What Is a Throw Pillow?

By Geoff McKinnen Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On January 8th, 2024
What Is a Throw Pillow?

Key Takeaways

  • Versatile Decor and Comfort Solution: Throw pillows serve as a versatile and affordable solution to enhance home decor. They add style to living spaces while also offering practical benefits by providing extra cushioning and support for various seating areas.
  • Functional Diversity in Types and Sizes: Throw pillows come in various types and sizes, each serving a unique function in home decor. From decorative pillows that add elegance to standard bed pillows providing essential support, the diverse range includes lumbar pillows for lower back support, large cushions for floor seating, and throw cushions for a snug feel.
  • Materials, Designs, and Mixing: The choice of materials, designs, and the art of mixing and matching play crucial roles in maximizing the impact of throw pillows. From various fabrics and textures to experimenting with colors and patterns, understanding these aspects allows individuals to create a cohesive and stylish look that complements their decor and personal style.

If you’re looking for an easy, affordable way to add a touch of style and comfort to your home decor, look no further than the humble throw pillow. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your living room or give your bedroom a cozy makeover, throw pillows are the perfect solution.

So, what exactly is a throw pillow, and what makes it different from other types of pillows?

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As the name suggests, these versatile pillows are meant to be “thrown” onto couches, chairs, and beds as decorative accents. But they’re not just for show–throw pillows also serve a practical purpose, as they can provide extra cushioning and support for your back, neck, and head.

In this article, we’ll explore the concept of throw pillows and the different types available, from decorative pillows to standard bed pillows. Read on to find out all you need to know about throw pillows and how they can transform your home decor.

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The History of Throw Pillows

Throw pillows have been around for thousands of years, used as a status symbol to show how well off you were. In ancient Egypt, throw pillows were used not only in everyday life but in burial rituals too. It was thought that by elevating the head, it would ease passage into the afterlife.

As centuries passed, throw pillows evolved from functional items to fashionable design elements in interior decor. These soft accessories quickly became a symbol of wealth and comfort. The textile industry played a significant role in increasing production and popularity in the 19th century, with the Industrial Revolution further advancing the manufacturing process.

Today, throw pillows remain a beloved choice for enhancing the ambiance of our living spaces, boasting a rich and varied past that stretches back millennia.

Types and Designs of Throw Pillows

With so many types of throw pillows available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect one for your home decor. From throw pillow covers to decorative cushions, lumbar pillows, throw cushions, and large cushions, the options are endless.

Throw pillow covers are a great choice as they allow you to easily switch up the design of your throw pillows without breaking the bank. Decorative cushions add a touch of elegance to your furniture, while lumbar pillows provide optimal support for your lower back.

If you’re looking for throw pillows to snuggle up with, consider large cushions or throw cushions, which come in various sizes and can be used as floor cushions or snuggle buddies on the couch. On the bed, you might look for pillows that fit inside coverings for bed shams, which can offset your usual sleeping pillow.

When choosing designs, take into account the colors and patterns in your room for a cohesive look. Choose designs that complement your furniture and decor style.

Materials and Fabrics for Throw Pillows

When it comes to choosing materials and fabrics for your throw pillows, there are many options available to create different textures and feels. One popular option is feathers, lending a luxurious and soft texture to your throw pillow.

For a cozy and comfortable feel, consider using fabrics with various textures such as wool or faux fur. These materials offer warmth and texture that can make your pillows stand out and add depth to your living space, great for any budget bedroom makeover.

Another excellent source of warmth and softness is bamboo. Using bamboo as a sustainable and eco-friendly material for your throw pillows is becoming increasingly popular and gaining recognition for its benefits. You can feel cozy and comfortable knowing you have made a responsible choice without sacrificing style.

Consider experimenting with different fabrics and textures in the bedroom, mixing and matching to create a unique look that complements your decor and personal style. Choosing warm and cozy materials for your throw pillows will add an extra layer of comfort and style to your home.

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Using Throw Pillows in Home Decor

Looking to add some style and coziness to your living spaces? Look no further than throw pillows! These versatile accessories are perfect for enhancing your home decor in unique ways.

Start by arranging throw pillows on various furniture pieces throughout your home. A few well-placed pillows on a couch or sofa can add depth and unique pops of color to the room. For an especially cozy vibe, try adding a few pillows to your favorite lounge chair.

When it comes to throw pillow materials and designs, the possibilities are endless. For a unique and eclectic look, consider incorporating patterns into your pillow selection. Alternatively, ceramic throw pillows can be a great conversation starter and add a touch of whimsy to your interiors.

With the range of textures, sizes, and shapes available, throw pillows are perfect for adding character to your home decor. So why not experiment with different pillow styles today?

Mixing and Matching Throw Pillows

Want to create a visually appealing look with your throw pillows? Learning how to mix and match is the key! Choosing different colors and patterns that make sense together can elevate any space while adding comfort.

First, decide on a color scheme. If you’re unsure where to start with bedroom colors for sleep and comfort, sticking with a neutral palette like plain ivory or whites is always a safe bet. Then, add pops of color with decorative pillows in different hues.

When mixing patterns, it’s important to strike a balance. Choose two or three patterns with varying scales that complement each other. For example, pairing a large floral print with a small geometric pattern creates an interesting contrast. However, you don’t want a mix of patterns that feels too “loud” or overly stimulating.

Don’t forget to consider texture. Mixing different fabrics like cotton, velvet, and silk adds depth and creates a cozy atmosphere.

Lastly, remember to match plain throw pillows with decorative ones for balance. Opt for plain ivory or other neutral colors for plain pillows, and let the decorative pillows be the pop of color in the space.

When done right, mixing and matching throw pillows can create a cohesive and stylish look in any room. For example, you can arrange larger and smaller pillows to make your bed look like a couch.

Play around with different combinations of arranging pillows on the bed until you find one that works for you!

Throw Pillows for Sleeping and Lounging

Throw pillows aren’t just for decoration! They can also be used for sleeping and lounging, providing ultimate relaxation on a bed or in a cozy lounge chair. If you’re looking to enhance your comfort level, consider incorporating throw pillows with different materials and textures into your sleeping and lounging routines.

Incorporating Throw Pillows on Your Bed

If you’re looking for a more comfortable sleeping experience, using throw pillows can help create the perfect set up for you to sink into. Opt for throw pillow covers made of soft and cozy materials like velvet or cotton to add a luxurious touch to your bed.

For those who prefer a firmer pillow, such as one that can be a backrest when using a mattress for sitting up, consider using ones filled with stone materials for the ultimate sinking sensation.

Lounging with Cozy Throw Pillows

Lounging with throw pillows can help elevate your relaxation game, especially on a cozy lounge chair, daybed, or couch. Choose square-shaped throw pillows for both comfort and aesthetics to add a stylish touch to your lounging space. And, don’t forget to pair them with soft and cozy covers to create the ultimate lounging experience.

Choosing the Perfect Materials and Covers

When selecting throw pillows for sleeping or lounging, the material and cover can make a significant difference in your comfort level. Consider options like fuzzy faux fur, soft velvet, or cozy cotton for optimal comfort.

And, if you’re looking for the ultimate sinking sensation, throw pillows filled with stone materials like buckwheat or millet can provide the perfect solution. There are even weighted throw pillows which, much like weighted blankets and weighted stuffed animals, are designed to help calm anxiety by giving you something to hold and press close to yourself for a comforting presence.

Incorporating throw pillows into your sleeping and lounging routines can add new dimensions of comfort to your daily life. From selecting cozy covers to choosing materials that sink, the possibilities are endless.


Can you sleep on throw pillows?

While throw pillows are primarily decorative, they are not designed for sleeping. They lack the support and structure needed for a comfortable night’s rest. For sleeping, it’s advisable to use proper sleeping pillows that provide the necessary support for your head and neck.

Should throw pillows on a bed be the same size?

There are no strict rules about throw pillows being the same size. Mixing different sizes and shapes can add visual interest and create a more dynamic and inviting arrangement. Consider a combination of larger, standard, and accent-sized throw pillows to achieve a balanced and stylish look.

How do you position throw pillows?

Position throw pillows in a way that complements the overall aesthetic of the bed or sofa. Start with larger pillows against the headboard or back of the sofa, followed by standard-sized pillows, and finish with smaller accent pillows in the front. Experiment with different arrangements until you achieve a visually appealing display.

How many pillows is too many on a bed?

The number of throw pillows depends on personal preference and the size of the bed or sofa. While some prefer a minimalistic look with just a few well-placed pillows, others may opt for a more lavish arrangement. Avoid overcrowding, as it can make the space feel cluttered.

Find a balance that suits your style and maintains a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

What is the purpose of a throw pillow?

The primary purpose of a throw pillow is to add decorative elements to your interior design. Throw pillows add texture, color, and personality to a bed or sofa, enhancing the overall aesthetic of the space. They provide an opportunity to express your style, tie together a color scheme, and create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

What is the difference between a throw pillow and a regular pillow?

The main difference lies in their intended use and design. Regular pillows are designed for sleeping and provide support, while throw pillows are decorative and come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. Throw pillows are meant to enhance the visual appeal of a space rather than provide comfort for sleeping.

How do you know what size throw pillow to buy?

The size of throw pillows depends on the size of your bed or sofa and your personal preference. Larger pillows work well against the headboard or back of a sofa, while standard-sized and smaller accent pillows can be layered in front. Consider the proportions of your furniture and experiment with different sizes to find a balanced and visually pleasing arrangement.

How do you make throw pillows look expensive?

To make throw pillows look more expensive, focus on quality materials and craftsmanship. Choose pillows with durable fabrics, intricate stitching, and quality inserts. Opt for a cohesive color palette and mix textures for a luxurious feel.

Additionally, consider using pillow covers with hidden zippers for a seamless look, and invest in high-quality inserts to ensure the pillows maintain their shape and plumpness over time.


Throw pillows are a crucial part of home decor that can significantly impact your daily life. With an extensive range of designs, materials, and sizes available, throw pillows present the perfect opportunity to improve your living space, your bedroom, or even a guest bedroom, and showcase your personal style.

By using textiles such as velvet, silk, or cotton, you can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in any room. Whether you’re lounging on the couch or sleeping in bed, throw pillows can add comfort and style to your daily routine.

So why not take advantage of this perfect opportunity to elevate your decor with throw pillows? From bright and bold to subtle and chic, there’s a throw pillow for every taste and style. Incorporating throw pillows into your decor is an easy and affordable way to transform any space and make it truly your own

About the author

Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimer’s and sleep. Geoff’s passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.

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