How to measure your window for curtain poles

So, you’ve decided to purchase curtain rods or poles for your windows and you’ve done your research and chosen your colour, type and diameter of pole and you’re ready to make your purchase. So how do you work out what length it needs to be?

Hopefully by now you have already assessed your windows to make sure you can actually fit curtain poles and tracks to them and there are no reasons or restrictions why you can’t. If you haven’t, then hop over to our buying guide and take a quick look at: How do I know if I can fit a pole at my window? before you go any further.

Measuring Window Width

If you’re ready to order, then here’s the technical bit on how to measure for your pole width.

  • First, decide where the pole is to be positioned - this can either be on the window frame or above it on the wall.
  • Consider how far you are going to take the curtain pole past either side of the window. You need to do this to create a stack-back area for the curtain to sit in when they are in the open position. If the pole only covers the window area then when the curtains are opened they will encroach onto the glass area of the window, block a lot of light and obscure your view. If you have a window with a good wall space to either side then the norm with curtain poles is to take them a good 15 to 20cms (6” – 8”) to either side of the window. This measurement will increase for wider windows to allow the curtains to draw back away from the window.
  • Next measure the required width taking into account the space needed for the curtain to be drawn back either side of the window (B).
  • Choose which style of finial you like, ensuring there is space for them either side of the pole. The finials are decorative finishing pieces at either end of the curtain pole, which also act as end stops to prevent the last curtain pole ring from falling off the end of the pole. They do not play any other part in supporting the curtains so do not need to be included as part of the final pole length measurement.
Measuring Curtain Pole Width
  • Alternatively, where space is tight, please ask about smaller finials or other suitable curtain poles.
  • Remember that when deciding on your size of curtain pole that you can widen the pole to change the size or aspect of your window. For example, a tall narrow window if required can be made to look more square with a wider pole.

Related Curtain Pole Collections

Finished reading this buying guide? Here are a selection of categories you may find useful: