How to Choose Pillows

Selecting the Perfect Pillows!
Consider colors, lifestyle, and the style of your room when choosing throw pillows for your home.

Where to Start When Choosing Throw Pillows

Draw your color inspiration from carpeting, area rugs, furniture, draperies, window coverings, or artwork and other accessories. Adding decorative pillows that pick up the colors on the opposite side of the room will give your decor a more cohesive look. Subconsciously, it will be pleasing to the eye. Every computer monitor will display color a little differently, but on request, Pillow Decor can cross-reference any of its pillows against Benjamin Moore and Pantone color guides to help you find the perfect color match. If you are looking for a specific color give us a call or send us an email at

Consider your lifestyle, and what your room is used for. In a family room where there are children and pets, select a practical, durable fabric such as faux suede, or our Widewale Corduroy pillows. Mix those pillows with sturdy tapestry pillows, faux furs, washable cottons and cotton/polyester blends or silk-like polyester pillows. In a formal living room, you can use elegant silk throw pillows, or more delicate decorative pillows with beading, and tassels and other embellishments.

For an interesting and sophisticated look, combine shapes and textured throw pillows. Layer larger decorative pillows at the back or in the corners of the sectional, and put a smaller throw pillow in front. On the other side of the sofa, add a rectangular throw pillow or bolster to the mix. Give your sofa some allure and visual interest.

To select the style of your throw pillows, study magazines for inspiration. Use your decorative pillows to express your personality. They are one of the most fun decisions to make when decorating, as they cost considerably less than a sofa or area carpet, and can be even be changed seasonally! Just zip off your pillow covers and lay them flat in your linen closet. If your color scheme runs throughout the home, you can move your throw pillows from the den to the master bedroom when the mood strikes you. Give yourself permission to play!

What Size of Pillows Should I Buy?

Although there are no strict design rules, here are some tips to help guide you in selecting the right pillow size. Keep in mind that measurements are always based on the size of the pillow cover when it is measured flat before stuffing. Click here for a visual explanation of how pillows are measured.

When you are choosing square pillows, the first thing to consider is the scale of the chair, sofa or sectional that you are putting them on. Large, deep sofas and sectionals will generally require larger throw pillows. These might range from 22 inch square to 26 inch square depending on your sofa or sectional. However, it is also important to consider the height of the back of the sofa. Large pillows can look out of place on a low-back sofa and may detract from the lines of the sofa which are so often a key design feature of modern, low profile sofas. One exception is when you are using your throw pillows as the back of the sofa. If your sofa does not have supporting back cushions, then you may want to use larger pillows to create the sofa back.

Measure the height of the back of your sofa and use that as a guide for your pillow size choice. For deeper, low back sofas, consider layering your throw pillows with a combination of smaller square pillows and rectangular lumbar pillows. This gives you and your guests the flexibility to nestle more comfortably among a larger number of pillows. If the sofa is deep with a high back, then you can really have fun with larger pillows and you will have even more options to layer smaller square or rectangular pillows in front of them. When you are layering square pillows, try to scale down the front layers enough so as to allow the back layer of pillows to still be visible. For example, if your back pillow is 20 inches square, try a 17 or 16 inch square pillow in front. If you only layer down to an 18" you may find that you are covering up too much of the back pillow. Stepping down in size also give you the ability to create more even back support.

17 inch to 20 inch square pillows are the most common square pillow sizes as they tend to be a good fit for most standard size sofas. On smaller love seats you may want to keep to 18 inch and smaller so as not to reduce seating space too much. The same guidelines apply to stand alone chairs. A deep, high back lounge chair may be the perfect spot for a larger 22 inch pillow, but rarely would you want to go any larger than this with any stand alone chair. Just as with your sofa, be aware of the seating depth, arm rest height and back height and use these measurements to guide you.

The friendly service staff at Pilow Decor is here to help, so if you have any questions give us a call or send us an email.