The world of home decor is filled with some pretty mystifying terms, at least to the untrained eye. One question that gets asked a lot is, “what are pillow shams?”
Though it sounds confusing at first, the answer is somewhat self-explanatory. Also simply called a sham, the pillow sham lives up to its name more than you might expect.
So, what are pillow shams? And how can you use these decorative pieces to amp up the look and feel of your bedding? Keep reading to learn all about pillow shams.
What Are Pillow Shams?
You’ve probably heard the term “sham” before, which is used to refer to something that falsely presents itself as something else. Well, that same meaning carries over to the term “pillow sham.”
What are pillow shams, you ask? And how could a pillow be considered a “sham?”
To put it simply, pillow shams are decorative covers that fit onto an ordinary pillow, presenting a “false front” of sorts. These fancy pieces are meant to make plain pillows look decorative, often coordinating them with the rest of your bedding.
Unlike ordinary pillowcases, a pillow sham typically has an opening in the middle of its underside, meaning you can slip it on by tucking in both ends of your pillow. This also makes it easy to remove the cover when it needs to be washed. Then, because the opening is on the back, it is hidden while your pillow is displayed on the bed.
What Are Pillow Shams Used for?
Now that we’ve gone over what the name means, what are pillow shams used for? Contrasting once again with ordinary pillowcases, the pillow sham’s primary purpose is to be decorative. They are meant to add beautiful embellishment to plain pillows, coordinating them with the rest of the bedding and adding an overall decorative flair to the ensemble.
While pillow shams can technically be slept on, they are not intended to be. Oftentimes, decorative pillow shams may even be uncomfortable to sleep on, as they may have rough, scratchy, or textured decorations on their surface.
Instead, many people choose to use their pillow shams behind their sleeping pillow as a means of extra support. Or, as an alternative, they are displayed as decoration during the day and moved aside or onto the floor at night.
Where to Find Pillow Shams
Most bedding sets will include a pair of coordinating pillow shams. Or, this site here recommends purchasing custom coordinated pillow shams to go along with your existing bedding.
Designs can match completely or simply carry cohesive colors and patterns. As with any home decor pieces, it all comes down to your favored look.
Decorating with Pillow Shams
While a bed with plain pillows is certainly fulfilling its purpose, decorative pillow shams take it to the next level. By pairing your sleeping pillows with extra pillows and pillow shams, you can achieve that “wow” factor that makes your bed look inviting and oh-so-cozy. Now that we’ve answered, “what are pillow shams?”, you’ll be ready to find some of your very own!
For more inspiration, check out our other articles.