A pillow is used to sleep on and support the head/neck or other parts of the body while sleeping, lying down or sitting. In addition, pillows have decorative uses and are used on beds, couches or chairs; these are also referred to as cushions.
In contemporary western culture, pillows consist of a plain or patterned fabric envelope (pillowcase) which contains a soft stuffing, which may range from down feathers to synthetic foam. In other cultures, pillows have been made of wood or stone. Bed pillows are typically covered with a cloth pillowcase. Pillows used in a living room typically have a sturdy cloth cover.
There are also throw pillows (also called toss pillows or pillow shams in different worldwide dialects of English), which are pillows that are mainly decorative and not designed for support or comfort. A cushion is a soft bag filled with air or padding such as hollow fiber, feathers, foam or rubber. In the United Kingdom, pillows used on chairs and sofas are called cushions or throw cushions, with the word pillow used only for pillows on a bed. In the UK, cushions are usually square, while bed pillows are oblong.