To look up the "next largest" match in a set of values, you can use the MATCH function in approximate match mode, with -1 for match type. In the example shown, the formula in F7 is:


where "length" is the named range B5:B11, and "cost" is the named range C5:C11.

Generic formula



The default behavior of the MATCH function is to match the "next smallest" value in a list that's sorted in ascending order. Essentially, MATCH moves forward in the list until it encounters a value larger than the lookup value, then drops back to the previous value.

So, when lookup values are sorted in ascending order, both of these formulas return "next smallest":

=MATCH(value,array) // default
=MATCH(value,array,1) // explicit

However, by setting match type to -1, and sorting lookup values in descending order, MATCH will return the next largest match. So, as seen in the example:


returns 4, since 400 is the next largest match after 364.

Find associated cost

The full INDEX/MATCH formula to retrieve the associated cost in cell F8 is:

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.