How to Arrange Pillows on a Bed

Styling your bed with throw pillows can add personality to your bedroom, but it requires some knowledge of arranging them. To strike a balance, avoid overdoing it with too many pillows, and start by layering sleeping pillows. The "rule of three" is a helpful principle, where three simple throw pillows are leaned in front of the stacked sleeping pillows. For a king-size bed, three Euro shams and a lumbar pillow in front can create a polished and full look. Remember, larger beds can accommodate more pillows, while smaller ones look best with three. With these tips, you can create an inviting and beautifully-styled bed.

When it comes to putting a bed together, you of course always include the essentials, like soft sheets, supportive pillows, and maybe an extra blanket for warmth. But what about throw pillows? 

It can be surprisingly tough to style with pillows—in fact, you may have even found yourself searching “how to arrange pillows on a bed” for advice. This is an element of styling your bed that’s worth learning about since it’s not really as simple as just piling pillows on top of one another.  

After learning how to arrange bed pillows, you can add some extra style and personality to your bedroom—while doing it beautifully.

“Your entire bedroom can be plain and simple but come to life with the decorative pillows on the bed,” notes Amy Peltier, founder and creative director of Amy Peltier Interior Design & Home. “They are also the easiest things to swap out when the seasons change or when you’re ready for something new.”

Ahead, we’ll take away any of the confusion around pillow placement so you can create a gorgeously-styled bed that’s also inviting, whether it’s your bedroom or a guest room.

How to arrange pillows on a bed

Don’t overdo it

There is such a thing as too many throw pillows on a bed. Peltier says she likes to walk a fine line between “luxurious and simple,” so she prefers to strike a balance: “Not too many pillows that there isn’t any bed space left, but just enough that it makes you want to crawl right in.”

Start by layering sleeping pillows

To make your bed look plush and sumptuous, and to create a perfect backdrop for your throw pillows, it’s important to layer your pillows for sleeping as well. Peltier is partial to placing four sleeping pillows on a bed, which are stacked two on top of one another.

Stick to the “rule of three”

Oftentimes, in the design world, pros like to adhere to something called “the rule of three.” This means that decorative objects tend to look better in groups of three or an odd number that doesn’t look too perfect. Peltier likes to place “three simple throw pillows” in front of her stacked sleeping pillows and leans them. 

As for creating a cohesive look, Peltier says two of the three pillows can match, preferably in a 22″ x 22″ size, and the third pillow should be a smaller, rectangular pillow in a coordinating fabric. Try to stay within the same color family for the patterns as well.

How to arrange pillows on a king-size bed

Many people also wonder how to arrange pillows on a king bed specifically since this mattress size can prove to be overwhelming. Too many pillows? Too few pillows?

“If the pillows are too small or too few, the bed will look empty,” says Peltier. “But if you don’t go large with your pillows, then you need lots of them, which can look fussy, dated, or messy.”

But a king-size bed is actually quite versatile when it comes to throw pillows. Since it’s such a large bed, it can handle a few various arrangements, explains Peltier.

She prefers using three Euro shams (or square pillows used decoratively on beds) along with a lumbar pillow that’s placed in front. “This keeps the bed, and the amount of pillows that need to be removed, at a minimum but still looks polished and full,” she says.


What is the correct way to place pillows on a bed?

The conundrum of how to put pillows on a bed can, at times, be a head-scratcher—but you can pull off the right visuals if you heed a pro’s advice. As Peltier says, start with four sleeping pillows on the bed, stacked two on top of one another, then layer with three throw pillows: two in a 22” x 22” size and one in a smaller size.

How many pillows should be on a bed?

Now that you know how to place pillows on a bed, you might be wondering exactly how many you can typically include on your bed. “If it’s a king, you can get away with four,” says Peltier. “If it’s a queen or smaller, you can get away with three.” In other words, the larger the bed, the more pillows you can display.

We’ve got even more bedroom styling tips. Here’s how to effortlessly make your bed in the morning. 

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