A well-arranged bed with plump, perfectly placed pillows can transform a bedroom from drab to fab. But achieving that hotel-worthy look at home can seem daunting. Don’t worry – with a few simple tricks, you can master the secret formula for perfect pillow arrangements.

Choose the Right Pillows

The foundation of any perfect pillow arrangement starts with having the right pillows. Here are some tips for pillow purchasing:

Standard Bed Pillows

The basic pillows for sleeping on. Opt for 2 standard pillows per person. Medium density and firmness provide support and comfort for most sleep positions. Down, down alternative, memory foam, latex, and poly-fiber are common fill types. Standard sizes are 20″ x 26″ or 20″ x 28″.

King Pillows

Oversized pillows measuring 20″ x 36″. Perfect for extra sleeping support or folding behind standard pillows on king beds. Down, down alternative, and poly fills are common.

Accent/Decorative Pillows

Smaller 12″ x 12″, 14″ x 14″, 16″ x 16″, or 18″ x 18″ pillows in various shapes. Used for embellishing the bed. Look for feather, down, poly-fills.

Bolster Pillows

Long cylindrical pillows measuring approximately 6″ diameter x 28″ length. Lean against headboard or fold at ends of bed as décor. Down, down alternative, poly fills.

Throw Pillows

Small, square 12″ x 12″ or 14″ x 14″ pillows. Provide pops of color/texture on beds. Poly-fills most common.

When selecting pillow inserts, opt for down or down alternative fills for softness and moldability. For firmer support, choose polyester or memory foam. Mix pillow sizes and shapes for visual interest. Stick to 1-3 accent colors for cohesion.

Prep the Bed

Before artfully arranging those pretty pillows, make sure your bed base is primed for pillow placement:

Fitted Sheet

Keep sheets wrinkle-free and tightly tucked under the mattress so pillows sit neatly.

Duvet Cover

Smooth out any duvet lumps or wrinkles so the bed surface is flat for arranging pillows.


Fold any extra blankets into thirds and lay at the foot of the bed to maintain a streamlined surface.

Bed Skirt

Use a 14-16” bed skirt to elegantly conceal under-bed storage and create a polished finish.


Position bed 6-12 inches from wall to allow pillows to lean against headboard.

With a smooth, tightly made bed, you’ve set the stage for pillow arranging success!

Master the Basic Arrangements

Start by learning some basic pillow placement formulas for the most common bed sizes:

Two Pillow Arrangements

Twin/Single Beds

  • 2 standard pillows lined horizontally against headboard

Double/Full Beds

  • 2 standard pillows lined horizontally against headboard

Queen Beds

  • 2 standard pillows lined horizontally against headboard

King Beds

  • 2 king pillows lined horizontally against headboard
  • Or, 4 standard pillows stacked pyramid style

Four Pillow Arrangements

Queen Beds

  • 2 standard pillows lined horizontally
  • 2 standard Euro sham pillows positioned vertically in front

King Beds

  • 2 king pillows lined horizontally
  • 2 standard or Euro sham pillows placed vertically

These formulations create symmetrical, ordered looks perfect for minimalists. Layer on accent pillows to take the arrangements to the next level.

Layer on Accent Pillows

Now for the fun part – use accent pillows to infuse personality into your pillow landscape. Try these accent combos:

Simple Accent Styling

Add 2 square throw pillows:

  • Place in front corners of standard pillows

Or, lean 2 oblong bolster pillows:

  • Against outer edges of headboard

Bold Accent Styling

Add 2-4 accent pillows:

  • Mix square and oblong shapes
  • Vary sizes and textures
  • Angle between standard pillows
  • Prop against headboard

Dynamic Accent Styling

Get creative with 6+ accent pillows:

  • Stack squares of varying sizes
  • Combine multiple patterns
  • Place different shapes and sizes
  • Tilt pillows for dimension
  • Let some lean against headboard

The “Pillow Mountain”

Maximize luxury with 8+ pillows:

  • Drape pillows down from headboard
  • Create soft symmetrical mounds
  • Mix textures and patterns
  • Cascading layers in a pyramid shape

Go wild and express your personal style! Use these accent guides and then customize the look to your own taste.

Finishing Touches

Add the final finesse with these styling secrets:

Fluff Pillows

Plump and round out pillows after arranging so they hold their shape.

Vary Heights

Stack pillows to different heights to create visual interest.

Angle Pillows

Position pillows at diagonal angles rather than flat for depth.

Limit Patterns

Stick to 1-2 patterned pillows max so accents don’t clash.

Choose Complimentary Colors

Coordinate accent colors with blankets, artwork to pull together a cohesive look.

Add Interest with Texture

Incorporate pillows with unique fabrics like velvet, linen, chenille.

Consider Shape/Size

Mix big square and oblong pillows with smaller Euro shams.

And voila – you’ve mastered the formula for hotel-worthy pillow arrangements! Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Select a mix of standard, king, and accent pillows
  2. Prep the base with a tidy, wrinkle-free bed
  3. Start with basic two and four pillow formations
  4. Layer on accents for personalized style
  5. Refine with finishing touches like fluffing, angles and height

With the secret tricks above, you can achieve the perfect pillow arrangement! Show off your beautiful, welcoming bed by styling those pillows like a pro.

Sample Arrangements

Here are some photos of beautifully arranged pillows to inspire your own creations:

Pillow Arrangement with 4 Pillows

A simple arrangement with two standard pillows stacked horizontally in front of a headboard, with two square euro shams angled nicely in the front. The pillows are color-coordinated with the blankets for a cohesive look.

Pillow Arrangement with 6 Pillows

This arrangement uses two standard pillows and stacks 4 decorative pillows in complementary colors and patterns in front. The pillows are fluffed for volume and staggered to different heights.

Pillow Mountain Arrangement

The “pillow mountain” styling with over 8 pillows cascading down from the headboard. Mixing multiple patterns, shapes and textures creates major visual interest.

Black and White Pillow Arrangement

A black and white palette gives this arrangement an elegant, classic hotel vibe. Four standard pillows are stacked two high, with two dark shams angled nicely in the front.

Pillow Arrangement with Bolsters

Long bolster pillows are creatively placed here – folded at the corners of the bed for a dramatic look. Two patterned square pillows finish it off.

Use these inspiring photos as a jumping off point to spark your own creative pillow arrangements!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pillows should be on a bed?

  • For proper sleep support, allow 2 standard pillows per person. Beyond that, the number of accent pillows depends on personal preference and bed size. Just don’t overcrowd the bed. Aim for around 2-8 total pillows for most arrangements.

Where should the pillows go on a made bed?

  • The basic standard pillows for sleeping should be lined horizontally against the headboard. Accent pillows can go in front of the standard pillows, stacked or angled nicely for decoration.

How do I arrange pillows on a bed?

  • Start with the standard pillows back against the headboard, either stacked or side-by-side. Then add accent pillows in front in symmetrical or asymmetrical formations. Vary heights, angles and placement for visual interest.

How do you fluff pillows on a bed?

  • After arranging pillows, gently pat and move the filling around to plump them up. Fluffing adds volume and helps pillows hold their shape better in your arrangement.

How do you make a bed look nice and neat?

  • Use a tightly fitted sheet. Smooth out any wrinkles or lumps in the bedding. Arrange pillows neatly against the headboard and add accent pillows. Fold extra blankets at mattress foot. Add a bed skirt to conceal under-bed space neatly.


A well-dressed bed makes such a stylish statement in any bedroom. Follow the tips above to finally achieve that dreamy, luxurious pillow arrangement you’ve been longing for. With the right pillow selection, some basic placement techniques and creative accents, you can master the formula for hotel-worthy pillow perfection. Confidently style your sanctuary with plump, pretty pillows and transform your space from just a place to sleep into a serene oasis for relaxation. Sweet pillow arranging dreams!