How to Measure Your Windows for Curtains & Blinds

Measure Your Windows For Curtains & Blinds

Measuring your windows accurately is the first step you'll need to take before purchasing and installing your new window coverings. With Spotlight's easy to follow guide you can learn how to measure windows for curtains and blinds in just a few easy steps. Discover everything you need to know including the right equipment and how to measure for different installation types for your blinds and curtains.

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Getting Started: Tips, Tricks & Equipment

To accurately measure your windows, you will need:

  • A metal tape that measures in millimetres (never use fabric tape as it can stretch and give you an inaccurate reading)
  • A pencil and paper to note down your measurements
  • A step ladder
  • Someone to help you

Top Tips:

  • Windows are not always square - especially older windows - so we suggest you take a number of measurements at different points across the window to allow for variations.
  • Never assume all windows in your house are the same. Measure all windows individually and measure them twice or, better still, get a friend to take the second lot of measurements, just to be sure.
  • Take all measurements in millimetres (mm). This will ensure accuracy in selecting the right sized blind for your windows.
  • Record all your measurements and window details in one place for ease of reference. This may be a notepad, on your phone, or on Spotlight's handy printable window measurement worksheet & measuring guide.

Download Guide

Choose Your Mount Type: Face Fit Or Recess Fit?

Curtains and blinds can be installed in two ways - recess fit or face fit.

  • Recess Fit is where the blinds or curtains are installed inside the window frame (architraves).
  • Face Fit is where the curtains or blinds are installed on or above the architrave or window.

Measuring For Face Fit (Outside Mount)

  • Measure the width of the window from one side of the architrave to the other side of the architrave. Take your measurements from the outer edge of the architraves on each side.
  • Measure the drop from the top of the architrave edge to the bottom of the sill or the floor.
Measuring For Face Fit

Measuring For Recess Fit (Inside Mount)

  • Measure the width at 3 points across to check the window is square. If uneven the narrowest of the 3 measurements is to be used.
  • Measure the drop at 3 points to check your window is square. If uneven the shortest measurement will be used.
Measuring For Recess Fit

Should I Choose Recess Fit Or Face Fit?

There are pros and cons to each of the different mounting types. If you're still uncertain about which is the best installation type, measure for both recess and face fit before choosing your window coverings. Once you have opted for either curtains or blinds, this will help you narrow down the best installation method. You can check out Spotlight's guide to what types of curtains & blinds are best for different rooms to help inform your decision.

How To Measure Windows: Video Tutorial

How To Measure For Curtains

If you've decided on curtains for your window, then you'll next need to decide on if you'd like them to be recessed for face fitted. You can then simply follow the above instructions on how to measure for face fit or recess fit according to your choice.

  • Recess fitted curtains are the ideal option when you want the curtain to only fall to the height of the window sill. These are likely to be smaller windows like laundry windows. Kitchen windows are often located in front of your sink area, so recessing your curtains will prevent them from getting in the way of your work space.
  • Face fitted curtains are perfect for creating a luxurious atmosphere in living spaces and bedrooms. Choose face fitting when you want your curtains to reach the floor. Face fitted curtains also have the advantage of preventing light seepage from the sides of the window.

Tips On How To Measure Your Windows For Curtains

  • If you have existing curtain rods or curtain tracks, simply measure this curtain hardware to determine the curtain width. You'll then simply need to confirm the height of the curtain you need.
  • Installing your curtains above the architrave is a great way to create a sense of height and space in your room. In this instance, take your height measurement from where you want your rod to track to sit, rather than from the top of the architrave.

Explore our how to hang curtains guide for more information on getting the most out of your new ready to hang curtains. Our guide to using rods or tracks also offers some great insights into choosing the right hardware for your curtain installation.

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How To Measure For Blinds

Blinds are an excellent option if you want your window coverings to take up less space, and can help create a sleek, modern look in your home. You can choose from sheer roller blinds, blockout roller blinds and double roller blinds for a contemporary aesthetic. Venetian blinds offer you the option of adjustable slats so you can calibrate the amount of light you let into your rooms.

  • Recess fitted blinds create a neat, streamlined finish - but keep in mind that the bracket allowance will result in some light seepage at the sides of the blinds. You may also find that the blind may need to be cut to size in order to fit perfectly within your window architrave.
  • Face fitted blinds will help minimise light seepage from the sides of the blinds and maximise their light blocking properties.

Tips On How To Measure Your Windows For Blinds

To determine whether you should face fit or recess fit blinds, think through the following:

  • What is the depth of the recess? Recess depth for blinds will need to be between 30mm to 100mm for the headrail, dependent on the product.
  • Are there any obstructions such as window winders that will get in the way?
  • What is the frame of the window and could it affect how the blinds will hang?
  • What is the window type - louvre, hinged, sash, sliding doors and so on?

Recess Fit Allowances For Blinds

In order for your recessed blinds to fit and operate correctly inside your window, additional allowances or deductions must be applied. Check out our handy guide below:

Recess Fit Allowance Table

Fauxwood Venetian Blinds

minus 10 mm off the narrowest window width measurement

Timber Venetian Blinds

minus 10 mm off the narrowest window width measurement

Roller Blinds

minus 5 mm off the narrowest window width measurement

Aluminium Blinds

minus 5 mm off the narrowest window width measurement

Cellular Blinds

minus 5 mm off the narrowest window width measurement


Fauxwood Venetian Blind

narrowest window width

minus recess fit width allowance

final dimensions

1450 mm

-10 mm

1440 mm

Roller Blind

narrowest window width

minus recess fit width allowance

final dimensions

1450 mm

-5 mm

1445 mm

Find out more about hanging your blinds with our installing roller blinds and installing venetian blinds DIY guides!

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Find Perfectly Fitted Blinds & Curtains At Spotlight

Now that you can confidently measure your windows for curtains and blinds you're ready to shop Spotlight's huge range of window coverings! Discover sheer curtains, blockout curtains, eyelet curtains, roller blinds and much more. Shop the range online, or head into your nearest Spotlight store with your measurements to find the perfect window coverings for your home.

Spotlight also offers a comprehensive Made To Measure service, where you can explore a huge range of fabrics, finishes and designs to customise blinds and curtains to your style preferences. Book your free measure & quote online or by calling 1300 662 742 today!



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