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How Do I Choose the Best Designer Throw Pillow?

By Judith Smith Sullivan
Updated: May 17, 2024

Choosing a designer throw pillow is a decision that will be based mostly on your aesthetic preferences, your personal style, and decor theme. There is also a practical side to choosing a throw pillow, including checking the quality of the work and making sure it is easily washable. Before you begin shopping, determine what you need, including size, shape, and style.

Throw pillows are typically used in seating and bedding. They can be both functional and decorative. The size of throw pillows varies, and they can be as large as 25 inches (65 cm) in height and width. Wider throw pillows are European pillows, which are 26 by 26 inches (66 cm). The style of the pillow can be traditional, modern, funky, or plain, and the fabric may be printed or solid. Designer throw pillows are available in almost every color imaginable.

When choosing a designer throw pillow, decide on its intended use. If you intend to use it as supplemental cushioning for seating or bedding, you will want a comfortable firmness to the stuffing as well as a removable cover that is machine washable. It should also be free of embellishments like sequins, large buttons, or beads, which are can be uncomfortable when pressed against the body. The size should suit the purpose. If you plan to use it as a back pillow, make sure it is large enough to allow you to lean against it comfortably.

A decorative pillow can be as embellished as you like. Keep in mind that even though you will not wash it frequently, you may still need to wash it occasionally. Make sure it is at least dry cleanable, since spot clean only pillows are very difficult to clean. The pillow should have crisp corners and firm stuffing to ensure that it displays well.

For either a decorative pillow or a functional designer throw pillow, you will need to check the seams and fabric for wear or damage. The pillow should be free of fraying, and seams should be tight and secure. The pillow should also be unstained and have a neutral odor, if any at all.

Designer throw pillows are a great opportunity to incorporate accent colors into your decor theme. Bold or bright colors do especially well, since the designer throw pillow is relatively small. The color is not overwhelming and it provides a refreshing change in color, often serving to define an area or allow the eye to rest while traveling across a room. Combining multiple pillows of different sizes and varying shades and prints of the same color family also adds visual interest to an interior design theme.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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