My mom has always decorated for every season. One of the things she brings out are throw pillows, green for summer, brown for fall, red for winter and black & white for spring. This is a really easy and inexpensive way to decorate for each season. If you don’t have a lot of room, it’s better to make or buy decorative pillow covers that can be removed. You don’t have to store the pillows, just the covers.
I’m in the process of making a bunch of pillow covers that are removable and washable. You can read more about how to make envelope pillow covers here. I needed more pillows to go inside my new covers. I’ve had the really cheap foam pillows like the ones in a Home Depot pillow, but I wanted a few more down pillow inserts.
I’m sharing my finds as I shopped for down throw pillows on a budget and how to make sure you get the right size so you can get that “karate chop” pillow.
What Size Insert/Pillow Should I Buy?
When you’re buying throw pillows you should always size up. If you buy a 20″ insert to go in a 20″ pillow cover you don’t get that overstuffed look that you see in magazines. Here’s a size guide:
- For a 16″ pillow cover use a 17″ insert
- For an 18″ pillow cover use a 20″ insert
- For a 20″ pillow cover use a 22″ insert
- For a 22″ pillow use a 24″ insert
As you can see, when the covers start to get larger, the insert gets even larger.
Best 20×20 Pillow Insert
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You can buy down inserts in lots of places. Here are the best deals I found for the 20×20 size in 2021.
- Pottery Barn is a great place to get down and a 20″ square down insert is $18. It’s hard to believe there is a less expensive source than Amazon for once. There are 16 different size options and the feathers are duck. (Here is this insert in use).
- Crate & Barrel has even better prices. The 20″ square pillows is only $15. They have 4 different size options and the filling is duck feather.
- Target sells a 2-pack of 20″ down pillows for $55
- Joann has a down 20″ feather pillow for $22.
Best Pillow Covers on Amazon
There are lots of choices on Amazon. ComfyDown pillows are the brand that I’ve tried, but they are more expensive than Pottery Barn. They have a thick 233 100% cotton thread count covers to prevent feathers from breaking through. They’re even made in the USA. These pillows are high quality (but truth be told I like the Pottery Barn pillows better for the money.
Starrybedding also has cotton cover and lower prices. You can get a two pack for almost the same price as a single ComfyDown.
You’ve seen the karate chop pillow in every pillow ad. How do they achieve this look and make it stay? They use real down and not foam or the down-like pillows.
Which Is Better Goose Or Duck Feathers?
Goose feathers are softer than duck feathers and goose down clusters are larger. If softness is your main goal, make sure you search for goose. Goose down is more frequently used in bed pillows vs throw pillows.
How to Solve the Problem of Feathers Poking Through?
The downside of a “down” pillow, no pun intended, is that the feathers often poke through. There are brands like “Comfydown” that advertise a thicker thread count fabric that prevents the feathers from poking through.
Another technique that has worked for me is to double bag the pillows or leave last season’s cover underneath the current season. With two layers of fabric, there’s a lot less poking.
Next time you are in the market to upgrade your throw pillows consider down pillow inserts. They really are a lot more comfortable, not that expensive and they look better.