Pillow & insert sizing tips
In most cases, for square pillows, I recommend 20x20 or larger pillow covers. For lumbar pillow covers, I typically recommend 11x22 or larger. My personal favorite sizes are 14x20 lumbars and 22x22 squares, but the perfect size for your needs is dependent on scale, location, and other factors.
Pillow covers need a slightly larger insert for a full look. (No wimpy pillows ever!) Here are suggested combinations for pillow cover and insert sizes:
- 18x18 cover --> 20x20 insert
- 20x20 cover --> 22x22 insert
- 22x22 cover --> 24x24 insert
- 24x24 cover --> 26x26 insert
- 26x26 cover --> 30x30 insert
- 11x22 cover --> 12x24 insert
- 13x18 cover --> 14x20 insert
- 13x33 cover --> 14x36 insert
- Use in front of two bed pillows or euros on a queen bed, or across the middle of a settee
- Available at ComfyDown, West Elm, Garnet Hill
- 14x20 cover --> 15x22 insert
- Perfect for small-to-medium lounge chairs or as an accent on a sofa
- Available at Crate & Barrel
- 15x24 cover --> 16x26 insert
- Use on a twin bed, or as an accent on a large lounge chair or a sofa
- Available at ComfyDown, Pottery Barn
- 16x44 cover --> 20x52 body pillow insert
- Use when you want the pillow to be the star on your queen or king bed
- Lots of impact without the fuss of lots of pillows on the bed
- Available at Target (typically I don't recommend polyester inserts, but this one smooshes down nicely to use as a pillow for looking pretty, rather than leaning against)
Pillow covers are measured from inside seam to inside seam. Once they are stuffed with an insert, the finished dimensions will usually be an inch or two smaller.
BUYING PILLOW INSERTS
In most cases, I recommend down/feather inserts. The higher the down percentage, the softer they are. The lower the down percentage, the firmer they are. Faux down is the next best, if you have allergy issues.
My favorite retail insert company is ComfyDown. Their inserts are nice and plump, whereas many other companies under-fill their inserts, leaving your pillows looking limp, even after you size up. ComfyDown's inserts can help make your pillows look their best! (And, no, they don't know I'm singing their praises.)
If using indoor-outdoor performance pillows outside, be sure to use inserts rated for outdoor use, so they resist mold and mildew. You can find outdoor inserts at Williams Sonoma Home, Serena & Lily, Ballard Designs, and Frontgate.
You can also simply google the size insert you need, and lots of additional sources will pop up. PSA: Inserts at RH are not measured true-to-size, so avoid those.
If your insert has lumps and bumps or is flat and lifeless, please replace it!