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In this post: Throw pillows are my favorite home decor accessory. But there’s a secret to keeping them fluffy, especially if you have kids, pets, and a hubby who like to squish them. 

Because throw pillows are so versatile – the color and patterns are pretty much endless and they’re so cozy – they are my favorite home decor accessory. But how do you keep throw pillows fluffy when everyone in your house, including the kids, the dog, and the hubby, seems intent on throwing them, sitting on them, squishing them, or otherwise abusing them? There’s one little secret…

how to keep throw pillows fluffy

The Secret to Fluffy Throw Pillows

The secret to perpetually fluffy throw pillows is: feather inserts. 

Yup. It’s that simple. 

Throw pillows with foam inserts tend to get and stay smushed with even minimal use. 

throw pillows on couch feb 21

But I’m a big believer in actually USING our throw pillows and making my family feel comfortable in our home.

  • Hubby naps on the couch all the time (hazards of getting up really early for work).
  • The wee lap dog thinks the pillows are his and squishes them down every chance he gets.
  • And the kids, well, they sit on the pillows and throw them on the floor if they’re in the way. 

So foam inserts just don’t work for us.

Hence, my undying love of feather inserts for all the throw pillows. And my two throw pillow rules. I never buy a throw pillow:

  1. That has a foam insert unless it has a zipper so I can replace the foam insert with a feather one.
  2. When I can just buy a throw pillow COVER. 

These two rules keep our pillows all nice and fluffy. They also save our storage space, since I love throw pillow covers so much and tend to collect MANY!

Tips for Buying Feather Inserts

1. Remember, they’re an investment

I love to save money on all things home. But some things are an investment.

A bed, a couch, pots, and pans.

And throw pillow inserts – because you want them to stand the test of time. 

You want to look for feather and down inserts that can be washed and that don’t “shed” too much.

For the longest time, we bought the Ikea FJÄDRAR inserts. And we still have plenty of them. But they seem to shed tiny feathers like that’s their job. 

Look for slightly more expensive versions (see below for where to buy feather inserts). 

2. Vary the Sizes & Shapes

Again with our Ikea inserts, we had all the same size square throw pillow for years. Like right up until recently. It was easy – one size of insert, always buy the same size cover. 

new couch large

But variety is the spice of life and if you look at any photos of really nice rooms on Instagram or Pinterest, you’ll notice that there are different sizes and shapes of throw pillows. And that makes them look like they were put together by a designer (even if they weren’t) and much more interesting. 

Sometimes less is more, but you gauge how many pillows you like in your space.

Generally speaking on beds, couches, and benches, you’ll want to start with the larger pillows on the outside or in the back and then move down in size from there. A good formula for a sofa would be to put 3-5 pillows in each corner in the following sizes and shapes:

  • One 26-inch by 26-inch square
  • One 22-inch by 22-inch square
  • One 20-inch by 20-inch square, AND/OR
  • One 18-inch by 18-inch square
  • One lumbar

Obviously, for beds, you’d want 2-3 bigger (also called Euro) pillows in the back, your regular bed pillows, and then a couple of smaller square pillows and a lumbar pillow in front.

Tip: Lumbar pillows really help to break up the monotony of all the square shapes. 

3. Go Up a Size

Because feather and down inserts can get so squished and then puff back up, it’s so much lovelier to go up a size on your inserts. 

What I mean by that is, for example, for a 20-inch by 20-inch throw pillow cover, use a 22-inch by 22-inch insert. 

Your pillows will just look and feel more full and luxurious, instead of empty and limp. 

Where to Buy Feather Inserts

Like I mentioned I previously bought (and still have and use) the Ikea feather inserts for medium-sized square pillows. 

But recently, I’ve been shopping around for some other sizes and shapes of inserts and came across some really nice ones on Amazon and H&M


Feather and down inserts for throw pillows are just a nicer all-around option, one that will last for years to come. 

how to keep throw pillows fluffy and save storage space

Do you love throw pillows as much as I do? Do you insist on feather or down inserts?