Should Curtains Touch The Floor?

Last Updated on November 28, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

There are some instances when curtains and draperies are ordered too long. In these situations, it is inevitable for them to touch the floor. There is a lot of clout about curtains touching the floor. Some say that it should not because it gathers dirt while others say that it can be a practical choice sometimes. 

So, should curtains really touch the floor? In this post, we will roundup why curtains touching the floor is both a yes and a no. 

Related: 15 Best Indoor Beaded Curtains For Doorways

is it ok curtains touch floor

Should curtains touch the floor?

curtains touch floor

Yes, your curtains should the floor but there are a few instances when it should not. Floor-length curtains are go-to choices for a classy interior design. But these types of curtains are only ever applicable in living rooms, dining halls and in the bedroom. 

Having floor-length curtains that touch the floor is hassle for kitchens and bathrooms as well as in small windows above the kitchen sink or furniture. 

How far should curtains be off the floor?

This one entirely depends on the interior design that you want your curtains to give off. Here are some of the most common curtain drop styles and the recommended distance that they should have from the floor.

  • Puddling: To literally create a fabric puddle, floor-length curtains can extend to up to 6-inches as it drops on the floor. This is a popular style for European-style homes with ornate decorations. This is also seen mostly in classic style homes, to evoke an artsy style using floor-length velvet curtains. 
  • Breaking: To create a break in the middle of the hemline, the curtain should extend to at least an inch or two. This effect creates a modern, casual vibe in living rooms and bedrooms. 
  • Grazing: This effect means that your curtains should just lightly brush the floor. To achieve this, you need to exactly measure the curtain top and the hem and make sure that it does not extend to more than an inch
  • Floating: To get this, the hem of the curtain should be 0.5 inches above the floor. This is a good curtain drop style if you want an easy vacuum space or for easy sweeping. 
  • Short: If you want a curtain drop that just lightly brushes with the windowsill, this is the style for you. To get this, the curtain hem should not be more than 3inches below the windowsill. This is the perfect curtain drop for bathrooms and kitchen sinks. 

Standard curtain drop

The term curtain drop refers to the distance between the curtain at the top of the rod and its hem. Contrary to popular belief, there is no one standard curtain drop measurement. The most noted measurements however, come in 52”, 72”, 90” and as long as 108” for custom-made floor-length curtains. 

How long should curtains hang?

Again, the answer to this depends on the look that you want to achieve. The most common curtain length would be that of grazing floor-length curtains. And then there is the floor-to-ceiling curtains, short curtains, and café curtains.

The standard length is at 60-144inches. You should base your curtain length with those figures. Nonetheless, the rule of thumb for hanging curtains is that, it should not be more than 4” from the top and the hem. 

What can I do if my curtains come very short?

short curtains

There are two ways that you can do in order to amend very short curtains for a supposed floor-length measurement. One, you can re-hang your rod in a lower level. Two, attach an 84” matching curtain on your short curtain or a matching sheer drapery. You will just have to unleash your sewing skills a bit for this one. 

How much should curtains puddle?

The most puddling length for curtains would be 16inches while the least would be at 0.5inches. Aside from this, there are three types of curtain puddling: 

  • Break puddles: 0.5-1”
  • Medium puddle: 2-5”
  • True puddle: 6-16”

These three types of curtain puddles also come in variants. There is the stacked puddle, flowing puddle, and fold-under puddle. 

Why would I want curtain puddles? 

Believe it or not, curtain puddles move beyond just aesthetics. More than a decorative style, curtain puddles hide the imperfections of your window, floor, and wall. It is also a good energy-saving measure because it balances the heat and cool air in the room especially if you are on airconditioned spaces. Aside from elegance, curtain puddles also make the room look wider. 

What is the best curtain puddle for bedrooms?

curtains for bedroom

The ideal curtain puddling for bedrooms should be break puddles or medium puddle. The fabric puddling should just be enough to hide imperfections or to cover a small window. At the same time, these puddling lengths are still short enough to cause slipping and is still a good length for easy vacuuming. 

Should curtains match walls or couch?

Yes. The color, texture, and style of the curtains should match your walls and couch to have a balanced look. The overall ambiance and style of your room depends on the cohesiveness of all its elements and curtains are an essential part of that balance.

Curtains that do not match with the wall, the couch and other decorative pieces add a conflicting view to your home. 

Related: What Curtains Go With Gray Walls In Bedroom, Living Room?

Are short curtains ever OK?

Of course. In some instances, they are even the better options. Short curtains like apron or café curtains are popular for modern style and minimalist homes. They create an illusion of wider space because they cut your room’s visual height in half.

Aside from this, opting for short curtains can also be a practical choice especially that they save you from dirt collection and gives you ease in sweeping or vacuuming the floor. 

Do floor-length curtains reduce noise?

This depends on the opacity of your floor-length curtain. If it is a blackout curtain, you are certain that its noise reduction capacity is 60% and above compared to sheer or linen floor-length curtain that can only go to as high as 25% when it comes to noise reduction. 

Can you use long curtains on short windows?

Interestingly, yes. Long curtains on short windows make the room look fuller and brings the entire room into more symmetric proportion. Short curtains on short windows reduce the impact of using curtains because it makes the room look hollow.  Thus, short curtains on short windows are not that visually appealing and have an effect in the style of the room. 

Is it OK if curtains do not touch the floor?

should curtain touch floor

Yes, as long as it is not more than an inch above the floor. Interior designers would recommend for curtains to touch the floor to create a more enigmatic view but if you do not want fabric puddling, just make sure that the curtain hem is not above the floor for more than an inch. 

What curtain styles are trendy? 

If you are looking for trendy curtain styles that will look good touching the floor, you should check the following: 

  • Minimalist neutrals (gray and white)
  • Classic style
  • Scandinavian style
  • Provence style (European cottage house style)
  • Eco style (linen and fabric)
  • Modern edgy style (light-colored curtains)


Curtains and curtain lengths are a serious business when it comes to interior design. You should know when curtains should and should not touch the floor. At the end of the day, the best measure is to know the style that you want your room to have. 

From there, you can easily decide the amount of puddling you want your curtain to have on the floor or if you do not want to have one at all. Overall, curtains are supposed to touch the floor and there are considerations and rules of thumb that you have to know when it comes to the length of how much it should drop to the floor.