What Is The Best Curtain Length For 9-Foot Ceilings?

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ah, tall ceilings. In many parts of the country, saying that you have an apartment with taller ceilings is a bragging right. The typical high ceiling is nine feet high, and that means that you will have to choose curtain lengths that will work for that length. The question remains, how long do those curtains have to be?

For 9-foot ceilings, 96-inch curtains are the best length. This length allows the curtains to hang one foot from the ceiling and reach the floor. To make 96-inch curtains appear shorter, hang the curtain rod against the ceiling rather than a foot below it. For curtains that reach the floor when hung from the ceiling, use 108-inch curtains.

If you want to get curtains for your tall ceiling room, then it’s best to make sure that you understand which curtains work well…and if you should get longer. This article will help you understand which ones will work best for you.

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Window Measurements in Homes with 9-Foot Ceilings

Older homes were built with 8-foot ceilings, whereas modern homes have 9 or even 10-foot ceilings. Because 9-foot ceilings are relatively newer in terms of home construction, there isn’t a standard window size.

Windows are often a way for people to customize their house, and because of this sizes tend to range between 46 to 60 inches. However, window sizes also depend on several factors.


The header is the space between the top of the window and the ceiling that supports the ceiling’s weight. Generally speaking, a header is no less than 10 inches, but the actual size depends on the structure of your home. A header’s size is determined by a structural engineer. Changing the width of a header is possible, but it’s tricky and costs additional money.

If your header happens to be larger than 10 inches, that changes the sizes of your windows.

Furniture Placement

As a rule of thumb, contractors usually leave about 3 feet between the bottom of the window and the floor. This is so furniture can be arranged without blocking the window too much. A typical window won’t sit much lower than 3 feet from the floor. A specialty window, like a bay window or picture window, has a different set of rules.

Extra Wall Space

Using the rules above, let’s assume the header is 1 foot and there are 3 feet from the floor to the bottom window. This leaves you 5 feet leftover on the wall to place the window. In other words, your window can be up to 60 inches on a 9-foot wall.

Windows measure more commonly at 48 inches because that size also fits on an 8-foot wall. Because of this, 48-inch windows are easier to find if you’re installing them yourself.

What Is The Best Length Curtain For A 9-Foot Ceiling?

Traditionally, the answer to this is that you should get a 96-inch curtain. This is an 8-foot long curtain that gives you about a foot of wall space at the top or bottom of the window. So, it tends to look better and also gives your eyes the chance to see a little bit of your wall. This will make it easier for designers to get the perfect match for the look that they want.

This is the one type of wall length that may end up causing a little stir when it comes to finding good curtains at that length. While it is possible to find stuff pretty easily online, it can be hard to find specific prints. Most people max out their curtain lengths at 84 inches or so if they even have that much.

What Length Do You Need For Floor-To-Ceiling Curtains?

Traditionally, you need a foot of space to show off your walls However, if you want to have a floor-to-ceiling curtain, the answer will be a bit different. Floor to ceiling curtains will require exactly 9 feet of length, putting the ideal length at 108 inches. This will give you the floor-to-ceiling look without having to worry about having curtain material falling or pooling at the bottom of your floor.

We want to point out that this trend in curtains is making massive strides. If you want to have your room carry the chic look of mainstream design magazines, then it’s best to choose the floor to ceiling look.

Take a look at the standard ceiling height for the average home.

Can You Use Shorter Curtains In A Room With 9-Foot-High Ceilings?

While there are some situations where you might want to get shorter curtains, the general agreement is that it’s not a great look. Short curtains with tall walls look strange, much like a funhouse mirror would. Besides, smaller curtains have a tendency of making your walls or windows look smaller, which can make your home look disproportional.

The only time it really looks good is if your window is large and you want to make your curtains lightly graze the cliff of your windowsill. This makes it possible for your curtains to look framed without the entire room looking disproportional. While it’s not the best look, it still will give your home an even ambiance that won’t skew the overall proportions of the home.

How Should You Hang Curtains In A 9-Foot-High Room?

There are several ways that you can choose to hang the curtains that you just bought. This is up to you to decide how you want to make it happen. We pointed out a couple of ways to do it:

  • Split. This is what we call curtains that are hung up with an even space from the ceiling and the floor. With 96-inch curtains, this means you’ll have six inches up top, and six inches of wall space on the bottom. This is good for symmetry but isn’t as popular as it once was.
  • Floor-to-Ceiling. This is the new “trendy” way of hanging up curtains and honestly, we totally dig it. As the name suggests, your curtains should start at the ceiling and just lightly “kiss” the floor.
  • Kissing The Floor. This is a cute term we’ve seen to say that the curtains in question lightly brush the floor without pooling at the bottom. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?
  • Pooling The Floor. This term is exactly what you think it is. It means that you have a little bit of curtain in a little “puddle” on the floor. It’s meant to be a romantic look, but in reality, it doesn’t always work well with tall ceilings.

How To Choose A Curtain Length And Size

Guidelines When Adding Curtains To Tall Ceilings

Your curtain length depends on the look you want at the end of the day. However, there are certain things that tend to make your window treatment design look better with less effort. These tips and tricks below will make all the difference.

Go with What’s in Vogue

When in doubt, go for floor-to-ceiling curtains that act as a frame for the windows. This is the new way of doing things, and it’s a quick way to modernize your home’s look. This works well for people who want to keep their homes modern.

No Vertical Stripes

Avoid using vertical stripes in a room with a tall ceiling. The truth is that vertical stripes look good in most rooms, but in taller ceilinged rooms, they make them look disproportional.

Curtain Rod Placement

Hang curtains at least four to six inches above the top of the window. This makes your room look larger and also avoids the cramped look that many poorly-treated windows have.


If you want to add a romantic feel to the room, pool the curtains at the bottom of your floor. This is a great way to add a little luxury to your home.

If you want a formal look, let the curtains hang an inch above the floor. This gives your room a classic, elegant vibe that people adore.

Size Matters

The smaller and closer together the curtains are, the smaller the windows and walls will look. This is a simple rule of thumb and also explains the broad panels that many home designers love.

Aim for Folds

Avoid making your curtains look too flat. Flat curtains give the room a drab look. Having a little extra material for curtain folds might seem a little minor, but it adds a crazy amount of movement to your home’s design.

Do You Need Drapes or Curtains Installed or Replaced?

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Related Questions

What size curtains do I need for a 72-inch window?

If your window is 72 inches wide, it’s best to give your window two inches of curtain for every inch of width. In total, that would mean that a 72-inch window will need curtains that are 144 inches wide. This allows your curtain to bunch up in a way that looks natural, free, and airy. From there, you can figure out how to get curtains at the same height as your room. This usually means finding out the height of your room’s ceilings.

Should bedroom curtains be long or short?

Bedroom curtains are best left long. The longer the length of the curtain, the more spacious (and relaxing) your room happens to be. Shorter curtains tend to look old-fashioned, and not in a good way. It’s a common design trend of the 50s that caused many homes to look more cramped than they really were. By going for floor-length curtains, you keep things modern.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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