8 Considerations When Choosing The Right Scatter Cushions For Your Sofa

Throw cushions, scatter cushions, decorative pillows….whichever term you choose, we just love them! 

Scatter cushions have a transformative power and the ability to tie the whole room together. They not only bring texture and warmth to your home, but they make a sofa so much more comfortable. 

Moreover, you can have fun with these cushions – changing them up with the seasons, playing with different patterns and textures, and switching them around to give your room an instant refresh. But with so many scatter cushions available, in all sizes, colours and prints, it’s hard to know where to start. Not anymore; here’s how to choose the right scatter for your sofa. 

Filling Material

Though not visible, this is arguably the most important part of your cushion and something we think is worth investing in. 

The filling of the cushion determines how much support you get out of it. Moreover, the insert of your cushion really makes the difference in how it will ultimately look. Believe you me, not all cushion inserts are created equal. Choose a cheap cushion filling and you’ll end up with limp, lifeless cushions. However, pay a little more and your pillows will be plump and attractive. 

If you want a soft cushion that provides some support, then you can go for a foam filling; there are varying levels of firmness that you can choose due to the different densities of foam out there. 

Feather and down inserts have a soft plumpness to them. However, they will require serious fluffing on your part every time someone uses them. You can also opt for hollow fibre inserts, which is a man made material similar in density to feather pillow and a good alternative for allergy sufferers. If you suffer from allergies, it’s a good idea to steer clear of feather pillows altogether, as they can trigger allergic symptoms.

Different Colours, Different Seasons

Here at IDEAL, we’re big believers in the power of colour psychology and the impact that the shades we surround ourselves with can have on our mood and emotions. As such, ask yourself what you want the colours of your cushions to say. 

Do you want to pick shades that inspire creativity and wellness? When it comes to designing a space that promotes wellness, nature is a crucial element – combining a white throw paired with cushions in earthy colour in greens and terracotta accents can remind us of the outdoors, for instance. Or perhaps you want to add joyful colours to your room? Then consider orange, which is a stimulating colour that has a vibrant look and ‘feel’.  

Though you do, of course, want to choose cushions that complement your colour scheme, remember that you can change your cushion covers with the seasons. When the temperature drops, we love adding cushion covers in jewel-toned colours, the same hues as gorgeous gemstones, to our sofa; think sapphire blue, ruby red, amethyst purple, citrine yellow, and emerald green. When it’s autumn, cushions in autumnal hues can bring the requisite warmth to your sofa.

If you’d like, you can even switch up the style of your entire sofa with a similarly warm, loose sofa cover. Red, for instance, is particularly apt for autumn – as in, right now – as you can effortlessly transition into the festive season without having to once again change colour. We can’t argue with that.

And since autumn is all about layering, consider adding more cushions to your sofa than you would have in summer. Which brings us to our next point…. 

Read: 7 IDEAL ways to add a touch of seasonality to your home

Size Does Matter

If your cushion insert doesn’t fit the cushion cover properly, it will look cheap and oh-so-flat. Our rule for buying cushions is always to go a size bigger than the cushion cover. 

We’re also fans of getting a variety of sizes to add depth to your sofa. Of course, you don’t want to be overcrowded to the point that you cannot comfortably sit down. If you have a small sofa, for example, then you can get one main back cushion that is relatively big in size, and two smaller cushions to create dimension. If you have a really big sofa, then you can get two big cushions and an assortment of smaller cushions to place around them. 

Read: 5 IDEAL tips on how to use a bold colour scheme in your living room

Feel The Fabric

There’s nothing worse than settling down on a sofa, ready to relax the evening away and coming across an itchy, scratchy cushion. Actually, there are loads of things worse, but you get the picture. 

The fabric of your cushion requires some serious thought, both for your own comfort and any guests you’re receiving. Avoid fabric that can be easily stained or fabric that might cause irritation to those sitting on the sofa. 

Cotton and linen are hardy and washable – good quality versions of this material can also be pleasantly light to the touch so are great for summer time. Here at IDEAL, we’re fans of silk and velvet, which can give a luxury look to your sofa. 

Most importantly, the material the fabric is made out of should not clash with your sofa’s fabric. Try looking for a durable material that has some texture to bring some depth to your décor.

Say It With Shapes

Cushions come in all shapes and sizes. There’s triangular, tubular, box shape, round, rectangular and perfectly square, as well as a whole host of random shapes we don’t have time to list here! 

You can play around with different shapes of cushions to get the perfect-looking arrangement. Mainly, the shapes you choose will depend on how many cushions you want on your sofa and how you want them to be arranged. 

People often go for a mix of square and oblong designs to provide a contrast. If you are having issues visualising how the different shapes can work together, you can sketch it out on a piece of paper, or simply look online for inspiration to help you.


If you’re someone who’s always played it safe when it comes to your interiors, then scatter cushions offer the opportunity to be bold and make a change.  

Indeed, introducing patterned cushions can really help change the whole dynamic of your interiors. Experiment with a number of patterned and plain cushions together to create a cohesive look for best results. 

If your sofa is already patterned, don’t be afraid of clashing prints. When done right, mismatched prints can look extremely stylish, and are a key interior design trend of 2023.  

We think that the best way to find the right pattern for your sofa is to focus on colour rather than pattern, as this will help to ensure your new pattern fits into the existing décor style.

If you’re struggling to find two clashing prints that pair well together, then consider erring on the side of caution and opt for plain, unpatterned cushions. 

Number Of Cushions

As mentioned above, you don’t want to overcrowd your sofa with cushions. There should be a certain balance between having as many cushions as possible needed to create a cozy feel without making your sofa cluttered. 

You can simply decide how many cushions are needed based on the size of your sofa, as well as the sizes of your cushions. This is entirely a personal choice. Some people enjoy having a ton of cushions to fall onto when slumping themselves on a sofa, while others get annoyed by having cushions digging into their backs when sitting down. Your house, your rules, right?


The final factor that you should consider when looking for cushions for your sofa is how functional they are; more specifically, how functional you want them to be. Often, people want cushions for purely decorative reasons. Therefore, they will focus mainly on the design aspect, including size, patterns, and colours. However, if you want more functionality out of your cushions, for example, you want cushions that support a person while they are sitting, or you want to use them as pillows to cuddle up with, you need to pay close attention to the material and durability.

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