pillow arrangements on couch

The Ultimate Guide to Throw Pillow Arrangements

Throw pillows have the power to alter a space completely or to deflate it completely. The trick for your throw pillow combination sizes. Differing your sizes will instantly give you styling gratification.

What I’ll show you today is the tried-and-true decorating rule that has helped me design and pick the correct throw cushion for spaces and types of pillow inserts.

Table of Contents

Pillow Sizes For Your Couch

pillow sizes for couch

This will only vary slightly depending on the size of your sofa and deep seats.

Always start with the largest decorative throw pillow size (your base pillows) at the rear and work your way down to the smallest as you move to the front. This could be a couple of pillows or simply 1 on top of your largest pillow.

Because I prefer deeper sofas, I always choose larger back pillows, such as a 24′′ or even a 26′′ if I truly want a pillow-filled arrangement, but the most popular larger pillow size is the 24′′.

A quick rule of thumb – If you don’t have a deep couch which most of us don’t, then you shouldn’t go any bigger than a 22″ cushion for your largest throw pillow.

The sofa’s depth is the distance between your feet touching the floor and the couch’s back. So if your legs are quite stretched out, this would mean that you have quite a deep couch.

This is my non-technical method of determining the number of layers of pillows I like.

I’m sure everyone who loves a cushion has heard their partner say that there is nowhere for them to sit due to all the styling on the couch. But if you use them all, you put them there!

The more layers you add, the cozier you’ll feel, or yes, you’ll have to move out the way. It’s all down to personal preference and comfort.

pillow arrangements on couch

Common Throw Pillow Sizes

Here is a quick pillow size chart to demonstrate the sizing options as it is tricky to figure out what size couch pillow you need.

Throw Pillow Combinations

In this photo, you can see that there are so many ways to style your pillow arrangements on your couch.

The first example is the most commonly used due to its practicality, with the cheeky lumbar cushion added for a touch of decadence.


A love seat, simply put, is an oversized chair. And they’re brilliant for cuddling up and reading a good book or sitting in front of a fire.

My favorite combination for throw pillows is this:

I love this combination of the added lumbar pillow as, for me, it adds the appearance of extra depth to the loveseat.

TIP! – Don’t start too big with the largest cushion if you want to add quite a few cushions.

Window Seat

If you are lucky enough to have a window seat, you’ll need to know the basics for styling your cushions.

You’ll need a few pillow types – 2 of a larger type of pillow, 1 smaller and, a lumbar.

Put the smaller square cushion in the corner, then the 2 larger sizes, and in front of the lumbar.

Pillow Insert Sizing

It’s important to get the correct size for your cushion cover. If you get one that’s too small, your cushion will look flat and limp, and an insert that’s too big will make the cushion hard and uncomfortable.

Here are the common pillow sizes.

  • You can change your pillow covers! Doing this is a great way to refresh your home every season.
  • There are different pillow fillings. Research into what you want as some aren’t vegan.
  • Most down alternative pillows are hypoallergenic, so allergy sufferers will find relief with these pillows.
  • Memory Foam Pillow has the signature body-conforming properties of memory foam, providing excellent pressure relief.

Sectional Sofas

You may feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to styling cushions on your sectional sofa. Thinking that you have to get so many cushions to fill the space, but in fact – less is more!

The photo below shows you just how easy it is!

You need to pick 3 matching pillow designs.

  • 1 Patterned Design totaling 3 cushions.
  • 1 Plain Design totaling 3 cushions that are a smaller size than your patterned cushions.
  • 1 Lumbar cushion that will complement the other 2 cushions.

The Pillow Arrangement

Placing the bigger cushion and the smaller cushion on either end will enclose the sofa and make it more inviting. Add the same combination to the corner section, then place the lumbar cushion in front of it. This is to add interest to the corner as that is where your eye is naturally drawn to.

Styling your Bed

Now, everyone gets carried away with styling cushions on the bed. It’s addictive, adding cushion after cushion. But we need to stop! Less is 100% more when it comes to bed styling.

With Beds, a symmetrical arrangement is key.

These are my favorite combinations for your bed as I don’t like to be paired back. But remember that bed size matters! If you have a King size bed, you’ll be able to add more than you would to a queen sized.

The bedroom is the best place to add texture and warmth with pillows. So I want to add quite a few, all in complementary colors!

Choosing Accent Pillows

Choosing combinations of designs that pair well together is a little hard. But at the end of the day, it is your house, and if you like bold colors paired next to a neutral color, you do it.

If you need a specific material or fabric for your home or lifestyle, throw pillow patterns come in such a wide variety that you can always find one that meets your needs.

Rules to stick by:

  • Don’t pair too many geometric patterns. Definitely pair a few, but if you want that scandi minimal look make sure that the design isn’t too eclectic.
  • Large patterns mixed with smaller-scale patterns create a balance within the composition.
  • A white sofa looks great with black and white pillows.
  • A simple plaid with a large floral in two or three colors is a good example of a busy pattern combined with a simple pattern. A print and a coordinating solid will work, too.
  • Don’t be afraid to go bold and have fun with your patterns; just make sure to balance out your bold patterns either with soft patterns or solid colors.
  • Play with the color wheel to find color combos.
pillow size chart

The Best Throw Pillows!

I’ve dove into the internet to find the best decorative pillows out there so that we can fill our homes with beautiful textures and that cozy hygge vibe for maximum comfort.

Sophie Faux-Fur Cushion

Let your softer side out with this oh-so-cozy faux-fur white pillow. Available exclusively at Anthropologie, the Sophie Faux Fur Cushion comes in luxurious shades of light and dark fur to keep you snuggly warm on the couch or your queen-sized bed.


Muted and stylish, but above all – comfy square pillow. It doesn’t get better than Mirny. Check out that super-soft boucle and the contrasting brushed fabric on the reverse – so versatile. These’ll work in any room you like – whether it’s your living room where you want to curl up for a movie or relax with your besties; or your bedroom where these are just what you need for snuggling up in bed with that book of yours at the end of an exhausting day!


The RETREAT cushion from A by AMARA is knitted for maximum texture and style with a luxurious design that will transform any room into a beautiful haven. Choose between two gorgeous colors – white or grey – to see which accent best suits your décor.

Little Oasis Knitted Cushion

For the home and people who like to take it easy, we introduce to you: breezy chic. Give any room that relaxed feeling with the new Little Oasis Knitted Cushion, made from 100% cotton in 3 gorgeous shades of pure indulgence for your eyes to feast on. The woven texture is mixed with a fluffy pom-pom for a touch of scandi boho.

Minille Striped Cushion Cover

This is the perfect way to add some luxurious texture to your living space. The raw cotton makes it feel casual and breezy while retaining its sophistication with dark charcoal stripes, allowing it to work with other pillow colors easily.


After a long day of work, your fluffy cushion is calling to you. Mialet. Made with 60% wool and 40% cotton for an irresistible feel, it is just the thing to keep your interior looking warm and inviting!

Bonne Nuit Embroidered Blue Bolster Cushion

Give your space a luxurious feel with the Bonne Nuit Bolster Cushion. This decorative cushion features a blue and green printed pattern, navy blue embroidery, and cream piping along the edges. Get one for your bed or sofa now to top off your stylish room!

Pinar Cushion

Comfortably stylish, with a natural flair for luxury. Sink into the Pinar cushion and enjoy its cozy lines of hand-woven cotton striping. The cushions are popular outdoors because of their durability, but they are just as good indoors, where they have that old-world touch to bring your home together effectively.


What is a good size for a throw pillow?

The most common throw pillow sizes for sofas are 18″ x 18″ and 20″ x 20″. However, larger sofas and sectionals, especially those with deep seats or high backs, may be better off with 22″ x 22″, or even 24″ x 24″ pillows.

What size pillow fits an 18×18 cover?

For an 18×18 pillow cover, you’ll want to use a 20×20 insert. This will ensure that your pillow looks plump and luxurious. If the insert is too small, the pillow cover will look saggy.

Should throw pillows be the same size?

A general rule of thumb is to start with the largest pillows in the back of the sofa or bed and then build a triangle with smaller pillows from there. Typically, 2″ size increments work best for layering pillow combinations.