.

If you get a curtain that’s wider than it should be, it’ll look bulky and will be hard to open fully.

On the other hand, if you get a narrow curtain, it won’t look aesthetically pleasing as it hangs flat in front of your window.

Moreover, it might not even be enough to cover the entire window.

Additionally, the curtain will look plain and won’t have that wavy drape look.

So, this begs the question of how to get the proper curtain measures.

The process is fairly easy, and you only need a measuring tape.

Simply place one end of the tape at the edge of the window’s outer frame and measure the distance from that edge to the other edge.

Curtain rods tend to be slightly wider than the window below them.

So, it might be a good idea to add four to six inches to the width of your window when you’re measuring for new curtains.

If you already have a rod installed, you can measure how wide it is and double it to get the right width of the curtains that you should pick.

How Wide Should Curtains Be?

Generally, you want a curtain that’s around 2 to 2.5 times wider than the width of your window.

For example, if your window is around 100 inches wide, your curtains should be around 200 to 250 inches wide.

Most importantly, the curtain shouldn’t be less than 150 inches wide.

However, there are other factors that you need to consider other than the width of your window.

Factors that Influence the Width of The Curtain

The purpose of the curtain can affect how wide it should be, such as if you’ll be using the curtains as a decorative window frame or if you’ll keep them closed most of the time.

Moreover, the length and texture of the curtain may influence your decision on how wide it should be.

1. Purpose

If you’re buying a curtain for the sole purpose of decoration, the curtain doesn’t have to be two or three times the width of the window.

Instead, you can buy a curtain that’s around 1.5 times the width of your window.

For example, if the width of your window is around 100 inches, you can buy a decorative curtain that’s around 150 inches wide.

You can do this if you’re planning to keep the curtain open all the time.

You’ll still be able to close it if you need to, but it may look a little out of place.

On the bright side, you’ll be saving some money, and the curtains will bring out the beauty of your window as they won’t be bulky and hide the view.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a practical curtain, stick with the rule of double the width of your window.

Otherwise, the curtain won’t be as practical as you want it to be.

2. Length

Long curtains

When you go shopping for curtains, you’ll notice that three standard lengths of curtains are readily available in almost every shop.

Those lengths are 84 inches, 96 inches, and 108 inches.

Typically, shorter curtains shouldn’t be too wide, or they’ll look odd.

So, if you want a wide curtain, you should completely avoid short curtains, like sill length and apron length curtains.

Generally, you want floor-length or longer curtains for living rooms, which can go as wide as two to two and half times the width of your window or rod.

This rule also applies to curtains that puddle on the floor.

It’s worth noting that curtains that puddle on the floor aren’t the easiest to open and close, and it can be more difficult if they’re too wide.

So, it’s best if the length doesn’t exceed three times the width of your window or rod.

Additionally, if you have a tall, wide curtain, it’ll be more prone to collecting dust and won’t be the easiest to wash.

3. Texture

The type of material the curtain is made of can be a factor that affects how wide the curtain should be.

Generally, thinner curtains should be wider than thicker ones to highlight their delicacy and create a sense of fullness.

When you buy curtains that are made of thin fabrics, like sheers, silk, and linens, you can go for triple the width of your window to give a sense of fullness to your curtains.

On the other hand, the width of curtains that are made of thick fabrics, like velvet, shouldn’t exceed 2.5 times the width of the window.

In fact, you can install a curtain that’s only 1.5 times wider than your window if it’s made of thick fabrics.

Buying Standard Curtains

The width of the curtain is the most crucial factor you need to consider when it comes to standard curtains.

Standard curtains are typically available in three standard widths: 44 inches, 66 inches, and 90 inches.

In some cases, curtains are sold as a single panel, so you’ll need to buy more than one panel if you have a wide window.

Two curtains are usually enough for the average window.

However, larger windows may require three to five panels to cover them completely.

In general, you don’t want to buy a curtain that’s less than 1.5 times the width of your window and not more than 2.5 times the width of your window.

Buying a Curtain for Small Windows

The bathroom and kitchen windows are smaller than the living room and bedroom windows.

So, depending on their width, you can buy the smallest standard width, and it’ll fit the window perfectly in most cases.

However, if standard curtains are too big, you can always go for custom-made curtains and follow the general rule of double the width of the window.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Wide Should Curtains Be for A 72-Inch Window?

For a 72-inch window, curtains should be around 140 to 180 inches wide.

How Far Should Curtain Rods Get Extended Beyond the Window?

The general rule of thumb when it comes to installing curtain rods is to hang the rod around three or four inches beyond the edge of the frame on each side of the window.

What Is the Average Curtain Width?

The most common curtain width in the United States is 54 inches.

Do Wider Curtains Let in Less Light?

This depends on the fabric of the curtain rather than its width.

Blackout curtains are the best option to block out the light completely.

On the other hand, sheer and lace curtains allow more light in.

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