How To Measure For Curtains On A Pole

Discover the simple rules I use when I measure for curtains on a pole. Using these rules means you will get curtains that fit perfectly.

After all the money you have spent. You definitely want them to look great as well as being practical. 

measure for curtains on a pole

How To Measure For Curtains On A Pole

Discover the simple rules I use when I measure for curtains on a pole. Using these rules means you will get curtains that fit perfectly.

After all the money you have spent. You definitely want them to look great as well as being practical. 

measure for curtains on a pole

This really is the area where most mistakes in the made to measure curtain business are made by far. I have been in this business for more than 20 years and I still get it wrong on occasion. Usually because I have been rushing or have been distracted after measuring and before writing down the sizes.

So please, please and please again. Take your time and don't become distracted. If you get this part wrong. Then everything else you do afterwards is just a complete waste of your time and money. 

How to measure for curtains check list

Just by following these simple steps you will avoid the most common measuring mistakes people make.

  • Pick your curtain style before you measure for curtains. So important if you want curtains that fit exactly right. They all measure up slightly different.
  • Use a wide blade steel tape measure for easier number reading, plus less bending measuring wide windows. Especially if you are doing this on your own, which I recommend you don't.
  • Get someone to help by holding the other end of the tape measure. Then write down the sizes on a pad. The width first and the length (drop) second. This the industry standard. Then swap over and repeat the measure and check the sizes again.
  • Also consider obstructions to your curtains hanging freely. Such as Sofas, beds, drawer units, etc. Can you move them or adjust.

Watch the short video below and see what I recommend when measuring a window for curtains hanging from a curtain pole.

I have also listed some tips below the video to recap on the important points. I have added few other things that will help you with getting this right first time.

Measure For Curtains On A Pole Check List 

Fit your curtain pole at the very least 4 inches over the top of your window. Assuming you have room to do so, it will look much better. I tend to fit my curtain poles at 5 or 6 inches over the top of the window.

Sometimes even 8 to 10 inches above the window recess. Usually in rooms with very high ceilings.

This allows the back of the curtain header to sit over the wall so is not seen from outside. It just looks that much better. 

The overall width of the curtain pole (excluding the decorative end finials) should be the width of your window recess plus aminimum of 5 or 6  inches (12.5 to 15cm) past both sides.

This is the absolute minimum, for wider windows allow more space each side. This allows your curtain to pull back of your window letting the  maximum light in the room.

I can't stress enough how IMPORTANT it is to use a pen and paper and write down each size as you measure. Then go back and double check your sizes to make sure there are no mistakes. This is where the most serious mistakes are made.

measure for curtains on a pole

Trying to do your measuring from memory is a sure fire recipe for disaster. I say this from bitter experience. The mind can play some cruel tricks when recollecting details even a few minutes later. All it takes is for someone to distract you in some conversation.

An even better idea is to ask a friend, neighbour or family member to check for you.

If you are measuring for very wide or long curtains. Then I would definitely have some one help you by holding one end of the tape measure while you pull out the tape and measure exactly right without struggling. 

Often I would add an extra  couple of inches to the curtain pole width if your curtains are made of a thick fabric or have a heavy blackout lining added.

If you have a window wider than about 48 inches. then I would again add extra to the width of the pole. Windows at 70 inches wide would be plus 8 to 10 inches each side. Windows at 100 inches wide would be plus 10 to 12 inches each side.

Then to get the length (drop) for your new curtains. You will need to hold the tape measure under the curtain pole ring. Then  measure down to where you want the curtains to finish.  

Maybe to just go to the window sill or a few inches past the window sill. Alternatively down to the floor my personal favourite. This gives you the finished curtain drop.

When it comes to measuring for curtains on a pole. "ABOUT" is not nearly good enough. "EXACT" measurements are the minimum acceptable standard. Sorry to be so blunt, but it's true.

You will thank me later :-)

I hope this page on how to measure for curtains on a pole has helped :-)


› Measure For Curtains On A Pole

Looking for a custom made metal bay track ?

Then get an

Right here

Looking for a custom made metal bay track ?

Then get an

Right here