Sleep & Health


A bed sham is a decorative pillowcase that is used to give the bedroom a little more visual variation. Bed shams are typically used on accent pillows that are taken off the bed at night. They can be used to complement the colors and patterns of your bedding set or to add a pop of color or texture. Bed shams can also be used to protect your pillows from dirt and sweat, keeping them clean and fresh. They can be embellished with embroidery, lace, or other ornamental elements and is usually made of the same material as the bedding set. Bed shams are available in a range of sizes, styles, and materials to suit any taste and budget.

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  • The History of Bed Shams
  • Bed Sham Sizes
  • Bed Sham Materials
  • Bed Sham vs. Pillowcase
  • How to make your own bed shams?
  • How to style your bed with bed shams?
  • FAQs


Bed shams have been around for centuries and were used primarily for practical purposes. They were used to protect the pillows from dirt and sweat, as well as to keep them clean. In the early days, bed shams were made of simple fabrics such as cotton or linen and were usually plain white. They were not used for decorative purposes until much later.

As time passed, bed shams became more decorative and were used to enhance the overall look of a bed. They were made of silk, velvet, and other luxurious fabrics and were adorned with embroidery, lace, and other decorative elements. Today, bed shams are available in a wide range of styles and materials to suit any taste.


Bed shams have their corresponding sizes to fit different pillow sizes, below we will introduce the most common bed sham sizes.


Measuring about 36 inches by 20 inches. They are made to accommodate king-size pillows. King shams are ideal for king and California king size beds due to their vast proportions.


For the well-liked queen pillows, which measure roughly 30 inches by 20 inches. The breath of a queen mattress can be comfortably accommodated by two queen-size sham pillows.


Standard shams are the smallest and also the most popular size of bed shams, measuring 26 inches by 20 inches. They are most suitable for twin, twin XL, or full-size beds.


Euro shams are square pillow shams, approximately 26 inches by 26 inches. Euro pillows can be in your bedroom or living room, and euro shams can add an opulent and richer look to both spaces.


Boudoir shams are rectangular shams, measuring 12 inches by 16 inches, which can fit the boudoir-size pillows. The majority of boudoir pillows come with shams but choosing separate shams offers you the flexibility to occasionally change the appearance of your room.


Bed shams are the most affordable way to decorate your room and give you something fresh and joyful. Bed shams can be made of a wide range of selection of materials and you can totally find one which can fit your preference and taste.


Compare to cotton, polyester is not that skin-friendly and you can even feel scratchy. Polyester is a synthetic fabric and is also quite affordable. Due to the decorative feature of bed shams, softness is not a very important factor, so polyester still can be a good option.


As one of the most popular fabrics for bed covers, its widespread availability, warm, and soft features make it quite suitable for your bed shams. In addition, cotton typically can be machine-washable, although you still should check the washing tag before laundering.


Cotton that has been ripped to expose more fibers is used to make flannel. Some people choose to snuggle a flannel bed sham throughout the winter because they are excellent at keeping your bed warm during chilly months.


One of the softest fabrics used in bedding products, silk is produced from fibers spun by silkworms. Yet it can also be pricey and needs more delicate care. You cannot simply throw them away in the washing machine. Also, keep them away from harsh sunlight and alcohol-based things like perfume or disinfectant.


In recent years, bamboo has been a common material to be used in a wide range of textiles, fabrics, and bedding. Bamboo features sustainable and eco-friendly, which make it a good option for bed shams. Besides, bamboo is well-known for being soft and breathable, making it a popular option for bedding in hot climates or throughout summer.


As one of the coziest, warmest materials, wool is the best option that you can make bedding out of. Wool bed shams are typically long-lasting and thick, which can keep you warm on cold nights.


Lace is generally utilized in bed shams as the flange edges on the sides. Yet, you can get bed shams that are entirely made of lace. Bed shams made of lace are incredibly fragile and highly susceptible to wear and tear. The common match would be silk bed shams with lace edges, which can be luxurious and should be taken care of very well.


As the name suggests, a variety of fabrics are mixed together and then become blends. Blends are typically versatile and multi-purpose, but it is also relatively affordable.



Both pillowcases and bed shams are pillow covers, but their appearances and functions differ.

The main difference between them is that bed shams are mainly serve decorative purposes, while a pillowcase is just for sleeping on. Also, their looks are different. The bed shams are typically flanged and corded for a nicer look, but the pillowcase is more inclined to a practical role. Related to this is the way they are washed and maintained. Pillowcases are made of soft fabrics for comfortable, so most of them can be machine-washable. However, shams are made of delicate fabrics with a view to decoration, comfort is rather less important, so shams normally require meticulous care.


First of all, prepare the following stuff and gadgets.

  • Fabrics you like
  • Matching thread
  • Needles or sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Ruler


Measure the dimensions of your pillow and cut out the appropriate size fabrics. For example, Standard shams (26” L x 20” W) are typically the most popular size in the United States. The pieces we really need to cut for the sham. For the front, we should allow one inch for seam and 4 inches for two sides to frame out. So the length you should cut for your sham should be 31 inches, and the width would be 25 inches.

While the back piece, there is a slight difference. We need one inch for seam allowance and four inches for frame out. In addition, we need extra 4 inches for the flap on the back that overlap. So for the back, the length should be 35 inches, while the width as the same as the front piece.


Sew up all edges of your bed shams, simply use the envelope opening on the back to flip the sham inside out when you’re finished. Should you want to add a zipper or any flanges, it is up to you!


Your bed serves as the room’s main focal point and also the first step in creating a well-put-together bedroom. The design and size of your bed frame and headboard should of course taken into consideration, and one of the simplest ways to modernize and decorate your bedroom is using bed shams.

Color: You can match the colors of shams and a duvet or other bedding to create some color effect. For example, you can use the color wheel and the color theory, such as color harmony, color temperature and color context. You may create a contemporary color-blocked design by combing opposing sham and pillowcase sets.

Materials: Different textures and tactility can be posed on different materials of shams. For a cozier and warm feel, flannel or velvet shams can deliver your bed a cozy touch for the winter.

Arrangement: Adding shams to boost the loft of your ordinary sleeping pillows, your bed will have extra depth thanks to the shams. Or you can make a size gradient with your pillows from large to small.

The design and creation are limitless, you can style your bedroom with other items and wondrous ideas.


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