How High Should You Hang Curtains? [By Ceiling Height]

Are you planning to redecorate and need help picking and hanging your curtains?  If so, you’ve come to the right place. The size of your curtains and the height you hang them will create different effects. We’ve done the research to provide you with everything you need to know about hanging curtains and how to get the look you want.

For low ceilings, it’s recommended to hang the curtains 3-6 inches above the window frame. For rooms with high ceilings, hang curtains 8 inches above the window frame.

You may be wondering how long your curtains should be or whether or not they should touch the floor? And did you know that curtains can make your windows appear larger? To learn all about the best ways to use your curtains, keep reading.

Windows with elegant curtains in empty room. - How High Should You Hang Curtains [By Ceiling Height]

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How Far Above the Window Should You Hang Curtains?

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For rooms with ceiling heights below 10 feet, the curtains should be hung 3-6 inches above the window frame. The higher you hang your rod, the taller the ceilings will look. For ceilings above 10 feet high, 8 inches above the window frame is recommended. 

Should Curtains Go All The Way to The Ceiling?


You can put your curtains towards the top of the wall, near the ceiling. This is a good option for smaller rooms that you want to make feel larger. Having the rod higher on the wall can also make the window seem larger and brighter.  

Can You Hang Curtains From The Ceiling?

Woman hanging window curtain indoors, closeup. Interior decor element

Yes, curtains can be hung from rods attached to the ceiling. If you decide to go this route, you will need to account for the extra height the curtain will stretch to reach from the ceiling.

This look is another way to create interest with your window dressings, and the height makes both the room and windows seem taller than they are. This may not be a possibility for homes with very tall ceilings since curtain heights are limited.

Amazon Basics Ceiling-Mount Brackets

These brackets mount to the ceiling and allow you to use a curtain rod of your choice. Click here to see these on Amazon.

Should Curtains Touch The Floor or Window Sill?

You can hang curtains at different lengths to match the look you desire for the room. Curtains that touch the floor or hang just above it create a classy, elegant look, suitable for formal settings like the dining room.

For a cozier, more homey look, curtains should hang to the windowsill. This is a good look for kitchens. Either option is perfectly acceptable and contributes its atmosphere to the space.

Should Curtains Touch the Ground?

Modern white living room minimal style.There are decorate room with white translucent curtain and white armchair, Will Sheer Curtains Keep Mosquitoes Out?

Yes, curtains can touch the ground slightly or even pool onto the floor. Long curtains that trail onto the floor slightly create a romantic look, which is a good option for bedrooms. Keep in mind that curtains that puddle onto the floor tend to get noticeably dirty quicker than curtains higher off the ground. You will also need to hold or tie them up when vacuuming or sweeping.

These curtains are 95 inches long, which should be tall enough to allow for pooling. Click here to see these on Amazon.

Can You Use Long Curtains On Short Windows?

Interior of modern room with light curtains

Yes, using long curtains on short windows creates the illusion of a larger window. This will help the room, and the window feel taller and brighter. If you have different size windows in the same room, use the same size curtains on all of them to make them proportionate and create harmony throughout the space.

Can You Use Short Curtains on Tall Windows?

Yes, to maximize the light in the room, short curtains like valances are a great option. They don’t do much in the way of privacy, so they aren’t always ideal for bathrooms or bedrooms. Valance curtains will make a room look shorter, so if you are working with a small space, you might consider other options.

This valance is available in twelve different colors, so you’re sure to find one to match your decor. Click here to check it out on Amazon.

How Much Wider Than Window Should Curtain Rod Be?

Mature Adult Male Installing Curtain Rods

Generally, the ends of the curtain rod will extend 3-4 inches past the window frame, but you can bring it as far as 10 inches past each side of the frame. This will make the window appear wider and more extravagant, which is an excellent trick for narrow windows. This trick can be paired with long curtains to make the window appear both taller and wider.

How To Hang Curtains For Wide Windows?

If you have wide windows that need to be covered, bring the rod as high as possible (between 8 and 10 inches depending on wall height). This will balance out the width, making the window seem taller as well.

You may want to avoid making the rod extend too much further than the window frame on wide windows. It can make it appear even wider and may look awkward.

How High To Hang Curtains Above Sliding Glass Doors?

young woman hang on curtain in room

The curtain rod over sliding glass doors is hung between 3 and 6 inches over the door frame. Just like with windows, the higher you hang the rod, the table the door will appear. These curtains should hang, so they touch the floor barely to make for convenient passage through the doorway. 

NICETOWN Sliding Door Curtain

These curtains are designed to be wide enough for use with sliding doors. Click here to see them on Amazon.

How to Make Window Seem Larger Without Long Curtains?

A small vase with lavender as decoration on the window sill

If your space doesn’t conveniently allow for long curtains, you can try some other things. Try to stick with light-colored curtains. They will make the window seem larger by creating less contrast.

Painting the trim around the window in the same color as the wall can also make the window look bigger. Making your windows appear larger can make the whole room seem bigger, creating the illusion of a more spacious home. 

When Should You Avoid Using Curtains?

Some circumstances will justify a lack of curtains—unless the room requires privacy, in which case, you should have a way to cover the windows.

If you have a beautiful view that you want access to at all times, you can consider leaving curtains out of the equation. For homes that lack natural light, you can leave some windows bare to allow more in. Sheer curtains are also a great way to allow sunlight in without compromising privacy.

Another reason to consider ditching curtains is if you have irregular windows in your home, like those with rounded tops. These add to the architectural interest, and covering them can hide an otherwise entrancing feature. 

Do You Need Curtains With Blinds?

No, if your window has blinds, you don’t need to add curtains too, but they do tend to look nicer than blinds. Using these two coverings together can create a dramatic effect that makes a window look bigger. It can also be a convenient way to control light and privacy levels in a room without compromising either. Try using opaque blinds with sheer curtains for versatility and style.

These blinds provide optimal privacy and could be paired with a sheer curtain for when you want more light. Click here to see it on Amazon.

How To Hide Curtain Rods?

If you don’t like the look of exposed curtain rods, or if you have older rods that aren’t at their best, you can try to hide them.

Window scarves can be used to conceal a curtain rod, and they can be used as a layer over curtains to add interest and elegance to the look of the window. Valance curtains can also be used to hide curtain rods by using them as a layer in front of a full-size curtain.

Long Story Short

Now that you know all the best ways to use curtains and their height to your advantage, you’re ready to start shopping for your new drapes with confidence. Figure out what type of mood you want to create in the space and use that to dictate curtain length. Have fun decorating!

For help hanging curtains in rooms with irregular ceilings, read our article “How To Hang Curtains On A Sloped Ceiling In 5 Steps”.

If you have decorative trim and you want to keep it visible, read our article “How To Hang Curtains Without Covering Trim?”

A young man installing curtains over window, How High Should You Hang Curtains? [By Ceiling Height]

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