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Decorative Pillows For a Bed - What You Need to Know

Decorative Pillows For a Bed - What You Need to Know


10 minute read

You're likely here because you are searching for decorative pillows for a bed. Decorative throw pillows are the glue that pulls everything together and adds a cohesive touch to your bedroom.

Selecting the perfect pillows can be daunting. But don't worry—we've got you. We've spent years tossing pillows around and creating beautiful spaces.

In this article, we're sharing practical tips and advice about decorative pillows for beds. With this knowledge, you can confidently choose the best ones for your bedroom.

throw pillows queen bed

What Are Decorative Pillows and Why Use Them?

First off, let's go basic and establish what decorative pillows are. Decorative pillows, also known as throw pillows or accent pillows, are pillows that serve a purely aesthetic purpose. Unlike regular bed pillows used for sleeping, these are meant to add visual interest and style to your bed.

So why use them? Well, not only do they add a pop of color and texture to your bedding, but they also create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Plus, they're an easy way to update and refresh your bedroom without breaking the bank.

Types of Decorative Pillows

There are various types of decorative pillows that you can choose from, each with its own unique look and purpose. Here are some popular options:

  • Square pillows: These are the most common type of decorative pillow for beds. They come in various sizes and are perfect for layering on your bed.
  • Bolster pillows: These are long, cylindrical-shaped pillows that can add a touch of elegance to your bedding. They're great for creating a focal point or adding support while sitting up in bed.
  • Lumbar pillows: Also known as kidney pillows, these smaller rectangular pillows are perfect for adding support and creating a comfortable spot to lean against while reading or watching TV in bed.
  • Euro pillows: These large square pillows are commonly used as decorative shams behind other pillows. They add height and volume to your bedding.

How Many Pillows Should You Use on a Bed?

Now, let's tackle the age-old question: how many decorative pillows should you use on your bed? The answer ultimately depends on personal preference, but here are some general guidelines:

  • For a twin or full-sized bed: One to three decorative pillows will suffice. You can mix and match different sizes and textures for a more dynamic look.
  • For a queen-sized bed: Three to five pillows is the sweet spot. Again, feel free to mix and match sizes, textures, and colors.
  • For a king-sized bed: You can go all out with four to six decorative pillows. This larger bed allows for more layering and mixing of shapes and sizes.

Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong number of decorative pillows to use on your bed. It all depends on your personal style and the overall look you want to achieve.

Tips for Choosing Decorative Pillows

Now that you know the basics, here are some tips for choosing the perfect decorative pillows for your bed:

  • Consider your color palette: Choose colors and patterns that compliment your bedding and bedroom decor. If you have a neutral-colored bedding, add pops of color with your pillows. Or if your bedding already has bold patterns, opt for solid-colored pillows to balance it out.
  • Mix and match textures: Don't be afraid to mix different textures such as velvet, linen, or faux fur. This adds visual interest and depth to your bed.
  • Don't forget about comfort: While decorative pillows are primarily for aesthetics, make sure they're still comfortable enough to lean against and use while in bed. Look for pillows with a good amount of stuffing, but not too firm. We recommend using pillow covers and stuffing them with our high-quality faux-down inserts.
  • Consider functionality: If you have a specific purpose for your decorative pillows, such as using them for support while reading or sitting up in bed, choose the appropriate size and shape accordingly.

Simple 3-Step Design Process

Are you unsure where to start? Here is our simple process for selecting the right decorative throw pillows for your bed.

We want our spaces to feel effortlessly put together. Here is our approach.

  1. Scan the room and get the vibe. Is it laid back, cozy, formal, etc?
  2. Pull 3-4 colors from the design elements, like the rug and art pieces in the room. Bam! Here is your color scheme.
  3. Add variety by using large and small-scale patterns and textures. This will elevate the look and feel of your bedroom space.

Where to Buy Decorative Pillows

Now that you know what to look for, the next step is finding where to buy decorative pillows. Here are some popular places to shop:

  • Home decor stores: These stores have a wide selection of decorative pillows in various styles and price points. Some of our favorites are Target, Homegoods, Anthropologie and Pottery Barn.
  • Online retailers: Websites like Amazon, Wayfair, and Etsy offer a vast array of options from different brands and sellers.
  • Thrift stores and flea markets: If you're on a budget, don't underestimate the treasures you can find at secondhand stores and markets. You may even come across unique vintage pillows.
  • The Global Stitch: Finally, don't forget to check out our very own unique collection of decorative pillows at The Global Stitch. Our handcrafted pillows are made with high-quality materials and come in a variety of styles and designs.

When to Select Decorative Pillows

You may be wondering when to select pillows for your bed. If you're remodeling your bedroom completely, you may want to consider pillows in the early stages of the process.

We do see some of our customers choosing throw pillows first and building their space around these peices. However, most people have major elements already in place like furniture, paint, art , etc. and look to decorative pillows to bring everything together and/or provide a needed pop.

Whatever sequence you choose, know that there are no perfect "rules" for decorating. Most importantly, what matters is that you love the end result and feel comfortable in your space.

How to Arrange Throw Pillows on a Bed

The focal point, usually the first thing that grabs your eye in a bedroom space, is the bed. There are several different sizes, from the largest king size all the way down to a twin.

Each of these sizes can be arranged in several different ways. We've seen customers create the perfect bed using 2-3 pillows, and others have created their perfect space using up to six and seven or eight pillows.

Here are some popular arrangements for decorative pillows on a bed:

Decorative throw pillows king bed

King Size

King-sized beds are the largest and provide the most real estate to work with giving you the most options for pillow arrangements. We did a complete post about How to Arrange Pillows on a King Bed but here is a snapshot of some of our favorite looks.

  • 3+3+1 Three euro pillows or(24x24 inch in the back, followed by three 20x20 pillows centered and one long lumbar or bolster pillow in the front.
  • 3+2+1 Three euro pillows or 24x24 inch in the back, followed by two 20x20 pillows centered and one short lumbar or bolster pillow in the front.
  • 3+2+1 Circle Three euro pillows or 24x24 inch in the back, followed by two 20x20 pillows centered and one circle pillow in the front.
  • 3+1 Three euro pillows or 24x24 inch in the back, followed by one long lumbar or bolster pillow in the front.

queen bed throw pillow arrangements

Queen Size

Queen-sized beds are smaller than king beds and usually require fewer pillows for a balanced look. We go into more depth in our Queen Bed Pillow Arrangement post, but here is a glimpse at some of the popular arrangements:

  • 2+2+1 Two euro pillows or 20x20 inch in the back, followed by two standard-sized (18x18 inch) in the front and one lumbar or bolster pillow.
  • 2+2+Circle Two euro pillows or 24x24 inch in the back and one circle pillow 20 inch centered in the front.
  • 2+2 Two euro pillows or 24x24 inch in the back and two 20x20 inch in front.
  • 3+1 Three 20x20 inch pillows in the back with one long lumbar or bolster centered in the front.
  • 2+1 Two euro or 24x24 pillows in the back with two 20x20 pillows in front.

decorative pillows for twin bed

Twin Size or Full Size

Twin-sized beds are the smallest and offer very limited throw pillow arrangement options. It's best to keep it simple. See our detailed Twin Bed Pillow Arrangement post to learn more. In brief, here are the best pillow arrangement options for twin beds.

  • Lumbar Minimalist Prop sleeping pillow against the headboard with a lumbar or bolster pillow in front.
  • Basic Minimalist Prop sleeping pillow against the headboard with one 20x20 throw pillow centered in front.
  • Basic Lumbar Minimalist Prop sleeping pillow against the headboard with one 20x20 throw pillow centered and layered with a 12x20 lumbar pillow.
  • Maximalist Prop sleeping pillow against the headboard with two 20x20 throw pillows centered and a 12x20 lumbar layered in front.

FAQ - Decorative Pillows For a Bed

Since we run a decorative throw pillow company, we get asked a lot of pillow questions. Here are some that we get asked frequently. If you don't see your question here, please reach out to us on our contact page, and we'll do our best to get back to you ASAP.

Do People Sleep with Decorative Throw Pillows?

Decorative throw pillows on a bed can be useful for providing some support while lounging, but they are not usually ideal for sleeping with. The material can often be scratchy or itchy and less durable since the main function is for decor purposes.

Where Do You Put Decorative Pillows When Sleeping?

Many people choose to put their decorative throw pillows in a chest or on bench at the foot of their bed while sleeping. This keeps them from getting in the way and maintains a clean look for your sleeping space.

How Often Should You Change Out Decorative Throw Pillows?

There is no hard and fast rule on how often you should change out your decorative throw pillows. It depends on personal preference, but we recommend switching them out every few years to keep the space fresh and updated.

What's the Difference Between Throw Pillows and Decorative Pillows?

Decorative pillows are often referred to as throw or accent pillows (or cushions). These are used primarily for decorative purposes, while throw pillows are more functional and can be used for added support or comfort.

Are Expensive Decorative Bed Pillows Worth It?

There is some truth in you get what you pay for when it comes to decorative throw pillows. Higher quality materials may cost more, but they will also last longer and maintain their shape and design better.

Here at The Global Stitch, we believe you can have both. Our mission is to provide unique, high-quality throw pillows at a fair price. We work directly with handmade artisans across the globe, cutting out middlemen and passing the savings on to you while offering one-of-a-kind pieces.

throw pillows

Wrapping Up - Decorative Pillows For a Bed

Selecting the perfect decorative throw pillows for your bed can transform your bedroom from a simple sleeping area into a stylish and comfortable sanctuary. By understanding pillow arrangements and choosing pillows that compliment your room's color scheme and design aesthetic, you can easily elevate the look of your bedroom space.

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