The City Mattress Blog

linens & bedding

What is a Pillow Sham?


What is a Pillow Sham?

Creating the perfect sleep environment means more than simply picking out a great new mattress. It even means more than finding a pillow you love. Once you get these essentials in place, you can begin creating a sleep system you absolutely adore, from the mattress pad to the pillow shams to even the adjustable bed base that makes it easy to read your favorite book at night. Speaking of pillow shams… What is a pillow sham? Do you really need one, or are they simply decoration? We’re here to answer these questions and more. Once we’re finished, you’ll be ready to create a bed you love sleeping in!

What is a Pillow Sham?

A pillow sham is more aesthetic than functional. It is a decorative pillowcase. Although they can definitely be slept on like normal pillowcases, pillow shams are usually used as decoration during the day and then removed from the bed completely at night. Unlike throw pillows, pillow shams can be easily removed from their pillows to be washed or replaced. When you’re ready for a change in decor, buying new pillow shams is a simple way to do so!

Is a Pillow Sham Necessary?

Because these pieces are mainly decorative, they aren’t required. You can have a great night of sleep on a bed that doesn’t have any pillow shams. That being said, your bedroom is more than just a room dedicated to function. You should enter the room and instantly love the way it looks. Everything in your bedroom should make you feel happier, relaxed, and more at ease. For many people, the aesthetics of a bed with many pillows and pillow shams is a piece of this.

Pillowcase vs Pillow Sham

For the most part, pillowcases are intended to sleep on and pillow shams are more decorative. Some can be slept on, while others are only decorative accents to the bed. Pillowcases are open at one end and made specifically to sleep on. They’re made from materials like cotton and bamboo, which are ideal for staying cool and comfortable. Pillow shams generally have the opening found on the back. Most often, all four edges are finished with flange or cording. While they typically are a little more decorative, shams made from most types of fabric can be slept on with no issue, as long as they aren’t heavily beaded or have another type of hard decoration. Simply put, a pillowcase is there to protect your pillow and keep it clean as you sleep. A pillow sham is there to hide your extra pillow behind a more decorative facade.

Our Favorite Pillow Sham Options

We have dozens upon dozens of high-quality, beautiful pillow shams on our website. The most difficult part may be deciding which are your favorites! We encourage you to browse our website, where you’ll find fantastic pillow sham options like:

SFERRA Cossita Cotton Pillow Sham

We simply cannot say enough about SFERRA, a brand world renown for luxury linens. The Cossita Collection features muted gradient tones of blues, grey, and taupe printed onto a silky sateen base. These gorgeous hues reflect the oxidation process of the seaside edifices as they naturally change color and surface over time.

SFERRA Classico White Linen Pillow Sham

You simply cannot go wrong with crisp, classic white linens on your bed. You’ll feel like you’re sleeping in a luxury hotel every night! Classic and elegant, linen material also offers unparalleled comfort, as it's cool to the touch and ultra-breathable. You may just find yourself wanting to sleep on it!

SFERRA Lucio Cotton Pillow Sham

The Lucio Collection is offered in five colors. Whether you choose White, Ivory, Cashew, Sky, or Tin, the Lucio Collection is a signature-level sateen bedding set that possesses a luscious, sleek hand alongside outstanding durability. It’s made in Italy from 100% pure extra-long-staple cotton. You won’t believe how soft these pillow shams feel when you climb into bed at night!

SFERRA Giza Sateen Cotton Pillow Sham

Anything from the Giza Sateen Collection is made of the finest cotton in the world. Grown in the Nile river valley and woven by master craftsmen in Italy, these linens are the pinnacle of luxury. One-touch is all it takes to experience the SFERRA difference!

If you’ve spent any time shopping for bed linens, you’ve most likely run across the terms “pillowcase” and “pillow sham”. For those not well versed in the language of interior decorators, this can be somewhat confusing. You may find yourself wondering, what is a pillow sham? Is it just another term for a pillowcase? No! As you can see, they are totally separate products. 

We hope this information is helpful to you as you shop our website. If you need any additional help, we’re here for you! To speak with a live City Mattress Sleep Expert, click on the red button at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. We’ll answer any questions you still have in regards to finding the right pillow shams and more.