How To Mix and Match Pillows – Foolproof Technique!

Learn these five simple tips so you can easily know how to mix and match pillows like the pros do!

Throw pillows are so important when it comes to completing the look of your home. Now my boys may disagree with that statement (as they toss my larger pillows onto the floor right before plopping on the family room couch). But you and I know, a good combo of beautiful pillows can set the tone for the entire style of a room.

Learn these five simple tips so you can easily know how to mix and match pillows like the pros do!
photo | pottery barn

The selection of different patterns and prices makes this accessory the easiest and most inexpensive way to change the feel or look of any room in your home. But an enormous variety of options can also bring anxiety if one is unsure or overwhelmed on how to mix and match pillows the best way. You don’t want all matching pillows but at the same time, you don’t want a jumbled mess.

So there are a few tricks to achieve that professional, interior designer look. I promise you, it isn’t hard as long as you keep the following tips in mind. It really is a fool-proof technique!

So let’s talk more about those five key elements you need to be aware of when learning how to mix and match pillows in your home. And then I’ll show you a few of my favorite pillow combos I’ve created as well!

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Start With A Color Scheme

A great place to start is first, go through your pillow inventory and then Marie Kondo the ones that aren’t bringing you joy. 🙂 See what you have left. Take note at what sizes, organic patterns and accent colors you have available. Then as you go through this post, you will know what pillows to buy to complete the look you are trying to achieve.

Everything is better when built on a good foundation! So, the first thing is selecting a color palette you love to create a cohesive look. 

If you’re unsure of what color to choose, a great way to select it is by picking three colors found in the room. As a basic guide, aim for one neutral color, one main color, and an accent color. Why three? You can not go wrong when pillows are grouped together in odd numbers. It’s a classic look!

Notice how the pillows in the room below complement the piece of art on the wall? Take your color cue from the room.

group of pillows on white couch with beach photo on wall
photo | pure salt interiors

And it’s always a good idea to keep in mind the color of the couch, bed, or bench you will be placing pillows on as well.

For something more traditional, use a palette with colors that complement and contrast. For more of a monochromatic look, pick a similar palette – like the example below.

group of pillows on bench in entryway
photo | studio mcgee

Use Different Pattern Scales

Now comes the fun part, adding in some playful patterns! When it comes to selecting patterns, be careful to not pair competing print sizes together. Why? Because if you pair two small scale patterns side by side, they’ll often merge together. Not the perfect pillow mix right?!

group of pillows in window seat
photo | mcgee and co

So by pairing a small scale with a large scale print your eye will differentiate and allow each pattern to have it’s own moment to shine!

For a fail proof pattern combo, try mixing two pillows with prints that coordinate together in terms of color. Then add in one solid colored pillow in a shade that matches the two prints.

Add Different Textures

As you know – ’cause I say this all the time – those little details matter! So selecting pillows with those extra special touches like tassels, pom poms, woven, faux fur, chunky sweater, velvet or even leather is an easy way to give your grouped pillows a more elevated look.

group of navy blue pillows on couch in front of window
photo | pottery barn

Texture is key when learning how to mix and match pillows. It helps move you away from just having three pillows that coordinate on your living room couch to having a pillow combo with beautiful interest, dimension and style. A textured pillow can add so much visual interest!

Play With Different Sizes and Shapes

A big selection of your throw pillows will probably be sized around 20×20 inch square pillows. But you also want to buy some pillows that are larger than that size and some smaller pillows as well. For example, add in a larger 24 inch square pillow and then a smaller rectangular lumbar pillow.

Not sure what size goes where? This guide should help!

Pillow Size Placement Guide


  • single lumbar pillow
  • 20-22 inch

Sofa, Nook or Bench

  • Sofa – 22-24 inch pillow at the back, layer a smaller pillow 20-22 inches in the front
  • Nook/Bench – 24-22 inch pillow at the back (in the corner), layer in a lumbar


  • Twin – a single lumbar OR 22 inch in the back and one lumbar in front
  • Queen/King – two 24-26 inch pillows in the back, lumbar in the middle and one 20-22 inch pillow in front OR two 24-26 inch pillows and one extra long lumbar pillow

Be Careful To Not Overdo It

Since they’re so many gorgeous pillows available to buy, you may want to combine all your favorites in one combo. Word of caution: if all your pillows have dramatically different colors or everything has a different texture or embellishment, your pillow collection is going to look very chaotic.

neutral pillows on large swivel chairs in front of fireplace
photo | pottery barn

The main goal with decor is to create a calm, peaceful and comfortable home. So my advice is to have one stand-out or statement pillow and then add simple pattern pillows that will complement it.

Tip: A Good Pillow Insert Is A Must!

In order for your pillows to look their best, you need the right sized insert. Buy one size up, so your pillows don’t look saggy or soggy.

A Few Pillow Mix and Match Combos

I wanted to show you just how easy it is to mix and match pillows by shopping around and creating some fun inspirational combos for you!

Learn these five simple tips so you can easily know how to mix and match pillows like the pros do!

PILLOW SOURCES: Combo #1: solid black | black and white plaid | light gray floral | Combo #2: striped jute | solid taupe | woven tufted | Combo #3: navy sweater | embroidered | light blue | Combo #4: large plaid | textured gray | round sweater |

Some of My Favorite Pillow Styles

Pillows are my thing! I absolutely love to shop for them, with geometric patterns being some of my favorites! So I had to share with you some of my favorite decorative pillows. (Lots of different pillow combinations at varying price points as well!)

If you are looking for even more pillow tips, be sure to check out these popular posts as well:

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