Curtains come in a series of sizes, corresponding to ceiling height. But the sizes are unfamiliar to most of us - most people would need to take a calculator shopping even to guess what size an 84-inch curtain is. Even more complicated, the curtains need to be slightly less than the actual ceiling height (even if you could do the math!) So how long should curtains be for a 10-foot ceiling? We've calculated the measurements for you.
The proper length for a curtain panel with a 10-foot ceiling is 108-inches. When puddled curtains (where the curtain pools slightly on the floor) are preferred, just select the next size up at 120-inches.
Read more to learn how and where to hang curtains on a 10' ceiling, whether or not the curtains should touch the floor, other standard curtain sizes, and how to create a puddled curtain look.
How Curtain Sizes Are Determined
Ceiling height dictates curtain size because, in most cases, proportionally taller windows are installed in rooms with taller ceilings. The height of curtains corresponds to the floor, not the ceiling. However, properly installed curtains reach somewhere around 6-inches above the window frame.
Ready-made curtains come in standard sizes that leave about 1-foot of gap (the ceiling height, minus 12-inches, is the curtain size). Because curtains should reach about 6-inches above the window frame, this 1-foot gap coordinates with standard window installation.
How Long Should Curtains Be for 8' Ceiling
Curtain sizes are as follows:
- 8-foot ceilings = 84-inch curtains
- 9-foot ceilings = 96-inch curtains
- 10-foot ceilings = 108-inch curtains
As you can see, the sizes are in increments of 12-inches (every extra foot in ceiling height is an extra foot or 12-inches of curtain length). If you need to find another size, you can simply continue to follow the pattern.
Exceptions To The Standard Sizes
Ready-made curtains don't offer a lot of flexibility for sizing. There may be occasions when these pre-determined sizes do not work for your design. Some examples are:
- Curtains covering a non-standard window, for example, a floor to ceiling window.
- When curtains hang higher than usual above the window frame to create an illusion of a larger room or to make space for a layered window treatment.
In such a scenario, you'll simply have to measure the actual space you need the curtain to cover. Once you determine the length from floor to curtain top, you'll be able to find the size you need.
How Wide Should Curtains Be?
Now that you know the correct height, what about width? Measure the width of the window, and add 24-inches (12-inches for each side). Divide this by the number of curtain panels you will use to cover the space. The answer is your measurement - how wide each panel must be.
Should Curtains Touch The Floor?
Curtains should touch the floor within an inch or so. If you find curtains that hang to the floor to be difficult or frustrating (for example, many people do not like to vacuum around them), you can go as far as an inch off the floor. The only style that intentionally deviates from this standard is puddled curtains (more on that below!)
There are some exceptions to this rule:
- When curtains cannot reach the floor, like kitchen curtains that are set above a counter.
- When curtains reaching the floor would be inconvenient or unhygienic (such as in a bathroom).
Read more here: Should Curtains Touch The Floor?
Where Do You Hang Curtains on a 10' Ceiling?
No matter your ceiling height, curtain installation is the same. Hang curtains so that they end at the floor level, give or take an inch. Typically, this is also about one foot from the ceiling and about 4- to 6-inches above the window frame.
- "Floating" curtains stop about 1-inch above the floor line.
- Curtains that end exactly at floor level are "grazing."
- "Breaking" curtains leave about one inch of excess material on the floor.
Hanging curtains higher above the window will create the illusion of a larger window and larger room. If this is the desired effect, purchase a larger curtain to reach the floor once hung.
What are Puddled Curtains (and when to hang them)?
Puddled curtains refer to the effect created when the curtain pools or puddles on the ground. Most curtains stop at floor level, but in this style, about 6-inches of extra curtain material pools on the floor.
Puddled curtains can create an ornate look. It adds a certain flair and drama to the room, but the curtains also tend to get dirty sooner. They can be difficult to work around when vacuuming or cleaning.
When using this look, it is more likely to be successful away from high-traffic areas. Curtains not opened and closed frequently are the best choice. Consider using curtains that are machine washable to offset the extra care required.
How much length do curtain clips add?
If your curtains are a bit too short, adding curtain clips can be an easy fix. Simply select curtain clips that are wide enough to fit on your rod, such as these large clips:
Use an odd number of clips for even spacing. Curtain clips add about 1- to 2-inches of length, though it varies depending on the clips you select.
How to Make Curtains Shorter
If your curtains are a little too long, and you need them shorter, the easiest solution is to hem. The process is pretty straightforward.
- If you expect to wash your curtains, do it first. You don't want to hem curtains, then have them shrink in the wash and undo all your hard work.
- Hang curtains.
- Pull the bottom of the curtain down, marking with straight pins at the edge of the floor (or whatever length you plan to hem).
- Once you have determined where to hem, fold up and pin as needed so that the curtain is held where you want it.
- Remove extra pins, and remove the curtain.
- You can use a sewing machine if you're handy (this allows you to adjust the hem if you need to later). If you don't like sewing, you can also use HeatnBond hem tape, which only requires an iron.
- Rehang hemmed curtains, and enjoy your new view!
Ready-made curtains come in a series of standard sizes, based on ceiling height. Curtain sizes are approximately 12-inches less than the ceiling height of the room they hang in. For a 10-foot ceiling, the correct curtain size is 108-inches. If standard curtain sizes are too small or too big, use curtain clips to add length or adjust the hem to shorten curtains as needed.
Please read our related posts for more great tips about curtains: