What is a Throw Pillow?

January 24, 2022 | Casper Editorial Team

In any home, it’s the little details and special touches that make the biggest difference—handmade quilts, seasonal candles, and, perhaps most popular, throw pillows. These attractive cushions add coziness, personality, and seat support to furniture. But what is a throw pillow exactly? 

Basically, a throw pillow is a decorative pillow with a cushion-like texture. From couches to beds, you can place them solo or grouped on any piece of seatable furniture. 

Want to take your home from content to cozy? Read our guide below to discover everything you need to know about throw pillows for your couch, bed, or elsewhere. 

Made for decor and extra cozy comfort, throw pillows are the perfect addition to your bedroom or living room. Casper’s selection of throw pillows come in a size and color you love.

What’s the Purpose of a Throw Pillow?

Throw pillows are mostly for your visual pleasure. But that doesn’t mean they’re all beauty, no brawn. These stylish cushions bring a number of uses to the table (or couch). If you’re wondering what are throw pillows for around the home, here’s a few uses:

  • Decor – First and foremost, throw pillows bring style to the party. With so many color, pattern, and texture options, you’re guaranteed to find a pillow that matches your style. Say it all with a colorful sham! Or for versatility, pick a minimalist chic pattern like our Casper color-block designs. Our elegant pillows fit neatly into any home decor. 
  • Body support – Turn your bed into a pillow palace with a few cushy throws. A lumbar pillow and bolster pillow can make any furniture a supportive seat, while a square throw pillow adds just enough structure for a comfy couch.
  • Filling space – Pillows convey a sense of comfort, so even just one instantly boosts a bedroom or living room’s coziness. Fill out the negative space on your bed, couch, or armchairs with a welcoming throw pillow. 

How Are Throw Pillows Different?

On the outside, throw pillows might look similar to their bed pillow cousins, but in reality, they have a few key differences.

Unlike standard sleeping pillows, throw pillows are mostly there for decorative purposes. They have a much wider range of designs, usually built to maintain their shape—i.e., firmer materials and less squishiness. 

For a clearer picture, let’s explore what exactly makes throw pillows different. 


A throw pillow consists of two parts—the inner insert and the outer sham. 

Bed pillows have a similar design, but the sham (or pillowcase) typically has an open entrance for easy removal. Throw pillow shams usually zip or fully encase the insert for extra durability. Additionally, throw pillow shams don’t have to feel silky-soft for sleeping heads. You can choose from a variety of textured sham materials1, such as:

  • Cotton
  • Burlap
  • Velvet
  • Satin
  • Leather
  • Fleece
  • Knit wool

Throw pillow inserts also tend to have different materials than bed pillows. Your typical bed pillow has breathable and cushy fillings—feathers, down, memory foam, or other similar materials. Meanwhile, throw pillows need denser inserts to hold their distinct shape and reduce fluffing time. 2Common insert materials for these types of pillows include:

  • Fiberfill 
  • Polyester
  • Down
  • Alternative Down


Here’s where throw pillows get fun. While bed pillows stick to the same regulated pillow size—standard, super standard, queen, and king—throw pillows offer a world of different shapes! Depending on your furniture, sitting needs, and style, you can choose from these popular throw pillow sizes/shapes:

  • Square – Uniform and versatile, square throw pillows are the easiest to layer. Standard sizes for this shape usually fall between 18”x18” to 24”x24”, but you can find many different sizes outside that range. Place a single square on an armchair or fill a queen bed with some matching pairs.
  • Bolster – Like an enlarged cylinder, bolsters are a unique and supportive pillow shape. They mix and match well with other shapes and provide decent backseats. You’ll find them in different sizes, from 7” diameters by 20” length and up. 
  • Round – Simple and chic, round pillows are quite stylish. They often function as a decorative throw pillow more than they do for support. They also work well as solo centerpieces. Round sizes usually measure up to square pillow dimensions, ranging from 16” to 24” in diameter.
  • Lumbar – Throw pillows aren’t just pure style. They can also lend some serious support—especially lumbar pillows. These rectangular cushions range from petite 10” x 20” to expansive 18” x 82”. To give you some extra inches of support, we created a Lumbar Throw PIllow that measures 12” x 40”—plenty of room for one or even two backs to rest.
  • Other – Stars? Diamonds? Fish? Throw pillow shape options are truly endless. While certain shapes might fit best on a kid’s bed, don’t be afraid to step out of the box. A distinct pillow shape could add that extra sparkle to your sofa.

Find Your Perfect Throw Pillow with Casper

Your home shouldn’t just feel cozy—it should also feel like you. With their fun patterns and distinct shapes, throw pillows instantly set a signature style across all furniture. And with Casper’s quality designs, your throw pillows will deliver looks and lift. 

Who says you have to suffer for fashion? Find your perfect look and rest in snuggly style with our chic throw pillows, throw blankets, and other Casper bedding accessories. 


  1. Home Decor Bliss. Types of Throw Pillows. https://homedecorbliss.com/types-of-throw-pillows/
  2. Caroline On Design. Choosing and Styling Throw Pillows. https://carolineondesign.com/choosing-and-styling-throw-pillows/