Best throw pillows – accent cushions to add depth and dimension to your space

From crushed velvet to coarse linen, I've found the best throw pillows to suit every style of room and size of budget

An example of the best throw pillows on a cushioned bench.
(Image credit: Lulu and Georgia)

Nobody needs a throw pillow. You can make your bed and plump your sofa cushions without adding a cushion or two (or five). With that said, a well-placed throw pillow can add color and texture to an otherwise boring space. 

There are accent pillows with intricate patterns, as well as lumbar cushions for lower back support. A crushed velvet pillow could add a touch of glamour, while a leather look could toughen up a soft and squishy sofa. Throw pillows come in every size, shape, color, and material imaginable, so it can be difficult to know where to start. 

That's where I come in. As an interiors enthusiast, I know exactly which pillow colors to avoid, and which designs will complement a wide range of spaces. And, as a shopping writer, I can tell the difference between the best pillows and a glorified piece of polyester. I've spent hours scouring the sites of the top home retailers to bring you the very best throw pillows.

I've narrowed it down to my top nine to suit every style of space and size of budget. Whether you're shopping for a cute cotton cover or a plush velvet pillow, I've found the throw pillow for you.

Best throw pillows

Best throw pillow FAQs

Where can I buy throw pillows?

Most major home stores sell throw pillows. If you want to stick to natural textures and a neutral color palette, I'd recommend shopping at Crate & Barrel or The White Company. For bolder, brighter designs, try Anthropologie or Pottery Barn. The pillows at Lulu & Georgia and Ashley Homestore look premium, and they come with a premium price tag. If you'd like to save a little money, consider shopping at Walmart, instead: there are some hidden gems among their cheaper offerings. 

What size throw pillow should I get?

It's partly a matter of personal preference, but what size throw pillow you should get largely depends on where you want to set it. Larger pillows will look better on bigger beds or sprawling sofas, while a smaller accent pillow could make a cute addition to a reading book or twin-sized bed.

How many throw pillows should I put on a bed?

How you arrange your bed pillows is completely up to you: don't feel that you have to stick to a set number of throw pillows. With that said, you should consider the size of your bed. You can balance a greater number of pillows against a taller, wider headboard. Feel free to mix and match throw pillows in different colors, shapes, and sizes.

Why are throw pillows so expensive?

Not all throw pillows are expensive, but I take your point. Some of the best throw pillows cost upwards of $100, and that's a lot to spend on an inessential item. Many of the most expensive throw pillows are made from premium materials, such as leather, sheepskin or silk. If a pillow is embroidered, or printed with a pattern, that'll cost extra. If you're set on purchasing a throw pillow, but you'd like to save a little money, you should consider more affordable materials, such as cotton or faux fur. 

Can throw pillows be washed?

We've written an entire article about how to clean throw pillows. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, here are the headlines. 

When it comes to cleaning throw pillows, there are two components to consider: the pillow cover and the pillow insert. It's easy to clean a cotton or fiberfill pillow insert: just throw it in the washing machine. Down pillow inserts are trickier to clean, as over-washing will reduce loft. To keep your pillow insert clean from day to day, you could spritz it with some fabric spray. Always check the care instruction tag before you start to clean. 

As for the pillow covers, it depends on the material. Delicate fabrics such as wool should be washed on a gentler cycle, while cotton and linen covers can withstand higher temperatures. 

It's important to dry each part of your pillow, either out in the fresh air or on the gentlest setting of your tumble dryer, to prevent the build-up of mold and bacteria.

Final thoughts

A few well-placed throw pillows will elevate any bed, but I wouldn't recommend sleeping on them. So that they don't become unwanted clutter, it's worth learning where to store throw pillows at night and keep yours in good condition for daytime display. 

Emilia Hitching
eCommerce Editor

Before she joined Homes & Gardens, Emilia studied English at the University of Oxford, where she sharpened her critical writing skills. She also worked on the other side of the aisle writing press releases for regional newspapers and crafting copy for Sky. Emilia combines her business savvy with her creative flair as our eCommerce Editor, connecting you with the products you’ll love. When she’s not in the office, Emilia is happiest when entertaining friends al fresco or out in the country.