How many pillows is too many?

If you shop for bedding, you’ve probably noticed a trend over the years. It’s something a friend calls “Attack of the Pillows!” It seems that all the catalogs, websites and blogs feature image after image of beds that are loaded – and we mean really loaded – with pillows of all shapes and sizes. Forget about the days when each bed needed one pillow for each head. Nowadays, your bed just doesn’t look inviting unless you’ve got standard pillows in pillowcases, a few pillows in shams, decorative pillows in sizes such as Euro or Breakfast or Boudior, plus a few decorative throw pillows in square or even round shapes. Artfully arrange everything for a look of total abundance. Add a bolster for good measure and… wait, is there any room at all left for the person who’ll be sleeping in the bed?

So, let’s say you want to incorporate the best of this trend into your bedroom décor. How do you achieve something in between the look of a prison cot and a sample sale at a pillow factory?

First, make sure you have the basics, which does come down to at least one good sleeping pillow for each person who shares the bed. There are so many options available, including down, down alternative, foam, memory foam, hypoallergenic, etc. There are also special pillows for your sleeping style, whether you prefer sleeping on your back, on your side or on your stomach. Before you add the decorative pillows, make sure you invest in the most important pillows for your head and your bed.

Mix it up. Probably the main thing to remember when styling your pillows is to mix it up. Go for a mix of fabrics and colors, patterns and solids. They can be related, but they should not all be the same color or pattern. That just looks overwhelming instead of inviting. The same rule applies to sizes. Try for a variety, and make sure there’s at least one of what we call a “left turn” – something unusual or unique, like a single round pillow or another less-common shape. And always use an odd number of pillows – this gives a more natural and less regimented feeling.

Remember that having a larger number of decorative pillows means you’re going to have to spend a few extra minutes every day, making your bed and artfully arranging, fluffing and plumping your pillows – no more rushing off with an unmade bed!

While we don’t love beds that are piled high to the rafters, a few extra pillows does imply elegance, comfort and abundance. Just don’t overdo it!

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