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Cushion vs Pillow – Settling The Debate

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In every home you will certainly find both pillows and cushions in the living room and bedrooms, most likely as decorative items featured on the sofa or bed. They can be both comforting and beautiful, and are a very effective way of updating your interiors with the changing seasons.


So, cushion vs pillow, what’s the difference? They both serve a similar purpose and are made with the same materials, so it is indeed the function of these pieces that make them so different. 


  • A pillow is defined as:

An item which is stuffed with feathers or other soft materials and used to support the head while sleeping, keeping the spine in a straight position. 

  • A cushion is defined as: 

A stuffed item which is intended as a decorative piece to create accents on furniture, which can also refer to the base seat of a chair or sofa.

What Makes A Good Cushion?

There’s a cushion for every space in your home, although you may want to make your choice based on the decor. The quality of the cushion is also a factor and those made of natural fibres with a feathered filling might last longer than their polyester counterparts. 


If the cushions are intended to bring some colour into the room, these are some good options.

This brightly coloured number is bound to brighten up any room and is perfect for a plain or beige sofa. The filling is 100% feathers, too, so you don’t have to worry about its durability.

This embroidered cushion was designed by Sisse Whitek with bold, block colours to revamp the room. These striking colours are eye-catching without being too loud and will suit a variety of decor, such as a rug or matching lampshades.

Can You Call A Cushion A Pillow?

While the two might be different by definition, in terms of purpose, they both serve to complement the space and provide additional comfort. In America, the term cushion is used for both cushions and pillows, so in many cases they will simply be called cushions. Something to bear in mind while shopping online.

For a change in texture, consider opting for a velvet cushion to add a sense of depth to your room, as it changes in appearance when the light shines or the fabric is brushed a certain way

This cushion could definitely pass as a pillow, with its super soft mongolian sheepskin cover ready to take you to the clouds for a long, relaxing nap.

To add some vibrancy to your furniture, add in a patterned cushion such as this one. This is one clever way to add details to your design without including loud colours or textures.

Patterns can include a range of colours that could potentially tie in with your existing decor, and easily swap rooms when you fancy a change. Hide them behind plain cushions for a more subtle look or place them proudly in the front seat.

Finally, you should feel confident in choosing the right kind of cushions (or pillows!) for your space. These items are easily changeable so it’s hard to go wrong, any addition to your sofas and chairs will be reflected in your overall design.

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