Which Way Should Pillows Face On A Bed?

Are you adding your final touches to your bedroom design? Your bedspread and decorative pillows will play a tremendous part in bringing your bedroom together. There are a variety of themes and styles to choose from when setting up your pillow combination. How will you position your pillows on your bed? Does pillow placement really matter? We've done the research and have found these answers and more to help you set up your bedspread perfectly.

Your pillow arrangement should begin with two sleeping pillows propped against the headboard.  Bed shams will be placed in front or on top of your sleeping pillows. Your accent or throw pillows will be layered in the very front to create the finished look. 

Now that the pillows' basic layout has been established, which style of pillows will you choose? Luckily there are endless designs and themes from which to pick. Read on as we break down how to dress a bed and just how many decorative pillows you should have on your specific sized bed.

A modern bedroom interior with a stylish combination of trendy blue and light wood texture, Which Way Should Pillows Face On A Bed?

How Do You Dress A Bed?

Your bed will have many elements contributing to creating a stylish and comfortable look. Having an array of pillows, shams, and throw blankets will add texture to your bed and ambiance to your bedroom. We suggest you acquire the following items to dress your bed properly:

  • Sleeping pillows
  • Bed shams
  • Accent or throw pillows
  • Duvet cover
  • Flat sheet
  • Fitted sheet
  • Throw Blanket

Each element or layer of your bedding will protect your linens or add aesthetics to your bedroom. Consider color and pattern schemes when picking out your bedding and pillows.  Let's take a closer look at the components you'll use when dressing a bed. 

Sleeping pillows

Depending on your bed size, you will have one to two sleeping pillows laid against or in front of your headboard.  Sleeping pillows can be found in standard, queen, and king sizes. There are various types of sleeping pillows to choose from, like feather pillows and memory foam pillows, for example. 

View a 2-pack of cotton-covered sleeping pillows here on Amazon.

These pillows are layered first because they are typically plain in design and will be the only pillows left on your bed when it's time to sleep. Your decorative pillows are stored overnight - having them in front allows for easy removal. 

Bed shams

A sham is a decorative and protective cover for a standard pillow. Your bed shams will be placed in front of your sleeping pillows, covering their plain design with an eye-catching color or pattern. Bed shams come in simple, colorful, and sometimes 3Dd designs. Because they have textured fabric, shams are not comfortable for sleeping. Instead, shams are typically removed and stored with your throw pillows overnight. 

You can find embroidered shams here on Amazon.

Read more on our blog post, "What Is A Sham In Bedding? [And Do You Need One?]."

Accent or throw pillows

Accent pillows come in varying designs and sizes.  These pillows will be placed in the front of your pillow arrangement, contributing the most texture.  Throw pillows will vary in number and can be grouped together in many styles. 

Amazon offers floral design throw pillows, found here.

Duvet cover

Comforters and duvets tend to be pricey and not the easiest to clean. A duvet cover will protect your comforter and bedsheets while adding color and style to your bedspread. You can often find matching bed sets for your duvet cover and pillows. 

View this duvet cover set here on Amazon.

Flat sheet

Your flat sheet will be placed between your fitted sheet and your duvet cover.  This sheet can be used as a bottom sheet, protecting your fitted sheet, or as part of your covers. Flat sheets can be made of materials like cotton, flannel, or silk. 


You can find microfiber flat sheets here on Amazon.

Fitted sheet

The first layer of your bedding on your mattress will be a fitted sheet. These sheets have elastic corners and are sewn to the shape and form of your mattress. You will be sleeping on top of this layer, making the comfort of the sheet a high priority. You can find fitted sheets made of microfibers, a variety of cotton and blends, or flannel. 

View Egyptian cotton fitted bedsheets here on Amazon.

Read more here on our blog post, "What Color Bed Sheets Should I Get?"

Throw Blanket

A throw blanket is for style and extra warmth. These blankets are usually knitted or made of fleece material. Throw blankets are usually placed at the foot of the bed or splayed across your duvet cover. 

Check out this fleece throw blanket here on Amazon.

Dressing your bed appropriately will be the key to executing your perfect bedroom theme. With the right dressings and pillow placement, you will create a comfortable and welcoming environment in your bedroom. 

Read more on our blog post, "How To Style A King Sized Bed? [6 Awesome Suggestions]."

How Many Pillows Should Be On A Bed? 

The amount of pillows you will need depends on the size of your bed. There is such a thing as too many pillows. You want to make sure your pillow arrangement is not taking over the entirety of your bed space. How many pillows you will need for each bed size goes as follows:


  • 1 king-sized sleeping pillow
  • 1-2 throw pillows


  • 2 sleeping pillows
  • 2 shams
  • 1-2 throw pillows


  • 2 sleeping pillows
  • 2 shams
  • 2-3 throw pillows
  • +/- bolster


  • 3 sleeping pillows
  • 2 shams
  • 3 throw pillows
  • +/- bolster

You may be breaching too many pillows if you have eight or more in your arrangement. The exact number of pillows you will want changes with the individual and their sleeping partner's preferences. 

How Many Decorative Pillows Should Be On A bed?

Decorative pillows include shams, throw pillows, and bolsters. You will never need more than one bolster, two shams, and three throw pillows on a larger sized bed. Smaller beds, like a twin or queen size, will require even less decorative pillows. With a larger bed, you naturally have more space for your pillows, but you can create a stylish look with fewer pillows, no problem.  Keep your bed space in mind when setting up your arrangement. 

Watch this short video on how to arrange your bed pillows. 

When picking out your decorative pillow selection, keep in mind that these pillows will need to be stored when it's time for bed. You don't want your uniquely designed pillows thrown on the floor. Luckily there are many crafty ideas for pillow storage. 

To learn more, read our blog post, "How And Where To Store Pillows? [12 Great Suggestions]."

Should Pillowcase Openings Face Inward Or Outward?

The smallest details will help you create a hotel-worthy look for your bed. The way your pillowcases face is one of these details. The openings of the pillowcases should be facing inward and toward each other.

This positioning will make sure no part of the uncovered pillow is exposed. Think of the openings of each pillowcase facing the middle of the bed. This small detail will create a smooth flowing look. 

The Finishing Touches

Decorative pillows are a trendy finishing touch to any bedroom. Bring the room together while creating a comfy atmosphere using your chosen bedroom theme. We hope this article helps you build the perfect pillow arrangement, creating a bedroom you'll look forward to walking into.

Read more about bedroom decor on our blog post, "31 Awesome Decorating Ideas For Large Master Bedrooms."

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