Size it Up: A Guide to Throw Pillow Sizes

Which size should you choose?
Which size should you choose?

Choosing throw pillows for your home is about more than just picking a color, pattern, and fabric. The size of your throw pillows can also be used to create both a style and comfort level that’s optimal for your furniture. Here, we’ve put together an overview of throw pillow sizes to help you make the right choice for your space.

Throw pillow sizes: the options.

Throw pillows typically come in a standard size range: For square pillows, sizes usually start at 16″ x 16″ and go up to 24″ x 24″, with most retailers offering even-numbered sizes (like 18″ x 18″ or 20″ x 20″). For rectangular lumbar pillows, the most common dimensions are 12″ x 18″ (the size we offer at The Pillow Collection) or 12″ x 20″, but sizes can vary greatly depending on the retailer, with sizes like 12″ x 24″, 16″ x 26″, or even 16″ x 36″ available.

Choose the right size for your space.

When deciding which size throw pillows to purchase, the style of your home and scale of your furniture will offer the best guide. Streamlined, modern furniture or tight, tailored pieces will look overwhelmed by oversized throw pillows, so if you have a contemporary sofa or a low-profile chair, choose pillows on the smaller side (18″ x 18″ or under for square pillows, or a standard 12″ x 18″ lumbar pillow).

If you’re picking pillows for a larger or more casual piece of furniture, like a cozy sectional sofa in a family room on the other hand, smaller pillows can look paltry in comparison. Here, the larger options both for square ( 22″ x 22″ and larger) and lumbar pillows will be a more substantial choice.

Use size to create depth and interest.

We always suggest using two pillows in each corner of your sofa. Choosing one that’s slightly larger and one that’s a few inches smaller will create a more balanced look. If you’re decorating a smaller sofa, pair an 18″ inch square pillow with a 20″ version or a standard lumbar pillow. For larger pieces, use a 22″ x 22″ throw pillow with one that’s 24″ square.

Choosing throw pillows for a bed.

The rules for pillow sizes are slightly different when it comes to beds. We suggest using Euro shams, which are 26″ x 26″, against the headboard (use three for queen or king-sized beds, two for full, and one for a twin bed).  For the decorative pillows you place at the front of your pillow arrangement, we suggest 20″ square pillows for full, queen, or king-sized beds, and 18″ or 20″ square for twin sized.

For more tips on choosing throw pillows, check out:

How to arrange throw pillows on a bed

How to buy throw pillows