Should your curtains be floor length?

Nadia Davy
Written by Nadia Davy
Russells Consultant
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The length of your curtains can drastically change how a room looks and one of the questions our consultants here most often is, “should my curtains touch the floor?” The answer? Yes, most of the time curtains should lightly graze the floor or sit just a centimetre or two above it. Of course, there are a few exceptions to the rule, but in most situations, floor length curtains provide a stylish and practical look.

What if my windows are not floor length?

If you’ve never had to purchase curtains before, this is a common point of confusion. But the height of your windows does not determine the height of your curtains. Even short windows can benefit from the added elegance of floor length curtains.

Puddle, break, skim—what length is best for your curtains?

When we say ‘floor length curtains’ we usually mean graze or hover length curtains that hang within a couple of centimetres of the floor. This length doesn’t collect too much dust and is easy to clean around and open and close regularly. But there are a couple of other lengths of curtains that are also considered ‘floor length’.

Break length

Break length curtains (also known as a trouser break) are slightly longer than floor length, meaning they sit gently on the floor with a slight break in fabric. It’s not long enough to puddle on the floor, but it creates a more relaxed look and is a great choice in dining rooms or bedrooms where there is less foot traffic as they do have a tendency to pick up dust and debris from the floor, especially if they are moved frequently.

Puddle length curtains

Puddle length curtains are even longer than break length and have enough extra fabric to pool on the floor. Although less functional and higher-maintenance than other options, puddle length curtains can create a luxurious and dramatic effect, especially when combined with more opulent fabrics like velvet. It can also work well with light sheers for a romantic look. This length is best in areas that don’t have much foot traffic and are rarely opened or closed

When should curtains NOT touch the floor?

In general, kitchen and bathroom windows should have shorter curtains, however, you should utilise a shorter curtain length wherever it may impact the daily use of a room. For example, kitchen windows are often above countertops or sinks so a shorter length that stays out of your way is important. Kitchen and bathroom floors are also cleaned more often so keeping curtains away from the floor will make this easier.

Another example of when curtains should not touch the floor include bedroom windows that sit over a bed or dresser.

Final thoughts

Yes, your curtains should be floor length in most situations. Not only does it look more modern and stylish, there are some practical benefits as well, like added insulation light blocking around the window to keep out drafts. Although floor length is not always the right answer, it is worth considering in most situations. During your in-home consultation, your consultant will run through the options with you and offer their specialist advice on what length is best for each window.

Book for your free in-home consultation today.

Learn what to consider in picking the right curtains for your home

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