Curtains Buying Guide

Curtains have the ability to completely transform your interior, adding style and practicality in equal measure. Whether it’s blackout curtains in your bedroom or decorative curtains in your living space, they can instantly add a cosy, homely feel to any room. It’s important to find the right style to help your curtains match the rest of the decor in the room.

In this guide, we’re looking at some of the most important things to consider when buying curtains, including the different types, how to measure them and some of the best ways to take care of your curtains.

Different Types Of Curtains

There are various different types of curtains, each with a unique style that can bring an entirely different feel to a room. Each different curtain type specifically pertains to the heading, which is essentially how the curtain attaches to the curtain pole. Colours, patterns and fabric can all vary, irrespective of which curtain type you choose.

Some of the most popular types of curtains include:

Pencil Pleat

Pencil pleat curtains are sometimes referred to as tape top curtains and are the most traditional style of curtain. Their design features three rows of pockets to allow for hooks to be inserted through, meaning you can choose how low you’d like your curtains to sit.

If you are mounting your curtains to a track, by inserting the hooks into the lower row of pockets, the curtain is able to hide the track once they are drawn. 


Eyelet curtains are designed for use with curtain poles only and feature a more modern design than that of the traditional pencil pleat style. The use of eyelets creates large and evenly distributed pleats at the head of the curtain. As the pole simply slots through the eyelets, far less fabric is needed to create the heading of the curtain. 

Other types of curtain

Pinch pleats are similar to the pencil pleat style, however, this style uses thread sewn in to create the individual pleats, rather than allowing the pleats to form naturally. This means that this type of curtain can be used on both poles and tracks, with consistent pleats featuring in each style. 

Top Tips When Choosing Your Curtains 

When choosing your curtains, it’s important to consider a few key factors to ensure that they fit seamlessly into your decor and accentuate the ambience of the room. Some of the key factors you’ll need to consider are:


  • Curtain fullness

The fullness of your curtain will be determined by the amount of fabric in the curtain. Typically the fulness is measured in relation to the width of the curtain pole, with a ratio of at least two times the rail/pole width recommended. It’s important to have a good fullness to your curtains to ensure a high-quality appearance.

  • Choose the correct height

It’s recommended that you hang your curtains somewhere between four and six inches above the top of the window, so bear this in mind when installing your pole or track. By hanging your curtains at this height you’re able to make the window appear taller and maximise the amount of light flowing into the room when they’re drawn.

  • Finish & colour

Arguably the most important factor for aesthetics is the finish and colour. The colour scheme you choose will determine how well the curtains blend with the decor in your room. 

  • Curtain lining

The curtain lining is the fabric woven into the back and will determine whether your curtains are blackout or not. There are even fabric linings that provide other benefits, such as heat retention, which is great for the cooler seasons.

The Benefits Of Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains can make a room feel extra cosy, whether they keep your living room pitch black whilst you watch a movie or create a peaceful ambience in your bedroom when the sun rises. You can introduce blackout curtains into your home and enjoy complete darkness, whether you opt for eyelet or pencil pleat curtain type. 

How To Measure Curtains

It’s important to ensure that you get the right size of curtain for the perfect fit, so you’ll need to measure the space and the track or curtain pole properly. The measurements can differ depending on the heading of the curtain, so you’ll need to know how to measure each type.

When choosing your curtains you should choose the width that closely matches the size of your track or pole. For example, if someone had a window size of 240cm they would still be able to get 228cm curtains, however overall it would be less gathered.

Measure for pencil pleat curtains

Firstly, you’ll need to measure the width of the curtain track, to make sure you’re buying the correct size of curtain.

Next, you’ll need to measure the drop. For pencil pleat curtains on a track, you’ll need to measure from the top of the track, down to the point you’ll want your curtains to reach. This will be your drop measurement and will give you a good idea of how your curtains will sit once in place.

Measure for eyelet curtains

As always, start by measuring the width of the curtain pole to get an accurate width measurement. 

Then, measure from the centre of the curtain rings down to your desired endpoint to get the length. Once the pole is placed through the eyelets, the curtain should sit exactly where you measured it. 

Hanging Your Curtains

Whilst the measurements of your curtain will determine its length, there are a few different styles you can opt for that will enhance the ambience in your room. 


By adding an extra few inches onto the length of your curtains, you’re able to create a puddle where the curtain meets the floor. This is where the excess curtain bunches up at the bottom to create a more diverse appearance. This style can also help with draft exclusion and create a more cosy feel - perfect for winter.


A break style is a great in-between style, where you add just a small amount of extra length to your measurement so the bottom of the curtain just touches the floor. This ‘breaks’ the panel of the curtain and creates a more dynamic look without having too much excess fabric.


By measuring the length of the curtain down to just above the floor, you’re able to make sure it doesn’t touch the floor at all. This can create a classic and clean appearance, allowing for greater airflow beneath the curtain - perfect for summer. 

Top Tips To Take Care Of Your Curtains

Once you’ve fitted your stunning new set of curtains, it’s important to maintain them and carry out regular upkeep. It’s possible for dust and dirt to collect on the fabric of your curtains, so you’ll need to take care of your curtains to keep them in top condition.

DUSK Top Tip: Always check the cleaning label on the curtains to ensure you are using the correct cleaning process! 

Here are a few of DUSK’s top tips to help you take care of your curtains:

  • Don’t forget to steam

    Steaming your curtains is a great way to keep them clean in between your regular washing schedule. The steam will help kill any bacteria and eradicate any odours which have built up over time - this is a great idea if your curtains are in the kitchen where you regularly cook.
  • Clean regularly

    Whilst it’s important to clean your curtains regularly, you don’t need to go overboard. If you put a reminder in your calendar to clean them every four to six months, that should give you enough time to keep on top of any excess dirt build-up.
  • Air dry your curtains

    Although it can be tempting to throw your curtains into the tumble dryer for a quick dry, the heat can cause damage to the fabric - something that’s likely to worsen the more you do it. The best course of action is to hang your curtains up outside and allow them to air dry.

Must-Have Curtain Accessories

There’s more to styling your curtains than simply picking the colour and fabric. By introducing some additional accessories into your curtain setup, you’re able to create a truly luxurious feel in any room. 

Matching soft furnishings

To colour coordinate your room, you can further accessorise with matching cushions and throws. Creating a ‘set’ from these furnishings can enhance the decor in any room and transform it into an inviting space. 

For more top tips on how to style curtains, the best way to clean them and more, keep an eye on our blog. Let us know over on Facebook and Instagram if you have any curtain styling tips you’d like to share.