How to Choose the Right Curtains: Made to Measure or Ready Made?


Window coverings are among the most important decorative decisions you can make when moving into a new house or redecorating your existing home. There are plenty of things to consider, but often the first question you should be asking yourself is the most important – should you go with ready-made or made-to-measure draperies?

It’s an important question to consider for many reasons, which we’ll delve into today and hopefully be able to help you figure out whether ready-made or made-to-measure curtains are the best solutions for your next interior design project.

What’s the Difference?

First, and most important, you will need to understand what the nuanced differences are between ready-made and made-to-measure curtains. With either option, there are plenty of choices on the market to suit virtually any interior style. For the most part, the curtains you get from either type of purchase will be “the same” as both types are likely available in the same materials, with the same heading styles. The key difference is the amount of time it takes to go from seeing a window covering you like to have it installed in your home.

  • Ready-made curtains: these are, as you’d expect, readily available wherever soft furnishings are sold.
  • Made-to-measure curtains: typically, you need to order bespoke window coverings from a dedicated service or upholsterer. There are plenty of shops that also sell made-to-measure curtains, and often they’re available in the same materials and styles as their ready-made counterparts.

In both cases, your windows will need to be measured. The key difference here is that when you’re choosing made-to-measure curtains, a specialist will come to your home and take the measurements for you.

Why Choose Ready-Made Curtains?

The biggest benefit to opting for ready-made curtains is that you can walk into your chosen retailer, pick the curtains you like, take them home and hang them up straight away. For quick weekend living room revamps, this is an invaluable advantage as you’re able to get all the work done and have a fresh new space to go into the next week.

Sure, you have to measure your own windows and either bribe a friend to get up a ladder and help you or figure out how to hang curtain rails, etc. on your own, but you’re saving bags of time by getting the curtains you like straight away instead of waiting for them to be custom fabricated.

Why Opt for Made-to-Measure Curtains?

When time is on your side, made-to-measure curtains are an ideal way to get exactly what you want and need without any hassle or even extraordinary effort on your part. Generally, the process for made-to-measure curtains involves four steps:

  1. Measuring: either you or a representative from your chosen drapery firm measuring the windows with precision. If you’re measuring the windows your supplier should provide guidance on which measurements are required and how to take them accurately. Never hesitate to ask for clarifications when you’re doing your own measurement for custom curtains, your supplier should be more than happy to assist you so that the finished product is exactly as required;
  2. Style decisions: next, you’ll choose the fabric, select an appropriate curtain lining, and pick heading style to suit the space your custom drapery will be going; and,
  3. Manufacturing: this step doesn’t require any effort from you, you simply wait from seven days

Which Option Is Right for You?

This truly depends on the application for your new curtains. For a spare bedroom that no one is going to spend a great deal of time in, obviously you still want to create a nice, welcoming space, but you can do that readily with off-the-shelf curtains from your local home wear shop. For a room you are reinventing and will entertain visitors infrequently, or use yourself on a daily basis, you might want to go with made-to-measure curtains to guarantee a specific look and feel that isn’t available in those pre-sealed packages you find on the shelves in the local department store.

Hopefully, this helps demystify the ready-made vs made-to-measure curtain decision for you. The most important thing is to consider is whether you can find exactly what you want to cover your window within a ready-made package. Sometimes you find plenty of lovely things but they’re not available in the size you need, or the curtain heading is different to what you’d envisioned – that’s where made-to-measure curtains really do steal the show. Get exactly what you want regardless of what’s “in stock” on the day.

All the best for your next stylish home interior project.


About Author


Wife, mother, grandma, blogger, all wrapped into one person. Lover of coffee, crime shows as well as humor. Loyalty, honesty and positivity is what attracts me to a person as that is what I try to project to others. Hard working and driven to a fault helps me help others and in turn helps myself in my daily work and life.

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