How Long Curtains Should Be

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When you are choosing your curtains, it is important to make sure that you are actually choosing the right curtains with the right length depending on the room you are planning on installing them in.

While curtain length is primarily determined by the height of the ceiling of the room, there are also other factors that need to be considered, such as the type of room.

How long should curtains be by room?

Bedroom and living room curtains can be of any length as long as you adhere to the general standards of curtain length. However, where hygiene becomes an issue, such as when you are installing curtains in the kitchen and the bathroom, that is when you should choose shorter curtains.

Choosing the right curtains for specific rooms in the home is not a matter of rocket science because it really takes common sense and personal preferences when knowing the right curtain length.

However, there are still some things you need to know regarding the standards and the general rules that you should follow when you are choosing the right curtain length for specific rooms in your home.

What are the general rules for curtain length?


Believe it or not, choosing the right curtain length actually involves knowing a bit of the general rules that are followed by most interior designers and experts.

This is because of how the curtain length can actually make a world of difference for the overall look and appeal of the room you are installing the curtains in.

It is essential that you make sure that you take into consideration these usual standards for choosing curtain length.

  • Curtain length usually depends on the height of your ceiling. In most cases, curtains should be a foot shorter than the height of the ceiling such that it is ideal to choose 9 feet long curtains for ceilings that are 10 feet high.
  • You are supposed to be installing the curtains from the floor up, and that the curtains should be about half a foot higher than the window frame. This leaves about a foot of difference between the curtain and the ceiling.
  • It is alright to go under 6 inches between your window frame and your curtains when installing your curtains. However, do not go under 4 inches because it gives the windows a smaller appearance.
  • There are certain exceptions to these rules, such as when you want certain designs that may require curtains to be longer or shorter or to have less space between them and the ceiling or the window frame. But such exceptions are based on preferences and on the type of room the curtain will be installed in.

How long should curtains be for bedrooms?

For those who are choosing bedroom curtains, the standards for curtain length aren’t always as strictly followed by most interior designers because bedrooms are not as often visited by other people as other rooms are.

Simply put, you can have more freedom for choosing the right curtain length for bedrooms.

The most common type of curtain length that is used for bedrooms is when the curtain reaches the floor and has about an inch on the floor.

This allows the bedroom to look larger than it actually is.

Sometimes, you can also go for puddled curtains that actually have about half a foot on the floor.

But the usual case against puddled curtains is the fact that they may be unsanitary due to how the fabric is all over the floor.

Still, bedrooms are ideal spots for puddled curtains because of how there is less foot traffic in bedrooms and that it is going to be less likely that the curtains will get dirty.

Hanging curtains can also be an option if you want to make your bedroom windows look bigger than they actually are.

These curtains not only reach the floor but are also installed at a higher point.

This means that they are over 6 inches above the window frame and are closer than one foot from the ceiling.

The only time that shorter curtains should be used for bedrooms is when there is something in front of the curtains.

This can include a headboard, a table, a radiator, or anything similar to those. Just make sure that the curtains are right above those objects and should not be touching them.

How long should curtains be for the living room?

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Now, for living room curtains, the standards should be more strictly followed in the sense that you should always keep the general rules of curtain length in mind.

That means that you should use curtains that are at most a foot shorter than the height of your ceiling. So, if you have a ceiling that is 8 feet high, it is best to go for curtains that are 7 feet long.

Meanwhile, again, the most common is to make sure that your curtains have at most an inch on the floor because this will give your living room a more elegant and elongated look.

However, you can also go for grazing curtains that touch the floor but are not necessarily all over them.

It is usually discouraged to use puddled curtains in the living room because of all of the foot traffic that living rooms get.

However, you can still use them if you really prefer the elegant and puddled look that these curtains give you.

Keep in mind that using puddled curtains requires that you go for curtains that are longer than what the general rules dictate.

Hanging curtains are the best for living rooms with smaller windows. That’s because hanging curtains give the windows a larger appearance when there is at least a foot of space between the window frame and the curtains.

You can probably go for a longer curtain if you intend on using hanging curtains.

Also, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t use short curtains for living rooms. While not as popular as long curtains, shorter curtains can still make any living room appealing so long as you know how to use them.

Of course, you can also use short curtains when there is something right in front of a living room window, such as a radiator. Short curtains also are great for houses with pets because of certain hygiene issues you want to avoid.

How long should curtains be for the bathroom?

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Bathroom curtains can also be quite important for bathrooms with windows that are larger than normal because of how you want to make sure that your privacy is kept intact when you are using your bathroom.

However, the usual rules for curtain length don’t apply for bathroom curtains you are using either for your bathroom window or your bathtub or shower.

The first thing that you need to know is that curtains used for bathtubs or showers need to be long enough such that they cover you well enough while you are in the tub or when you are using the shower.

However, it is not advisable for you to use tub or shower curtains that are long enough to touch the floor because of hygiene reasons.

After all, you don’t want the curtains to get soaking wet from all of the water and other liquids that may be on the bathroom floor.

This can make your shower curtains dirty quickly, and you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning up shower curtains that are too long for your bathroom.

Meanwhile, the same rule applies to window curtains in your bathroom.

Keep them short enough that they are not touching the floor so that you can make sure that they don’t easily get wet or contaminated by anything that may be on a dirty bathroom floor.

How long should curtains be for the kitchen?

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Kitchen window curtains also get the same treatment as bathroom curtains because of how you want to make sure that your kitchen curtains do not easily get dirty from all of the different things that may be on kitchen floors, such as water or grease.

It is best to make sure that kitchen curtains don’t touch the floor or are actually far away from the floor.

What you may have noticed for kitchen windows is that they are usually located right in front of the sink.

In such a case, it is best to use kitchen curtains that are actually quite short such that they don’t get to touch the top of the counter of the kitchen sink because you don’t want them to get wet while you are washing dishes.

Therefore, in most cases, kitchen window curtains are usually the shortest among all of the curtains in your home.

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