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Long or Short Curtains in the Bedroom? The Pros and Cons

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The bedroom is the one room in your house where you have full control over the aesthetic. When furnishing every other room, you always try to please your guests, friends, and visitors. But not the bedroom. 

In the bedroom, you choose the furniture that suits your taste and preferences. This applies to curtains, too. But, personal preferences aside, which should you choose: long or short curtains in the bedroom?

For the most part, your bedroom curtains should always be long enough to reach the floor. Flowing curtains add an aesthetic aspect to the bedroom and can be a decorative asset in their own right. The only time you should choose short curtains in the bedroom is if you have a piece of furniture that prevents the curtains from reaching the floor.

What Curtain Length is Best for the Bedroom?

Woman opening curtains on the bedroom window

Curtains serve the same ornamental purpose as windows in the bedroom. Ceiling to floor windows bring in more light and let you enjoy the views outside from the comfort of your bed. You can think of curtains in a similar way— the longer the curtains, the better. So, always opt for long curtains that reach the floor regardless of the size of the window itself.

The benefits of that extend beyond the ornamental side. A long curtain makes the bedroom look taller than it actually is. It elongates the room even if the ceiling is rather low. In other words, you can make your room look spacious and bigger with long and flowing curtains. 

Different Curtain Lengths in the Bedroom

Yellow bedroom curtain beside a bed

The word “long” is a subjective term. For some people, a long curtain is one where the hem of the curtain rests and even breaks on the floor. For others, it is a curtain that’s a couple of inches above the floor. And yet for others, it’s one that barely touches the floor. These are all considered long curtains. 

But, the different lengths can have dramatic effects on the bedroom. So, let’s take a closer look at different curtain lengths and how they impact your bedroom.

  • Floating: A floating curtain is one that barely touches the floor. To be more specific, it should be about an inch above the floor. This floating curtain is more convenient if you tend to open and close it more often or if there’s a lot of foot traffic around the curtain. When you sweep or vacuum, there’s little chance the hem of the curtain will get sucked into the vacuum.
  • Grazing: A grazing curtain is one that kisses the floor. This is the ideal and most aesthetically pleasing option. But, it’s also the most difficult one to achieve. Especially if you’re the one getting the curtain measurements. An inch longer and the curtain breaks on the floor. An inch less and the curtain hangs above the floor with an unpleasant gap.
  • Breaking: This curtain extends past the wall by a couple of inches and breaks on the floor. It’s more suitable for people who like their bedroom to look casual and less formal. However, these curtains can be a problem when cleaning the floor, not to mention that kids and pets could trip or trample over them and get them dirty.
  • Puddled: Similar to breaking curtains, a puddled curtain rests comfortably on the floor with an excess of 6 inches or more. It’s ideal for large bedrooms where ornamental value outweighs the practical considerations of sweeping the floor, safety, and keeping the curtains clean.

Can You Have Short Curtains in the Bedroom?

Short curtains over bed

If you want to use short curtains in your bedroom, that’s your choice. Also, there are situations when a short curtain is the only practical option for your bedroom. For example, if the headboard of the bed rests right under the window, then long curtains are not a good choice, either decoratively or practically. 

You have two options when it comes to short curtains in the bedroom. The first is the sill-length curtain. It stops a half-inch from the bottom of the window. The other option is the apron curtain. It extends by just one inch below the window sill.

Will Short or Long Curtains Make a Bedroom Look Bigger?

Long gray and white curtains

If you want your bedroom to look bigger and more spacious, then long curtains are your best choice. The grazing curtains give the illusion that the room is higher and more elongated than it actually is. They can also compensate for other bulky or short pieces of furniture in the bedroom. Just make sure to push the curtain rod up toward the ceiling.

Short curtains do the exact opposite. They make everything around them look short, including the ceiling. It’s an optical illusion that you wouldn’t want to have in your bedroom. 

How to Make Short Curtains Look Good in a Bedroom

Although short curtains are not the most decorative curtains in the bedroom, sometimes they are the only option you have. But, that doesn’t mean the short curtains have to look bad or diminish the beauty of the room itself. You can make the curtains look longer than they really are. 

Choose curtains with vertical stripes that make them look longer. Also, opt for the apron-length curtains that flow about one inch below the window sill. 

How to Make Long Curtains Look Good in a Bedroom

Long gray and white curtain

Long curtains do a lot more than just preventing light from coming into the bedroom. To make long curtains look good in the bedroom, raise the curtain rod high up toward the ceiling. Depending on the theme of the bedroom, choose a curtain length that accentuates the style you prefer.

If you’re going for a casual look, then a breaking curtain will fit in your room nicely. Also, make sure the curtain matches the other furniture in the bedroom. If that’s not possible, go for sheer or neutral curtains.

What Fabrics Work Best for Short Curtains in a Bedroom?

White cotton curtain fabric

For short curtains, the best fabric is cotton. It has a wide variety of patterns and colors that match just about any style or theme you have in the bedroom. And, since the curtains are far above the floor, the cotton fabric is less likely to become creased or dirty. It also looks more natural than other fabrics.

What Fabrics and Patterns Work Best for Long Curtains in a Bedroom?

For long curtains, you have many options when it comes to fabrics and patterns. You can always go with velvet, linen, silk, or faux silk. These fabrics are less likely to get dirty or succumb to wear and tear easily. 

Long curtains can be subjected to rough treatment from kids and pets, so fabrics made of faux silk are ideal. Faux silk is more durable and can stand the test of time without fading.  

As for patterns, you should match the pattern of the curtain with that of the other furniture in the room. If you feel stumped and can’t settle on a curtain that fits in, then go for a neutral curtain. If it doesn’t add to the decor, it will not impact it negatively either.


When choosing a curtain for your bedroom, choose long curtains that make the room look bigger and more spacious. Grazing curtains that precisely touch the floor are quite popular these days. Make sure the curtains match the rest of the furniture in the room for an aesthetically pleasing effect.

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