What Is a Pillow Sham? Meet the Full Definition of the Decorative Standard Pillow Shams

what is a sham

It turns out that not everyone knows how to identify a fake or what a fake pillow is!

The term "pillow cushion" means a pillow with a counterfeit front. In the 1700s, custom-made pillowcases were made to create decorative pillows with removable covers. These front veils of the pillow have become known as pillowcases! So, is a sham a pillowcase?

A sham definition is "a decorative bedspread covered with a pillow for the bed." While this definition is not wrong, it is only a superficial connotation of what is actually fake. For decorators, creating a thoughtful home begins with a thorough understanding of even the most specific decor elements. When it comes to bedding, there are endless terms to decipher.

While it can take a while to fully master the perfect bedding, here's everything you need to know about what is fake when to use it, and how to pick the right type. Read on to get some clarity on this bedroom piece and find out what are shams for a bed? And look through the ultimate guide what is a sham.

What Is a Sham?

We invite you to learn a little more about the sham’s meaning and history. Sham bedding, also called pillow counterfeiting, comes from a term meaning "a thing that is not what it should be." And although pretense is not meant to deceive someone, it has a disguising property. Sham pillows are designed to cover a regular pillow with a removable decorative case. Unlike a decorative pillow, which is used purely for decorative purposes, the imitation can be removed or replaced with a traditional pillowcase for normal use. They have a hidden opening in the back that usually closes with a zipper or button, as opposed to traditional pillowcases with a more obvious side opening.

Differences from Sham Pillowcases

sham definition

Sham vs Pillow

Pillowcases are:

  • The comfortable cover is meant to be slept on
  • Opens at one end, sometimes with an envelope closure to prevent the pillows from slipping out
  • Machine washable and tumble dry
  • Usually contain a flange in the hole for decoration
  • Made of cotton, linen, or polyester
  • No flanges
  • Inexpensive pillowcases may simply have a curved hem at the opening.

What Is a Pillow Sham?

Pillow Shams usually have the following criteria:

  • Crafted from luxurious fabrics such as silk or cashmere; sometimes of cotton, linen or synthetic fibers such as polyester
  • Vigorous movements in the washing machine can damage some fakes
  • The hole often has a fold (flap) that sits on the back of the imitation.
  • Most often, all four edges end with a flange or cord
  • Opens in the middle of the back and the slit is hidden by overlapping fabric or zip fastening
  • Shams are usually a little more decorative (Decorative cover for your pillow, usually not meant to be slept on)
  • It usually has 2 to 3 inches wide flanges (strips of fabric added to mimic a large and fashionable look) on all four sides. The flanges can be an extension of the material used to fix it or a fancy lace attached to the imitation.

Now you know the advantages and disadvantages of pillow sham vs case. Difference between sham and pillowcase is big, although both cover your pillows, but shams are for decoration while pillowcases are more functional. The pillowcase keeps your pillow clean by protecting it from dust, dirt, and indoor allergens. A sham also protects your pillow, just like a pillowcase, but it's mostly for decoration. It may not be made with breathable fabrics like a pillowcase, and so not as comfortable to sleep on.

Where and When to Use Sham?

We usually use bed spoons for decorative purposes only. What is a sham for a bed? The term “false bed” describes pillowcases with a false front, which makes the pillows look like a decorative element. With interesting designs and patterns on the front, they will add brightness, texture, and depth to your bedroom.

If you want to easily convert a standard-size pillow into a decorative accessory, this is a great choice. While they are comfortable enough to sleep on like a regular pillowcase, they are usually taken out of bed or placed behind regular pillows while you sleep. The imitation is easy to remove and wash normally, ideal for people with children or pets, and for those who prefer to machine wash their pillowcases.

How to Choose the Right Sham?

sham bedding

Like pillowcase sizes, bed shams are compatible with standard pillow sizes, so you’ll find standard sham dimensions, queen shams, and king shams. Use them with size-compatible mattresses or mix and match them together for a unique look.

Shams usually come in four different sizes to match traditional pillow sizes:

Standard Sham = 20-by-26-inch

A decorative pillow covering which fits a standard pillow. Standard sham sizes may either be placed behind or in front of the pillows used to sleep on. They are placed behind the cases in our bed illustration.

Standard pillow shams are one of the most common sizes on the market, so you’ll find many varieties of this size. They are meant for the smaller bed pillows, generally used with twin, twin XL, or full size beds. Now look further and compare euro sham vs standard sham.

Queen Sham = 20-by-30-inch

Queen size pillowcases as with queen size shams are somewhat of an aberration. That is, most linen manufacturers do not make a queen-size case or sham.

This is often confusing to people as they assume that their queen-size bed should be outfitted with queen pillowcases.

These shams are 4 inches longer than the standard shams, and they may not be as easily available as the standard shams. Due to this difference in size, even queen-size pillows are not as widely available as the standard-size pillows, so people often use two standard pillows on a queen-size bed.

King Sham = 20-by-36-inch

King shams are 10 inches longer than standard shams and are available in bedding stores and online. You need two king-size pillow inserts with shams to complete the look of your Cal king or king-size bed.

King sham vs standard sham: Some Standard and King shams are intended to be slept on.

European / Continental Sham = 26-by-20-inch

It usually ends with a flange. The fake clasp has a hole tucked between two overlapping pieces of fabric. Euro Sham definition means that they are placed behind standard-sized pillow stands or cases as a backdrop or in front of cases and lures. They are often paired with either a duvet cover or a bedspread.

These square shapes are used with Euro pillows. They offer extra support when you are sitting in bed or on the couch. Since European pillows can be used in both the bedroom and living room, choose a versatile imitation to match the decor in both rooms.

While pre-made pillow simulators come in the sizes listed above, some bedding brands also sell simulated travel pillows, boudoir pillow simulators, and custom-sized custom size pillow simulators.

How to choose the right one? This is largely up to you. Shams come in a variety of styles and materials, from silk to cotton and everything in between. For example, you can read more about boudoir pillow definition. If you're looking for the most reliable design possible, we recommend opting for an imitation with a zipper, although an imitation with buttons can add the decorative touch that many people prefer.

Can We Sleep on False Pillows?

There are a number of opinions:

  1. Yes, as long as they are made of easily washable sheet fabric.
  2. If they have a cord, most likely not.
    Some gags are made from decorative or upholstery fabrics.
  3. Most likely, sleeping on props made of these fabrics will be uncomfortable.

What’s the Best Filler for Decorative Shams?

sham meaning
  • We believe that the best filling is a feather. Since it is inexpensive and never clumped together.
  • Some have feather allergies; As a result, polyamide-filled pillows will work, but they tend to clump over time and may not fill corners well.
  • While any type of pillow can be used with a fake bad, it is better to use harder types of foam, such as memory foam pillows, because they hold their shape better than pillows with loose fibers such as polyester. If you use bedding for extra support while sitting in bed, it is best to have a stiffer pillow to support your back.

Do You Need Pillow Shams?

If you want to convert your standard-size sleeping pillow into a decorative accessory, you’ll need a pillow sham. If you don’t care much about the look of your bed, then a pillowcase will suffice. Some pillow shams may not be comfortable enough to rest your head on because they flaunt sequins, buttons, or lace. People usually remove sham-covered pillows before sleeping and place them back on the bed in the morning.

We are sure that now you have been able to find out more useful information about the question: What are shams in a bed set? And also decorative standard pillow shams that will be useful to you in the future creation of comfort and a home atmosphere in the house. After all, any hostess needs to know a lot about all the things.

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