How long should curtains be?

Curtain length depends on lots of different factors, including window size, decorative style and personal preference. If you’re buying new curtains, here are some things to bear in mind, which may influence the curtain length you choose.

The main curtain lengths

Although there’s no definitive answer to how long your curtains should be, your decision will probably be based on a few standard options: floor-length, sill-length or café curtains.

Floor-length curtains

Floor-length curtains can lend a formal look to any room, helping to create a focal point at the window. They can either skim the floor, or stop short of your carpet by a centimetre or two. They are a popular style that is both fashionable and timeless, but may not be so practical if you have small children who are liable to tug on them.

Going one step further, floor-to-ceiling curtains take up the full height of the room, so they’re suitable for patio doors, large windows, or simply for creating a stylish impression. They can be hung using poles or tracks affixed to the ceiling. This can be done with top fix brackets, or using a special track like the Silent Gliss 3000.

Or if you don’t like your curtains to look too neat, you could opt for over-length curtains that don’t end when they reach the floor. This extra-long curtain length isn’t the tidiest of styles, but it might be one you choose if you want a romantic, extravagant effect. The overhanging style can be annoying for some, however, as the curtains need to be arranged every time they are drawn.


Sill-length curtains

Sill-length curtains stop at the bottom of your window, or a few centimetres further down. They can be the best style for window seats and large window sills, or for rooms where the radiator is situated directly underneath the window.  They are best suited to informal, country-style homes and children’s bedrooms. When measuring for sill-length curtains, avoid too much overhang, as this can look messy. Note that in older, country cottages, window proportions aren’t always exactly aligned. Often the sill slopes down on one side, so take careful measurements to ensure that your curtains cover every inch of the window.


Café curtains

Café curtains don’t cover the whole window; instead, they typically start halfway down. They offer a good compromise between letting the light in and retaining some privacy, so they can be a good choice for bathrooms. These short, lightweight curtains are easy to hang with a tension rod.

Hanging curtains above the window

Your curtains don’t have to start at the top of your window. Some people choose to hang them higher, creating a more elegant and dramatic look. By placing your curtain pole or track 15cm or more above your window, you can create the illusion of extra space in the room, making the interior seem taller. We also sell top fix brackets to allow you even more height by fixing your track to the ceiling.

If you are extending the height of your curtain pole or curtain track, don’t forget to adjust your curtain length accordingly.

For advice on curtain length and recommendations on the right curtain fittings for your needs, contact our team on 01494 535699. Our expert fitters will be happy to help you choose the right product.