Best Pillow Sham

Pillow shams are coverings for pillows that are used for decorative purposes. They are fantastic at turning a cushion from ordinary to glamorous. Unlike pillowcases, which you use to cover sleeping pillows, shams were traditionally used for decorations. They help keep your pillows clean and brighten up the bed’s look or anyplace the padding is placed. Nowadays, you can use your pillow sham as a cover for your sleeping pillow.

These shams are no longer reserved for the bedroom, and so you can also use them to decorate pillows and place them on your sofa in the sitting room or elsewhere. Different materials are used to make a pillow sham, and some are lighter versions of the standard pillowcase. Pillow shams are mostly finished with a knife-edge, fringe, flange, cording, or tassels.

But, how do you locate the best buy out of the lot that is in the market? When thinking about pillow shams, focus on the fun, and think about the look you want to portray. Think about your budget and consider if you have a preference as to materials. These factors, coupled with our top five choices, will help you decide on the best pillow sham for you.

Overview of Top Five Pillow Shams

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  • Fluffy velvet flannel
  • Envelope enclosure
  • Machine-washable
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  • Multi-color option
  • Stain-, fade-, and wrinkle-resistant
  • 90-day return and replacement policy
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  • 100% cotton 
  • OEKO-TEX certified
  • Overlap closure
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  • Chemical and toxin-free
  • Soft silk material
  • Durable and eco-friendly
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  • Multi-color option
  • Fade-resistant
  • Plush feel
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Top Five Pillow Shams

#1 Ceruleanhome 2-Piece Velvet Flannel Pillow Shams – Best Option

This fluffy velvet flannel pillow sham easily spices up a room and transforms it into one fit for a king. Available in three different colors and with a dimension of 20″ x 30″, these look expensive but are not. The soft feel of the sham is bound to make you fall in love with it.

Pros:

  • The velvet flannel is soft and fluffy
  • Has an envelope enclosure
  • Plush and comes in a pair
  • Machine-washable
  • Quality material

Cons:

  • Thin material
  • Requires careful cleaning to avoid matting

#2 NTBAY 100% Brushed Microfiber Standard Pillow Shams – Budget Option

NTBAY is made from soft 100% brushed microfiber fabric. The sham set is stain-, fade-, and wrinkle-resistant. There are many solid colors for you to select from, and that is one of the major advantages this NTBAY set has over others. You could find dark soothing colors as well as bright, vibrant tones.

This breathable pillow sham is affordable and is sold as a pair. So you could buy several sets in different colors without spending a fortune. Each sham is bordered by a decorative flange that protects the stitching on the slip.

Pros:

  • Comes in a large color selection
  • Stain-, fade-, and wrinkle-resistant
  • Inexpensive price point
  • 90-day return and replacement policy
  • Available in all bed pillow sizes

Cons:

  • Material is thin

#3 PHF 100% Cotton Waffle Weave Euro Sham – Cotton Sham


This Euro sham cover measures 26″ x 26″ and is available in several colors. The color variety grants you the freedom to select the color of your choice. Made of cotton material, the PHF is soft, breathable, and comfortable to the skin. It is machine-washable but not dryer friendly, and so the user will have to hang it to dry. The waffle weave design is suitable for all seasons and improves the appearance of this sham. However, it makes the cotton slip more prone to shrinkage.

Pros:

  • 100% cotton material
  • OEKO-TEX certified
  • Durable
  • Overlap closure makes it easier to insert pillow
  • Thick knit of textured waffle weave is ideal for covering feather pillows

Cons:

  • Limited colors
  • Wrinkles and shrinkage may occur

#4 ALASKA BEAR 100% Silk Euro Pillow Shams – Silk Option

The shams are made from 600 thread count 100% mulberry silk and are smooth, soft, and breathable. Euro-size sham is versatile and can fulfill many purposes. The silk fabric can double as a pillowcase due to its comfortable feel and ability to prevent wrinkles on the skin. It features a hidden zipper for a better fit of the pillow tucked in.

The material is naturally dyed and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, which means it is free of harmful chemicals. However, because it is naturally dyed, this sham requires careful washing. It is best hand-washed and hung under a cool shade to dry.

Pros:

  • Naturally dyed and chemical-free sham
  • Available in many colors
  • Silk material is soft on skin and hair
  • Durable quality fabric
  • OEKO-TEK Standard 100 certified

Cons:

  • Sold individually

#5 MarCielo 2-Piece Embroidered Pillow Shams – Best Luxury

MarCielo is a standard-sized comfortable pillow sham. It is a smooth decorative sham made from quality microfiber fabric. The material is soft, durable, free of skin irritation, and stain-resistant. Dyed primarily with natural mineral or vegetable dyes, it is color-fast and gentle on the skin. The envelope closure holds the pillow in place, and a car line technology keeps the sham edges from unraveling.

Pros:

  • Available in several colors
  • 100% microfiber material
  • Inexpensive and sold as a pair
  • Comfortable with a luxurious feel
  • Non-fading colors

Cons:

  • Larger than the standard pillows and so, the edge may droop a little
  • Material is thin

Pillow Sham Buying Suggestions

Pillow shams can turn a mundane pillow into a work of art and smoothly transform a room’s look. They are part of your bedding ensemble and are often designed to match your comforter or duvet cover. Here are the important factors you need to consider when picking a pillow sham.

Aesthetics: Consider your aesthetic preferences, whether you want a plain sham, a waffle weave, one with embroidery, or other textural elements. Do you have a color or design in mind? Knowing these will reduce your options and help you find the right sham. Remember that your purpose for requiring a pillow sham is to upgrade your bed and room’s look. You might decide to find a design that works well with the room setting.

Materials: Pillow shams are available in microfiber, linen, cotton (Sateen or Percale), silk, flannel, and some come as a mixed blend of these fibers. The materials used have a remarkable impact on the appearance of the sham. They will also affect how you take care of it. You need to choose the material based on your preferences and needs. 

Where do you intend to use the sham-covered pillow, a sleeping or living space? On a couch or a bed? Do you want to use it to sleep, or is it purely for decorative purposes? Some materials are more durable than others. So, answering these questions will help you decide on the material of sham to get.

Size of pillow: Pillows come in different sizes and shapes. Pillow shams should also do so, seeing that they cover up the pillows. The four primary dimensions of pillow shams are King, Queen, Standard, and Euro. Standard shams fit standard-sized pillow cushions. So, please pay close attention to your pillow measurements before ordering the covers that will go with them.

Ease of care: You may not use your shams as often as your pillowcase, but this does not mean that you will not take care of it. Due to their intricate and elaborate designs, some pillow shams such as silk may need hand washing or dry cleaning. Endeavor to get the ones that you can take care of very well. Machine-washable and dryer-friendly shams like cotton or linen are excellent choices as you could throw them in without worrying about damage. Do ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper care of a sham so that it will last you for a long time.

Types of closure: The major difference between the design of a pillowcase and a sham is the closure. Pillowcases are simple and open-ended at one side with no hint of closure. Shams are often open at the back, and each one features a certain type of enclosure. The basic closures include envelope, zipper, permanent, and flap.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What kind of pillows do you use for shams?

Use the appropriate size and shape of the pillow with the right sham. Since the pad is not expected to be used for sleeping, look for durable ones with a polyester or latex fill. If your sham is not filled right, it will look drab and unappealing. Firm pillows may not be comfortable to sleep with, but they will maintain their shape and act as excellent back support when reading in bed. Worn-out cushions are a no-no.

Are you supposed to sleep on pillow shams?

Decorative pillows are those covered with pillow shams for aesthetic purposes. Most users do not sleep on their decorative pillows. Instead, they remove the cushions from the bed, leaving only the ones covered with a pillowcase. Some people keep them in the bedding area but place them behind the sleeping ones.

Nonetheless, you can sleep on a pillow sham. But that is not the major purpose, and some shams are made of materials that may not be very comfortable to sleep. If you want your pillow sham to double as a pillowcase, get one that is washable and made from a sheet-like fabric.

Should pillow shams match the comforter?

A pillowcase is a cover you would sleep on and is often made of the same material as your bedding sheets. Pillow shams, on the other hand, can be made of different decorative materials, with some being made to match the comforter. Many pillow shams are sold in sets with comforters, duvet covers, and bedding sheets. They are either made from the same fabric as the comforter or a contrasting fabric that amplifies the bedding look. This buying method reduces the stress of trying to match colors and patterns.

However, it does not mean you have to get shams that match your comforter exactly. You could decide to make your pillow sham stand out instead of blending in with the bedding materials. A color-block effect could appeal to your taste. If used in a dark living room, a bright-colored sham could make you feel more at home.

Where does the sham go on the bed?

The pillow sham covers the pillow you do not intend to use for sleeping. When not sleeping on the bed, these decorative pillows are placed in front of the ones in pillowcases. They are then either removed or placed behind the sleeping pillows at nighttime. Either of the two steps helps extend the life of the sham and reduce natural wear and tear.

What size pillow fits a sham?

Pillow shams come in different sizes to match the size of the bed pillows. These sizes are Standard, Queen, Euro, Boudoir, and King sham. Euro sham pillows can serve different purposes and look as great on a couch as they did on a bed. Queen-size pillow shams are not common, and a queen mattress is normally outfitted with two standard pillows. Three Standard pillows will also fit a king-size mattress.

Conclusion

Using a pillow sham is an easy and inexpensive way of redesigning or improving your room’s outlook. It adds a unique personal touch to your space. Whether you match or contrast the colors, this addition will speak volumes. Try to play along with colors, textures, and patterns as you discover what type of setting you gravitate towards effortlessly.

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