Skip to content
Pillow Cases vs. Pillow Shams - What is the difference?

Pillow Cases vs. Pillow Shams - What is the difference?

Pillow Cases vs. Pillow Shams - What are the differences?


Most people may not know this but there is an actual difference between pillow cases and pillow shams and it can change the way your bedding looks by the fit, feel, style and texture of a pillow cover. As a customer, a pillow case and pillow sham offer different benefits and uses. Both pillow covers go over the pillow you would lay your head on.

Difference between a Pillow Case and Pillow Sham:

A pillow case protects the pillow you use to mainly sleep on which is hidden underneath a pillow sham. A pillow sham covers another set of pillows that sit or lay over the pillow cases. 

There are some slight differences that show the difference between a pillow case and pillow sham.

  • A pillow case will be open at the end or have a slit and no closure. Pillow cases create a more simpler and minimalistic look with less decoration and pattern on the case itself with a softer, comfortable feeling to sleep on. When purchasing a sheet set, the pillow cases included are the covers that you would sleep on and place underneath a pillow sham.


  • A pillow sham will have an overlapping opening in the back of the sham or a zipper/button closure to signify a decorative look. Pillow shams will also have different textured patterns to them to create a unique and decorative look to match the bedspread or comforter you are using. When purchasing a bedspread, comforter, or quilt set, any matching pillow shams that come with the set will match each other and be placed over the pillow cases. 

Style Techniques:

There are several ways to decorate using pillow cases and pillow shams on your bedding. The easiest method would be to stack the pillows on top of each other, starting with the pillow cases at the bottom and then pillow shams sitting at the top. If you have matching accent pillows, those can be placed against the stack of other pillows or you don't need them at all.


Another method to place your pillows would be to layer them which is a more common method of decorating. You can use different sized pillows and covers to layer on top of each other to create depth and ultimate comfort. Depending on your preference, there are endless possibilities on how to decorate your bedding with pillow cases, pillow shams, euro shams and accent pillow covers. 


 Links and Information Credit goes to:

Peacock Alley


Previous article Supporting Each Other - Small Business Based in Montgomery County, Maryland
Next article Duvet, Duvet Covers vs. Fitted and Flat Sheets - How different are they?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields