Solving the big issues: how many cushions on a bed?


I got a text message yesterday from a friend who had just returned home from holidays (Hi Linda!) and had feared that she had gone overboard with some holiday cushioning purchasing. You see she had been in Byron, caught up in what appears to be superior homewares shopping up there and found herself with no less than 6 new cushions for her bed. Actually, due to some shipping errors, she had 7! She sent a text saying her sister thought she had gone mental, but she wanted to check in with me to see whether 7 cushions, could in fact be done on a bed. As well as get some help on placement.

I have discussed cushions before. In fact, I could talk about cushions A LOT. If cushions are not your thing, I suggest you click away now before you get yourself worked up. OK?

Are you gone yet? No? OK, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I do just 3 cushions on the bed. Well there are 7 in total if you count the 2 on each side (the top being just for show as when it comes down to business I just sleep on one foam contour one. But if I’m reading? Oh, that top one can stay. It’s essential in fact. Bottom is JUST for business. I have one large one with two behind it. It’s been like that for some time, and I think it’s probably in need of a freshen up. In fact, I think the whole room could do with a freshen up, but that’s a story for another day.

The guest room also has the three scatter cushion scenario.


Two behind, one in front. These are usually leftovers from the couch that I have moved around (don’t think I have ever bought specifically a cushion for the bed. Huh!).

And for the girls I have just two per bed. One behind, one in front.


General rules are that the more contrast in patterns and texture, the better. There are others out there (I’m looking at you Faux Fuschsia, and you Styling You) who certainly up the ante when it comes to their own beds. More is more! Oh how I love more!

But I’d love to know how many YOU do on your bed?
What’s your cushion arrangement scenario?
Has Linda lost her mind with 6 or 7 on her bed?
What’s your rotation?
What’s the optimum life cycle of a cushion? Does it move from the couch or stand alone feature chair to eventually the bed?

So many questions! CUSHION QUESTIONS! My very favourite kind of questions! Go!


  1. When my bed is made and untouched by children, I have two European cushions and one long skinny one in front (plus two pillows each). But here is my sub question: Where do you store surplus cushions when you are sleeping? Blanket box at the end of the bed? The floor? Upon a snoring husbands face?

  2. katie clews says

    On our bed I have one European cushion on each side at the back then the two normal pillows on each side in front of the euros then have four scatter cushions for decoration so we have LOTS OF PILLOWS much to my husband’s disgust!!!!…The cushions get put on the floor at night time for sleeping..

  3. Just purchased 2 yesterday, not sure where they will go , bed or sofa. I rotate sofa to chair sometimes to a bed. I do tend to buy cushios specific for beds. Dont know why I waste my money on teens rooms. But I do. They spend more time on floor . Me 7 on my bed at moment , sometimes get to nine.
    To answer Alison ,mine are dumped on floor at night and used behind blinds to stop the blinds banging in a breeze.! My husband HATES them , and there is a cushion cemetery a big cupboard in my laundry .

  4. Ah be still my beating cushion heart. Wait for it … have just done a count. On our king-size bed, I’ve got the contour pillows we sleep on; feather pillows on top of them and European pillows behind those two. AND … 5 decorative cushions. Excessive? If you ask Mr SY, yes. Ask me, no! I rotate them around with others as I change the bed linen colours.

    After my holiday cushion purchases with you, I’ve restrained myself a bit in the lounge room – 4 on each sofa in a blue/white/black theme.

  5. Aaaarrrrggghhhhh!!!! No no no no no! I can’t bear it! Functional pillows only! No fancy cushions. Too much clutter. And two on each end of the couch, maximum!

  6. Zero. Zilch on our bed. My husband despises cushions on the bed, and since I’m pretty partial to him, he wins over cushions.

    The spare room, however, has five.

  7. Love the idea. So pretty. In reality loathe the daily taking off/ putting back on. No cupboard space and if on floor get covered in dust & dog hair. But I am a lazy moo. When I’m rich and have staff I will have many πŸ™‚

  8. 6 and 4 get thrown on the floor at night where I never fail to trip over them on my middle of the night toilet trips. NEVER.

  9. We have two shams that go over the business pillows and then two square pillows and then three round pillows. They all match the quilt that I made so they don’t get swapped around with other rooms. My husband whinges most mornings about the pillows and one of these days he might actually learn how pillow placement is done!!! My daughter has six on her queen bed and the spare bed only has two (must get onto that situation and get more!!). I’m in the market for more for the lounge (insert eye roll from husband). We live a hour or so south of Byron maybe a little road trip is in order (shh don’t tell my husband why lol).

  10. My name is Natalie, and I too have a pillow obsession (I picture an AA meeting type setting as I type this). Thank goodness for Ikea and Pottery Barn, one of my favorite things is to buy new covers! I love that it can change the look of a room with such a relatively cheap and easy swap out. I rotate colors/patterns of covers for all the different seasons/holidays. Current total in house is over 20!:/….shit, maybe I really do need help. With 6 beds, 3 couches, and 2 reading chair it makes sense though…right?!?

    Also, just want to say how much I LOVE your blog, Beth! I found it after seeing your lovely home featured on (best website!). You make me laugh, cry, and smile…sometimes all in one post! From one mom who loves the F word to another, Thanks!

  11. deborah jefferis says

    7 decorative plus 2 to sleep on. My husband hates them and throws them around the room when he goes to bed. He does admit they look nice though. By the way I love your green bedside tables. We have old wooden ones that need an update. I was thinking white but i love the green.

  12. Our tally is 1 pillow for business, 1 on top of that, 2 in front ( 1 of which same as doona) plus 1 cushion in front of the lot. Total 8 pillows + 1 cushion.
    Spare bed has 6 pillows + 3 cushions.
    Wouldn’t want anything less, a girl has to have her cushions! I hate flat looking beds – too boring.
    ….and yes they end up on the floor each night!

  13. I was going to say a couple and then I counted 2 European , 4 regular pillows (2 in fancy matching patterns) and three decorative cushions(one lavender scented) on my bed, honestly I never knew I was so into cushions and always looked at your pics and thought, how excessive! Joke’s on me!
    Every night they get flung off my bed in every direction as my man prepares the bed for bedtime!

  14. Exactly the same as you Beth and all on the floor to sleep, my office has a pull out sofa bed and 7 reside on there.. we rotate around the house ALL the time x

  15. 4 cushions (one large square, one smaller rectangle on each side). BRIGHT colours that pick up on some of the tones in the doona cover but not matchy matchy. There is nothing wrong with LOTS of cushions except for the problem of finding somewhere to store them when you hop in bed πŸ™‚

  16. Well…in theory I love a cushion….in practice I just can’t stand the extra effort to remove them to get into bed…we have two useful pillows each…that’s it. If I were to indulge in a cushion it would be 3 maximum…two behind and one in front…that just feels right to me….

    Now will the next solving of the big issue be naming the baby?? I really want a crack at it. You don’t have to tell us what you are actually naming it of course, but let us all have a go pleeeease??!! Such fun!

  17. On our couch, there are a total of 9 cushions (arranged in groups of 2 and one of 3). Currently on our bed, there are 6 pillows (husband needs several at hand to support his bulky shoulders) and only one cushion cos I need to go to IKEA and buy another cushion insert for my cover. Thanks for the reminder!

  18. Our bed-2 euros, 4 sleeping pillows, a U pillow that lives on the floor on my side for reading or when I have bad reflux (yuk!) and 3 cushions. Chair in bedroom has 2. My kids have two sleeping pillows each and 2 cushions.. Spare bed has 4 pillows and 2 cushions. Both lounges have what I deem to be a perfect number, but everyone else whines about them when they have to sit down.
    I like pretty and a bed isn’t made until it has cushions and a throw. Takes two seconds to pop on chair in corner of room at night and an extra second to put it all back on bed in morning. Have always done it and am not stopping now!

  19. at my last count it was 7 beth! … but that can change at any moment depending on my need for foofing! “less is more” with many things for me, but when it comes to cushions, it’s more is more! … <3 it! … they live on the on the day bed, lounges chairs and then there are big floor cushions, there is comfort in cushions! I say, hug a cushion! lol m:)X

  20. According to my husband only yesterday, I’ve gone overboard with cushion/pillows on the bed, 12!
    3 euro across the back. The 2 each we sleep on next, 2 more pillows with the most delightful print (love adairs), 2 bolsters and a monogram cushion. White, aqua and a splash of black! As my Caitlin says, “never enough cushions”…..i dragged her up well πŸ™‚




  23. Also, sorry to be a cushion bore but Anna Spiro addresses these issues in her book. I find that her cushions last forever but they’d want to, what with the cost. I like a feather insert. That is all.

  24. I LOVE cushions. I want to buy all of the cushions. All of them!! I don’t though. I might try to increase my cushion efforts when my toddler grows out of throwing them everywhere.
    He had about 4 on his bed when we gave him a ‘big boy’ room and I thought they looked rad, but he got addicted to them all so we had to take some away to get him to sleep.

  25. Oh, oh – I just went and counted – I have nine, but what is more disturbing is that there are another four in the walk-in robe which are the ones that we actually sleep on!

  26. Lisa Mckenzie says

    We have 1 or 2 to sleep on then two more pillows matching the quilt and on the bed there are 4 cushions but I do have drawers at the end of the bed they go in at night!

  27. Sophisticated Mumma says

    Scatter cushions have a new meaning in this house as my Toddler freely scatters them on the floor so I’ve given up. They are in the guest room but on no other bed…at the moment. I’ve never understood why people cushion cots either as I think it’s dangerous, thoughts on cot cushioning??

  28. We have 2 European, 2 sleeping foam ones, 2 feather and 1 square 40cm cushion. When we sleep they get chucked on the floor.

  29. You can never have too many, I have 1ea that we sleep on, 1 ea European pillows on the angle, 1 ea normal pillows matching the doona cover, a small coloured or patterned pillow to match. ( European pillows) on an angle. Then 1 small oblong pillow in front, with my spec teddy sitting in front of that…… And when hubby goes to bed they all get thrown around the room!! Except the teddy he puts her on our old miners couch. Bless him

  30. No cushions on the bed for me, just the 2 pillows we actually sleep on. I used to do cushions on the bed but they just get thrown on the floor, then stepped on by the kids and the dog then you can’t put dirty cushions back on the bed so I gave up. Will maybe re-address bed cushion scenario when we are empty nesters.

    Cushions on the couch however are entirely another matter! I have 7. Prefer odd numbers and I’m about to do a full colour palette change which is rather exciting!

  31. Beth,
    Funny how you don’t even think of the pillow situation until someone raises the question. I have 8 in fact! 2 each for the business of sleeping – 1 king to match the bed with a queen tucked behind. I use both and have ever since I was pregnant and needed to prop up the belly. Sadly that zone needs help still due to middle age! In front are the king pillows that match the duvet cover and in front of those are 2 euro sized deco ones. Hubby used to complain but has give up and strips the deco ones off every night like a good fellow.
    Love a good pillow!
    Heather in Halifax NS.

  32. Hi Beth, hi all – wow so much useful input, I am reassured that my 7 cushions (+4 pillows) are right at home with the rest of society! A couple of things to note reading through all the comments…
    1. There’s no need to buy a new inner for every new cushion cover? WHO KNEW? I never thought to bloody recycle inners and store old cushion covers in the linen cupboard -DER…
    2. There’s been a few ‘why would you bother, takes too long etc’ comments so thought I’d throw in my 2 cents. As an apartment dweller, I walk past my bedroom every time I enter and exit my home, and every time I enter my bathroom, so I love seeing the prettiness when glancing in on my way past. I also feel it forces you to MAKE said bed as who can stand seeing all the prettys on the floor?

  33. I have about 8 on my 2 family room couches, and I had about 4 for in our bedroom, but we so rarely make the bed (husband works night shift, so it is in it during the day) that I’m not even sure where they are. I would love lots of funky patterns and textures and things to build with on a crisp made, dog hair free bed! Ahhh, the dream.

  34. I’ve loved this cushion conversation! What’s everyone’s opinion on the patterns & prints? All different or can you have 2 identical scatter cushions? I’ve got a plain duvet cover & a plain throw in a contrasting color & this beautiful patterned fabric to sew some cushions… How much of one print is too much?

    • Defo think you can have more than one in the same print so long as there are others there to break it up (I do at least) and the more clash the better in my opinion.

  35. Linda Johnston says

    Many of the posters above say they remove the cushions from their bed at night and replace them in the morning. At least one poster said she dislike this nightly routine. This begs the question: why have cushions on the bed in the first place? I understand cushions on your lounge or sofa (I have many) don’t get it for the bed.

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