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Just How Many Bed Pillows Do You Need?

Happy Monday folks!

I decided to start this week with a fan question, and one that I seem to get quite a bit.

Hello Veronica, I enjoy reading your blog and following you on Facebook. I have been using some of the tips you provide to decorate my home and I am stuck on what to do in my master bedroom. I love the look of plenty of bed pillows and luxurious looking bedding, but my husband seems to think that it is not very practical. What is the rule for the amount of bed pillows on a king size bed and what sizes would you recommend? Also how do you go about styling the bed for a luxurious look, but still be practical? I look forward to your response. Janet

First off Janet (and whoever else has this same question 🙂 ), thanks for your email and for following my blog and Facebook page. I happen to get this question quite a bit, so you certainly are not alone.

As a Designer, I steer clear of the word “rule”. While I believe in and practice the basic principles of design, I am a big rule breaker. Bed pillows is one of those things that you can kinda go with the flow depending on the look you are going for.


In general this is often what I do.

Katy Interior Designer

Recently Completed Guest Bedroom

This is a guest bedroom that I recently completed and the following are the steps I took for styling the bed.

Casa Vilora Interiors
  1. I started with an upholstered headboard, because to me, they are the most comfortable for reading or watching TV in bed. I usually choose a fabric for the headboard that can be spot cleaned easily and vacuumed to remove dust. While brass, wrought iron and wooden beds are great too, upholstered headboards, especially when tufted, often lends itself to a luxurious look

  2. Always set the foundation for the top layer of bedding, especially if you want the bed to look lush and luxurious. Start with a good mattress. This is where you spend 1/3 of your life, so a good quality mattress is a must. Then you need a feather bed or a mattress pad. You will not believe how comfortable a good feather bed is. Invest in a good quality one, so you are getting the best and softest feathers and not the sharp prickly ones. Then you need a mattress cover. Always measure the thickness of your mattress plus the feather bed when choosing a mattress cover.

  3. The fitted sheet should tuck all the way underneath the mattress, so again, measure the thickness of the mattress and all other elements you add to it. Choose a flat sheet that has a nice decorative detail on the hem. That can be folded down to give a custom look and a nice layered effect. Go for a nice high thread count so your sheets will be soft and comfortable.

  4. I always add a coverlet personally and use it all year round. Some folks prefer not to have one in the summer, so this can be a personal preference. The coverlet adds another opportunity for some texture, since they are usually quilted or matelassé, and also a pop of color.The coverlet is usually visible to add to the layered effect

  5. Next I choose a great feather down comforter or duvet insert. This is where you separate flat and blah from rich and luxurious, so invest in a good quality one

  6. Then of course the next layer is a great duvet cover. I love using crisp whites as much as my clients will allow, with an embroidery detail or something really simple and classic. White sounds like a bad choice if you want practicality, but think about it – you can easily throw it in the washer and use a gentle bleach or stain remover to remove any spots or stains

  7. Now the fun part – the pillows! There is no question that layering pillows in different sizes, fabric patterns and textures definitely look more luxurious, but again, it is up to you how many you can handle. The pillowcases that come with the sheet set are the “sleeping pillows” and they usually go first, and they are hidden behind the euro shams or decorative king size pillows. In the bed above I used the pillow covers that came with the duvet cover set in place of the “sleeping pillows” which I hid away in the closet. Next layer is the 2 king size decorative pillows. The king size was used instead of queen pillows (this is a queen size bed). I often use king pillows on a queen bed if I want a fuller look. Next layer was a pair of 24×24 decorative pillows (or euro shams), then I added a neckroll or bolster pillow 8×36 (8×24 sometimes). I used a variety of easy to maintain fabrics like cotton or linen blend. I usually recommend that clients don’t use the decorative pillows for sleeping on, and when the time comes, either dry-clean them or gently launder them.

  8. Finally placing a throw near the foot of the bed adds to the look of luxury. I didn’t in this room.

Here is another bed I styled recently

Casa Vilora Interiors

This had a few extra throw, pillows 18×18 and a small lumbar pillow. This bedroom was a whole different vibe from the one pictured above. This was actually a comforter set instead of a duvet cover

This is a studio apartment sleeping area I also did recently

Casa Vilora Interiors

As you can see, I love neckroll pillows. In this application I just used the sleeping pillows, the pillow cases from the duvet set, 2 small 18×18 pillows and the 8×24 neckroll pillow

And finally, my son’s bedroom that I just finished for the One Room Challenge

casa Vilora Interiors

You will notice that his bed has 7 pillows – 2 standard size pillows  from the duvet cover set, 2 standard in a striped cotton, 2- 22×22 pillows and a 8×36 neckroll pillow.

I love to add a coverlet and fold the duvet cover down to show it off. I usually recommend sleeping under the flat sheet and the coverlet and preserving the duvet cover as a decorative and not a functional element on the bed.

So in general, I use 6 or more pillows when I style a bed. I always use king size pillows for a king bed and sometimes even for queen. I also always use euro shams to add a bit of height.

Hopefully that answered your question Janet, and anyone else who has struggles with the styling their bed.

Thanks for stopping by today

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!


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