Our Favorite Places to Shop for Pet-Friendly Throw Pillows

A few months ago, we shared the tips and tricks we do every day around our home to make this a happy, healthy pet friendly place to live. It’s no secret that Jack, CC and Libby rule this roost, and we try our best to set them up for success. Nothing in our home is too precious, and we truly think you can have a house full of furry loved ones and still surround yourself with things you love, too!

After sharing that initial post, the majority of questions we receive have to do with our decor buying habits in a household run by pets. More specifically, where do we shop for things that can take abuse on the daily and still look good months and years down the road? Recently, a reader came to us with this question:

Like you, we limit ourselves to pillow covers that can be removed and washed, which are EXTREMELY hard to find. Any chance you could provide a source list of pillow covers you’ve found through the years that can be thrown in the washer? Also, do you wash even the pillow covers that aren’t technically machine-washable? Do you throw caution to the wind and wash even “spot clean only” covers? – Cindy

We receive comments and emails like this quite often, so we thought it was time to share our favorite places to shop for removable, washable throw pillows with everyone all at once! Like Cindy, we used to be frustrated by pillow shopping (maybe I should take Scott out of that equation – ha!), as it seemed that inexpensive ones had non-removable covers, and the more expensive ones were made from wool and/or silk. Over the years, we’ve found ourselves shopping again and again at a handful of shops that are always guaranteed to have a wide selection for the hard-wearing home, and I’ll be honest, as long as something is made from cotton, linen or velvet, we do throw caution to the wind and throw them in our washing machine. (Yes, even if they claim to be ‘spot clean’ or ‘dry clean only.’) The verdict? Our pillow cases typically survive longer than I love the patterns themselves, so I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet to set your machine to the delicate cycle and wash away.

Below, we’ve rounded up all the places where we look for pillows (as well as almost 50 favorite pieces!), in almost the exact order listed. Scott has a strict one pillow in one pillow out rule, which I mostly stick to. (Hey, it’s hard being a pillow addict!) As a compromise, I do my best to try and purchase covers only, which are much easier to rotate and store away. In the case that a cover can’t be purchased without a form, I’ll keep the new form and donate the oldest.

One last thing to keep in mind: the ceilings in our main living spaces are close to 10′ tall, and as a result, we’ve found that pillows less than 18″ look too small in the room. As a result, we’re mindful to look for pillows that are typically 18-20″, if not upwards of 23-24″, and then we layer away for an extra cozy look.

Alright, enough chit chat, let’s shop!

Crate & Barrel

Our favorite pillows from Crate & Barrel are, hands down, the velvet guys. They’re incredibly soft, wash (and dry!) really, really well, and they look brand new after having them for almost a year and at least 10 washings. In-between washings, I’ll run a damp microfiber cloth over the fabric to pick up all the stray pet hair. Many of the styles below also come in multiple sizes and colors!

1) Brenner Fringe, $50 | 2) Brenner Velvet (Indigo), $45 | 3) Tess, $50 | 4) Carmine, $50 | 5)  Linden, $22 (cover only) | 6) Brenner Velvet (Leaf Green), $36

CB2

CB2 is comparable to Crate & Barrel in quality and prices, but with options that lean a little more bold, less traditional. I always joke that CB2 is my ‘happy place,’ and we often pop by in person whenever we’re near our Chicago store on North Ave – even if just to gather ideas and inspiration. Tip: In-store, you can ask to purchase just the cover, and in doing so, you’ll save an easy  $10-15 off the top.

1) Stripe Denim, $30 | 2) Forma, $45 | 3) Jersey Interknit, $80 | 4) Network, $30 | 5) Xbase, $50 | 6) Pata, $40

H&M

I enjoy taking a look at H&M‘s home goods selection for their basics. They have a colorful selection of cotton canvas and linen pillows, all of which are incredibly inexpensive and great for throwing into the mix! Their patterned pillows keep getting better and better, too.

1) Washed Linen, $10 | 2) Patterned, $6 | 3) Cotton Canvas, $5 | 4) Jacquard Weave, $18 | 5) Quilted Velvet, $18 | 6) Slub Weave, $13 

IKEA

We can’t take a stroll through IKEA without stopping through their textiles department. Also good for basics, although if you’re willing to take risks, their BOKARV pillows are adorable (albeit slightly scratchy). It’s also where we pick up large 24″ pillow forms to use as dog beds!

1) Vitfjaril, $5 | 2) Smanate (also on Amazon), $6 | 3) Remvallen, $15 | 4) Stockholm, $15 | 5) Tveblad, $17 | 6) Riddarfjaril, $12

Etsy

Does it take more patience to seek out the perfect pillow on Etsy? Absolutely. But once you’ve nailed down a few favorite sellers, it’s easy enough to pop by their shop every now and then to see what’s new. Each of the items listed below come from great sellers with an expansive variety.

1) Nina, $35 | 2) Faded Blue Batik, $78 | 3) Pom Pom, $32 | 4) Black and Cream, $45+ | 5) French Provencal, $30+ | 6) Cobalt Blue Stripe, $40

Urban Outfitters

While I haven’t been able to find clothing at Urban Outfitters in years, they’ve been killing it in the home department! So. Many. Cute. Things. A lot of their pillows aren’t the most washable (there’s a lot of detailed embroidery to be found!), but there’s still some gems that are great for mixing and matching.

1) Velvet, $49 (or 2 for $79) | 2) Sherpa Fleece, $49 (or 2 for $79) | 3) Avery Tassel, $39 (or 2 for $69) | 4) Velvet Body, $69 | 5) Embroidered Eye, $29

West Elm

We might have the least amount of luck at West Elm, but if you dig deep enough, there are still some pretty adorable pet-friendly options! In our experience, a lot of their pillows throw in a touch of silk or wool, so it can be hit or miss.

1) Pleated, $30 | 2) Dusen Dusen, $39 | 3) Velvet Applique, $49 | 4) Embroidered Collage, $23 | 5) Allover Crosshatch, $50 | 6) Macrame, $31

Wayfair / All Modern

Similar to Etsy, big shopping sites like Wayfair and All Modern take a bit of patience to sift through. The thing I like about these one-stop-shops is that you can easily set search filters. For pillows, I like to check off ‘cotton’, ‘cotton blend’, ‘linen’ and ‘velvet’. (Have you sensed a theme?) There’s even an option to search by ‘machine washable’! Yes, please.

1) Northampton, $51 | 2) Chatfield Pintucked, $41 | 3) Hour Glass, $37 | 4) Stinson Line, $98 | 5) Indoor Outdoor, $79

For all the pet lovers out there (or those with sticky kids’ fingers, too!), do you have any other favorite places to look? Local craft fairs definitely deserve a spot above, as well as hometown boutiques and vintage shops. And for all of you that can make a mean pillow on your sewing machine, can we be friends?

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  • Ryan - July 13, 2017 - 7:46 AM

    I love this post from you all! I am the opposite of you in that I hate buying throw pillows for myself, mostly because I know my black lab (Dugan) has a knack for making my pillows look less than glamorous in no time. This is very helpful and it looks like I’ll be doing some shopping!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 13, 2017 - 10:26 AM

      Libby makes little beds from every one of our pillows – it’s a daily struggle (but also really cute when we see every pillow on the couch with a perfect nest)!ReplyCancel

  • anna - July 13, 2017 - 1:09 PM

    Hi Kim! Such a helpful post! I was just coming over here to ask you for advice about buying used furniture, in Chicago in particular – do you have any ideas? We are looking for a sectional similar to yours, or a sofa similar to yours (ha, I evidently love your style) but can’t afford to pay retail at the minute. Any ideas gratefully received. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 13, 2017 - 1:16 PM

      Hi Anna! Have you checked out the Brown Elephant in Andersonville (or even the one in Lakeview)? They always have such a big furniture selection, but the item might just need reupholstered. Also, Jubilee Furniture in Carol Stream is worth the drive. It’s where we got our blue sofa for $75 and then reupholstered it! They update their blog weekly, but only with their newest inventory. Definitely worth it, as their selection is MASSIVE: http://jubileefurniture.blogspot.com/ReplyCancel

      • Anna - July 14, 2017 - 9:10 AM

        Thanks so much! I haven’t heard of those, will try to check them out soon :)ReplyCancel

  • Steph M. - July 13, 2017 - 1:21 PM

    Love this! I got totally frustrated years ago with the lack of options on affordable, removable and good looking covers that I started making my own. I love many of these!! I can’t wait for our new sofa and chairs so I can add some pillows! My husband is not a fan of them, but me and the kitties loooove them!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah H - July 13, 2017 - 2:21 PM

    Libby has her claws, right? How do your couches still look so amazing? We’ve been able to find rugs that are kitty claw proof but every once in a while they got an itch to pull at the couches. They don’t do it often, but have done it enough that the arms on our couches look terrible now! I’m wondering if we are staring down a life of microsuede couches? Does your fabric hold up better or is libby just not the type to claw the couches? We have two kitties and a dog. One kitty goes for the couches and the other sticks to her cardboard tree we have for them. Our animals have definitely have made our house their home :) Wouldn’t have it any other way, though.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 13, 2017 - 2:27 PM

      The material on our Dryden couch (seen in the first photo) has held up REALLY well to Libby’s claws. Our velvet couch is probably at 95%, but that’s because Maddie like to scratch on just one arm. She did it rarely, but some of the threads have been pulled, although luckily, it’s barely noticeable. We actually really like velvet for that reason; if it has a really tight weave, it’s almost self healing.

      Even still, Libby (and even Maddie) aren’t really scratchers. Libby has razor talons (despite her trims!), and she doesn’t intentionally pull on fabric, but sometimes her claws get stuck. I think we’re lucky that she doesn’t purposely try to destroy anything, otherwise, it would be a different story!ReplyCancel

      • Megan - July 13, 2017 - 4:02 PM

        What fabric did you get on the Dryden couch?ReplyCancel

        • Kim - July 13, 2017 - 4:10 PM

          We have the Diamond FogReplyCancel

          • Hannah h - July 13, 2017 - 7:29 PM

            Super helpful – thank you! I think I just need to do some fabric samples ordering and try the needle trick you mentioned in an earlier post and see what holds up. Good thing they are so cute!

            I never would have thought of velvet!

    • Kim - July 13, 2017 - 9:41 PM

      100% be sure to grab samples! Also, they have swatches you can check out in store and pick up the samples in person as well. We love doing the push pin trick to see what snags and what holds up well. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - July 13, 2017 - 2:39 PM

    I really like the Xbase pillow from CB2 but decided not to purchase it because the item description said “spot clean.” I might try it anyway, since it’s 100% cotton and yours seemed to hold up well to machine washing?

    I recently purchased a couple of machine washable pillow covers and inserts from Pottery Barn. It’s too soon to tell how well they will hold up, though. When I was browsing their site, I noticed that most of their pillow covers are machine washable.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 13, 2017 - 3:00 PM

      We wash our Xbase pillow all the time, and we even pop it in the dryer! It holds up perfectly.ReplyCancel

  • Tori Mistick - July 14, 2017 - 8:21 AM

    Lucy hangs out on the day bed in my office pretty much all day every day, so the pillows on there get a lot of hair. Some are from target and the covers don’t come off so I actually vacuum them every couple of weeks, or if I’m in a rush I run a lint roller over them. But after seeing this post I want to buy all new pillows!! Definitely have a lot of tabs open now!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 14, 2017 - 9:16 AM

      Sadly, it’s the #1 reason we can’t give in to Target pillows! If only they made their covers removable!ReplyCancel

  • Meg - July 14, 2017 - 9:25 AM

    Awesome post! I just got our CB2 xbase pillow cover back from the green cleaners but next time I might try washing it since it is cotton. I’ve just noticed some of the weaving come loose on the edges (which I handsewed to repair) so I’ve wondered how it would hold up in the washing machine. Sounds like you guys have tested those waters! Thx for the great tips.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 14, 2017 - 9:36 AM

      We haven’t needed to make any repairs, so next time I would think your safe to throw it in the delicate cycle! We put ours through the dryer, too.ReplyCancel

  • ellen - July 15, 2017 - 1:40 AM

    Hi, new reader! I have been frustrated by this EXACT search criteria for the past year! My couch has been pillow-less because there are so few washable cover options I feel good about. I tried a wool UO option last year and ended up hand washing in warm/hot water (mistake) and the colors started bleeding. Ugh! Love all these options and am literally about to pull the trigger on some Stitched by Grace NY pillows from your Etsy links. Have you specifically tried washing those covers? The listing says Spot Clean Only, so I’m curious if you’ve personally “vetted” them, or just suspect they’d be safe! Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 16, 2017 - 5:38 PM

      Hi, Ellen, happy to have you! We can’t speak from personal experience, but I have washed similar mudcloth pillows with no issues. I would recommend washing them by themselves the first time or two to prevent any bleed, but most sellers will pre-wash the fabrics anyway. I’d double check with the seller, but if it were us, I’d totally wash them. :)ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen - July 17, 2017 - 9:25 AM

    Hi Kim!

    This post is so great! No pets of my own yet but I have an unhealthy relationship with petfinder.com, so it’s only a matter of time…

    Pro Tip: If you are ordering CB2 online and use the “can we help you?” chat thingy that pops up, they will sell you the covers without the insert for a little bit less! I assume the same can be done in person (just like in any Crate & Barrel) but we don’t have a CB2 in our area.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 17, 2017 - 4:49 PM

      Wow, that is such a GREAT tip! I know you can ask for the cover without the filler in store, but it’s cool to hear they’ll honor the same via the chat function. Thank you, Gretchen!ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - July 18, 2017 - 9:54 AM

    I love these pillows! I’ve been slowly trying to update our throw pillows, but having trouble. I bought the xbase pillow and love how bold it is. I am liking the Etsy #4 option, do you think those would look good together, or both too bold? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - July 18, 2017 - 10:01 AM

      It would be bold, but great! The lines are clean enough to not feel overwhelming. Maybe layer with a few solid color pillows as well. Go for it!ReplyCancel

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