stock blinds image for measuring window for blinds article by barlow blinds
stock blinds image for measuring window for blinds article by barlow blinds

How to measure for blinds and shades

Getting made to measure blinds is a great way to ensure that the blinds you’re buying will fit your windows perfectly. This adds a really nice finish to the room, and also means outside light is blocked out as much as possible so you can have a dark room to sleep in at night.

When measuring your blinds, you firstly need to decide whether you want a recess fit, or an exact fit. Recess blinds are designed to fit snugly within the window opening itself, whereas exact blinds sit outside the window recess and overlap slightly on each side.

barlow blinds measuring window for blinds

For either type of fit, it’s important to factor in any obstacles that’ll affect the way in which your blinds hang. This includes handles, or other design features. For measuring either type of fit you’ll also need a pencil, paper, and a tape measure.

Measuring for recess blinds

Step one: measure the recess width

To measure the width of the recess, line your tape measure up with the left hand inside wall of your recess, then measure across to the right hand wall. Repeat this three times at different heights in the recess, for accuracy. Make a note of the shortest length and you have your recess width.

measuring window for blinds barlow blinds

Step two: measure the recess length

Measure the distances between the top and bottom of your window in three different places. Again, take the shortest measurement and this is your recess drop.

When you provide these measurements to a blind manufacturer, don’t make any deductions yourself. Normally they’ll do this for you to ensure that the blinds fit perfectly into your recess.

Measuring for exact fit blinds

Step one: Measuring the width

This process is easier, as it simply requires you to measure the width you want the blinds to cover, allowing for however much overlap you want past your window recess. A good rule of thumb is to measure 6.5cm extra either side. The further past the window you measure, the better the light exclusion will be when you close your blind.

Step two: measuring the drop

Once more, this simply requires you measuring the amount of drop you want overall. This includes the top fittings and the overlap both above and below the window.

Again, just provide these two measurements to the blind manufacturer and they’ll send you blinds that are those exact measurements.


It’s really as simple as that! There are a few other types of blinds you should look out for, such as perfect fit blinds which require no drilling or screwing when fitting. These blinds require specific measuring instructions as the blinds fit directly onto individual panes of glass.

Other than that, ordering blinds is easy once you know how. So get measuring, and order those perfect blinds for you. Whether you’re redecorating, or you’re going for some black out blinds to give you a better night’s sleep, getting those measurements right is important!