Why You Should Never Buy Your Throw Pillow Covers and Inserts Together

published Jun 12, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Rikki Snyder

The Small/Cool Experience is a shoppable online home design showcase and social event full of decorating tips and tricks from your favorite designers. Check out the whole virtual experience online and at @apartmenttherapy on Instagram from June 11-13. Thank you to our sponsors BEHR® Paint, Genesis G70, LUMAS, Overstock, Tuft & Needle, Chasing Paper, and Interior Define for making this experience possible.

Throw pillows are a fun and easy way to add color and personality to any space in your home. Whether you’re looking to make your bed more cozy and inviting or add some interest to your couch, throws are the way to go. While it can be tempting to buy pillows with permanent prints, it actually might be better — and more affordable — to buy the pillow inserts and covers separately.

During the Small Cool Experience, Carmen René Smith of Aquilo Interiors dropped tons of gems on how to spruce up your sofa with pattern mixing. No two pillows on her couch are the same, and she says mixing textures gives some “visual relief” when going from one pillow to the next. While Smith does suggest switching up your pillows from time to time, she actually recommends buying the inserts and the cover separately.

Why? She actually has two great reasons. First, having a variety of pillow covers on hand is great for dealing with spills and tiny messes. If you splash a little wine on your pillow, you don’t have to consider it destroyed — instead, you can remove the cover and wash it. Second, the separate covers give you a lot of flexibility with style, especially if you love the size and shape, but want to switch up the pattern. Buy several covers in different patterns and colors so that your couch situation never feels stuck. Stripes one day and polka dots the next? Yes, please!

Another misconception you may have when buying pillow inserts is that they should be the exact same size as the cover. Carmen actually recommends the complete opposite! “Make sure to order your inserts two inches larger than your cover,” she says. This hack will give you a full, fluffy pillow look every time. 

Believe it or not, Carmen has so many more amazing tips for styling your couch — check them all out in the video below!