Menu
Updated July 2022
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

52
Models
Considered
169
Consumers
Consulted
14
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for best throw pillows

A throw pillow is a multipurpose accent piece that can change the feel of an entire room. For example, it can add color and texture to a bedroom; it can tie together the colors and patterns of a sofa, rug, and curtains in a living room; and it can express a child’s unique personality in a nursery.

Perhaps best of all, throw pillows are generally quite affordable. Without paying for major renovations or new furniture, you can change the aesthetic of a room simply by adding some new throw pillows.

For consumers who are eager to buy throw pillows to make their home feel cozier and their furniture less bare, it can be helpful to learn a bit about what’s available first. Throw pillows come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and designs. For best results, pay attention to the features each pillow offers, including the cover material, shape, filling, and design.

throw pillows
Throw pillows come in different forms, from simple round pillows to animal-shaped pillows.

How to buy the best throw pillows

Where should I put a throw pillow?

You might find a throw pillow you like and purchase it before finding a place for it. Or, you might have a specific aesthetic goal in mind, such as changing the look of your sofa or brightening up your child’s bedroom.

Start by scanning your space for other style elements: rugs, curtains, throw blankets, and wall colors. Making a mental note of these elements will help you to choose a style of pillow that coordinates well with the rest of the room. You might prefer neutral pillows that blend in with the scenery, or you might be drawn to pillows with a pop of color that stand out from other items in the room.

If you know which piece of furniture will house your new pillow, note its size. You’ll want new throw pillows that are neither too large nor too small for their new home.

How many throw pillows do I need?

The number of throw pillows you buy is, of course, up to you, but surveying your current setup can help you visualize the possibilities. For example, if you want to add cushioning to a bench, you may decide to fill the seating space entirely with pillows. This could mean up to eight to ten pillows, depending on the size of the bench. But if you only want minimal cushioning for the bench, one or two pillows on either end would probably do.

Many people want a bunch of throw pillows on their bed. This creates a cozy textured look and adds an air of luxury to the room. If you plan to do this, consider what you will do with the pillows at night. Yes, you could sleep with them, but you may also wish to store them somewhere off the bed to preserve their appearance.

A good rule of thumb for styling throw pillows is to make sure they do not overtake seating space. Another good rule is to place a pillow in each corner. On an armchair, one pillow — perhaps a lumbar pillow — should be plenty. On a sofa, you may wish to place a throw pillow at each corner and one or two in the middle.

What size throw pillow should I get?

Combining throw pillows of different sizes creates a chic and versatile look. In terms of physical comfort, it also offers great functionality. For example, a smaller lumbar pillow (useful for back or neck support) alongside a medium-size or larger pillow creates an ensemble that provides back, side, and leg support.

Can I wash throw pillows?

Some throw pillows can only be wiped clean. If you don’t expect your throw pillows to be vulnerable to messes, you don’t need to be as diligent about cleaning care when choosing a pillow.

If you have pets or kids or intend to use the pillow outside, you may want to narrow your search to pillows with removable and machine washable covers. Note that if the filling becomes soiled, you may be able to purchase a new filling that fits inside the throw pillow cover.

Use a throw pillow to elevate an injured or recovering body part to minimize swelling.

STAFF
BestReviews

What features do throw pillows have?

Cover material

A wide range of throw pillow cover materials is available. Some pillows offer a soft feel, such as those made of velvet, plush, chenille, and wool. Pillows made with leather and linen add a modern, rustic, or clean look to the room.

Many pillows are made with cotton covers, which are easy to clean. Outdoor pillows are often made with polypropylene, a material that resists color fading and dries quickly.

Filling

Inside a throw pillow cover is its filling. Which filling is right for you? One option is down filling or feathers. This type of pillow has an airy, fluffy feel. If you are vegan or have allergies, however, this would not be the best option.

The most common decorative pillow filling is polyester. Polyester fill is durable, allergy-friendly, and affordable. Cotton has similar properties to polyester and is a natural material.

Down alternatives are available for people who like the feel of down but want to avoid using animal products or dealing with allergy triggers. These fillings feel plush but are made of polyester.

Some throw pillows may be filled with foam or foam pieces. This material is customizable for a firmer or softer feel. Simply add or remove foam to change the feel of the pillow.

Closure

Throw pillows that are sewn entirely shut do not have removable covers with access to the filling. These pillows often cannot be washed in a washing machine.

Decorative pillows with zippers or envelope-like flap closures and removable pillowcases are easier to clean, especially if the pillowcase is machine washable.

Decorative extras

Throw pillow designs can be simple, intricate, or somewhere in between. Do you like woven textures? Beading? Knit designs? Fringe and tassels? Buttons? Note: Throw pillows with eye-catching accents often work well with solid-colored furniture and neutral-colored rooms.

throw pillow
DID YOU KNOW?
Throw pillows should be replaced every few years, depending on the status of the filling material.
STAFF
BestReviews

How much do throw pillows cost?

Inexpensive

The most affordable throw pillows fall in the $5 to $20 range. Many of these are completely sealed and therefore must be spot cleaned rather than washed in a washing machine. These pillows tend to have a lower-cost polyester filling. They may not feel as thick and luxurious as pricier pillows, and the filling may not hold its shape for as long.

Mid-range

Mid-range throw pillows cost between $20 and $50. These pillows have more durable seams and thicker edges. Materials such as faux leather, chenille, velvet, and cotton may be incorporated into the cover. Many people find satisfaction with throw pillows in this price range.

Expensive

Expensive throw pillows can cost hundreds of dollars, depending on the size, craftsmanship, and materials used. Genuine leather pillows cost over $100. Other pillows in the $50+ range may be handknit, filled with down, or made of high-end linen.

Decorative pillows over $50 tend to have durability on their side, lasting a lot longer than less-expensive choices. And many high-end throw pillows have hidden zipper closures, which makes the cover removable without a noticeable or uncomfortable zipper.

If you are looking for outdoor throw pillows that will be exposed to sunlight and the elements, choose pillows with durable covers that resist weather and sun damage. For outdoor use, machine washable throw pillows with zippered covers are often ideal.

STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • Make sure filling is included (or buy it yourself). Throw pillows can be purchased in stores as complete items. However, many online listings for throw pillows sell only the pillowcase and not the filling. Study the specs carefully before buying a new throw pillow so you know what to expect.
  • Keep the pillow fluffy. Hang throw pillows to encourage the filling to regain structure and airflow. Hand-fluffing a pillow by shaking or pressing it can also realign the filling. Some pillows can be put in the dryer with a dryer ball to renew the structure.
  • Buy an insert that’s bigger than the cover. If you purchase a throw pillow cover and filling separately, buy an insert that is 2 inches larger than the cover. A larger insert will fill out the cover and have the right amount of fluff.
throw pillows
Throw pillowcases can be customized with family names, quotes, and other designs, and they make excellent housewarming gifts.

FAQ

Q. Are throw pillows recyclable?

A. Throw pillows cannot be recycled in a recycling bin. However, they can be taken to a recycling center that handles textiles. Further, you could repurpose your old throw pillows by using them as cushioning inside a seat or on a dog bed.

Q. What are signs that a throw pillow should be replaced?

A. If you have had a throw pillow for a few years, it is no longer comfortable, or it has lost its shape and firmness even after fluffing, a replacement pillow may be in order. Or, if your pillow has a zipper or envelope closure, you might consider purchasing a new filling and placing it inside the cover.

Q. Can I sleep on a decorative throw pillow?

A. This is entirely up to you, but the filling inside of throw pillows is designed more for supportive comfort and style. Pillows for sleep are built based on sleeping positions and spine alignment.

 

Our Top Picks