What Is Pillow Sham? Learn More About It Here

If you’re confused about what is pillow sham, you can consider it as a functional decorative pillow cover. Let’s just say that a pillow protector serves as a barrier to keep the pillow clean and damage-free, while a pillow sham hides your pillow behind a more aesthetically pleasing facade. But nowadays, it’s typical for some homeowners to also use pillows with their shams on. 

Your traditional pillowcase tends to look straightforward. But if you want your room to be more visually appealing, you can use a pillow sham by day. These shams come in a variety of designs and styles to match any room and theme.

What Is Pillow Sham


Everything You Need To Know About Pillow Shams


What is pillow sham anyway?

To put it simply, a pillow sham is a pillowcase that intends to make your pillow look more decorative. Therefore, one can use a pillow sham on their bed pillows in the day to create a more aesthetically pleasing look. It’s not surprising that some homeowners get confused with pillow covers and pillow shams. 


Pillowcase vs pillow sham

Both pillowcases and pillow shams are coverings for your pillows. However, a pillowcase is more straightforward for its duty. It keeps the pillow clean and protects it from daily wear and tear. On the other hand, a pillow sham is there to make your pillow look more decorative. 

Besides the more decorative design of a pillow sham, you’ll notice that this pillow cover opens from the back. Because it is meant to turn any pillow into a decorative piece, pillow shams use hidden closures. They typically use the overlapping fabric at the back compared to the straightforward pillowcases.

Pillowcases don’t hide their closure, and it’s even common that they just have an open end. This way, it’s easier to replace and change them quickly. They also match the bed sheets for a simpler look, but you can also find pillowcases with embroidery or hemstitching designs. 


How to use a pillow sham

As previously mentioned, pillowcases create a more monochromatic look because they just match the bedsheet. However, shams are there to add variety and may even look unique from the bedding. They can also match the comforter, but don’t be surprised if they have a different color or texture. 

Pillow shams can be plain, but you can play with their accents to improve the look of your room. They also typically have flanges, which are pieces of fabric that go on the side of the cover. However, can you sleep on a pillow covered with sham?

A common misconception is that pillow shams are only limited to being ornaments. You can sleep on pillows covered in sham if you find them comfortable. After all, the fabric they use might have an awkward texture, or the flanges may be disruptive for sleep. 


How To Style Your Shams

Once you have your pillow shams, it can be overwhelming to come up with a way to style them. The good news is there are three basic styles for pillow shams. Even someone who has no experience in interior designing can get their creative juices on. 



Perhaps the simplest way to style shams is to layer them. Homeowners typically place their sham pillows at the front of their bed pillows close to the headboard. You can play with different pillow sizes and shapes, as well as colors and textures that will complement your bedroom. 

If you’re still unsure, a classic way to layer pillows is to start with your bed pillows lengthwise against the headboard, followed by Euro shams and then larger shams at front. At this point, you can add different types of pillows as accents. Remember that you don’t have to go for a monochromatic look.  



Another way to style pillow shams is to stack them directly on top of each other simply. Like layering, the first level would be the pillows you use for sleeping topped by your sham-covered pillows. But for a neater look, check your bed pillows so that their cuffs point toward the bed edge.

Stack styling for pillow shams would look best if most of your pillows have the same sizes and shapes. Stacking sham-covered pillows provide a clean look with good height. You can also lean other pillow types against the stack if you want to add accents. 


Get creative

If you want something less traditional and hotel-like, why not get creative with your pillows? You don’t have to go for a neat look because asymmetrical styling can just be as eye-catching. A useful tip to avoid ending up with a confusing design is to separate pillow sizes by shapes and colors and have one group per side. 



Using pillow shams, you don’t need to buy separate throw pillows from your bed pillows. But what is pillow sham? You can think of shams as decorative covers for your pillows. 

Therefore, you don’t need to use ornamental pillows for designing your bedroom. Simply put shams on your bed pillows in the day, and voila! Your simple-looking bed pillows are transformed into decorative pieces!

Are you still overwhelmed with styling sham-covered pillows? You have three basic ways to use them. If you want a neat and traditional look, you can layer or stack them, but you can also get creative and go for an asymmetrical finish. 

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