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The perfect number of throw pillows by couch size

This is a guide to exactly how many throw pillows you should use depending on a particular couch size.  Obviously, there are always exceptions to the rule, but if you’re not a professional interior designer, it’s best to stick with the tried and true approaches.  Before we get started, know that as a general rule of thumb to use an odd number of throw pillows for the most natural look.

Let’s jump straight into it!

Throw pillows for a Lounge Chair

I know I know, it’s not exactly a couch, but let’s cover it anyways.  For a lounge chair you likely want to stick with 0 to 1 throw pillows.  No throw pillows is best if your lounge chair is already ultra comfortable and/or an accent piece.  As a result, you wouldn’t need a pillow to add cushion or take away from the design.  However, if you want to add some support or just accent the piece more, 1 throw pillow is perfect here.

Range: 0 or 1 throw pillows.
Deft recommends: 1 throw pillow.


Throw pillows for a Love Seat

(width: 48 – 72 inches)

This couch size is pretty cozy already.  Adding a lot of throw pillows is going to make it more like jumping into a foam pit than a supportive place to sit.  The best number of throw pillows for a love seat is 1 or 3.  Go with 1 if you already have some bolster pillows at the arm rests and if the throw pillow is going to be the primary accent.  If 1 feels empty, pair it with a blanket as well.  3 is the max (and the ideal) if you have the space and a nice selection of throw pillows.  

Range: 1 or 3 throw pillows.
Deft recommends: 3 throw pillows.

cat with window in wooster

Throw pillows for a 3 person couch

(width: 75 – 95 inches)

Your run of the mill 3 person sofa has room for a lot of throw pillows, but it doesn’t mean you should use every inch of space. You’ll want to find the right balance so you’re not having to drop pillows off the couch just to make room to sit down.  If you want a bit more space on the couch or your couch is on the small end of the spectrum, go with 3 throw pillows.  If you really want to make the couch look full and decorative or if your couch is a larger 3 person sofa, go with 5.  

Range: 3 or 5 throw pillows.
Deft recommends: 3 throw pillows for most.  5 if above 90 inches.

Throw pillows for a Sectional
(width: 95+ inches)

Sectionals really vary in size. Most start somewhere around 95 inches.  At that size, you’ll probably still want 3 or 5 pillows similar to the three-person couch recommendation above.  However, as soon as it starts to pass the 100 inches barrier, 3 is really going to start looking empty.  If you want your couch to look full, we recommend going with 5 throw pillows. If your couch is a corner sectional or something with dramatically more space, bump it up to 7.  You can put 2 on the left and right corners and then 3 in the middle for a well balanced look.

Range: 3 or 5 or 7 throw pillows.
Deft recommends: 3 pillows if smaller.  5 pillows for most.   7 if corner sectional or beyond 120 inches.

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