Throw pillows might just be the quickest and cheapest way to give a living room or bedroom a brand-new look. On a neutral-colored couch or a bed with a white comforter, adding pillows can introduce a new color scheme or design theme that’s easy to change out seasonally or whenever you’re ready for a new look.
Decorative pillows come in standard square sizes from 16 inches to 20 inches, then there are oversize, or Euro, pillows in 24 inches or 26 inches or larger. In general, the size of the... pillows should go with the size of the furniture you’re putting it on. Big Euro pillows look great against the headboard of a king-sized bed but could overwhelm a twin bed. Similarly, a big sectional sofa can use some big fluffy pillows throughout that might be way too big for a settee. If you’re adding more than one pillow to a bed or sofa, consider using pillows in a few different sizes to mix it up a bit, including using rectangular, box-shaped, bolster or round pillows in addition to the standard square shape.
One note: Read the fine print on the product descriptions to know whether you’ll be getting just a pillow cover or an entire pillow that includes the insert. There are benefits to both options: buying just a pillow cover can be a little cheaper if you already have inserts, while buying one with an insert means it will be ready to go right onto your sofa. You just want to make sure you know what you’re getting! Here are the best throw pillows to consider for your home.
The best throw pillows for most people will be a medium-sized square with a design scheme that can work with many different kinds of decor. Ideally, you can get a set of pillows at once so you can add a few to a bed or along a sofa to get a cohesive, decorated look. The pillows don’t have to match exactly. In fact, it’s nice if you can get a set that coordinates different designs in the same color scheme (and you won't have to hunt around to find your own mix).
This set of throw pillows covers offers just that: four covers in complementary designs to use alone or together for a sophisticated, coordinated look. There are 15 different style sets to choose from to find the one that works best in your home.
While many throw pillows cost $20 to $40 (or even much, much more), you can still find throw pillows for under $5 if you buy them as a set or on sale. These budget pillows are great for spaces like a kitchen breakfast nook or guest room, anyplace where you’re ready for an update but don’t want to spend too much money. Inexpensive throw pillows are often made of polyester, cotton or a blend — versus more textured fabrics like velvet or felt — and have simple shapes with less detailing, such as piping or knife edges.
Another way to save: Buy just the pillow cover instead of a pillow with the insert included, and use it to cover the pillow inserts you already own. This set of four pillows comes out less than $5 per pillow, with 12 options of coordinating sets to work perfectly with your decor.
If you have a dark brown or black leather couch—or even a brown or charcoal sofa that’s made of imitation leather or another material—it can be challenging to find a pillow that works. Dark leather couches tend to have a masculine feel, so you want to add throw pillows that soften the look just a little bit without feeling “off.” You also want to avoid putting a dark pillow on a dark sofa because it will just get visually lost in the space.
The key here is to choose throw pillows with a light background and a strong pattern that can stand up to the dark leather, style-wise. Something in a soft, sturdy material can also add comfort to a leather couch. Whether your leather couch is in a man cave or is the centerpiece of the living room, adding a few good throw pillows will help it out.
This hand-woven wool pillow cover features a bold pattern that incorporates dark tones and has enough texture so that it won’t feel puny on a leather couch. Available in 18 Southwestern-, Mexican- and Native-American-inspired designs, it can add pattern and color that don’t feel too feminine, while still giving a dark leather sofa a decorative touch.
A light-colored, neutral couch in gray, beige or cream is the centerpiece of many a living room. With its light tone, a big piece of furniture can make the room seem larger and brighter, and a neutral color has the benefit of going with anything. The only problem: A gray or beige couch can seem a little bland without a pop of color to liven it up!
A velvet pillow in a rich jewel tone adds the perfect touch. The saturated color and sumptuous fabric can warm up a simple sofa and make it more inviting. Velvet pillows also have a luxurious, soft feel and are comfy to lounge on — a bonus for guests and TV watchers alike! This velvet pillow cover comes in 11 size options and more than 40 different colors to get the exact shade that works for your gray or other light-toned couch.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
The general rule: Keep proportion in mind. If you’re looking for a throw pillow to decorate a bigger spot, like a king-sized bed or a sectional sofa in your family room, the pillow needs to be big, too! On a king-sized bed, Euro-style throw pillows — meaning 24 inches or larger — will work proportionately, whether you prop them up against the headboard or use them to disguise the pillows you sleep on. On a big sectional, adding oversized pillows at the corners can turn the couch into the ultimate lounging spot and break up the look of too much sofa.
For bigger pillows, look for solid-color options or large-scale patterns, such as this buffalo check in bold black and white; too small of a pattern can get lost. This pillow cover comes in 26-inch and 18-inch square sizes and in 14 solid and patterned colors to work almost anywhere.
Small, rectangular lumbar pillows and tube-like bolster pillows are a fun pillow shape to finish off a bed or add a touch of comfort to a love seat. With their long, skinner design, these pillows can also serve a practical purpose: supporting your lower back as you’re sitting to read a book, or to propping up your knees when you’re resting to relieve aches and pains.
So consider adding a bolster or lumbar design to your mix of pillows for an interesting contrast in shape or texture. This pillow cover comes in three soft neutral colors with a chunky knit exterior for an accent pillow you’ll want to snuggle up with.
Whether you have a teenage girl or an older one going off to live in a dorm room — or you just happen to be young at heart and love a little bling — you should consider a Mermaid-style sequin pillow. At first glance, these trendy pillows just seem like glittery accents, but those in the know will tell you the secret: The sequins are sewn on in such a way that you can run your hands along them to reverse the sequins, revealing another color!
Kids and grownups alike find it totally addictive (and even cathartic) to draw patterns in the sequins or move them all around, a sort of home-decor equivalent of the fidget spinner. This beautiful mermaid sequin pillow comes in seven color options to match the bed or reading chair it will adorn.
At The Spruce, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.