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Best pillow sham

Which pillow shams are best?

You have seen pillow shams many times but probably never considered their uniqueness. Pillow shams- also called shams or bed shams- are decorative covers placed around pillows to help the appeal of a bedroom, living room or any place where pillows are commonly used and seen.

Pillow shams are typically more decorative than traditional pillowcases and come in many styles and colors to help create a nearly endless number of combinations. Knowing the size of pillow sham needed and your overall decorative goals are essential as you plan to purchase pillow shams. The top choice is the All For You 2-Piece Embroidered Pillow Shams for long-lasting quality and a look that exceeds its price point.

What to know before you buy a pillow sham

How big is your pillow?

There are different sizes of pillow shams based on the size of your pillow. Standard shams run 20 by 26 inches. Queen shams are 20 by 30 inches, and king shams are 20 by 36 inches. Make sure you have measured ahead of time.

What are you trying to match the sham with?

Most people are trying to match a pillow sham with a comforter, duvet or other arrays of decorative pillows. Color could be your most important consideration for similar or contrasting combinations. Others are interested in matching materials, but not all pillow shams are made from the same material as your bedspread or furniture, so be sure to look for compatible matches. 

What do you plan to do with the sham?

Pillow shams are intended to be decorative, not necessarily functional. Pillowcases are for styling and sleeping. Shams are not intended for sleeping and are often more intricately designed. If your shams are in a room or environment where there is a lot of rough play or the likelihood of frequent naps or overnight sleeping, keep a pillowcase handy.

What to look for in a quality pillow sham

Type of closure

Many pillow shams come with a zippered closure in the back that allows easy removal of the sham for washing or changing colors. The zippers can cause snags or get stuck, so some manufacturers have gone to a hook-and-loop or envelope closure to keep this from happening. The hook-and-loop and envelope-style closures are less noticeable if a pillow is turned around.

Type of edging

Since pillow shams are more decorative than pillowcases, they often come with embroidered, flanged or corded edges meant to add flair and style. Some pillow shams also have ruffled edges that give a classic feel. Pillowcases have straight, simple edges, so make sure you find the right fit for your decorative goals.

Color and pattern

There is a wide range of colors and patterns to choose from for pillow shams. The challenge is finding the right color and style to match your decor. You may have to mix and match from different manufacturers and overall themes.

How much you can expect to spend on a pillow sham

Pillow shams cost $10-$40 depending on the size and material from which it is made. Smaller shams made from cotton or polyester cost $10-$20, while those with embroidery or faux silk designs run $20-$30 and even higher for actual silk or sateen pillow shams.

Pillow sham FAQ

What is a Euro sham?

A. Euro shams are designed to fit Euro-style pillows, typically 26 by 26 inches. These shams play the same role as standard size shams. They just are intended for these uniquely sized pillow options.

Where do you place pillow shams?

A. Normally, pillow shams are placed in front of regular pillows during the day to give extra color and appeal to your room. At bedtime, pillow shams are often set aside or behind regular pillows to help prop them up for sleeping.

What’s the best pillow sham to buy?

Top pillow sham

All For You Two-Piece Embroidered Pillow Shams

What you need to know: This attractive two-piece set looks like a much more expensive product and provides long-lasting quality.

What you’ll love: These king-sized pillows measure 20 by 2 by 2 inches and are filled with 100% cotton that is comfortable and keeps the pillow flat. The embroidery stitches are classic royal, and there is no zipper on the back with which to contend.

What you should consider: There were some minor concerns about the backings being made from canvas.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pillow sham for the money

Aiking Home Solid Faux Silk Euro Sham

What you need to know: These great-looking pillow shams have a silky sheen that looks like the real thing and come in a wide variety of bold colors.

What you’ll love: Made from 100% polyester, these shams look elegant and fit most home decors. There is double stitching and a hidden zipper closure for easy removal when washing. They are lightweight and durable and can even be ironed if needed.

What you should consider: The pricing for this product is per individual pillow sham. They do tend to wrinkle over time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Harmony Lane Ruffled Pillow Sham

What you need to know: This sham has an elegant style with ruffled edges that give a classic look from high-quality manufacturing.

What you’ll love: Made from a cotton-polyester blend, this sham is soft, fade-resistant and wrinkle-free. The ruffled edges give a unique look to your décor and are part of a matching bed skirt set. They are machine washable and have an unconditional money-back guarantee.

What you should consider: The fabric is slightly thin. These shams are not recommended for overstuffed pillows.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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