How High Should Curtains Be Above Window?

When hanging curtains over the window, is there such a thing as too high or too low? Where should you place the curtain rods above the window? Are we talking about exact measurements here? Hang in there. We researched these questions and here's what we found.

It is recommended that you hang curtains at least 4 inches above the window frame or halfway through the top of the window and the ceiling. But if you have a high ceiling, you can hang them 8 inches above the window frame or all the way to the top of the ceiling if you have tall windows.

Keep on reading to find out more about how to hang curtains at the proper height so that you can optimize the use of curtains to enhance your interiors. We'll also talk about the right length and width for your curtains so that they will look great in your room. Let's get started!

empty curtain interior decoration on wall in living room, How High Should Curtains Be Above Window -

How High To Hang Curtains

Man,Stands,On,A,Stepladder,Near,The,Window,And,Hangs - How High To Hang Curtains

Let's face it. Even though curtains can help regulate the passage of natural light, improve your home's insulation, and prevent outside dust from entering your domain, a large part of their purpose is to make your home look more beautiful.

There's something about these draperies that come in different colors, styles, and textures that enhances your home's appeal. And the fact that you could change them from time to time to suit your mood or purpose is very convenient.

However, all of these aesthetics will be lost if the curtains aren't hung properly. Curtains naturally catch everyone's attention and you want to hang them right so that you can flaunt their style and beauty.

Hanging them at the proper height will also improve the look of your room. It gives the illusion of space. It'll make it appear larger and wider.

That is why it is crucial to hang the curtains at the right height so that your home would seem like it was designed by a pro.

In designing, there is no hard and fast rule about measurements that you need to follow when hanging your curtains. You can hang it right above your window or way up high in the ceiling and neither will be wrong if that's what you want as the homeowner.

But experts do give recommendations to guide homeowners so that you can achieve a classy, elegant, and modern look for their homes.

As a guide, you can place your curtain rods 4 to 6 inches above your window frame. Or you can also consider the distance of the top of your window to the ceiling. If there's a wide gap, you might want to place the curtain rod halfway between the window frame and ceiling to achieve balance.

Should curtains touch the ceiling?


If you don't care about measurements, the simple rule to follow is that it's better to hang the curtains closer to the ceiling than to the window frame.

This is the key to making your window look taller and consequently, your room bigger. This works particularly well for rooms with low ceilings to create an illusion of height.

However, if you have a high ceiling, it would require some discernment on your part. Read: "How High To Hang Curtains For An 18-foot Ceiling?"

If you have a standard window, it would look awkward to hang the curtains so high. People would notice the wide gap between your window frame and curtain rod. In this case, you can hang the curtains up to 8 inches from the window frame for a more pleasing look.

But if you have tall windows as well as a high ceiling, it is allowable that your curtains touch the ceiling. There wouldn't be enough space for the rods anyway. That's why there are ceiling mount curtain rods that you can buy so that you can solve this dilemma.

Check out this curtain rod ceiling-mount bracket on Amazon.

What is the proper length for curtains?



The length of the curtains is equally important in achieving a great look for your interiors. If you're going to hang your curtains high above your window, you also need to think about the length of your curtain.

Standard curtain panels come in different lengths ranging from 63 to 120 inches. To find out which length you have to buy, you need to decide which curtain look to want to go for.

Floor Length Or Floating

For starters, modern home design favors long curtains. Ideally, they should be floor-length or where the curtain's edges barely touch the floor. 

But you can also go for the floating look wherein the curtain's length is about half an inch but should not be more than an inch above the floor.

For some great tips, read: "How To Hang Floor-to-ceiling Curtains [11 Different Ways To Inspire You With Pictures]"


Meanwhile, some homeowners like the flair and drama of curtains puddled on the floor. If this is also your thing, you need to add another 15 inches to the length of the curtain after measuring the height from the floor all the way to the curtain rods.

Short When Practical

This also means that sporting short curtains nowadays is a home decor faux pas because they are outdated and make your interiors look old-fashioned. They also make your ceiling look shorter than it actually is.

But of course, there are practical reasons for using short curtains such as in the kitchen and bathrooms so that they won't be grounds for mold growth and when vents and radiators are directly underneath the window to mitigate fire risk.

When measuring the length of the curtains, don't forget to measure from the rods and take into consideration how you'll hang the draperies.

If there are rings attached to the curtain panels, you need to subtract their length from the total height so that you can attain the right length for the look that you're going for.

How wide should curtains be?



Now that we've covered the height and length of the curtains, we might as well discuss the ideal width so that you will attain the perfect look when hanging your curtains. It would be weird when the curtain is already at the right height and your preferred length but you lack the width.

The right width will give your curtains a full and luxurious look when you hang them. Experts recommend that the combined width of the curtains that you use be around 2 to 2.5 times the width of your window.

This will allow you to flaunt the fullness of your curtains rather than having them all flat out over your window which doesn't look good at all. It will also help in blocking light and providing you with more privacy when needed.

Each panel is usually 48 inches so on average, you would need two panels for a 36 inches wide window to achieve an ample look for your draperies. This also has an implication on the length of your curtain rods and how you mount them.

Your curtain rods need to be longer than the width of your windows. To determine their length, you need to add at least 6 inches on each side of the window. This way, when you pull the curtains to the side, you can see the whole window and the curtains won't block your view of the outside.

Final Thoughts

Determining where to install the rods so you can hang your curtains can be quite tricky. Just remember this simple reminder, the higher you hang your curtains from your window frame, the better unless you have a standard window and a high ceiling.