How To Arrange Pillows on King Bed?

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Compared to a queen size, and certainly compared to a twin- or full-size bed a King size bed is WIDE. 76 Inches wide to be precise. This is wonderful for sleeping, especially for couples, as a King mattress gives each half as much space to themselves as they would have on a twin size bed. It can, however, lead to some bedding challenges, including answering the question how to arrange pillows on a King size bed.

The answer here varies. If you make use of pillows that are sized for a King size bed, it’s a little easier but piling on standard size pillows can be more of challenge. And how many pillows should you have on a bed anyway? These, and other issues are just what we are going to examine here.


What are the dimensions of a king-size bed?

A standard king-size bed measures 76 inches wide by 80 inches long. It is the largest standard bed size – 16 inches wider than a queen-size bed and same size as two twin XL mattresses pushed together.

It’s also known as an Eastern bed and is the perfect choice for couples because of the increased surface area making sleep comfortably throughout the night.

Pillow size chart

In the US there are three standard sleeping pillow sizes to choose from, breaking down as follows:

  • Standard (for use on twin or full beds) 20″ tall x 26″ wide
  • Queen – 20″ tall x 30″ wide
  • King – 20″ tall x 36″ wide

These standard measurements are designed to work with the beds they are sized for, but there are some challenges. On a twin size bed, for example, which measures 38 inches wide, it’s almost impossible to comfortably set two pillows alongside each other. And if you have a California King bed, and not a standard Eastern King, four pillows may look somewhat cramped, as a California King is four inches slimmer than a King size (a King is 76 inches wide, while a California King is 72 inches wide).

In addition to sleeping pillows lots of people like to make use of throw or accent pillows as well. These come in lots of shapes and sizes these days, but there are some standard measurements that manufacturers might list.

These include:

  • Euro Pillow: 25″ x 25″
  • Large deco pillow: 20″ x 20″
  • Medium deco pillow: 18″ x 18″
  • Small deco pillow: 16″ x 16″
  • Boudoir pillow: 12″ x 16″
  • Neckroll pillow: 6.5″ x 13″

Here’s a visual pillow chart that shows the standard pillow sizes as well as some standard sizes for decorative pillows.

Chart showing sizes for decorative pillows

As mentioned, these decorative pillow sizes are a guide only, as lots of the best throw pillow options do not conform to these standard sizes or are completely different shapes altogether. When shopping – especially on sites like Etsy, where many of the offerings are handmade – check the stated measurements before you buy to make sure they are going to suit your needs.

How many pillows go on a king size bed?

In terms of the number of pillows that you would need as a minimum, King size pillows are sized so that two fit alongside one another comfortably, with a few inches to spare between them when laid flat. Not everyone is happy with just one pillow though, so choose to stack two – or more – sleeping pillows for extra comfort or head support.

In addition to sleeping pillows a large bed like a King size offers plenty of room for throw pillows.

Decorative pillows are, as their name suggests, not for sleeping on, but rather for ‘dressing’ your bed when you are not occupying it, and for enhancing your bedroom’s overall decor scheme.

A king size bed showing pillow arrangement bedroom decor
Coordinate pillows with your headboard, mattress and room decor

Here, technically you could fit up a dozen small pillows on a king size bed, but that may be ill-advised as it’s likely to end up looking cluttered and messy. It will also mean that making your bed properly in the morning becomes a more time-consuming task than most people have the patience for!

How to arrange pillows on your king size bed?

As it’s your bed, and your bedroom decor scheme, you can arrange pillows on your King size bed in any way you like. If you are hoping to use them to elevate your home decor well as enhance your sleep then we do have some great suggestions and ideas for you we’d like to share here.

Side by Side With Pillow Shams

If you want to keep things as simple as possible, making use of two king size pillows laid side by side, but covered by pillow shams is an excellent way to dress your bed with a minimum of fuss without things looking too plain or boring.

This country inspired pattern would be just right for a bedroom that has a more romantic, cozy feel.

Here is the same arrangement, but in a more understated, Bohemian style that would suit a unisex space with a more minimalist vibe:

Double Layered King Pillows

Some people just like to have more than one pillow to make use of at bedtime. Some like to be able to prop themselves up in bed to read, or for those with breathing issues doing so can be something of a must.

As they are so large however making use of four king size pillows on one bed can seem like it might be a bit of a challenge. It can be done however as these design ideas illustrate perfectly.


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This simple, but elegant combination of pillows in a simple gray and white stripes is a great way to add extra pillows to the bed without overwhelming it while creating a very pulled together, chic décor look that is also very easy to maintain.

Going All Out

Once you start to add throw pillows to your King size bed in addition to standard sleeping pillows you can create bedding looks that are quite spectacular. In fact, almost anything goes.

You’ll need to allow a few extra minutes in the morning to make your bed, but the extra effort may very well be worth it, as these design images showcase.

Fabulous Fleece

We love the use of a fleecy body pillow and textured décor pillows to add volume and visual interest to this bed, as well as warm, cozy colors that will be as appropriate in the spring as they are in the fall.

Easy Luxury

This pile of pillows creates a luxurious look that would match that of any fancy hotel and it’s easier than you might thing to achieve in your own home.

Sleek and Chic

Multiple pillows on a King size bed can be sleek, chic and very modern looking too though, as seen here:


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Tips for choosing decorative pillows

colorful decorative pillows

As you start shopping, you’ll discover that there are huge number of decorative pillows available to choose from.  Here are a few tips to help you choose the ones that will best suit your bedroom and your personal style.

They Don’t Have to Match

Decorative pillows do not have to match one another! In fact, this is the one time you can mix and match bold patterns and contrasting colors to great effect. If you are going to go bold with pillows keep bedding neutral to avoid overwhelming your senses at bedtime with too much going on.

Play with Textures

Decorative pillows can also be a great way to add texture to your bedroom décor. Chunky cable knits, tassels and quilting can all be very effective.

Don’t Overload Your Bed

Multiple pillows can look great on a king bed but resist the temptation to go overboard and cover half of the bed with them!

Change Things Up Once in a While

Changing your bedding is an easy way to give your bedroom a quick makeover, especially when the seasons change. Consider designating summer pillows, fall pillows, holiday pillows etc so you can swap them out for a fresh new bedroom décor look in minutes!

How do you arrange the pillows on your bed? What is your favorite pillow decor layout?

Check out our other bedroom decor articles:

15 Bed on the floor ideas you’ve got to see

What size rug do I need for a king size bed?

14 Luxury Calvin Klein bedding sets to check out