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Should Piano Keys Be Covered? - Clairevoire Piano 101

February 21, 2018 3 min read 0 Comments

Digital piano cover in black leatherette

Should Piano Keys Be Covered?


Image: Leatherette piano key cover


When you invest in a new musical instrument you’ll want to care for it in the best way possible. Looking after an expensive piano requires particular attention because the sound quality of your instrument can actually change if simple rules of maintenance are not upheld. A question often asked comes to mind; should piano keys be covered?


One, seemingly logical, solution to help protect your piano keys might be to keep the lid closed when not in use. It would seems obvious that if the piano has a lid then there must be a reason for it. But should piano keyboards be covered? You might be surprised to know that covering the piano keys with its own lid is not always the best way to look after the keys. Believe it or not, piano keys need to breathe and keeping them closed up with the lid, can actually be damaging, and can induce mold and humidity.


Humidity can affect the wooden structure of the piano, and especially the keys, causing damage that will affect the sound and cause damage to the physical structure of your piano. By using a piano cover made from proper materials, you can help to protect your piano, without suffocating the natural wood of the elegant instrument. Many piano covers today come in a range of luxurious velvets, and besides the functional benefits, also look elegant and beautiful.


Dusty piano interior

Image: Dusty piano Interior


Dust accumulation is another reason to consider covering your piano keys. That infinite, universal, microscopic pain that we all spend too much time trying to eliminate, which infiltrates every tiny nook and cranny of our homes – can really affect the quality of the inside of your piano. So how can we avoid the dust that is ubiquitous and seemingly impossible to eliminate? Realistically, we will never be able to eliminate dust completely, but we certainly can reduce the quantity that infiltrates a piano and keep damage at bay. An aesthetically pleasing, and practical solution is to cover your piano with an elegant piano cover. Many covers on the market today are beautifully made, ranging from stunning grand piano covers or upright piano covers – where the choices of color and luxurious velvet materials are multiple. Covers are a functional solution, reducing the amount of dust that gets into and on top of the piano, while also being pleasing to the eye.


It’s commonly known that humidity and temperature changes are one of your piano’s worst enemies. Any fluctuation can cause untold damage, and result in possible sound deterioration over time. You need to be careful of the environment in which a piano stands, keeping it away from vents or exterior walls that may cause humidity or frequent temperature changes. Investing in a good dehumidifier with regulated heating and cooling devices is one solution, however by protecting your piano with a piano cover you can increase insulation against humid or temperature fluctuations. When choosing your piano cover, check for additional UV ray protection, which can cause discoloration and damage to wooden parts, including keys if not properly protected from.

 Water spills on piano

Image: Accidental Spills


Obviously accidental spills, caused by careless placing of drinks or other liquids on the piano, can cause real damage to your piano. Our first recommendation is to completely avoid placing any liquids on or near a piano! Liquid can cause wood to expand resulting in the necessity for expensive repair work. A waterproof piano cover can help protect a piano, however it’s much easier to avoid all damage from liquids by keeping all liquids away from it.


You’ve spent hard earned money investing in a quality piano to last a lifetime. So, should piano keys be covered? Yes, they certainly should be! Choose to look after it carefully, protecting it and covering it without taking away from its beauty and elegance using a well-made piano cover.

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Sizing Guide for Piano Covers

How to measure pianos and keyboards


Grand Piano & Baby Grand

The biggest physical differentiator between Grand pianos or baby grands is their length. They range from 5" all the way to 8.5". There are also several concert grand models that are even longer in length.

Traditionally, Piano makers have found that longer strings tend to increase instrument power, reverberation and produces the desired tonal characteristics, which gave rise to the popularity of grand pianos. 

Before measuring your piano, please make sure to close the lids and keep the music rest down for a more accurate measurement.


How to measure a grand piano insturctions

Top down view of a grand piano

 Place measuring tape over red line [Measuring line guide]


Length: From the front of keyboard to the center of the tail at the back [ Longest points with the lids closed]

Width: From right to left over the music shelf where the music rest is located [ Longest points with the lids closed ]

Height: From the floor to the tallest point of the piano [Music rest folded down or kept under lid]

*Please note that the lids usually give slight extensions to the piano, it isimportant to account for the full length and width of the grand piano.



Vertical and Upright Piano

Upright pianos, also known as vertical pianos, features a compact frame and vertical strings. They are popular models purchased for home use due to their size and affordable pricing. 

The sizes of these pianos also vary among different manufacturers even though their shape stays relatively similar. Most standard sized upright pianos are around 150-154cm [ 4 feet and 11.055 inches ] in width while junior sized uprights are approximately 148-149cm [ 4 feet and 10.26772 inches ]

Our upright piano covers are designed such that it is able to fit almost all the different models from individual manufacturers. This is due to the overhang design, which also allows easy access to the keyboards. The overhang design has a natural and minimalist approach which provides greater ease and efficiency for the piano user.


How to measure an upright piano photo instructions

Top down view of the upright piano

  Place measuring tape over red line [Measuring line guide]


Width: Measure from left to right over the top of the piano [ Longest points with the lids closed ]

Depth: Measure from front of keyboard to back of piano [ Longest points with lids closed ]

HeightFrom the floor to the tallest point of the piano, usually on the piano lid [ Tallest point with lids closed ]

*Please note that Piano width is often mistaken with the term "piano length" for upright or vertical pianos. Certain electric or digital pianos, such as the Yamaha Clavinova Series, are shaped to look similar to an upright piano. In these cases, they are measured the same way as an Upright piano.



Digital Piano & Keyboards [ 76 - 88 keys ]

The Digital pianos are the smallest in size as they do not require strings to be installed. Portable and full of features, these pianos are highly popular with beginners and experts alike. 

The main difference between a digital piano and a keyboard is their action and size of the keys. Digital pianos are made to resemble the feel of an acoustic piano and they usually come with 88 keys, which is the usual number of keys found on an upright or grand piano.

How to measure a digital or electric piano instructionsTop down view of a Digital Piano / Keyboard


WidthMeasure from left to right over the entire span of the keyboard [ Include the body of keyboard, longest points]

Depth: Measure from front of keyboard to the back

Height: Measure from base of the body to the highest point [ Do not include the music rest ]

Please note that the height of the Digital piano or keyboard does not include the keyboard or piano support stand. Do not measure from the floor up unless specified to do so.  


Piano cover sizes are included in their own description pages. Please don't hesitate to contact us at if unsure of the size suitability of the piano covers.