Pillow Inserts 101 | A Guide to Inserts for Luxury Decorative Pillow Covers | Arianna Belle Blog
Pillows shown on sofa: Temple Garden Sky, Don't Fret Sky

The right insert or filler is essential to a great looking decorative pillow.  Read on to learn everything you need to know to choose the right one for you. 

What size insert should I get for my pillow cover?

  • We generally recommend using inserts that are 2" larger all around than your finished pillow size.  For example if you have an 18x18 pillow cover, you'll want to use a 20x20 insert. This will ensure that your pillow is filled out fully and looks luxuriously plump. If the insert is too small, the pillow cover will look saggy. The exceptions to this rule:
    • pillows smaller than 18x18 and most lumbars- these work best with inserts that are 1" larger (instead of 2" larger)
    • extra large pillows (24x24 and larger)- these will also work well with inserts that are 3" larger than the cover
    • extra dense inserts - this is rare - they're usually not dense enough, however sometimes small rectangular inserts (such as 10x18) are full enough to use with covers of the same size (for example a 10x18 insert for a 10x18 cover)
    • see our Insert Size Guide for size specific recommendations

What fill type should I get?

We recommend going with feather down inserts. Feathers provide firmness, weight, body and support, while down provides softness and comfort.

What specific feather/down ratio should I choose?

A higher percentage of down tends to be considered more luxurious, however depending on the use of the pillow, you'll want to be careful not to go too high on the down percentage as it will make it overly soft and unsupportive. Below is a summary of the pros and cons of the various ratios: 

  • 95% feather / 5% down (95/5)
    • standard feather-down ratio for decorative throw pillows
    • lowest priced and most readily available feather-down blend option
    • firm density
    • due to the small percentage of down, some people may find it to be too stiff
    • due to the majority of the fill being feathers, can sometimes be a bit prickly since the quills are more likely to poke out
  • 90% feather / 10% down (90/10)
    • an ideal feather-down ratio for designer pillows
    • not too soft and not too firm - provides support and flexibility
    • softer and more luxurious than 95/5 inserts due to higher down percentage
    • firmer than 75/25 inserts
  • 75% feather / 25% down (75/25) or 80% feather / 20% down (80/20)
    • considered a luxury option for designer pillows
    • softer than the 90/10 pillows
    • usually higher priced due to higher percentage of down
    • quills unlikely to poke out due to higher percentage of down
    • not as readily available as other options
  • 50% feather / 50% down (50/50)
    • soft-density and lightweight
    • doesn't provide as much support as inserts with a higher percentage of feathers
    • not ideal for decorative pillows as it will require constant fluffing to keep it from looking flat
    • better suited for pillows that are used for sleeping

    What kind of insert should I get if I want to "karate chop" my pillows?

    • Feather down pillow fillers will hold a chop. 

    Why are some inserts pricier than others?

    • The majority of inserts you'll see available for sale are 95% feather and 5% down and these will be lower priced because the cost of feathers is lower than the cost of down.  As the percentage of down increases, so will the price of the insert.  
    • Other things that affect price include: where the insert is made, where the feather/down is sourced from, and how full the insert is. 

    What if I'm allergic to down or feathers?

    • If allergies are a concern, good quality alternative down inserts that mimic the softness of down are the next best thing. 

    Where's the best place to buy inserts for my designer pillow covers?

    • As a small business that specializes in luxury pillow covers, we've researched, tried and tested inserts from several different companies. Click here for a list of our current designer-approved favorites. 

    What's the easiest way to get the insert inside the pillow cover?

    • Watch the video below for a quick tutorial on how to quickly and easily stuff an insert into a pillow cover. 

    Pillow cover shown in video is our Leopard Velvet