Well, there’s no easy answer to that one. Your partner may think two, you may think ten – but perhaps somewhere in between can work for both of you.
First, it’s important to distinguish between pillows on which you’ll rest your sleepy head; ones that you’ll use to prop yourself up comfortably when you want to do things like read; and pillows that have no obvious use whatsoever but just look pretty when they are arranged just so across your bed.
Types of bed pillows
A well-dressed bed could well have all three types. Standard pillows are the usual choice for sleep, while larger, square European ones are perfect for sitting handsomely up against the bedhead and bringing into play when there’s a good book to hand. There could also be a few smaller squares or bolsters to serve as decorative accents.
For pillows you’ll actually use for sleep, the number and choice is largely a matter of personal preference and what works to help you to the best possible slumber. Pillows come in a range of fillings from inexpensive but short-lived polyester, through mid-range feather and down, to latex and memory foam, which are pricier but long-lasting. All have a different feel.
Then, some say that you’re better off sleeping with no pillows at all, while others think it’s over to you to decide whether to have a thin pillow or a fat one. It might help your search to hedge your bets and pick one that does double duty, like Koala’s memory foam flippable pillow which has both a low side and a high side to provide a side for softness, and a side for firmness.
Pillow colours and textures
On the style side, a mix of colours, shapes and patterns will give your bed five-star good looks, and it only takes a few minutes to make your bed beautiful. For a chic, hotel-worthy vibe, try balancing two or four standard-sized pillows with a pair of large European ones and a few smaller shapes, and arrange from large to small, starting at the bedhead.
Look for tones that complement the colour of your sheets. Mid-grey or indigo and white are chic combinations and these hues, from the cooler side of the spectrum, are calming. All white is the safest option, but opt for a mix of textures for interest, such as woven or knitted fabrics. A caveat: your sleeping pillows should have a smooth finish to avoid waking up with patterns imprinted on your face. For these, silky fabrics – such as cotton sateen, or Tencel, which is woven from eucalyptus fibre and the material that Koala sheet sets are made from – are a good choice.
So…how many is too many?
So, back to the big question. By the above count, we’re looking at five pillows minimum for your queen bed, more if you double up on ones for sleep, or if you go a little crazy on the decorative versions and you’re happy to have the extras ending up on the floor every night. The perfect number? Only you (and possibly your exasperated partner) can decide…
If you’re looking for the perfect sleeping pillow, look no further! Koala’s Flippable Pillow is firm on one side, soft on the other, and cool throughout. We even give you a 120 night trial with full refund if it’s not right for you!
About the writer
Jane Parbury spent several years devising, crafting and editing the features in Home Beautiful magazine, both in print and online, before making a South Coast sea change and embarking on a freelance career. With wide experience as an editor and content producer for homes and lifestyle publications both in Australia and the UK, she lives and breathes all things interiors.