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Tips For Picking Neutral Pillow Covers For Your Sofa

neutral pillow cover pairings for a sofa

After a few months of waiting (which is relatively short with current supply chain issues) our sectional sofa is scheduled to arrive this Friday. I have been holding off on shopping pillows until I had somewhere to put them so this weekend I hopped on the task. I wanted to start with neutral pillows and as we get closer to spring I will add in some blue accent pillows. I thought I would share some tips for picking pillow covers in today’s post.

Pillow covers can be surprisingly expensive depending where you shop. Because of this make a plan to invest in pillow covers I will use throughout the year and mix in some more affordable seasonal accent pillows. Putting them together on a mood board of sorts helps me coordinate them before I purchase.

With two young boys and a puppy, I give bonus points for a performance fabric pillow cover.

neutral pillow cover pairings for living room sofa

Why Neutral Pillow Covers

As I mentioned above my plan is to start with all neutral pillows and then work in colors based on the season. I love blue accents in spring and summer, and textured whites and muted green pillows around the holidays. In fall I may get adventurous with a rust colored pillow cover but when in doubt I stick to neutrals.

Why I Love Pillow Covers

Whether I’m shopping at a higher priced retailer like Serena and Lily or somewhere more affordable like Target I prefer pillow covers because they zip off for easy cleaning and less bulky storage. Most of Target’s pillows come with low quality inserts (just my opinion) but as long as the cover zips off I can add in my own down inserts to get that karate chopped pillow look I love. I prefer down pillow inserts since they “chop” so well and I get them on Amazon.

Picking a Pillow Insert

As I mentioned I prefer down pillow inserts because of they way they squish down (unlike the firm/formed inserts the Target pillows usually come with). I like to buy my inserts 2″ larger than my pillow cover to keep the pillow looking full. So with a 20″ square pillow cover I would purchase a 22″ square down insert. Most retailers sell their inserts in a wide variety of common throw pillow sizes.

Tips for Pairing Pillow Covers

I like to group my sofa throw pillows in groups of 2-3 pillows in different shapes and sizes. This adds dimension and the patterns or textures should enhance one another. In order to enhance the pairings and not be too busy I usually opt for at least one solid (or very minimal pattern) pillow cover in the group. With solid pillow covers I will often take that opportunity to add in a subtle texture (think linen or boucle) for interest.


I already have a wide collection of down pillow inserts in our linen closet that I’ve gathered from Amazon over the years. You can shop down inserts on Amazon here.

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