Kitchen Curtains Buying Guide – Checklist Before You Go Shopping

White kitchen curtainsKitchen curtains are not purely functional – they are important in decorating your kitchen so it is essential to get them right if you want your kitchen to look good.

If you want to find the right curtains you will probably have to shop online to get the best selection – but how do you choose wisely from the many options available?

Here is a checklist of things to consider when choosing kitchen curtains:


Curtains are available in all sorts of fabrics. Consider the thickness of the fabric – do you want a fine net, lace or voile (which may be OK if privacy is not an issue) or thicker cotton or linen / hemp curtains. See also the point on maintenance below as the fabric choice may determine whether curtains are washable. Cotton seems to be most suitable fabric for kitchens as it is easy to care for and has a light airy feel.


Do you have a general color theme in mind for your kitchen? This may already be set in stone with the color of tiles you have chosen. If you have picked neutral tiles they will still be predominantly warm or cool colors and you need your curtains to stay in tune with this. By cool neutral tile colors I mean colors such as black, cool gray, pure white, silver. Warm neutral shades would be terracotta, cream or beige


You will find all kinds of patterns and designs in fabric kitchen curtains from floral, to novelty, striped and plaid as well as many abstract patterns. Consider what is suitable for the look you have in mind. What style are you hoping to achieve for your kitchen? Contemporary or retro? City apartment or Country cottage look? Colorful or monochrome? Do the curtains fit in with your general theme?

Type of Curtain

Kitchen curtains may be full length, window length or cafe type curtains and they can have many different types of headings as well as various valances and tie backs. The more contemporary the look, the simpler the curtains should be with plain headings or tab tops. A country look is better able to take frills and valances – though you may find you prefer a simpler look to make washing and re-hanging easier. To get help with the type of curtains to choose, browse some online sites and look at some pictures imagining each type of curtain in your kitchen to think about the general effect.


Are the curtains within your budget? Are they reasonably priced for the quality of the curtains?


Are the curtains washable? You will find that you have to wash kitchen window curtains more than other curtains in your home so it helps if you can pop them in the washing machine unless they are very fine and they are hand washable. Sometimes curtains shrink a little when washed. Check whether fabric has been pre-shrunk and if not make allowance for this in the measurements.

Decorative or Functional

Are your curtains meant to frame the window nicely and add a decorative touch and nothing else or do you need to open and close them. This will affect they type (and size) of kitchen curtain you buy. If you don’t need so much fabric you may be able to choose something stunning.

Right Size

Be sure to get the right size of curtains for your windows. It’s more practical to have short window length curtains near food preparation and cooking areas and this also suits the informal nature of a kitchen.

If you want to increase the amount of light allowed into your kitchen while still framing your windows, extend the curtain rods, rails or poles a little beyond the edge of the windows so that you see as much light as possible when the curtains are drawn back.


Make sure there is no chance of fabric curtains catching fire. If you have a window near a cooker, a simple roller blind or roman blinds would be a safer option.

Ready-made or Custom

Ready made curtains in standard sizes tend to be cheaper but many online stores will make kitchen curtains to suit your measurements if you have non-standard windows.

Where to Get Good Deals on Kitchen Curtains?

Beautiful kitchen curtainsYou will find some kitchen curtains in your local area. They are found sometimes in discount stores but more often in expensive soft furnishings stores and in large department stores.

Unfortunately even with high prices it is likely that you will get a limited selection there with not much chance to shop around.

For the best deals you need to go online, which is the case with many items these days. Not only do you save money (and time) by shopping online you also don’t have the cost of making several shopping trips to the various stores in your area.

So, when you decide to buy kitchen window treatments online, you are making a very sensible decision. Once you take a look online you will be amazed at how many kitchen curtain designs and styles are available.

You’ll find novelty curtains, cafe curtains, designer curtains, curtains in many patterns and plain curtains in every color of the rainbow. If you’re not sure how to go about choosing kitchen curtains then follow this guide:

Set a Budget

If you want to avoid spending too much, have a budget in mind before you begin. If you’re not sure what a reasonable amount would be, take a look at a few sites to get an idea of the selection available and the range of prices.

Browse and Book mark

Create a short list of the kitchen curtains you like. As you browse bookmark your favorites so that you can come back to them.

Compare Prices, Quality and Suitability

See how each of the curtains on your short list holds up against this check list:

  • How does the design and color fit in with your kitchen color scheme and theme?
  • Are the prices within your budget?
  • Have you included sales tax (if any) and shipping in looking at the costs?
  • Have you priced a curtain in the right size for your windows?
  • Is the fabric of good quality for the price?
  • Do they even have the right size of curtain for your windows? Or will you have to pay for alterations?
  • How does this affect your budget?
  • Are the kitchen curtains washable in the washing machine? Or will they have to be dry cleaned?
  • Are the curtains in stock?
  • Are there any matching accessories available?
  • Will the company deliver quickly?
  • What is the returns policy if you are not happy with the product?
  • Are you familiar with the company / brand of curtains? It’s not necessarily a bad sign if you are not – just extra points if you have bought from them before and were happy with them!

Choose your best option and order your choice of kitchen curtains. Then you can put your feet up and wait for them to arrive.

How to Measure for Kitchen Curtains?

The right size for kitchen curtainsWhen buying kitchen curtains make sure you know your measurements before you begin because the measurements affect whether you can buy cheaper ready made curtains and window treatments or whether you have to go the custom route how much fabric you will need (and therefore how much curtains will cost).

When you go shopping consider two measurements. (And if you buy in a shop make sure that the person taking the order knows which measurements you are talking about). You need to know the size and shape of your windows the approximate size of kitchen curtains you require including the desired length (window length or floor length).

Step by Step Measuring Guide:

1. Decide on The Type of Curtains

Curtains are measured differently depending on the type of curtain – floor length, tab top, formal, cafe curtain or whatever so don’t measure until you have an idea of this

2. Decide on the Position of the Curtain Rod, Rail or Pole

You would normally put this about 6 inches above the top of the window. If you are using a double rail and valance or pelmet you may want to position the rail a little higher to let in maximum light but consider also the room and kitchen window proportions when you do this and keep things in balance.

3. Size of Rod, Rail or Pole

Decide how much you want the curtain rods to extend at each side of the windows. Two to three inches would be the norm (excluding any finials) but you may want more clearance to let in maximum light. Again consider the window and room proportions when you do this. An inch or two further would be fine however.

4. Length of Curtains

Plan where the curtains will end. If you want window length curtains this would normally be 2 or 3 inches below the window sill. So the finished length of curtain would be from the rod or pole to the finished length plus an allowance for any part of the curtain heading which sits above the curtain rods.

5. Width of Curtains

Measure where the curtains will start and end across the width. You will normally have a pair of curtains, which together make twice the width (the wider the curtains the more fullness you achieve). So if the desired width is 60 inches then you need 2 curtains each 60+ inches wide.

6. Two Important Measurements

What this boils down to is that when you go shopping you need two main measurements the drop (or length) the total width required for curtains (kitchen curtains are usually sold in pairs – look at the size of each curtain to make sure – but you may also find some are sold in separate panels).

If you are looking for kitchen cafe curtains (which cover only the lower part of the window), these will normally be sold in standard drop lengths so with typical country or lace style cafe curtains you would select a standard length and then adjust the position of the curtain rods rather than deciding on the specific length you want your curtains to be. Of course if you choose custom kitchen curtains, you get to choose the length!

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7 thoughts on “Kitchen Curtains Buying Guide – Checklist Before You Go Shopping”

  1. Great site! I am thinking of redecorating at the moment and you have given me some brilliant ideas. Keep up the good work.

  2. How do I find kitchen curtains with a particular theme or pictures on them (cowboys, vegetables, cats, sunflowers etc)

    1. The best place to find all kinds of kitchen curtains is via online stores (you will never find such a good selection in your local area). Do a search on both Google and eBay for kitchen curtains along with the word for the image you want on your drapes. If you are not successful with that, try the same search with just curtains instead of kitchen curtains and if you still don’t find what you are looking for consider making your own (a relatively easy job) and do the same search with fabric. If these three searches don’t work then I’m afraid nothing will and you will have to look for something similar. Browse around the online curtain shops until you find something you like.

  3. I have an open plan apartment so that the kitchen and living room are effectively one room. How do I choose curtains for these two “rooms” in one?

    1. You have a few choices for window treatments when choosing kitchen and lounge curtains for an open-plan or studio home. You can:

      1. Choose the same fabric for both windows using a plainer style curtain or blind for the kitchen window and a fancier style for the living room – for example drapes and valances in the living room part and simple roman shades or roller blinds in the kitchen.

      2. Choose a complimentary color for the kitchen in a plain fabric, perhaps picking out a color from the lounge curtains or from other accessories in the room.

      3. Use plain curtains or blinds in the same color on both windows.

      4. Ignore the fact that you have an open plan arrangement and simply define the kitchen space with the décor there and the lounge space with a different style, while still making sure colors and styles compliment each other rather than clashing badly.

      5. choose complimentary fabrics from the same design range such as a floral pattern in the lounge and a coordinating striped fabric for the kitchen curtains.

    1. Hi, Alice! If you are hanging kitchen curtains near a food preparation area, sink or cooker then I would definitely select short simple curtains or blinds for reasons of safety and ease of maintenance, however if you have patio doors or use your kitchen as a dining room then long curtains are fine in those areas.

      If you hang long curtains be sure to make the style and fabric in keeping with the informal nature of the room – for example, cotton is more appropriate than lace if you’re going long in this situation whereas short lace cafe curtains are fine (depending on the style of your cabinets etc).

      Whatever window treatment you choose just be sure that you will be able to wash your kitchen curtains as they do get dirty quickly in the kitchen atmosphere.

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