How to Arrange Pillows on the Bed

Key Takeaways

  • Aesthetic Impact of Pillow Arrangement: How you arrange pillows on your bed significantly influences the overall visual appeal of your bedroom. From classic, symmetrical styles to eclectic combinations of patterns and textures, the way you arrange your pillows can transform your sleeping space from ordinary to extraordinary.
  • Creating a Peaceful Sleep Sanctuary: Your bedroom should serve as a sanctuary for relaxation and rest. Thoughtfully arranged pillows can evoke a sense of tranquility, preparing you for a peaceful night’s sleep. The right pillow arrangement contributes to comfort and warmth, helping you escape the stresses of the outside world.
  • Pillow Selection and Personal Preferences: Choosing the right type of pillows is essential for creating an inviting bed ensemble. Consider different pillow options, such as memory foam, down, feather, synthetic, latex, and body pillows, while also factoring in your sleep position and specific needs. Personalizing your pillow arrangement with a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures can elevate the aesthetic appeal of your bed.

A well-arranged bed serves as the centerpiece of any bedroom, setting the stage for a harmonious blend of comfort and style.

From crisp hotel-like arrangements to cozy and inviting havens, how we arrange our pillows can profoundly impact the overall aesthetics of our sleeping sanctuary.

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A research study concluded that the bedroom is an integral part of the sleep environment, and anything within can impact the quality of sleep you get.

Pillows, an important part of your bedroom, cannot be treated otherwise.

Basic Pillow Arrangement

Here’s one of the simple settings you can utilize for arranging your pillows

1. Place Pillows Against the Headboard

The foundation of your pillow arrangement starts with the sleeping pillows.

Different mattress sizes might require you to go for a bit different arrangement, with narrower mattresses necessitating simpler arrangements or ones that are lengthwise during the day for lounging.

Standard-sized pillows are popular for twin and full-sized beds, while king-sized pillows are better suited for queen, king, and California king beds.

a. For Twin and Full Beds:

Position two standard-sized pillows side by side against the headboard, providing a clean and balanced look.

b. For Queen Beds:

Use two standard or queen-sized pillows side by side or opt for two king-sized pillows for a more luxurious feel.

c. For King and California King Beds:

Place two king-sized pillows side by side, or add a third pillow for added comfort.

2. Adding Decorative or Accent Pillows in Front of the Sleeping Pillows:

Decorative pillows add a touch of flair and personality to your bed, enhancing its overall visual appeal.

a. Euro Pillows:

Euro pillows are large square pillows that stand upright against the headboard or the sleeping pillows.

Use two or three Euro pillows for a queen or king-sized bed or one for a twin or full-sized bed.

b. Decorative Shams:

Shams are pillowcases designed to match your bedding set, typically with decorative flanges or borders.

Place them in front of the sleeping pillows or Euro pillows.

3. Layering with Shams, Euro Shams, and Bolster Pillows for an Elegant Look

To achieve a more luxurious and visually appealing bed, consider layering various pillow types.

a. Layering with Euro Shams:

For an elegant and upscale look, position Euro shams in front of your sleeping pillows for an elegant and upscale look.

Choose Euro shams that complement your bedding color scheme or patterns.

b. Bolster Pillows:

Bolster pillows add a touch of refinement to your bed. Place them in front of your Euro shams or behind the sleeping pillows to create a sense of depth and dimension.

4. Symmetry and Asymmetry

Symmetrical pillow arrangements create a sense of order and elegance, making them a timeless choice.

a. Even Number of Pillows:

Use an even number of pillows on your bed, such as two or four, for a balanced and symmetrical look.

b. Matching Pillows:

Ensure that the pillows on each side of the bed are identical in size, shape, and color for a cohesive appearance.

c. Pillow Stacking:

Stack decorative pillows neatly on top of each other for a clean and symmetrical look.

5. Embracing Asymmetry for a More Contemporary and Relaxed Vibe

Asymmetrical pillow arrangements offer a modern and casual aesthetic that exudes effortless style.

a. Odd Number of Pillows:

Choose an odd number of pillows, such as three or five, for a more relaxed and casual look.

b. Mixing Sizes and Shapes:

Combine different pillow sizes and shapes, such as square and rectangular, for an eclectic and visually interesting arrangement.

c. Off-Centered Placement:

Position pillows slightly off-center to create a relaxed and effortless vibe.

6. Color, Texture, and Patterns

Pillow colors play a vital role in tying your bedroom’s decor together.

Harmonize your pillow choices with your bedroom’s color scheme for a cohesive and well-balanced look.

a. Complementary Colors:

Choose pillows that complement the dominant colors in your bedding, curtains, or walls.

b. Accent Colors:

Introduce pops of accent colors through your decorative pillows to add visual interest and personality.

6. Incorporating Different Textures and Patterns to Add Depth and Interest

Textures and patterns can elevate your pillow arrangement, transforming it from ordinary to extraordinary.

a. Mixing Textures:

Combine smooth fabrics with textured ones, such as velvet, faux fur, or sequined pillows, to create depth and dimension.

b. Playing with Patterns:

Mix and match patterns, such as stripes, florals, or geometric designs, to add visual interest without overwhelming the overall look.

Pillow Arrangement Formulas You’ll Love:

Arranging pillows on a queen bed is not just about creating a visually appealing setup but also ensuring comfort and functionality. Here are five simple formulas that work:

1. Classic Symmetry:

  • European Shams (26 inches): Start with two European shams against the headboard for a sturdy and symmetrical base.
  • Standard or Queen Shams (20 inches): Place two standard or queen shams in front of the European shams for a cohesive look
  • Accent Pillows: Add a pop of color or pattern with two accent pillows in front of the standard or queen shams.

Tip: Stand back and adjust the pillows to ensure a balanced and symmetrical appearance.

2. Layered Comfort:

  • Standard or Queen Shams (20 inches): Begin with two standard or queen shams against the headboard.
  • King Shams (20×36 inches): Layer two king shams in front of the standard or queen shams for added dimension.
  • Accent Pillows and Throw Pillows: Complete the look with a mix of accent pillows and one or two throw pillows for a cozy feel.

Tip: Play with different textures and patterns for a visually interesting arrangement.

3. Hotel-Style Chic:

  • Standard or Queen Shams (20 inches): Start with two standard or queen shams positioned vertically.
  • King Shams (20×36 inches): Place two king shams in a horizontal orientation in front of the standard or queen shams.
  • Accent Pillows: Add two accent pillows in front of the king shams for a polished and luxurious appearance.

Tip: Opt for crisp white linens for a clean and sophisticated hotel-inspired look.

4. Asymmetrical Charm:

  • Euro Shams (26 inches): Begin with one Euro sham on one side of the bed.
  • Standard or Queen Shams (20 inches): Add one standard or queen sham next to the Euro sham.
  • Accent Pillows and Throw Pillows: Finish the arrangement with a mix of accent and throw pillows on both sides, creating an asymmetrical yet balanced look.

Tip: This formula is perfect for those who appreciate a more relaxed and casual appearance.

5. Minimalist Elegance:

  • Standard or Queen Shams (20 inches): Keep it simple with two standard or queen shams against the headboard.
    Accent Pillows: Add just one or two accent pillows with subtle patterns or textures for a minimalist and elegant touch.

Tip: This formula is ideal for those who prefer a clean and uncluttered look.

Creating a Luxurious Bedding Ensemble

Investing in high-quality bedding materials not only ensures comfort but also contributes to the overall aesthetic appeal of your bed.

1. Thread Count

Look for bed sheets with a higher thread count for a smoother, softer, and more luxurious feel.

2. Material Options

Consider options like Egyptian cotton, satin, or linen for a sumptuous and opulent touch.

3. Combining Different Fabrics and Materials for a Visually Appealing Look

Layering various fabrics and materials can add depth and sophistication to your bedding ensemble.

a. Mixing Fabrics:

Blend different fabrics, such as silk, cotton, or velvet, to create a luxurious and visually pleasing combination.

b. Adding Textiles:

Incorporate throw blankets or duvet covers in complementary colors and textures to enhance the overall aesthetic.

A Well-Arranged Bed and Its Aesthetic Importance

Whether you opt for a classic, symmetrical arrangement or a more eclectic mix of patterns and textures, the arrangement can elevate your bedroom from ordinary to extraordinary.

Beyond just looking aesthetically pleasing, a well-dressed bed also contributes to a feeling of organization and cleanliness, making your room a peaceful retreat to unwind after a long day.

Our bedrooms should be more than just a place to sleep.

They should also be a sanctuary where we can escape the stresses of the outside world.

The way we arrange pillows on our beds can evoke a sense of tranquility, helping us transition into a state of relaxation and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.

Choosing the Right Pillows

The first thing you need to do is to choose what type of pillows will suit your bedroom settings.

You just don’t have to analyze the aesthetical element but also look for comfort.

So, here are the different options available.

1. Memory Foam Pillows

These pillows contour to the shape of your head and neck, offering excellent support and alignment.

Memory foam pillows are ideal for those with neck or back pain or who prefer a firmer feel.

2. Down Pillows

Filled with soft and fluffy feathers, down pillows provide a luxurious, cloud-like sensation.

They are known for their exceptional comfort and breathability, making them perfect for all sleep positions.

3. Feather Pillows

Similar to down pillows, feather pillows are filled with feathers but may have a slightly firmer feel.

They offer great support and are an excellent choice for those who prefer a more traditional pillow.

4. Synthetic Pillows

These pillows are crafted from hypoallergenic materials, making them ideal for allergy sufferers.

They come in various firmness levels and can be a budget-friendly option.

5. Latex Pillows

Made from natural or synthetic latex, these pillows provide a responsive and supportive feel.

They are hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites and mold.

6. Body Pillows

Body pillows are long, rectangular pillows designed to provide full-body support and alignment during sleep.

They are especially beneficial for side sleepers, pregnant women, and individuals seeking extra comfort and relief from body aches.

Consider Personal Preferences and Sleeping Habits

Pillow selection is a highly individualized process.

Take into account your preferred sleep position, any existing health concerns, and personal comfort preferences.

1. Side Sleepers

Opt for firm pillows that adequately support the head and neck to maintain spinal alignment.

2. Back Sleepers

Look for medium-firm pillows that cradle the neck and maintain a neutral spine position.

3. Stomach Sleepers

Choose soft, low-loft pillows to prevent strain on the neck and spine.

4. Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, use hypoallergenic pillows that repel dust mites and other allergens.

5. Temperature Regulation

Consider pillows with cooling properties if you tend to get hot during the night.

Tips for Daybeds, Platform Beds, and Canopy Beds

Different bed types require tailored pillow arrangements to highlight their unique features.


Use a combination of sleeping pillows and decorative pillows to make your daybed an inviting spot for relaxation or seating during the day.

Platform Beds

As platform beds often have a sleek and modern design, opt for pillows with clean lines and minimal patterns to complement the bed’s aesthetic.

Canopy Beds

Frame the canopy bed with Euro shams or decorative pillows, and consider a bolster pillow for added sophistication.

Practical Tips for Pillow Maintenance

  • Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your pillows fresh and clean, ensuring a hygienic sleep environment.
  • Use zippered pillow protectors under your regular pillowcases to shield pillows from dirt, sweat, and allergens.
  • Wash your pillowcases and pillow protectors at least once a week to prevent the buildup of dust and oils.
  • Check the care label for washing instructions, and wash your pillows every three to six months, depending on the pillow type.
  • Give your sleeping and decorative pillows a gentle shake and fluff each morning to restore their shape.
  • If you have memory foam pillows, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to reshape them periodically.
  • Your bed is an extension of your personality, so don’t hesitate to add personal touches.
  • Consider customizing pillowcases or shams with monograms or meaningful embroidery.
  • Add throw pillows with patterns or motifs that reflect your hobbies, interests, or favorite destinations.
  • While choosing the number and size of the pillows, don’t forget about the bed frame size you own. Oevrstuffing will leave no room for you on the bed.
  • Drape a cozy throw blanket over your bed for an inviting and comfortable look.
  • Combine accent pillows of varying sizes, colors, and patterns to curate a unique and eclectic arrangement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of pillows available?

Memory foam, down, feather, synthetic, and latex pillows are different available types.

Which pillow is best for side sleepers?

Memory foam pillows offer excellent support for side sleepers.

How many sleeping pillows do I need for a king-sized bed?

Two king-sized pillows provide ample support.

What are Euro pillows used for?

Euro pillows add a decorative touch to the bed.

How do I achieve a symmetrical pillow arrangement?

Use an even number of pillows on both sides of the bed.

Can I mix different pillow sizes and shapes?

Yes, combining sizes and shapes adds visual interest.

How do I coordinate pillow colors with my bedding?

Match pillow colors to your bedding's dominant hues.

Are there cooling pillows for hot sleepers?

Yes, cooling pillows help regulate body temperature.

How often should I wash my pillows?

Wash pillowcases weekly and pillows every few months.

Can I add personalized touches to my pillow arrangement?

Yes, consider monograms or custom pillowcases.

How do I maintain memory foam pillows?

Regularly fluff and reshape memory foam pillows.

Are down pillows suitable for allergy sufferers?

No, down pillows may trigger allergies in some individuals.

What's the advantage of using throw blankets on the bed?

Throw blankets add coziness and style to the bed.

Do I need to use pillow protectors?

Yes, pillow protectors keep pillows clean and fresh.

Can I create an asymmetrical pillow arrangement?

Yes, asymmetry adds a modern and relaxed vibe.


Creating a beautiful and inviting bed with carefully arranged pillows is an art form that can transform your bedroom into a luxurious sleep sanctuary.

You can achieve a truly spectacular and personalized bed ensemble by choosing the best pillows to suit your sleeping habits and personal preferences, mastering basic pillow arrangement techniques, playing with symmetry and asymmetry, coordinating colors and patterns, and embracing high-quality materials.

So, let your imagination soar and create a dreamy and comforting bed that reflects your unique personality and resonates with your innermost desires for relaxation and tranquillity.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

Sarah Anderson, Certified Sleep Science Coach Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson is a sleep, health, and wellness writer and product reviewer. She has written articles on changing and improving your sleep schedule, choosing the right mattress for chronic pain conditions, and finding the best pillow for you. Sarah Anderson has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to working for Zoma, she wrote for a variety of news publications. Sarah's work has been featured on Bustle, PureWow, and other publications.

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