How Much Wider Should Curtains Be Than the Window?

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Even if you purchase high-quality curtains, there’s no guarantee that they will make an eye-catching impact on your window’s look if they’re not wide enough. So, how much wider should curtains be than the window?

If you’ve never put thought into buying curtains, this is something you should really know.

How Much Wider Should Curtains Be Than the Window?

Curtains should be at least 1.5x wider than the curtain rod/track’s width. The recommended width for grommet curtains is 2x the size of the curtain rod. If you want your curtains to look full and luxurious, they must be 2.5x the size of the curtain rod. If you’re buying curtains with pleated headings, they must be no wider than the rod/track’s width.

Unless you’re using pleated curtains, hanging up one curtain flat out is not the right way to go. The idea is to provide fullness with a pair of curtains on the curtain rod. Measure the size of your curtain rod. If it’s 60” long, purchase two 90” (1.5x the size) curtains.

Window with white curtain

Curtain Width for Windows You Don’t Plan to Shut

Windows that you don’t plan on shutting the curtains on don’t need curtains that are 1.5x wider than the rod. They would look too full and not let enough sunlight in. Ideally, you should get curtains 1.25x wider than the curtain rod if you’re not planning on shutting them.

Standard Curtain Widths

The standard curtain width in the United States is 54”. However, curtain widths range from 50” to 58” depending on the window size. There are plenty of manufacturers that provide curtains as wide as 108”, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding very wide curtains if you want them.

Does Fabric Texture Affect Curtain Width?

The texture of the fabric has a visual impact on how wide the curtain looks. It’s important to note that the width mentioned in product descriptions online indicates the dimensions of the curtain when laid out flat. People rarely spread out curtains fully, and therefore, considering the fabric texture is vital when picking out curtains for your windows.

Gauzy curtains won’t look as “full” as thick, pleated curtains. Therefore, if you want to buy gauzy curtains for your windows, you will need to buy wider ones, like the curtain rods you use for blackout curtains, to give them a sense of fullness.

You could buy curtains 2x wider than the rod if you’re looking at pleated curtains. However, if you’re buying gauzy or lacey curtains, you want curtains between 2.5x to 3x wider than the curtain rod.


If you plan on shutting the curtains, you can get curtains between 1.5x to 3x wider than the curtain rod. If you don’t plan on shutting the curtains, curtains 1.25x wider than the rod should suffice.

It’s also important to consider the type of curtain and the curtain fabric’s texture when determining curtain width. Delicate-looking curtains – think lacey or gauze curtains – will need to be between 2.5x to 3x wider than the curtain rods to look full. Pleated curtains can be 2x wider than the curtain rod and look sufficiently full.

Brett E.

Brett E. is the Owner of  Brett comes from a long line of craftsman and foreman, and has been involved with the construction and renovation world ever since he was a boy while working for his families construction and remodeling company.  After graduating with a a degree in Interior Design, Brett is the go to guy for any interior design or remodeling questions!