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Updated September 2022
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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 
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Buying guide for Best throw pillow covers

Throw pillows give furniture a homey look, and can complete a room’s décor. They also come in handy when relaxing on your favorite cozy chair or couch. But did you know that throw pillow covers are available for these small but functional accent pieces?

Just like cases for bed pillows, covers dress up the appearance of throw pillows and protect them from dirt, stains, and wear. They’re available in a wide range of designs, from solid colors to vibrant patterns to frilly fabrics. Different sizes and shapes are also available to fit various throw pillows. What’s more, these covers are versatile because you can use them on your existing pillows or pair them with throw pillow inserts. 

Throw pillow covers aren’t complicated, but there are still several features to consider before you buy. A good shopping guide and a few curated recommendations can get your shopping started. 

Throw pillows on chair
Although throw pillows are most commonly used on sofas and chairs, they can also add a decorative touch to a chaise lounge, upholstered bench, or bed. 

How to buy the best throw pillow covers

Purposes of throw pillows

The main reason people place throw pillows on their furniture is to enhance a room’s décor. Their colors, textures, and designs give a sofa or other seat a stylish and cozy appearance while complementing or contrasting with the color scheme. For these and other reasons, pillows make popular accent pieces.

Throw pillows are also functional. They’re comfortable to lean on or rest your head on when taking a nap or kicking back to watch a movie or read a book. 

Benefits of covers 

While throw pillows serve the dual purposes of being decorative and useful, their covers also offer other key benefits:

Protection: Covering a throw pillow protects it from spills, dust, pet hair, and stains. 

Variety: Covers provide countless ways to alter the look of the pillows and the room.

Ease of care: You don’t have to wash the whole pillow if it gets dirty. Simply wipe off the cover or remove it and launder it. 

Designs

From classic to eclectic, throw pillow covers come in many different designs. There are no set rules about what covers you should choose for your room. Instead, the best ones for you will match your decorating style and personality. Some popular styles stand out from the available options:

  • Solid colors
  • Textures
  • Bold patterns
  • Tufted boho
  • Faux fur
  • Corderoy 
  • 3D accents
  • Pleats

Care

Just like any other fabric in your home, throw pillow covers should be washed occasionally to keep them looking great and smelling fresh. Most quality covers have a care tag or come with care instructions to guide you in the recommended way to clean them. 

If you plan to buy new throw pillow inserts and covers, it’s best to buy the inserts first so you can make sure you choose covers that fit correctly. 

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Features to look for in throw pillow covers

Materials

The most popular materials used to make throw pillow covers are cotton, polyester, and a cotton/polyester blend. Although all these materials are durable, keep in mind that cotton is more likely to shrink in the wash. Following the included care instructions will help prevent cotton fabrics from shrinking.

Leather and faux leather throw pillow covers are also available and pair nicely with leather furniture. 

Closure

Most throw pillow covers have a zipper to keep them secure. Some zippers are visible, but some covers have a lapped zipper that when closed is concealed by a flap of material. 

Shape and size

Shape: Square is arguably the most common shape for throw pillows, so it’s not surprising that most throw pillow covers are square. However, rectangular and round covers are also available. 

Size: Two of the most popular sizes for throw pillow covers are 18 x 18 and 20 x 20 inches because these are common sizes for throw pillows. Square covers that are larger or smaller are also available, as are covers that fit pillows that are rectangular (commonly 12 x 20 inches) or round (16 and 18 inches in diameter are common).

Quantity

Throw pillow covers are typically found in packs of two or four. These quantities are practical because most consumers have several throw pillows. However, you’ll also find covers sold individually, as well as larger multipacks that include six, eight, or more covers. 

Staff Tip-Home-Best Throw Pillow Covers
Staff Tip
Many throw pillow covers are available in a choice of colors, sizes, and quantities.
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Accessories for throw pillow covers

Throw pillows

Before you choose throw pillow covers, first purchase a few throw pillows. There are numerous sizes available that match the sizes of the covers. If your pillows are worn, stained, or damaged, it’s time for new ones. 

Throw pillow inserts

Inserts pair perfectly with throw pillow covers of the same size. They’re a good choice if you don’t already have throw pillows and plan to use the covers as part of your décor. You can find inserts filled with down, down alternative, hypoallergenic polyester, and other materials.

Laundry detergent 

A quality laundry detergent will keep your new covers looking their best. Whether you prefer pods, powder, or liquid, a brand that cleans thoroughly, removes stains, and protects fabrics from fading is your best option. 

Throw blanket

Along with your throw pillows, another attractive accent piece for your living room is a throw blanket. This accessory can be tossed over a couch or chair for a stylish touch. Because throw blankets are available in countless designs, patterns, and colors, the chances are good that you’ll be able to find one that complements your throw pillow covers. 

How much do throw pillow covers cost?

Inexpensive

Some individual covers and multipacks cost less than $12, but they aren’t as durable as more expensive options. The fabric used to make these covers could fray or tear easily and is likely to show wear prematurely. 

Mid-range

Between $12 and $24 is the sweet spot for throw pillow covers. In this price range, you can find stylish, well-made individual covers and sets of two or four. 

Expensive

This range is between $25 and $40 and includes high-end individual covers and multipacks of six or more. Leather and faux leather covers also fall in this price range. 

If you have kids or pets, opt for throw pillow covers made of stain-resistant material. Check the product description for this information. 

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Tips

  • Measure your throw pillows or inserts before you buy covers. You don’t want the hassle of returning covers that don’t fit. 
  • Think about how you use your pillows before choosing covers. If you use them to nap or lounge on, you want a material that’s easy to clean as well as soft for optimal comfort. If they’re purely for decoration, you might choose covers decorated with embroidery, buttons, pleats, or other embellishments.
  • Invest in a variety of covers. When you own more than one set of covers, you can change the look of your furniture several times each year. 
  • Go bold. There’s no rule that says a throw pillow cover has to match the color of your furniture. In fact, bold colors or eye-catching patterns will pop against neutral-colored upholstery. 
  • Wash throw pillow covers with care. Always follow the care instructions on the label to prevent fading and shrinking. 
Bed with throw pillows
Throw pillow covers aren’t expensive. And because they extend the pillows’ longevity, the covers typically pay for themselves over time. 

FAQ

Q. Are covers easy to put on throw pillows?

A. Yes, provided you select the proper size. Otherwise, you might find yourself tugging and pushing in order to get the pillow into the cover and the zipper closed completely. 

Q. Are throw cushions the same as throw pillows?

A. The two terms are interchangeable. 

Q. How can I use throw pillow covers to refresh the look of my sofa?

A. Stylish throw pillows can definitely give a sofa an updated look. Opt for covers with bold colors, intricate patterns, and unique embellishments for pillows that look modern and grab attention. 

Q. How often should I wash my throw pillow covers?

A.  There’s no one answer to this, but there are a few considerations to factor in when deciding when to wash them. If your throw pillows are primarily decorative, laundering them every few months should suffice. If your throw pillows are used for lounging and napping, washing the covers at least once a month is best. 

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