What is a Sham in Bedding?

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While the bedroom is a personal space, it also requires an interior design that can make it appealing to you.

The choice of fabrics, as well as the placement of pillows, will influence the overall look. Decorative pillowcases are also a part of the aesthetic look because of the sham that creates a focal point in the room.

But what exactly is a sham?

Shams are false front pillow covers with over-flapped edges designed to enhance aesthetic appeal in pillows. In addition, it has embroidered linings and other designer patterns that contribute to its overall appearance; as well as hidden zippers to an opening on its back.

It may be quite challenging for you to decorate your bedroom since you may not have a strong drive pushing you toward elegant decoration.

Please read on to learn more about sham bedding and the different styling methods available.

How Does a Sham Work?


Having a sham on a pillow means that it is covered with a fake front. In this case, it can be the same color as or blend into the bedcovers, useful for decorative purposes during the day and it will look nice during the day.

These, however, need a fluff-filled pillow for an effective decorative structure. 

In addition to serving as an attractive decoration, a sham can offer back support when you’re sitting on the bed. Shams are also an important part of pillows that keep them clean and tidy but should be removed before going to bed.

While some people sleep on a sham, it is generally best to remove it when you sleep.

Hence, even after your kids play with your pets on the bed, you can be sure of a safe pillow to sleep on.

When you are looking for a sham that you can comfortably sleep on, you will need to look for one made of either linen or microfiber that offers the same functionality as a pillowcase.

What is the Difference Between a Pillow Case and a Sham?

Most pillows have their fabrics enclosed in them, so it’s difficult to wash them when they become dirty, so a pillowcase is crucial for keeping them clean while you sleep.

Shams are decorative covers that make pillows look more appealing.

However, to tell one from another, you should note that:

Pillow Cases

These are open at one end with no decorative features on them. Most pillowcases have fabrics similar to that of the bedsheets such as those of the Comphy company.

However, quality pillowcases may also have some form of decors in form of embroidery on them but with no extra linings such as those in the shams.


Most of these have hidden zippers, hidden with an overlapping fabric. They also have several decors, both in form of embroideries and different accents.

These hardly maintain the same colors as the sheets but instead, most users tend to look for shams that can be the focal point in the room.

How Do You Style Your Bed With Pillow Shams?

Decoration of your bedroom starts with the bed, before checking on the furniture and other relevant items in the room. This is because the bed takes lots of factors into consideration including:

Color Scheme

Whether you already have a cool color theme for the room, or you are just starting a new bedroom. The texture color and shape of the pillows do matter in the room’s arrangements.

So you may decide to get a new look with the freedom, of getting any bedding you want; or with an already existing theme, you may be limited to what colors you go for as long as they maintain the current theme in the room.

However, you can also choose to ignore any present theme in the room and instead opt for a new setup around the bed that does not match any color scheme in the room.

Pillow Arrangement Ideas

Depending on the size of the bed, and the number of your pillows you can:

Set up three pillows arranged in a row with similar colors along the headboard with the ridge between them being at the center of the bed. Prop a differently colored pillow at the center.  

Make sure the colors are blending with the bedsheets or bed covers. Both the pillows and the bed covers should be complementing each other such as in beautiful houses.

If you have an even number of pillows, arrange the first layer with similar colors along the headboard, but this time round make sure the pillows are touching the sides of the bed so that there is a huge ridge between them.

Arrange the remaining pillows matching the previous arrangements, similar to Jane’s home.

Purchase the Right Size

Pillow Shams are available in all sizes and styles; Queens, kings, and Euro size all fit various kinds of beds.

Therefore, you should buy the one that matches your preferences.

Headboard Size

Beds vary, some have extra customized headboards that are over 2ft high, while others are even lesser than the 2ft.

So your pillow shams should match the size of your bed’s headboard; however, if you want you can purchase those with sizes taller than your headboard by few inches. 

Extra tall shams taller than the headboard may not achieve the aesthetic touch in the room.

Embrace Change

When you do things your way, you always come up with something new and interesting. So long as you find something you like, you may be willing to try a few more experiments.

Therefore, taking into consideration, the bed’s size, here are some of the ways you can arrange the pillow shams with full stuffed pillows in them on your bed.

Layered Arrangements

With this styling technique, you’ll be able to display a pillow staircase whose highest step is the headboard of your bed.

Pillow shams in this style can be different colors or the same, but it would be most impressive if they had little difference in decoration.

 With each staircase’s decoration differing slightly from the other as it grows in size, this complements the staircase’s look.  In addition, make sure the colors you choose to go with are sort of brighter than the color of the headboard such as in the king’s lane.

Whichever pillow size you decide to go with, it is best to arrange them with the pillows close to the headboard being the king-sized(largest), followed by the standard size and the Euro size(smallest).

Asymmetrical Styling

A style like this works well if you wish to have pillows of different sizes and different colors.

So as long as the pillows are all layered up from the headboard towards the footboard, you can arrange them however you like. You may want to copy-check that of Kathy’s home.

Stacked Styling

You don’t need several pillows to do this, it’s quite easy as long as you lay the pillows one on top of another in a stack.

However, you need to consider the fact that this style needs same-sized pillows and if possible in blending colors for the lower stack and upper stack.

However, you are unlimited in your arrangement here.

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