Get the best tips for pairing throw pillow covers, as well as the best sources for every budget! It’s easy to change up the look of your home on a whim – and affordably, too!

Learn how to mix and match patterns in your decorative throw pillows, where to buy pillow covers. You can really change the feel of your room with this easy and inexpensive decor element!

a white living room with white sofas and pillows in blue and white pillow covers
Want to save this?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it to you!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Throw pillow covers are my favorite home decorating accessory because they’re the easiest way to update a space! Pillow covers can help you transition your home from one season to the next.

With a neutral paint palette, and neutral or white slipcovered sofas (get my review of our Ikea slipcovered sofas and our Pottery Barn slipcovered sofas here) the options are truly endless.

In just a few minutes you can make a room feel fresh.

I love sharing my favorite simple decorating tips with you! I’ve shown you how to create a faux headboard with artfully arranged pillows, and there’s also an incredibly popular post with all my tips for creating a luxurious home for less – don’t miss that one! 

We’ll show you how to play with scale, how to mix and match pattern, and where to buy the pillow covers of your dreams. Are you ready?

a white living room with white sofas and pillows in blue and white pillow covers

Pillow Covers

I receive so many questions about where to buy the pillow covers that I share here and on social media, so it’s time for a full breakdown of this easy technique for changing your decor in an instant. 

There’s no need to update the pillows on your sofa or bed regularly. You can simply use throw pillow covers and keep your pillow inserts to reduce waste. It’s a win-win, right? Better for the environment and so much better for your storage situation!

A single decorative pillow on your sofa or bed can add so much to any space in your home! So which one to choose? Selecting throw pillow covers can be a little intimidating, but these tips will help you get it right, every time!

Throughout this post, you’ll see a variety of shapes, sizes and styles of pillow covers throughout our St. Louis home and our Table Rock lake cottage.

A linen sofa in a cream living room, baskets as a side table

How to Pair Throw Pillow Covers

1) Select a Color Palette

Limit you color palette to 2-3 colors that play well together.  From that color palette you can mix various shades.

2) Mix and Match

The key to a great pillowscape (I just invented that word, should I copyright that?) is to mix and match. Adding different design elements makes it feel fresh and interesting.

In the example above there are no repeats. Repeats are okay, but limit them.

3) Play With Pattern

Mixing in pattern adds visual interest and breaks your pillows up. Choose from block prints, stripes and more!

If you are mixing patterns, blend big and small. Use larger patterns in the back and smaller or tighter patterns in the pillow in front of it.

The pillow on the left above has a significantly larger pattern than that in the middle

4) Layer in Texture

Texture allows you to add a solid color while making it feel special. It also adds depth and warmth.

You’ll see I blended velvet into this pillowscape for texture – little hints go a long way!

5) Add Detail

Tassels, ties, fringe, embroidery, leather zippers, anything goes! Have fun with it!

Pillows on a white sofa

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a pillow case, a pillow sham, and a pillow cover?

Pillow covers generally have more decorative materials, and enclose your inserts with a button or zipper finish. They are often used for seating spaces like sofas and chairs.
A pillow case is a loose cover that is open on one end and meant for sleeping. A pillow sham is often a more decorative fabric that matches your bedding – it’s purely decorative and encloses the pillow insert in an envelope style.

Do throw pillows have to match?

Absolutely not! In fact, I would argue that they should not match. It’s just like buying furniture… while it might be easier to select a full matching set off the showroom floor, that doesn’t mean you should!
It’s so much more interesting to create a layered, collected look.

A white living room with blue and white pillow covers

Playing with color, texture and pattern is the best way to achieve a professional, polished look in your spaces. Peruse the portfolios of designers and you’ll find that they rarely (if ever) use all matching pillow covers.

A white living room with white sofas and a wood end table

Tips to Make Pillow Covers Look and Feel Full

You want to make your pillows look and feel full, which makes them picture perfect. These are tips designers and stylists use!

  1. Make sure you’re choosing a high quality pillow insert.
  2. Typically, there are two kinds of pillow inserts – down and polyester. Either works well, but down often feels more luxurious and it easier to fluff and manipulate.
  3. Size is everything! For thinner inserts go up one size. For plump inserts make sure the measurements are exact.

QUICK TIP: Pillow inserts are important! Through the years I’ve tested a lot of pillow inserts. Sadly, they’re not all created equal, even from my favorite stores.

You can shop my favorite pillow inserts here. I’ve also heard good things about the inexpensive down inserts sold at Ikea, though I can’t vouch for the quality.

How do you Arrange Throw Pillows on a Couch?

  1. Place larger pillows (typically 22″ or 24″ squares for a standard sofa) in the back.
  2. Layer 18″ or 20″ squares in front.
  3. Mix rectangular pillows in the middle of the sofa or in front of other pillows. (16×20″, 12×21″).
A graphic that showcases sizes and styles of pillow covers
3 throw pillows on sofa
A graphic that showcases sizes and styles of pillow covers

Where to Buy Pillow Covers

Accent pillow covers can widely vary in price. I’ve purchased some for as little as $4.95 and others, well… into the hundreds. In fact, mixing high and low is one of my favorite design tips!

A nook under an open stair case decorated with blue and white pillow covers

Higher End Options

  • Serena and Lily has a nice mix of traditional and modern pillows with plenty of textures and patterns to choose from. You can use their catalog or peruse online for more throw pillow cover pairing ideas. Browse through some of my favorite Serena and Lily Dupes for pillow covers and more!
  • Rejuvenation is a great source for higher end, unique pillow covers.
  • Williams Sonoma Home offers luxe fabrics like cashmere, linen and silk, beautiful embroidery and more!
  • Restoration Hardware – add a little luxe with their gorgeous pillow covers.
  • RH Teen – Who knew Restoration Hardware could be so accessible? RH Teen is one of my favorite sources for pillow colors because their colors fit seamlessly into our home and they offer great fabrics at really great prices.
  • Ballard Designs – with a European influence, these decorative pillow covers are both elegant and comfortable.
  • Studio McGee offers beautiful transitional options both in their online shop and their Target line. See more in our Studio McGee at Target round-up.
  • Monika Hibbs Home – these upscale pillows have a soft, traditional designer look that I adore.
  • Ballard Designs – with a European influence, these decorative pillow covers are both elegant and comfortable.
  • Annie Selke (especially for outdoor and bedroom). They’re easy to clean and have pretty color and pattern options.
living room with plant and pillows on sofa

More Affordable Options

  • Pottery Barn seems to try to provide something for everyone and it works because I almost always find something there that I love!
  • Pottery Barn Teen – an additional resource that’s hit or miss, but some are just too good to miss. Come see the pretty options we used in this Cream and Pink Tween Bedroom.
  • Pottery Barn Kids is also worth a try! The kid versions of your favorite stores are always cheaper – it’s one of my favorite tips to get the look for less.
  • Etsy – when I can’t find what I’m looking for, I turn to Etsy or one of my favorite Etsy sellers like  Petaja that custom creates pillows for me. It’s a surprisingly affordable option!
  • Target – you can always count on Target to get the look for less! However, they don’t often sell covers as much as they will sell a full pillow. If I find a throw pillow I love that has a zipped cover, I will remove the cheap cotton insert and replace it with down for a luxe upgrade.
  • H&M – This is the spot that shocks my readers the most – I think it’s because it’s easy to forget that H&M carries a home line at all! With decorative pillow covers (in linens, velvets, and embroidery) starting at just $4.99, they’re great to mix in and look much better in person than they do online. They fill out beautifully with a nice down insert.
  • Amazon – this is another unexpected resource to shop for pillow covers that are affordable and work well in a variety of situations.
  • West Elm – West Elm offers a lot of style for a minimal price. Their pillow inserts are especially reasonable.
A nook under an open stair case decorated with blue and white pillow covers

Amazon Storefront

Follow my Amazon Storefront to find more holiday looks for less.

More Inspiration

Design & Decor Guides




You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Gorgeous options. Thanks for the inspiration. I love adding pillows for a pop of color or to add depth to an area.