Decorating Ideas

Find Your Perfect Bed Pillow Arrangement

Find Your Perfect Bed Pillow Arrangement
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Like mom used to say, making your bed makes the room, but it also sets your day off on the right foot. And the final touch on any well-made bed is an arrangement of pillows pulling the whole look together (much as accessories complete an outfit). How you display them is totally up to you—you can stack, lean, mix and match, work in decorative shapes and different patterns, or pile with abandon—so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite arrangements below.

If you like things sleek and simple, this back-to-basics arrangement will appeal to your streamlined ways. Simply stack up your sleeping pillows, and lean pillows in shams against the stacks. You could also swap out the shams for smaller decorative square or round pillows.

Rather than stacking them, this slightly more formal display involves resting your pillows against the headboard (one sleeping pillow in a case in the back, one decorative pillow in a sham in the front), then finishing the look with a prettily patterned boudoir pillow or two. You could also work in a cylindrical bolster pillow if the mood strikes.

In this plush arrangement, we enter the glam world of European squares, a particularly good choice for fancying up beds without headboards. If you have a queen bed, prop a pair against the wall (use three across in a king bed), rest your shams against those slightly offsetting them so the corners of the squares peek through, and then complete the thought with a pair of decorative pillows in the front.

This, the most major of our pillow formations, is primed for a king bed. Start with three European squares lined up in a row against the back, place your shams in front of those (three across if they’re standard size; two if they’re kings), and then bring in a pop of pattern with your decorative pillows.


Down: The most luxe of all fill types, down is warm, light, and a top-notch insulator.

Down-Alternative: Created with synthetic or natural fibers to mimic the feel of down, these pillows are hypoallergenic and tend to be more economical than down.

Memory Foam: A thick, sponge-like material that molds itself around the contours of your head and neck.

Standard: 20″ x 26.” A twin bed fits one standard, a full or queen fits two across, and a king fits three.

Queen: 20″ x 30.” Though these pillows also use a standard pillowcase, they’re a tad longer and also fit two across on a full or queen bed.

King Pillow: 20″ x 36.” These extra-long pillows fit inside king pillowcases, and work best in pairs across king beds.

European Square: 26″ x 26.” Great for leaning against when you’re reading in bed, these sizable square pillows use euro shams.

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