Chances are, size is probably the last thing on your mind when considering decorative throw pillows. Color and pillow design are probably at the top of things that matter when it comes to your seating arrangements. Yet, whether you realize it or not, size does come into play when choosing specific pillows. You can also take size into consideration as you plan how to arrange them on the couch. This guide gives you insight into all the various size options available, and it gives you some ideas as to how you can use size to make your pillow arrangements look more appealing.

Standard Sofa Throw Pillow Sizes

Throw pillow sizes can vary by manufacturer, but there are some standard sizes that are common:

Square: 12" x 12", 14" x 14", 16"x16", 17" x 17", 18" x 18 ", 20" x 20", 22" x 22", 24" x 24"

Rectangular lumbar: 12" x 18", 12" x 20"

Alternative rectangular lumbar: 13" to 15" high x 20" - 22" wide

Round: 12" x 12", 14" x 14"

Cylindrical: 6"x 16", 7" x 20", 8" x 30", 10" x 27"

Picking the Best Sizes for Sofas

As you can see, there are many size options to consider when picking out pillows for your sofa, loveseat or sectional. This is good because you're not limited to choosing all the same sizes unless that's what you want to do. While pondering the options, take into consideration the size of your furniture piece and its style: modern or traditional.

There are two things you should always keep in mind regarding size; 1) large and oversized throw pillows can overwhelm smaller couches; 2) small pillows can look underwhelming on larger couches. Ideally, you want pillows that match the proportions of the seating area just right and yes, you can mix various pillow sizes together as long as they don't look out of place.

An Easy Way to Create More Depth

It's common to see the same size pillows lined up in a row on a furniture piece, which is fine. But you can use a simple tip to instantly add interesting depth to your bench or couch. All you need is four decorative throw pillows in two slightly different sizes. Let's say you decide to choose two 18-inch square pillows and two 16-inch square pillows. It also helps if the pillows have different looks. For instance, two solid colors and two patterns that go nicely together.

Arrange pillows on the opposite ends of the furniture piece by placing larger pillows in back and shorter ones in front. Now your sitting area has more visual appeal thanks this size difference. You can also combine other sizes for depth.

Decorative Pillow Arrangement Ideas

Decorating your couch with pillows can be fun and rewarding. Plus, you can always change the arrangement whenever you want. If you're ready to get started, here are some proven arrangements that work for most couches and sectionals. You can also experiment with other sizes by following your own design instincts.

Regular Size Couch

The average couch seats five to six people, taking up a good portion of one wall or room area.

Optimal square sizes: 20 inches and 22 inches

Optimal lumbar sizes: 11 inches to 14 inches high x 19 inches to 20 inches wide

Option 1. Place one 22-inch square pillow at each end of the couch.

Option 2. Place a 20-inch square and a 22-inch square at each end with the shorter pillow in front.

Option 3. Follow option number two and add one 20-inch square in the middle.

Option 4: Combine option two with one lumbar pillow in the middle.

Small Size Couch

Small couches often sit between two and four people comfortably.

Optimal square sizes: 17 inches, 18 inches and 20 inches

Optimal lumbar sizes: 10 inches to 13 inches high x 17 inches to 19 inches wide

Option 1. Place one 20-inch square on opposite ends.

Option 2. Decorate with four 17-inch or 18-inch squares.

Option 3. Combine option one with one lumbar pillow in the middle.

Long or Deep Couch

This is a communal couch that can seat numerous people at one time.

Optimal square sizes: 20 inches and 24 inches

Optimal lumbar sizes: 13 inches to 15 inches high x 20 inches to 22 inches wide

Option 1. Place one 20-inch or 24-inch square on each side.

Option 2. Place two different size squares on each side.

Option 3. Combine option two with one square in the middle.

Option 4. Combine option two with one lumbar pillow in the middle.


A favorite for entertainment rooms and family rooms, sectionals are often L-shape or U-shape in design and have room for various numbers of people.

Optimal square sizes: 18 inches and 22 inches

Optimal lumbar sizes: 11 inches to 15 inches high x 19 inches to 21 inches wide

Option 1. Place one 20-inch and one 22-inch square at each corner and one 20-inch square in the middle corner.

Option 2. Follow option one and swap out the middle square for a lumbar pillow.

Option 3. Place one 18-inch square and one 20-inch square in all corners. This option works well for sofas with lower backs.

Create a Luxurious Bed with Decorative Pillows

Have you always wanted to create those gorgeous bed pillow arrangements you often see in magazines and catalogs? Well, now you can if you follow a simple size arrangement for shams and other bed pillows. What you can do is layer pillows by size. Start by placing oversized 26-inch square pillows in front of the headboard.

Use two pillows for full to king size beds and one for twin size beds. The second layer should be 20-inch square pillows for full to king size and one 18-inch pillow for a twin. Add a finishing touch with one or two rectangular lumbar pillows. Enjoy!