This content was originally published on and has been republished here as part of a merger between our two businesses. All copy is presented here as it originally appeared there.

Shams sets that match the duvet covers or comforters are common in bedding sets. Therefore, buying the top-rated sham sets is a must! A shams set is a type of pillowcase that is used for pillows and cushions. They are meant to cover your pillows in the same way pillowcases are. Pillowcases and pillow shams, on the other hand, have a significant distinction. These have a back opening that’s usually in the middle, with a small amount of cloth overlapping.

When utilizing shams, there is a certain technique to do it: insert one side of your pillow (either side is acceptable) into the sham cover, and the other side of the sham will cover your pillow on the other side. If you look closely, you’ll see that the fabric overlaps and covers the cushion in the back, which is typical. You could think about purchasing pillow shams so that your pillows have the same design around them.

Buying Guide for the Best Sham Sets

Purchasing shams for the very first time might be a confusing experience. Even though the size is uniform, you must consider several other factors to make the ideal choice. In this article, we’ll go through the benefits of using bed shams that will help you determine whether or not purchasing bed shams is a good investment for you. Consider the following buying guide to ensure a stress-free purchasing experience.

What To Take Into Account While Buying Sham Sets?

  • Take into consideration the number of threads. Typically, lower-quality textiles have a greater thread count than higher-quality materials. So please pay attention to it. Typically, shams of exceptional quality have a thread count of 400 or above.
  • Silk shams are the ideal choice if you want to give your bedroom a luxurious appearance. Cotton shams, on the other hand, are a good choice if you want something more modest. When properly cared for, both of these materials will stand the test of time.
  • Experts typically recommend purchasing at least two in brighter colors since they make wonderful centerpieces for bedrooms when purchasing shams.
  • Finally, keep an eye on the price. These are not available for purchase at a dirt-cheap price, but they are reasonably priced. Second, pay attention to the guarantee term to gain greater certainty and trust.
  • Make an informed decision about your sham. Pillow shams are used to provide a decorative touch to a bed’s appearance. Always check to see that the sham set you are choosing is a good fit for the rest of your room or bed design.

What Purpose Do the Bed Shams Serve?

Bed shams are frequently used purely for personal reasons. The phrase “bed sham“ refers to pillowcases that have a fake front, which allows your pillows to appear as if they are a decorative item. Shams are available in a range of styles and patterns to complement your bedroom decor. Because some shams are ornamented, you may not want to put your head on one while sleeping.

In most cases, people remove the sham-covered pillows from their beds before going to sleep and replace them in the morning when they make their beds. Along with being available individually, bed shams can also be bought as part of a bedding set. To find out which sham is the best fit for you, you should first determine what size pillow you’ll be using with it before going shopping.

When It Comes to Shams Set, What Sizes Do They Come In?

Bed shams sizes are interchangeable with normal pillowcase sizes. Your bedding options will consist of various options, such as regular or queen/king size. Use them in conjunction with appropriate mattress sizes, or mix and match them to create a one-of-a-kind look.

Standard sham

Measurements: 26“ by 20“

You’ll find a broad selection of alternatives in this size, which is fortunate, given that standard pillow shams are among the most popular sizes available on the market. They are intended for use with smaller bed pillows, such as those found in twin, twin XL, and full-size beds.

Queen sham

Measurements: 30“ by 20“

Even though queen shams are four inches longer than regular ones, they are not always as readily accessible as standard ones. Because of this disparity in size, even queen-sized pillows are not as commonly accessible as standard-sized pillows. As a result, individuals frequently use two standard-sized pillows on a queen-sized bed to compensate.

King sham

Measurements: 36“ by 20“

Queen and king shams are 10 inches greater in length than regular shams and may be found in bedding stores and online. The appearance of your Cal King or King size bed will be completed with the addition of two king-size pillow inserts and two matching pillow shams.

Euro sham

Measurements: 26“ by 26“

Euro pillows are paired with these square-shaped shams to complete the look. They provide additional support, whether lying in bed or sitting on a couch. Since Euro pillows may be utilized in both your bedroom and living room, select a sham that has a universal appeal so that they will complement the design in both spaces.

Boudoir sham

Measurements: 12“ by 16“

Boudoir shams are tiny, rectangular ornamental pillows that are used in the bedroom. However, while most boudoir pillows are supplied with matching shams, purchasing individual boudoir shams allows you to switch up the design of your bedroom regularly.

What Kind of Pillows Should You Use With Your Bed Shams?

Any pillow can be utilized when using a bed sham. However, firmer foam variants, such as memory foam pillows, are preferred since they retain their form better than pillows made of loose fibers, such as polyester. If you use bed shams to provide additional support when sitting up in bed reading or watching television, a firmer pillow to support your back is ideal.

How To Decorate Your Bedding Using Bed Shams?

When it comes to making your bed using shams, the creative possibilities are practically infinite. Make use of a variety of different-sized pillows to create depth in your space. The bigger-sized pillows should be positioned next to the headboard, while the smaller-sized pillows (such as neck rolls and boudoir pillows) should be placed in front of the headboard. Generally, three layers of pillows are utilized, but there are no hard and fast rules, so use your imagination and arrange the pillows anyway you see fit.

Bed shams are stacked on sleeping pillows in some households, while others put their pillows flat on the bed. The bed shams will be able to protect your sleeping pillows from dust during the day in this manner.

Best Sham SetsReviewed in Detail

NTBAY Brushed Microfiber Pillow Sham Set

– Best Overall


Buy on Amazon

Check Price On Walmart

Because they are composed of microfiber, these double-sided high-quality brushed shams are sure to give you incomparable softness and comfort during your night’s sleep. They are airy, dirt- and wrinkle-resistant, and they do not fade easily when exposed to the sun. Several sizes and colors are available for these envelop pillow shams in a single solid color. In addition to being simple and extremely soft, these pillow shams are wonderful bed accessories for decorating any room in your home, regardless of the season.


  • Easy to care for
  • A variety of colors
  • Breathable, stain, and wrinkle resistant


  • Messed up stitching


– Runner Up


Buy on Amazon

This product is the perfect size for a square 26³ x 26³ cushion. These luxurious 100% Egyptian Cotton Shams have a 2³ border on all four edges and overlapping fabric in the back to give the appearance of being completely completed. You’ll notice the incredible softness as soon as you touch it. To wash, you can machine wash on the cool setting or tumble dry on a low setting. Also, don’t use bleaching or softeners on your articles. Designed to be pre-shrunk for a great fit on your pillows


  • 100% pure Egyptian cotton
  • Well crafted shams
  • Easy care and pre-shrunk for the perfect fit


  • The thread count is not correctly represented

BEDSUM Microfiber Pillow Sham Set

– Honorable Mention


Buy on Amazon

Check Price On Walmart

BEDSUM is devoted to the creation of aesthetically pleasing and luxury home furnishings. Brush microfiber is used to create this pillow sham because it’s extremely durable, stain-resistant, fade-resistant, and wrinkle-resistant. Make your room or living space more elegant by introducing a dash of beautiful color. It is a wonderful present for any occasion, and it goes with any color bed, couch, sofa, automobile, or chair in your home. Also, make your room or living area more elegant by incorporating a dash of subtle color.


  • Microfiber material
  • Easy to clean
  • Shrink and wrinkle resistance


  • The material is quite thin

MarCielo 2-Piece Embroidered Pillow Shams

– Contender


Buy on Amazon

Check Price On Walmart

Two separate pillow shams are the perfect fit for any standard-sized pillow. The pillow shams are mostly dyed with purely natural mineral or vegetable dyes, which have excellent colorfastness and a beautiful design that is non-fading in nature. Exquisite auto line technique with smooth and clean sealing prevents unraveling and allows for longer product lifespan. The pillow will be securely wrapped, substantial, and full thanks to the use of envelope technology, which will allow you to sleep better at night.


  • Microfiber
  • High-quality fabric
  • Envelope formulation


  • There are a lot of loose threads
  • Not long-lasting

Bedsure Black Pillow Sham Set


Buy on Amazon

Check Price On Walmart

The solid-colored shams are embellished with a 2³ flange and are made of 100% brushed polyester microfiber, which provides a soft, luxurious feel. The envelope closure keeps your pillow from becoming dirty and ensures that it does not slip about while you sleep. Available in various sizes, including King, Standard, and European, and a variety of colors. It’s simple to care for and dries rapidly; there’s no fading or creases. Machine wash on cool with matching colors to avoid fading.


  • A texture that is extremely smooth and soft
  • Wrinkle- and shrinkage-resistant; resistant to fading
  • Cleaning up is a breeze


  • The quality is not very impressive

People Also Asked

Q: What is the difference between a sham and a pillowcase?

A: Both shams and pillowcases cover your pillows; however, shams are more decorative, while pillowcases are more useful. The pillowcase helps to keep your pillow clean by shielding it from dust, grime, and indoor allergens while you’re sleeping. A sham, like a pillowcase, provides some protection for your pillow, but it is mostly used for decorative purposes. It is possible that the shame isn’t composed of breathable textiles as a pillowcase would be, and so is not as comfortable to sleep on.

Q: Do you need pillow shams?

A: The use of a pillow sham may transform a standard-sized sleeping pillow into a beautiful accent piece for your bedroom or living room decor. If the appearance of your bed isn’t important to you, a simple pillowcase will serve you. Certain pillow shams, particularly those decorated with sequins, buttons, or lace, may not be comfortable enough to rest your head on while sleeping. Sham-covered pillows are often removed from beds before sleep and replaced on the bed in the morning unless otherwise specified.

Q: Do shams go in front or back of the sleeping pillows?

A: It is totally up to you to decide what is best. Shams may be put against the headboard to serve as a backdrop for your sleeping pillows, or they can be positioned in front of the headboard to add a decorative touch.

Q: Are king pillows too big for a queen bed?

A: A single king-size pillow will be sufficient for a queen-sized bed; however, stacking two of these pillows on a queen-sized bed will be troublesome and require more space. They will overlap with one another, leaving little space between them to maneuver. With a king pillow measuring 36 inches in length, you would need a bed 78 inches wide to accommodate two king pillows side by side. On the other hand, a queen pillow is just 60 inches long to accommodate two queen pillows.

Q: How often should I wash shams?

A: Most people don’t actually sleep on their shams, they are just decorative, so they can go about 3 months in between washes. If you sleep on your shams every night you will want to wash them as often as you wash your sheets and pillowcases.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Old House Journal

Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes.

Learn More