Home Home Improvement Difference Between A Pillow Sham And A Pillow Case

Difference Between A Pillow Sham And A Pillow Case

by Louise W. Rice

Ever find yourself wandering through the home decor aisle, wondering what the difference between a pillow sham and a pillow case is? You’re not alone! Both are designed to cover your pillows, but they have different purposes. In this article, we’ll explore the distinction between a pillow sham and a pillow case. From materials to design details, you’ll learn all about these two common bedding items and how to choose the one that works best for your space.

What Is A Pillow Sham?

pillow sham

A pillow sham is a decorative cover for a pillow, typically used in conjunction with a pillowcase. It is usually more ornate than a pillowcase and can come in a variety of colors, patterns, and fabrics. Pillow shams often coordinate with other bedding pieces like duvets, sheets, and blankets. A pillow sham may have an opening in the back to allow the insertion of a pillow, or it may be designed to be used as a stand-alone accent piece. The size of pillow shams is usually standard bedding sizes.

Pillow shams are usually made from fabric and may be decorated with embroidery, ruffles, lace, or other decorative elements. They can also be made from a variety of materials including velvet, satin, cotton, and synthetic fabrics. While pillowcases are usually made of a soft, lightweight fabric such as cotton or polyester, pillow shams may be made of a variety of fabrics, including velvet and silk. Pillow shams can often be found in elaborate patterns, such as floral designs or geometric prints.

What Is A Pillow Case?

pillow case

A pillow case is a cover for a pillow that is typically closed with a zipper or envelope-style closure. It is used to keep the pillow clean and protect it from dirt, dust, and other elements. Pillow cases also come in a variety of colors, designs, and fabrics so you can customize your bedding to fit your personal style.

It typically has an opening at one end for inserting and removing the pillow. It is usually made of fabric such as cotton, satin, or microfiber and is available in a variety of colors and patterns. Pillow cases can be made from a variety of fabrics, including cotton, silk, satin, and even velvet. A pillow sham is similar to a pillow case, but it has an open end and decorative details such as ruffles, piping, or embroidery.

The Difference Between A Pillow Sham And A Pillow Case

There are different purposes to pillow cases and pillow shams. A pillow sham is a decorative cover for a pillow, while a pillow case is a protective cover for a pillow. Pillow shams are typically decorative, and often feature a tailored design or embellishments such as ruffles, embroidery, or other decorations. They are meant to be seen, and can often change the look of a room.

Pillow cases serve a utilitarian purpose and provide protection for the pillow. They are typically plain in design and encase the pillow so that it remains clean and free of dirt and dust. Pillow shams are usually more ornate than pillow cases, and they can be used to add color and pattern to a bedding ensemble.

Pillow cases are typically plain and made of cotton or a similar fabric, and their main purpose is to protect the pillow from dust, dirt, and other contaminants. They also keep the pillow clean so it can be used longer. Pillow cases are typically more plain and serve the practical purpose of protecting pillows from dirt, dust, and stains. The term “sham” is usually used to refer to any decorative cover, while the term “case” typically describes a protective cover.


Pillow shams and pillow cases are both used to protect pillows and can also be used to complement the overall look of a bedroom. Pillow shams have a more decorative purpose, while pillow cases offer additional protection for your pillows. Ultimately, it’s up to you which type of cover you choose to use on your bedding, but considering the differences between them should help make that decision much easier.

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