Adding Style and Softness to Your Seats

Choosing Comfortable Cushions and Chic Accent Pillows

Adding plush cushions and throw pillows to your couches, chairs and sectionals gives your seating area an ultra-cozy boost, making it the perfect spot to snuggle up and relax after a long day. Before bringing these plush pieces home, it’s important to know which one would work best for your space and understand how to arrange them to enhance your setup’s stylish, comfy look.

Overview

This informative article can help you:

Provide additional softness to your seats using throw pillows and couch cushions.
Provide additional softness to your seats using throw pillows and couch cushions.

Couch Cushions and Sofa Pillows: What’s the Difference?

Many people assume that “cushion” and “pillow” are synonyms of one another, and it’s easy to see why. Both these pieces feature decorative designs and soft materials that help enhance the stylish look and cozy feel of your setup. However, there are a few small differences between these items that may influence your decision to choose one over the other.

Sofa Pillows

As a general rule, accent pillows serve a more practical purpose than cushions. While you can find decorative pillows for couches, these pieces typically provide additional softness and support for those who want to lay down, lean back or prop their feet up as they relax or sleep. Throw pillows for couches also usually have lightweight cotton or linen covers that you can remove and wash between uses.

Plush and practical throw pillows enhance the soft, supportive feel of your seating arrangement.
Plush and practical throw pillows enhance the soft, supportive feel of your seating arrangement.

Sofa Cushions

Couch cushions are usually a bit thicker and have a little less give than pillows. Layers of dense filling and tough upholstery fabrics like wool and velvet help cushions retain their shape and texture, making them perfect for daily use. The extra touch of softness they can bring to your sofas and sectionals is simply a nice bonus.

Because of their strong material and firm feel, people tend to use couch cushions exclusively for decoration. Many cushions have fun zig-zag, stripe, flower and abstract patterns to complement your stylish setup. Some might also have unique fringe borders, button tufting and textured detailing that gives your seating arrangement an extra chic touch.

Most cushions lack a removable cover and instead have tight stitching that keeps the stuffing in.
Most cushions lack a removable cover and instead have tight stitching that keeps the stuffing in.

How to Choose Cushions for Your Sofa or Pillows for Your Couch

Since pillows and cushions are so similar, it can be difficult to know which one is best for your couches. Thinking about how you plan on using the seats in your living room, den or entertainment room can help you decide between these two accents. For example, if your sofa sometimes doubles as a cozy nap spot, a soft throw pillow could be the perfect addition to the space.

On the other hand, if you want to wow your guests and show off your chic sense of style, you might consider sticking with decorative cushions. Still unsure about which of these items is the better option? Consider some of the following factors to determine whether sofa pillows or couch cushions are the right choice for your seats:

  • Couch Dimensions: If you’re wondering how many cushions to put on a three-seater couch or want to know if pillows would be a better fit, you’ll need to know how each option works for your particular sofa size. Generally speaking, throw pillows are a cozier choice for those with small sofas. Meanwhile, decorative cushions might be best if you have a 7-piece sectional with room to spare.
  • Seating Types: Depending on the type of seat you’re accenting, a cushion or pillow might be a better choice. Equip your sleeper sofa with throw pillows to provide the perfect comfy spot for overnight guests. Or, spruce up your decorative side chair with a chic patterned cushion. If they’re big enough, you can accent your arm chair, chaise, loveseat, or power recliner with cushions and pillows.
  • Comfort Needs: Whether you plan to take afternoon cat naps on your couch or spend long evenings binge-watching your favorite shows, a pillow can provide the head, neck and back support you need to stay comfy. However, a cushion might work better if you want thicker padding beneath your feet when you prop them up on a plush ottoman or lift chair.
Throw pillows require frequent fluffing to keep from going flat, while cushions can usually hold their shape much longer.
Throw pillows require frequent fluffing to keep from going flat, while cushions can usually hold their shape much longer.

How to Choose and Arrange Your Throw Pillows and Cushions

Now that you’ve chosen between couch cushions and sofa pillows, it’s time to select pieces that complement your overall design and incorporate them into your seating arrangement. To do this, you’ll need to consider what pillow and cushion colors would work best for your space and place them in the perfect spots atop your sofa.

Selecting Throw Pillow Materials and Cushion Colors

When browsing pillows and cushions for your couches, decide whether you prefer textured pieces with the same fabric, leather, microfiber or velvet upholstery as your sofa, or if you want to mix and match different materials for a unique look of your own. Next, prioritize items that suit your current living room color scheme. Consider cushions and throw pillows featuring:

  • Neutral Shades: Want accent pieces that work for almost any color scheme? Accent your sofas, sectionals and arm chairs with beige, gray, white, brown and black throw pillows and cushions.
  • Cool Hues: Enhance the calm yet refreshing vibe of your living room using green, teal or turquoise accent pillows and cushions. Or, promote a more soothing atmosphere by placing rich purple, bright blue or deep navy pillows or sofa cushions on your couches.
  • Warm Tones: Looking to infuse your layout with an upbeat, dynamic energy? Try adding red, orange, pink and yellow pillows and couch cushions to your seats.
Once you select the right colorful cushions for your couch, browse options with eye-catching patterns to bring a decorative flair to your seating area.
Once you select the right colorful cushions for your couch, browse options with eye-catching patterns to bring a decorative flair to your seating area.

How To Arrange Cushions and Pillows on Your Sofa

When figuring out how to arrange cushions on a couch, it’s important to create a plan for your pillow placement. If you add too many cushions, you might accidentally overcrowd the seat and give your guests less room to sit down. Instead, experiment with a few different placement options to see which look brings the most comfort and balance to your setup.

Your style preferences should influence how you organize throw pillows on your couch. Try a few of the following suggestions to achieve the beautiful and comfy look you want for your couch cushion and throw pillow arrangements:

  • Single Cushion Arrangement: If you’re a fan of minimalist style, consider tucking one pillow into the corner of your low-profile sofa or sectional. Using this simple configuration is a quick and easy way to add a touch of softness while maintaining the streamlined look of your layout.
  • Paired Pillow Arrangement: Many modern living room designs feature two pillows on either side of the sofa. With this arrangement, people on both ends of your couch can enjoy a little extra coziness as they relax and chat with one another.
  • Central Arrangement: Looking to accent a deep, high-back or curved sofa in your traditional-style family room? Place a line of plush cushions and pillows against the back of the seat to provide additional lumbar support while still giving guests plenty of room to sit down.
  • Layered Pillow and Cushion Configurations: Arranging your cushions and pillows in rows based on their shape or size lets you create an ultra-cozy look for your couch. Start by placing larger throw pillows against the back of the sofa, then working your way forward with smaller cushions and round or cylindrical bolsters.
Use throw pillow and cushion configurations to enhance the chic look of your living room.
Use throw pillow and cushion configurations to enhance the chic look of your living room.