How to Arrange Pillows on a Bed for Form and Function

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Are you interested in giving your bed a fresh, stylish look? Or are you looking for the best way to set pillows on a bed? This article provides you with tips and ideas on how to arrange pillows on a bed, depending on the size.

1. King Bed Pillow Arrangements

A king-size bed offers plenty of area for stretching out and a lovely pillow arrangement. Generally, you may use three standard-size pillows, two king pillows, three European squares, or any combination. Here are some concepts.

a) First Preference: Basic

We begin with this style of pillow arrangement as it is a straightforward type that looks particularly beautiful if you favor basic, all-white bedding. You will need two king-size pillows, three European shams (26″ x 26″), and one tiny square throw pillow to achieve this. Position your sleeping pillows with the tall euro pillows and the smaller square pillow in front. Finish with 20-inch-by-20-inch decorative pillows centered in front of the two king-sized shams.

Basic pillow arrangement on a King bed

Image Credits: superiorcustomlinens.com

Although this is a traditional style, using three euro pillows helps maintain proportion by balancing the length of the king-size sleeping pillows. You may replace the throw pillow with a bolster or lumbar pillow to slightly change the appearance. Use two more sleeping pillows in place of the euro pillows if you want to sleep with several pillows.

b) Second Preference: Standard

If you only want to utilize euro pillows, king, and accent pillows, consider arranging them under this style. You will need 2 king pillows, 3 euro pillows, 4 accent pillows, and one bolster to achieve an elegant fashion for your King Bed.

Standard pillow arrangement on a King bed

Image Credits: goodwillsp.org

Position the three king pillows in front of the three euro pillows and place them against the headboard. Next, put your accent pillows in the arrangement’s foreground. The accent pillows may be positioned in various ways, such as the center and staggered, or by placing one accent pillow in front of the other to make a triangle. Again, the arrangement’s tall headboard serves as a beautiful backdrop.

c) Third Preference: Decorative

This choice may be appealing if you want to experiment with a nicer cushion arrangement. To execute this look, you’ll need two king-size pillows, three euro pillows, and one colorful bolster pillow. We advise you to arrange your pillows of the same size using the same color and various colors for each type of cushion.

Decorative pillow arrangement on a King bed

Image Credits: gypsytan.com

Begin by arranging the three euro pillows against your headboard side by side. After that, arrange the king pillows in front of the euro pillows. The standard-size pillows should follow them, then place the accent cushion at the front. Instead of using a square accent cushion in this setup, we advise you to utilize a round or rectangular one. If you have two extra king-size pillows, you may replace the two standard-size pillows with them instead.

d) Fourth Preference: Decent

Do you know you can give your bed a stylish appearance with only two pillow types? To acquire this style, you will need 2 king pillow shams and 1 accent pillow, and a bolster.

Decent pillow arrangement on a King bed

Image Credits: hadleycourt.com

Position the king-sized pillow shams against the headboard first. After that, put the accent in the middle, followed by the bolster cushion. This decor is understated yet exquisite and draws attention to the modest headboard.

e) Fifth Preference: Ideal

Research shows that most people like to add a little flair to the pillow arrangements on their king-size beds. This king-sized set is one of my favorites, and I believe it would look lovely in the main bedroom. You’ll need two euro pillows, two king-size sleeping pillows, and two throw pillows of various sizes to complete this appearance.

Ideal pillow arrangement on a King bed

Image Credits: drivenbydecor.com

Place your king-sized pillows against your headboard to arrange, followed by two euro pillows in front of those. Place the two pillows in front of the other four pillows. I enjoy the king-bed pillow arrangement effect as it helps me arrange my throws in declining order.

2. Queen Bed Pillow Arrangements

Let’s also examine different ways to arrange pillows on a queen bed. Since queen pillows are shorter than king-size ones, you won’t need as many euro pillows to maintain the proper proportions for your bed. All of the below configurations work equally well on full-sized mattresses.

a) First Preference: Basic

This is your choice if you detest sitting pillows on the floor bed. Four queen-size or regular pillows and one accent are all you’ll need. Your bolster should be a third of the breadth of your mattress. We advise that you try utilizing bedding and pillowcases that are white or neutral, but ensure you pick an accent in a contrasting color.

Basic pillow arrangement on a Queen bed

Image Credits: hips.hearstapps.com

Additionally, we advise you to use plain pillowcases for two pillows and textured shams for a different pair of pillows. Put two normal pillows up against your headboard to get this style. Place the next two regular pillows in front of those. Finally, put your accent in the middle of the four pillows. Two of the sleeping pillows may be replaced with two euro pillows with standard shams to change the appearance.

b) Second Preference: Standard

For this style, you will need 2 standard sleeping pillows for side sleepers, two euro shams, and 6 accent pillows for your queen Bed.

Standard pillow arrangement on a Queen bed

Image Credits: supremeaccents.com

Start by placing two normal pillows against your headboard to support this sturdy arrangement. Before them, place two euro cushions in the middle. Put your accent pillows in the middle or just off to the side of the arrangement. To get the desired effect, experiment with various sizes and materials.

c) Third Preference: Decorative

Consider this configuration if you want a unique bedroom design that is also functional. You will require four standard pillows for side sleepers for maximum comfort or queen-size pillows and two accent pillows of various sizes.

Decorative pillow arrangement on a Queen bed

Image Credits: havenly.com

Place two regular pillows on the bed facedown for arrangement (like you would sleep on them). Next, place the next two regular pillows on top of them. Put your biggest accent cushion up against them after that. Finally, rest a smaller accent cushion against a bigger one at an angle or off-center.

Pro tip: This combination will look great if your pillows and shams have contrasting textures!

d) Fourth Preference: Decent

This style is recommended if you have a Queen Bed with 4 standard pillows, 2 accent pillows, 2 bolsters, and one bolster.

Decorative pillow arrangement on a Queen bed

Image Credits: sheholdsdearly.com

We found this design to be great as creating this traditional cushion arrangement is simple. Place two standard pillows at the back, followed by two in front. Place two decorative pillows next, followed by two bolsters. Your bed will seem hotel-fresh after only a few seconds of assembly with this configuration.

e) Fifth Preference: Ideal

The Ideal style is a good choice if you enjoy pillows as much as I do. You will feel like crawling back into bed as soon as you finish preparing it since the end product is a lovely mound of fluff. For this arrangement, you will need two large euro pillows, four standard or queen-size sleeping pillows, and two accent pillows.

Ideal pillow arrangement on a Queen bed

Image Credits: ak1.ostkcdn.com

Position two of the pillows by leaning them up against your headboard. After that, center the other sleeping pillows in front of the two euro pillows and position them. Finally, position your accent pillows in the front, somewhat off-center.

Change the two accent pillows for one square or rectangle throw cushion if you want to achieve a traditional appearance. Doing so will get the more classic pyramid appearance you see in most home décor publications.

3. Twin Bed Pillow Arrangements

Play around with your color scheme to truly brighten up a twin bedroom because there are only so many ways to place cushions on twin beds. Even a small bed may have a stylish yet traditional cushion arrangement. Even though these patterns require a few pillows, they require less time to put together.

a) First Preference: Basic

Too many additional pillows lying about while setting up a twin bed in a child’s room is more of a bother than anything else. So instead, keep the arrangement simple by using just one standard-sized (Puredown Natural Goose Down Feather) pillow for sleeping comfortably through the night, one euro pillow, one standard pillow, and a bolster.

Basic pillow arrangement on a Twin bed

Image Credits: ak1.ostkcdn.com

On the headboard, lean the euro pillow against the sleeping pillow, followed by the bolster. If your accent pillow cover has a vibrant color or pattern, that arrangement will look its finest.

b) Second Preference: Standard

This style utilizes 1 bolster and 4 accent pillows for your twin Bed.

Standard pillow arrangement on a Twin bed

Image Credits: blog.onekingslane.com

Position the bolster pillow against the headboard first. Next, asymmetrically position two decorative pillows. After that, position the final two decorative cushions in front of them. Consider utilizing accent pillows in various sizes. The front accent cushion should be the smallest. Place the accent pillows one in front of the other.

c) Third Preference: Decorative

Consider this configuration if you want the twin bed in your guest room (or studio apartment) to seem sophisticated and welcoming. You’ll need two conventional pillows for sleeping, two standard mid-flow water pillows for neck pain, a throw pillow, a bright-colored accent pillow, and a tiny bolster in a muted hue.

Decorative pillow arrangement on a Twin bed

Image Credits: hgtvhome.sndimg.com

Lay the sleeping pillow flat on the mattress, ready for use. Place your second pillow on top of the bed. Off-center, place your bright accent cushion against this pile. Before the decorative cushion, position the bolster.

If you want extra height, a pro’s advice is to replace the second normal sleeping cushion with a lofty throw pillow and a neutral sham.

d) Fourth Preference: Decent

This style utilizes 2 euro pillows and 1 accent pillow, and a bolster for your twin Bed.

Decent pillow arrangement on a Twin bed

Image Credits: studio-mcgee.com

Start by placing the two euro pillows against the headboard for this layout. In front of them, place a decorative pillow in the middle and a bolster cushion offset to complete the look. Depending on your preference, you can utilize a round pillow or accent.

e) Fifth Preference: Ideal

Consider this arrangement for a traditional appearance with a modern touch. For this arrangement, you will require seven pillows: four basic sleeping pillows, a small square throw pillow, a medium rectangle accent pillow, and a bolster.

Ideal pillow arrangement on a Twin bed

Image Credits: hips.hearstapps.com

Place the sleeping pillow against your headboard, then place the bigger accent pillow in front of it, followed by the smaller accent pillow. Make this arrangement vibrant and exciting by experimenting with colors and patterns.

Factors to Consider When Arranging Arranging Pillows on a Bed

a) Your Headrest

If you choose to employ a headboard, one that is 24 inches high or higher is ideal for a substantial arrangement with several pillows for the best possible embellished impact. If there is no headboard, think about going with something simpler. Using a few pillows is the easiest way to show off the ornamental framework on beds with open-frame metal headboards. Generally speaking, beds with solid, uniformly formed headboards are the most adaptable to throw cushion design.

b) Bedroom Decor and Color Plan

Matching pillows with the theme of the room

Image Credits: stylebyemilyhenderson.com

To create a cohesive design, pay attention to the texture, form, and color scheme of the room’s decor. For example, try to match your pillow covers to any color schemes or accent walls you may have in your bedroom. If you’re considering a makeover, be sure to take décor into account as well.

Depending on your resources, you may buy new bedding to get your desired design or upgrade your current decor to match the pillows and duvet. Some folks may base their room decor on the ideal pillow cover they locate.

c) Lifestyle

Pay close attention to your lifestyle to identify the appearance you want to acquire. For example, think about how long it typically takes you to make the bed each day. Choose a simpler layout if you don’t want to spend too much time in the morning organizing your pillows.

A simple pillow arrangement

Image Credits: stylebyemilyhenderson.com

The amount of room you desire in bed, if you have a partner, and the number of pillows you are comfortable with are further factors to consider.

d) Mattress

When arranging pillows, the mattress size is quite important. Do not pile too many pillows on the bed. As much as you want to add more, leave enough space to give the design a refined and attractive appearance.

Featured Image Credits: sheholdsdearly.com

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.