Design Dilemma : Should Curtains Touch The Floor?

In most homes, curtains are hung on either side of a window and are meant to cover the entire window. The bottom of the curtains tend to be long enough that when they are closed, they touch the floor.

In short, the answer is yes your curtains should touch the floor.

This is not always the case, however. Some people prefer to have their curtains hanging above the windowsill or even higher, and this can create a completely different look in a room.


Aside from being decorative , curtains are a necessary component of any window treatment, but the length of your curtains is a matter of personal preference.

There are pros and cons to both curtain lengths, so it’s important to weigh your options before making a decision. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right curtain length for your space.

Exceptions to the rule of floor length curtains

So are there any situations when shorter curtains would be appropriate? Are curtains never touching the floor okay?

Well yes! As mentioned before this is a personal decision for your home. Some examples of reasons people would not want their curtains to reach the floor:

You may not want your curtains to touch the floor is if they are made of a light-colored fabric. Light-colored fabrics can be easily stained by dirt and dust that gets tracked in, so hanging them up higher can help keep them looking cleaner for longer.

If you have pets or small children, you may not want your curtains to touch the floor because they can be easily pulled down and damaged.

If you are getting curtains for a window that has a lot of decorative items or plants in it (on the window sill) you would not want curtains to touch the floor on this window.

Lastly in areas that are more functional like bathroom, kitchen or above a kitchen sink, laundry room, etc, you may not want curtains to touch the floor for more practical reasons.

Related: How to Get Wrinkles Out of Curtains

Where should curtains be hung?

The place where you hang your curtains on the wall is a very important part of deciding on curtain length. Hanging curtains closer to the ceiling will make your window appear larger.
If it is a room you want to keep dark, like a bedroom, hanging curtains closer to the ceiling will give you more light blocking options.

Put your curtain rod at least 4-6 inches above your window and the measure from this distance to the floor.

What curtain lengths touch the floor?

This largely depends on the height of your window and where you hang your curtain rod.

Most curtains you can purchase in the store or online come in a few standard lengths: 63 inches, 84 inches, 96 inches, 108 inches and 120 inches.

The standard size length you will find readily available in most stores is 84 inches. Retailers like Target, Walmart, Kohls, JC Penney, etc will have a wide variety of curtains in stock and ready to purchase in the 84 in length.

Some speciality stores or home decor stores like At Home or Home Goods will have more lengths, like 96 inch or 120 inch.

You may find that for your main living areas like living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, etc. an 84 inch curtain isn’t going to cut it for getting the look of having curtains touch the floor.

I wasted a lot of time and money purchasing these curtains only to have to end up returning them.

In bedrooms where windows don’t tend to be as large and high as the common areas you may be able to purchase 84 inch curtains and they touch the floor.

Your results may vary! Its best to measure your windows. As a rule of thumb, curtains will need to be 95 inches or longer to touch the floor.

Curtains touching the floor vs pooling on the floor

There are two schools of thought when it comes to how long your curtains should hang: some people believe that curtains touching the floor create a more streamlined look, while others believe that pooling on the floor gives a more luxurious feel.

Curtains touching the floor can give a room a styled but neater appearance and make windows appear taller.

If you choose to have your curtains pooling on the floor, you’ll enjoy a softer, more elegant look.

Curtains touching the floor or window sill

First lets define what a window sill is, its that horizontal surface at the bottom of a window. It is typically used to support a window when it is open.

Some people use it for decorative items like picture frames, vases or plants. It typically never touches the floor so you may be wondering if you should just have your curtains stop at the window sill.

The recommendation is to have your curtains touch the floor here in this situation also. Certainly you want to keep in mind practicality in addition to the overall aesthetic. If you keep a lot of things on your window sill , shorter curtains may be for you, but in most cases if your window sill is empty, have your curtains come down longer than the height of the window sill.

Should shower curtains touch the floor?

Yes, shower curtains should touch the floor. This helps to keep water from spilling out and onto the floor. You should have a shower liner that goes inside of the tub and that should be comfortably in the bathtub touching the bottom of the tub. You shower curtain will go on the outside of the tub and can touch the floor.

Curtains touching the baseboard

By default if your curtains are touching the floor, they are certainly touching or covering the baseboard as this is located at the very bottom of the wall.

Blackout curtains and floor length

Yes, blackout curtains should touch the floor in order to be most effective in blocking out light. Here’s why:

When light leaks in from underneath the bottom of a curtain, it can cause an annoying glare and make it difficult to sleep or watch TV. Blackout curtains are designed to block out as much light as possible, so it’s important that they fit snugly against the floor.

In addition, touching the floor also helps to insulate the room against noise and temperature changes. If you live in a city and want to minimize street noise, or if you want to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, blackout curtains that touch the floor will help you achieve those goals.

In conclusion,your curtains should touch the floor for a few reasons. First, it gives the illusion of a taller window and makes the room look bigger. Second, it prevents light from sneaking in around the edges of the curtain and keeps the room darker. Third, it provides a more finished look to a room and makes it feel cozier. Lastly, it can help to block out drafts in a room. So if you’re wondering whether or not your curtains should touch the floor, the answer is yes!

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