Skip to Content

How Many Curtain Panels Per Window?

How Many Curtain Panels Per Window?

Wondering how many curtain panels you need for a window? Delve into the key factors and guidelines to get your window dressing just right.

Let’s draw back the curtain on this critical design question!

Most commonly, there are two curtain panels that will go on each window. However, if the window is wider, it can also have three panels, one on each side and the third one hanging in between or with a tie-back.

No doubt there is a lot a curtain can say about a room.

This is the reason why choosing the right number of curtain panels for your windows is critical to ensure that you are getting the look you desire from the drapery over your windows.

How To Calculate The Right Number Of Panels

A traditional curtain look is both curtains tied back on either side of the window, and then being attached over the top of the window. 

However, if your window is wider you can always put up 3 curtain panels on the window.

But if you want to determine how wide your window is and how many panels will look good on it, start off by following these steps.

Step 1: Measuring The Width Of The Window

The first step to calculating the number of curtain panels you need to buy is measuring the width of your windows.

The window width includes the beginning of the frame of the window to the end of the frame on the other side.

Step 2: Determining The Pole Width

If you are going for a full look, you need to add 4-5 inches on either side of the window, as the curtain pole will be a little wider than the window. This is now the width you need to base your calculations on.

For a simple and minimalistic look, you should add at least 3 inches on either side, which means a total of 6 inches to get curtains that perfectly fit the windows and hover just beyond the window frame.

curtain panel look

Step 3: Determining The Look

Ring Curtains

The third step is to determine the type of look you are going for. If you want to go for a neat and simple look, you might want to go for ring curtains.

For the correct width required for this type of look, multiply the width of the window by 1.5 to get the right width that just covers the windows.

Traditional Look

The traditional look means long, flowy, and full curtains on the windows.

This will require you to put up longer curtains with a greater width; therefore, you would want to multiply the pole width by 2 or 2.5, depending on how full you want the curtains to be.

This is the total width of your curtains, all panels combined.

Dramatic Look

Many people want to go for a dramatic look, in which the curtains are oversized in terms of length as well as width.

These types of curtains puddle at the floor, giving that dramatic and regal look. They also have poles that of at least a foot beyond on either side.

This look is perfect for larger windows, as it will not complement smaller windows or those that are too thin.

If you are going for this look, you need to multiply the pole width you calculated in the second step by 3 or 3.5, again depending on how full you want the curtains to be.

Important Tip:

Always remember that the length of the curtain varies with the width. So, if you want a curtain that is about a foot below the window sill, you should go for a simple and minimalistic look.

Step 4: Calculating The Number Of Panels

Now that you have the width of the curtains in total, you should divide this by the width of the panels to get the number of panels you should hang on the window.

The width of the panels is usually stated on the packaging if you are going for a store-bought solution.

If you are going for a customized look, you want to consult the professional, as to the width they can offer for each panel and then divide your calculated curtain width with that number.

If you are going to put your DIY skills to use, you can purchase the fabric from the market directly.

In this case you can also usually play with the overall length of the curtain fabric, but for the width you need to see what the fabric already comes in.

Summing It Up: Curtains Panels Per Window!

Curtain width is an important factor for the look you are going for. A dramatic and regal bedroom look requires a well-lit room with wide and long windows.

However, to complete that look, you need curtains that are wide enough to give that exquisite look.

For a simple and minimalistic look, multiplying the pole width by 1.5 and then dividing this by the panel width gives the number of panels required.

If you are going for a traditional look, multiplying by 2 or 2.5 and then dividing by the panel width gives the exact number of panels best for the look.

It is not necessary that the panels are hung in pairs, for the odd panel in between can be hung loose or tied up.

In any case, the number of panels per window depends on the window size and the look you are going for.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.