How to Measure for Curtain Poles

Measure the recess width of the window and then add at least another 15cm for each side - 30cm in total.

For larger windows, you may wish to add a little more on either side to allow the curtains to stack each side, without covering the window opening.

You may wish to take into account light switches and other items, such as furniture, when deciding how far past the window edge to measure. Where possible try to make both sides even.

Always use a metal tape measure as a cloth one can stretch and give an incorrect measure.

Choosing Pole Diameter

The diameter will depend on the weight of the curtains. The table below offers a guide to selecting a suitably sized pole depending on the curtain weight.

Remember to take into account any extra weight such as linings. Also, note that pencil pleat curtains will have a greater fullness than a curtain with eyelets for example so the weight will also be greater.

Diameter Curtain Weight
Up to 19mm Lightweight (up to 6.5kgs in total)
25mm to 28mm Medium weight (up to 11kgs in total)
35mm or larger Heavyweight (over 11kgs)

Measuring Curtains

Width: Simply measure the width of the curtain pole excluding the finials, don't measure the width of the window.

Drop: The length of the curtains will depend on your preference. Typical length measurements are as follows.

    • Full length which is approximately 1-2cm above floor level

    • Above a radiator typically 1 to 3cm above the radiator

    • Below a window sill typically around 15cm

Measure from the bottom of the curtain rings to the desired length.

For Eyelet Curtains take the measurement from the very top of the pole to the desired drop.


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