May 20, 2021 6 min read

Throw pillows are an essential aspect of home decor. They add personality and cohesion to your space — plus, you can show off your interior design skills. These days, there are endless styles to choose from, so how do you know which is the best fabric for throw pillows?

The best fabric for throw pillows is cotton due to its breathable, durable, and washable properties. Other top options include linen, velvet, and wool.

If you’re ready to learn all about different throw pillow styles, how to use them, and what to look for when buying, keep reading!

throw pillow styles

What Are Throw Pillows?

Nothing is more inviting than a couch adorned with throw pillows. They add comfort and coziness to your living room. Not to mention, your choice of cushion showcases your personality and sense of style.

But what exactly is a throw pillow?

It’s simply another name for a decorative pillow! They’re great for adding pops of color to your space and bring a cohesive, finished feel to any room.

There are five primary types of throw pillows:

  • Square pillows. Square pillows are the most popular throw shape. It’s a classic style that complements anything but doesn’t have to be boring! You can find square pillows in any design, from solid colors to animal prints.
  • Round pillows. This shape may seem simple, but it’s a playful style in the design world. If you’re looking for a fun accent without venturing into print, round pillows are a great option. Remember, they’re best used sparingly.
  • Rectangle pillows. A rectangle pillow may just be the ultimate throw — especially for those with achy backs. Why? It doubles as a lumbar pillow making your living room chair or couch that much more comfortable.
  • Bolster pillows. Bolster, and lumbar styles are pretty similar, but there’s one significant difference: bolster pillows are cylindrical. While they’re often considered dated, you may have come across them as bed pillows in a hotel before. Bolsters can make great substitutes for body pillows!
  • Box pillows. If you have a deep-seat sofa that just looks a little plain regardless of how you decorate, then box pillows may be the savior you need. They’re just like square styles but a bit thicker. Perfect for adding all the dimensions you need!

When it comes to home decor, it’s all about the details. And that’s why throw pillows matter.

What Are Throw Pillows Used For?

Throw pillows may be an afterthought for some when furnishing their homes, but these accessories offer a lot more than you may think.

Accent pillows allow you to further express your creative style throughout your family room and bedroom.

So, what are throw pillows used for?

Furnishing your space with decorative cushions enhances comfort. Whether you’re tossing some on your patio furniture (careful, make sure they’re outdoor-friendly!) or fluffing some up on your couch, your guests will thank you for the extra support.

Plus, how are you going to take an afternoon nap on your sofa if you don’t have throw pillows to rest on?

types of throw pillows

How to Use Throw Pillows

Sure, they may be named for the way you casually “throw” these cushions on your couch, but using throw pillows is entirely intentional.

We believe you should always stay true to your own sense of interior design. Still, there are a few rules for using throw pillows to help get you started.

1.   The Odds Are In Your Favor

Odd numbers are always superior in the design world. This asymmetrical look tends to be more aesthetically pleasing. Group similar pillows in threes or fives for the most eye-catching result. The same rule applies to just about all types of home decor!

2.   Think About the Whole Picture

Keep your room’s theme in mind when shopping for decorative pillows. The finishing accents you include should complement the aesthetic — not clash.

For example, if your living room has beachy vibes, consider adding boho pillows. Of course, you can still use a stunning pillow as the focal point of your room!

3.   Play With Shape and Size

Remember all those pillow styles we mentioned earlier? Have fun with them! You don’t have to stick to just one shape and size — feel free to mix and match.

Contrast a large square throw with a smaller, round one. Or, toss some rectangles in with your thicker box pillows. The choices are truly endless.

4.   Find Some Common Ground

By no means do you have to match each of your pillows perfectly, but maintaining a common color palette, texture, or pattern brings cohesion to your space.

If you’re into polka dots, try them out in different colors. Alternatively, pick out throw pillow covers, all in similar shades of blue. You’ll notice this unity really ties your room together.

5.   Swap Them Out

Feeling like your room needs a little refresh? Simply swap the pillow covers! It’s a great idea to keep multiple covers for the same pillow size on hand so you can change them on a whim — and without breaking the bank.

6.   Fabric Matters

It’s not all just about the colors and patterns. Textiles also matter. Incorporating different textures into your pillows helps create depth. Consider mixing soft and fuzzy or smooth and rough elements.

Wool, faux fur, and velvet are great textures to include when selecting pillows. Pieces with pom-poms, sequins, or other more eye-catching textiles are best used sparsely.

7.   Break the Rules If You Want To

Sure, there may be some traditional rules for decorating with throws, but that doesn’t mean you always have to follow them.

If arranging in even numbers feels better to you, do it! If an animal print and houndstooth combination speak to you, we won’t stop you! The only person you should aim to please is yourself.

Where to Put Your Pillows

So what do you do with all those pillows?

Here are some ideas of where to include throws:

  • Couch
  • Bed
  • Patio
  • Chairs
  • Futon
  • Window bench
  • Reading nook

And if you have extras? Store them here:

  • Closet
  • Basket
  • Storage chest

Just about you can spruce up any space with throw pillows. Don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine!

Choosing Your Throw Pillows

throw pillow styles

Now that we have the stylings covered let’s talk about something just as important: materials. We know that textiles matter from a design perspective, but it goes further than the aesthetics.


Different textiles offer unique advantages. So what really is the best fabric for throw pillows? And how do you choose which ones are right for you? Let’s get into it.


Cotton is one of the most common fabrics when it comes to throws. It’s an easy-to-wash, lightweight, durable material making it suitable for most people. Many people consider cotton blend the best fabric for pillow covers.


If you’re going for an easy-breezy look, linen is your friend. It’s often blended with other materials like cotton or polyester to increase longevity. This summery textile contrasts nicely with heavier fabrics.


Love it or hate it, velvet is a classic. Best used in winter, velvet immediately warms up a room. What could be more inviting than this cozy fabric?


Like velvet, wool has a warming vibe — and it’s not just because this textile retains heat. A knit throw pillow makes any place feel homier. They’re perfect for reading nooks!


It’s crucial that your pillows look good, but how they feel is also a priority.


Down feathers are a classic fill for throw pillows. They’re incredibly soft and comfortable but don’t age well. As time goes on, down loses its structure. If you’re okay with replacing your pillows now and then, down is a great choice.


While synthetic inserts are long-lasting, they may not always be as comfortable as down. However, synthetic options are typically cheaper than feather as these alternatives are easier to source.

Final Thoughts

Throw pillows are a fun way to showcase your style, creative side, and personality. Whether you’re adding faux fur accents to your bed or solid colors to your couch, pillows bring a sense of cohesion. Remember, there’s no such thing as too many throws!