Styling Throw Pillows In Your Home

Throw Pillows: Covers vs Inserts

Let’s kick things off by breaking down the anatomy of a quality throw pillow.

Throw Pillow Covers

A throw pillow cover is, as it sounds, the cover. It’s the fabric that you see on the pillow itself. In quality throw pillows, the pillow covers are separate from the pillow insert with an envelop or zipper that keeps the pillow + the insert together.

Throw Pillow Inserts

On the otherhand, a pillow insert is the actual cushion or pillow that is used to fill the pillow covers. From pattern, texture and color… the world of pillow covers is as a diverse as you’d imagine but so too is the selection of pillow insert types. 

There are various types of pillow inserts but some of the most common we use are — down inserts, synthetic-down inserts, soft feather inserts, and kapok or green fiber pillow inserts. More on this later…

Determining Throw Pillow Sizing

Understanding that throw pillow covers + inserts are two separate things is often just the icing on the cake boo *wink*

Determining the right type of insert + the correct size for your throw pillow covers can be tricky. On one hand, you want a throw pillow to look full + show off that gorgeous design but you don’t want it to be too full that it’s uncomfortable or worse loosening the threads of your pillow cover. 

On the otherhand, you don’t want the pillow too be too slouchy that it doesn’t provide any support or makes the pillow cover look like a size too big for it’s insert.

If this sounds like a game of cat + mouse, then you’re right it. It is 🙂

We use a general rule to help determine the appropriate size pillow insert that pairs well with the pillow covers we’ve selected for our full-service design clients. 

Now, this isn’t grade school friend — rules are guidelines + certain situations call for breaking them.

Selecting The Right Size Pillow Insert

To determine the right size pillow insert, we take the size of the pillow cover + add 2” to determine our pillow insert. We’ve found that anything more than 2” makes a pillow feel very full + distracts from the luxurious look.

  • For an 18” square pillow cover, we’d select a 20” pillow insert.

  • A 22” pillow cover, we’d choose a 24” pillow insert.

From time-to-time, a situation will require a pillow insert to be the same size as the pillow cover + as long as the fill is selected correctly this too will look great.

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