Do I Have Too Many Pillows On The Bed?

Last Updated On January 25th, 2024
Do I Have Too Many Pillows On The Bed?

Key Takeaways

  • Pillow Quantity Based on Bed Size: The number of pillows you should have on your bed depends on its size. For example, a twin bed typically needs one sleeping pillow and a few accent pillows, while a king bed can accommodate far more, such as three king-size pillows, shams, and multiple accent pillows.
  • Types of Pillows: Various types of pillows include sleeping pillows for basic comfort, supplemental pillows like body pillows for added support, cuddle pillows for guests, knee pillows for leg comfort, and lumbar pillows for back support. Each serves a specific purpose and can enhance your sleep quality.
  • Storage Solutions for Accent Pillows: Decorative or accent pillows can add style to your bed but might not be suitable for sleeping. Have storage solutions such as pillow chests, benches or trunks and wall-mounted hooks to keep them tidy and off the floor at night.

Ever wondered if you have too many pillows on your bed? Well, you’re not alone! Pillows aren’t just for sleeping anymore; they’ve become a stylish part of bedroom decor. In this article, we’ll explore the perfect number of pillows for your bed size and the different types of pillows you can use.

The number of pillows that crosses into “too many” territory will depend on how big your bed is. The bigger the bed, the more pillows you can scatter. Even if you’ve got a king-sized bed, the limit for pillows is eight. More than eight pillows become excessive. You’ll end up with more pillows than space to sleep on.

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Your pillow selection should include sleeping pillows, bed shams, and accent or throw pillows. We’ll talk about the differences between these pillow styles, how many pillows you should snooze with, and where those stylish pillows should go when it’s time for some shut-eye.

Keep reading to understand the best combo of pillows for your particular bed size. So, let’s jump into the world of pillows and figure out if your bed’s pillow situation is perfectly cozy or overwhelmingly crowded.

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How Many Pillows Do You Need for Your Bed Size?

When you pick your favorite pillows, every bed will have slight differences. Remember, everyone should use one to two regular sleeping pillows for the best sleep. But what about those fancy decorative pillows? The size of your bed is the main thing to think about when deciding how many of each kind of pillow to use.

Let’s examine the various bed sizes to understand better. And don’t forget, having too many pillows on a bed can also affect your sleeping pillow.

Twin Bed

For your twin or twin XL sized bed, you’ll need only one sleeping pillow. You can choose a standard sleeping pillow or opt for the advised king pillow that stretches across the width of a twin mattress. You can pick either a sturdy one or one that’s quite flat.

Remember, for your twin bed, you’ll only need one to two accent pillows to arrange and enhance the style.

Full Bed

To create a cozy atmosphere in your room, you’ll need one or perhaps even two standard sleeping pillows for a full-sized bed. For a creative touch, you can arrange two shams and 1-2 accent pillows. Don’t forget to fluff them up!

Center two boudoir pillows in the gaps to add an elegant feel. With endless styles and designs of accent or throw pillows, it’s fun to stick to a theme or color scheme that matches your bedding and pillows.

Queen Bed

With a bigger bed, you’ve got more space to play around with. A queen bed offers a great option: you can have two larger sleeping pillows, two shams, and 2-3 accent or throw pillows. When you lay them flat, sometimes it’s better to put the sleeping pillows behind two sham pillows and euro pillows, rather than propping them against the headboard.

Another pattern you could try is using a single bolster instead of throw pillows if that looks appealing to you. Remember, the headboard can be a focal point in your design.

King Bed

For this big bed, you can have up to three king size pillows and two shams as a standard setup. But here’s where you can play with patterns: add three accent or throw pillows to make things exciting.

If you want, you can also include a bolster for some extra style on your king bed. You can use your creativity to come up with various pillow arrangements and style your king bed appropriately.

To set it all up, start by placing your two king size pillows right against the headboard. Then, arrange three euro pillows in front of them. Now, let’s add the fun part: three different-sized throw pillows to complete the look.

Your comforter or duvet will be nicely framed by this setup, giving your bed a cozy and stylish vibe. Getting creative with your king size bed is just what you can do! You’ve got the space for it.

California King Bed

While a California king bed is narrower than a standard king bed, the 4-inch difference isn’t significant enough to affect how you arrange your pillows. Whether you’re decorating with accent pillows, Euro shams, or decorative throws, the pillow arrangement principles for a California king bed remain similar to those of a standard king bed.

Focus on creating a balanced and inviting display that complements your bedroom’s aesthetic. The slight variation in width shouldn’t deter you from arranging pillows in a way that suits your style and comfort.

Split King Bed

Meanwhile, those with a split king bed may be wondering how the divide between the mattresses affects how they arrange their pillows.

Well, you could use a foam mattress wedge to fill the gap and use pillows to create the appearance of a uniform bed, minimizing the differences between king and split king beds.

Or you can treat each side of the split king mattress as its own separate sleeping area. This means that you can have different pillow arrangements on each side based on personal preferences.

One side might feature more pillows, while the other side could be simpler. You can treat each side as its own twin XL mattress vs split king mattress.

If you use separate blankets for couples, you can still create a uniform appearance without any gaps by laying out the blankets so they overlap. Then you can arrange the pillows on top as you wish.

Medical Issues and the Number of Pillows You Need

Aside from simply making your bed so it looks nice, medical issues can play a significant role in determining how many pillows are appropriate for your comfort and well-being.

Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, acid reflux, or chronic pain, might require specific pillow arrangements to alleviate their symptoms.

For instance, those with sleep apnea might benefit from using a single elevated pillow to maintain proper airway alignment. People with acid reflux might find relief by using extra pillows to elevate their upper body.  Similarly, individuals dealing with chronic pain might need additional pillows to provide adequate support to specific areas.

Conversely, those sleeping with epilepsy may need to minimize the pillows they sleep with, to prevent injury during a seizure. Consult with a medical professional to determine the pillow arrangement that best suits your health needs, ensuring that you get a restful night’s sleep while addressing any underlying medical concerns.

5 Kinds of Pillows for Your Bed

Creating a beautiful bed arrangement involves arranging pillows thoughtfully, striking a balance between creativity and comfort. Interior designers play a key role in suggesting innovative ways to experiment with textures and styles, ensuring your sleep space is transformed without overwhelming it with too many pillows on the bed.

Sleeping Pillows

Delving into the realm of sleeping pillows, let’s start with the basics – your very own sleeping pillows. Irrespective of your style, the essential pillow for any bed is a reliable sleeping pillow. Often, people place two on the bed, and if there are two of you, you might even end up with four.

When it comes to sleeping pillows, there are three primary pillow sizes:

  • Standard: 20 by 26 inches
  • Queen: 20 by 30 inches
  • King: 20 by 36 inches

Don’t forget to think about pillow protectors alongside your pillowcases. These clever covers not only safeguard against dust mites but also extend the life of your pillows.

Sleeping pillows often come into contact with natural body oils, not to mention makeup residues and drool (yes, it happens to the best of us!). That’s why a reliable protector is a necessity.

Here’s a useful tip: Just because these pillows are meant for slumber doesn’t mean they can’t be interesting. You can add a splash of color to the edges or include some fancy embroidered details to jazz things up.

So, when arranging pillows on beds, remember the importance of sleeping pillows – not too many, but just the right ones for a comfortable and stylish rest.

Supplemental Pillows

For sleepers seeking extra comfort, supplemental pillows are a great match, creating a cozy cocoon for a restful sleep.

Body Pillow

When using a body pillow, it effectively enhances the alignment of your shoulders, hips, and spine, ultimately easing the strain on these critical areas. Furthermore, it contributes to the relaxation of muscles running along the spine, effectively preventing the need to toss and turn while trying to sleep.

The body pillow aids in the even distribution of your body weight and the improvement of blood circulation, which can subsequently reduce snoring.

Notably, body pillows are particularly beneficial for side sleepers, as they offer the necessary support to maintain a comfortable posture throughout the night. With these advantages, incorporating a body pillow into your pillow arrangement can greatly improve your sleep routine.

Cuddle Pillow

Cuddle pillows, often smaller than standard pillows, are a delightful addition to your guest room’s pillow pile. They offer the benefits of hugging, providing comfort and warmth for your guests, making their stay even cozier.  Decorate them with standard shams according to your interiors.

Knee Pillow

Knee pillows are excellent for propping up your legs, relieving pressure on joints, and aiding in maintaining proper posture while you rest. Especially valuable for side sleepers, pregnant individuals, and those with back or hip discomfort, pillows between the knees ensure a more comfortable sleep by properly aligning your feet and knees.

Lumbar Pillows

A lumbar pillow is designed to support your lower back, providing comfort while you sit or lie down. Placing a lumbar pillow behind you can help maintain better posture and reduce strain. Using two pillows, with one as a lumbar pillow, can be a smart way to enhance your sitting or resting experience.

Decorative Pillows or Accent Pillows

A decorative pillow, also called a throw pillow, offers a fantastic opportunity to enhance the appeal of beds and bedding. Whether you’re aiming for a neutral theme or want to make a bold statement, these layer pillows with a cool pattern and different textures can transform your guest room or bedroom’s atmosphere. They’re the perfect companions for your duvet cover, adding extra flair to your space.

Reading Pillows

Reading pillows, often smaller pillows, are great for arranging behind your back to keep your head and neck well-supported, promoting good posture while you relax. Having these pillows propped up can help prevent discomfort and pain, making your reading time more enjoyable and comfortable.

Where to Keep Your Accent Pillows During the Night

Although throw pillows can add to the room’s look, they aren’t the comfiest for sleeping. You likely put effort and money into choosing the perfect ones and arranging pillows, so leaving them on the floor overnight isn’t ideal.

Storing these pillows creatively offers solutions as part of a budget bedroom makeover, such as stacking, pulling to the very front, and even doubling them up, especially when there are too many pillows on the bed.

Storage Bench

It’s perfect for daytime relaxation and nighttime throw pillow storage. Place the bench at the foot of the bed or beneath a bedroom window to enhance your space and conveniently pull up the lid when it’s time to arrange pillows. You can also place them on the bench to make it a more comfortable place to sit.

Pillow Chest or Trunk

A vintage trunk could match your bedroom design and serve a dual purpose. These classy trunks can be both decorative and functional, and you might have an old one you can refurbish for storing standard size pillows, propping them up neatly.

Wall Mounted Hooks

Turn your accent pillows into funky wall art when you’re not using them with some heavy-duty hooks. Install hooks on the wall, over the back of the door, or even from the ceiling. Then, slide the opening of the pillowcase or cover over the hook. Make sure the hook goes through the opening without damaging the fabric.

Once the pillowcase is on the hook, adjust and arrange the pillow so it hangs evenly and looks visually pleasing. You can even fluff the pillows to give them a full appearance.


How many pillows should you have on a bed?

That largely depends on your mattress size. Typically you would use one pillow for a twin size bed, one standard pillow with one to two accent pillows for a full bed, two queen pillows with two to three accent pillows or a single bolster for a queen bed, and two to three sleeping pillows on a king bed, with a up to a small handful of accent pillows to complete the king mattress’s comfort.

However, these suggestions aren’t written in stone and you’re free to go off script and do what pleases you comfort and decoration-wise. It’s important to strike a balance between having enough pillows for comfort and aesthetics while ensuring that your sleep environment remains inviting and clutter-free.

Should I wash pillows or buy new ones?

Deciding whether to wash pillows or buy new ones depends on their condition. If your pillows are still in good shape but need a refresh, washing them might be a good choice.

Fluffing up your pillows with shredded fills can also fix lumps and give them new life. Otherwise, if they’re worn out or no longer comfortable, getting new ones could be a better option.

Why do some people sleep with a lot of pillows?

Some people who sleep with multiple pillows do so to enhance their comfort and address specific needs. These pillows can provide support to various body parts, such as the head, neck, or legs, promoting better alignment and reducing pressure points.

Sleeping with more pillows can also create a cozy and inviting sleep environment that suits their needs, making bedtime more relaxing and enjoyable. Ultimately, the number of pillows used is a personal choice aimed at achieving optimal sleep comfort.

How many pillows is healthy?

Naturally, it’s good to have a supportive pillow for your head and neck. From here, though, sleep style and medical conditions can influence the right number of pillows.

Back sleepers prone to back pain may want to also use a wedge pillow under their knees, while side sleepers can benefit from a body pillow for back pain or a pillow between the knees for healthy hips. And stomach sleepers may need a pillow under their abdomen for a neutral spine alignment.

How often should you throw out pillows?

In our research, we found that experts generally suggest changing pillows every one to two years to have supportive, clean, and hygienic ones. Over time, pillows can accumulate allergens, dust mites, and lose their shape, leading to decreased comfort and support.

Pay attention to the condition of your pillows and you’ll often notice when it’s time to get new ones. Replace them when they show signs of wear or discomfort, even if it’s before the recommended timeframe.


Finding the right balance of pillows for your bed is a matter of personal preference and comfort. Whether you opt for a simple arrangement or a more elaborate setup, ensuring that your pillows contribute to a restful and inviting sleep space is key.

About the author

Mitchell Tollsen is a graduate student and a freelance writer who’s contributed to the Early Bird blog for three years. Mitchell’s always been fascinated by the science of sleep and the restorative processes our bodies undergo when at rest. The self-titled “Sleep Expert” is always looking for ways to improve his shut-eye, and throughout the years has implemented numerous lifestyle changes and tried dozens of sleep-promoting gadgets to determine the best ways to truly get better rest.

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