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Best Pillow Shams

While pillowcases are meant to cover the pillows that you sleep on, pillow shams cover up additional, decorative pillows that might be on your bed or elsewhere in your bedroom. These shams serve dual purposes: They help keep your pillows clean, and they can also upgrade your bedroom decor by creating a more cohesive look.

There are a lot of pillow shams on the market, so how do you find the best one for you? Start by thinking about your aesthetic preferences when it comes to designs, colors, and so on. (For instance, do you want a plain sham or one with embroidery or other textural elements?) Then consider whether you have a preference when it comes to materials. Finally, think about your budget. Together, these factors and our roundup will help you settle on the best pillow shams for your needs.

Best Pillow Shams

Editor’s Choice

beddingstar Pillow Shams

Pros: 

  • The shams are made from long-staple, 550 thread count, 100% Egyptian cotton, which is durable and smooth to the touch. 
  • They’re available in several colors and designs, from pinched pleat to ruffled to plain. 
  • The shams are machine-washable and dryer-friendly. 
  • The shams feature an envelope closure at the back, so there are no uncomfortable zippers. 

Cons: 

  • The shams are a little prone to wrinkling, so you might need to do some ironing if wrinkles annoy you. 
  • The shams are sized a little large, so there might be some extra material around the edges of your pillow.
beddingstar Pillow Shams
beddingstar Pillow Shams
beddingstar Pillow Shams

The beddingstar Pillow Shams stand out from the crowd thanks to their high-quality materials and versatile design. The shams are made from 550 thread count, 100% Egyptian cotton and come in several colors and patterns. 

Contender

NTBAY Brushed Microfiber Pillow Shams

Pros: 

  • The shams come in tons of colors, so you can tailor them to your bedroom decor. 
  • They’re made from 100% brushed microfiber, which is soft to the touch. The manufacturer claims it’s also stain- and wrinkle-resistant. 
  • These are very budget-friendly pillow shams, especially considering the quality. 
  • The shams are machine-washable and dryer-friendly. 

Cons: 

  • Some users have reported that certain colors don’t exactly match their pictures. 
  • The stitching might not be the most durable. 
NTBAY Brushed Microfiber Pillow Shams
NTBAY Brushed Microfiber Pillow Shams
NTBAY Brushed Microfiber Pillow Shams

Enjoy budget-friendly shams with a high-quality feel thanks to the NTBAY Brushed Microfiber Pillow Shams. They’re soft to the touch and machine-washable. 

Best Silk

ALASKA BEAR 100% Silk Pillow Shams

Pros: 

  • The shams are made from 600 thread count, 100% mulberry silk, which is smooth, soft, and breathable. 
  • The material is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, which means it’s free of certain harmful chemicals and meets environmental standards. The manufacturer says it’s chemical-free and naturally dyed. 
  • They’re available in many colors, so you can tailor the shams to your bedroom. 
  • There’s some evidence that silk is gentler on skin and hair than other pillow sham materials. 

Cons: 

  • This is a pricier sham, and it won’t be accessible to all price points. 
  • Some users have reported that the shams don’t hold up super well to repeated washings. 
ALASKA BEAR 100% Silk Pillow Shams
ALASKA BEAR 100% Silk Pillow Shams
ALASKA BEAR 100% Silk Pillow Shams

Mulberry silk makes the ALASKA Bear 100% Silk Pillow Shams soft and smooth to the touch. The material is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified and naturally dyed. 

Best Embroidered

MarCielo Embroidered Pillow Shams

Pros: 

  • The shams are dyed primarily with natural mineral or vegetable dyes, which is gentler on your skin and the environment. 
  • The envelope closure holds the pillow in place without exposing you to tough zippers.
  • The shams come in several colors, so you can tailor them to your aesthetic preferences. 

Cons: 

  • The shams are sized a little large, so the edges might droop a bit. 
  • The material is fairly thin, so it’s unclear how durable it will be. 
MarCielo Embroidered Pillow Shams
MarCielo Embroidered Pillow Shams
MarCielo Embroidered Pillow Shams

A pretty embroidered design and a variety of colors ensure the MarCielo Embroidered Pillow Shams will upgrade the look of your bedroom. The shams are dyed primarily with natural mineral or vegetable dyes.

Best Waffle Weave

PHF Waffle Weave Sham Cover

Pros: 

  • The shams are made from 100% cotton, which is soft and smooth to the touch. 
  • The material is made in an OEKO-TEX Standard 100 factory, which means it meets certain safety and environmental standards. 
  • They’re machine-washable and dryer-friendly. 
  • The textured waffle weave is ideal for covering feather pillows, because the thick knit helps prevent feather leakage. 

Cons: 

  • The shams aren’t available in many colors, so your aesthetic options are limited.
  • Some users have reported that certain colors may not exactly match their pictures. 
PHF Waffle Weave Sham Cover
PHF Waffle Weave Sham Cover
PHF Waffle Weave Sham Cover

The thick-textured PHF Waffle Weave Sham Cover is made from 100% cotton in an OEKO-TEX Standard 100 factory. The shams are machine-washable and dryer-friendly.

Best Egyptian Cotton

Pinzon 400-Thread-Count Egyptian Cotton Sham

Pros: 

  • The shams are made from 400 thread count, 100% Egyptian Cotton in a sateen finish, which is durable and fairly soft to the touch. 
  • They’re made in an OEKO-TEX Standard 100 factory, meaning they meet certain safety and environmental standards. 
  • The envelope closure helps hold a pillow in place without the discomfort of a zipper. 
  • The shams are machine-washable and dryer-friendly. 

Cons: 

  • The shams are sold individually instead of in a set of two, which means it costs more to outfit a bed with two (or more) pillows. 
  • The shams are prone to wrinkling after washing, which might annoy some people. 
Pinzon 400-Thread-Count Egyptian Cotton Sham
Pinzon 400-Thread-Count Egyptian Cotton Sham
Pinzon 400-Thread-Count Egyptian Cotton Sham

Quality materials and manufacturing distinguish the Pinzon 400-Thread-Count Egyptian Cotton Sham, which is made from 100% Egyptian cotton in an OEKO-TEX Standard 100 factory. The shams are machine-washable. 

Best Bargain

FLXXIE Standard Shams

Pros: 

  • These are very budget-friendly shams that come in a pack of two. 
  • The shams come in tons of colors, so it’s easy to tailor them to your bedroom decor. 
  • They’re made of microfiber, which is soft to the touch. The manufacturer says the material is stain- and wrinkle-resistant. 
  • The shams are machine-washable. 

Cons: 

  • Some users have reported that certain colors don’t exactly match their pictures. 
  • The fabric is very thin, and certain colors might be a little see-through.
FLXXIE Standard Shams
FLXXIE Standard Shams
FLXXIE Standard Shams

The budget-friendly FLXXIE Standard Shams come in tons of colors, so it’s easy to match them to your bedroom’s color scheme. They’re machine-washable and made of soft microfiber.

How We Picked

There are a lot of pillow shams on the market, so we used several criteria to narrow down our search. Here’s an overview of the factors that informed our decision making.

Aesthetics

One of the main reasons that people purchase pillow shams is to upgrade the look of their bed and create a more cohesive look for their entire bedroom — so aesthetics are important. We chose options in a variety of materials, designs, and color choices so there’s something for most tastes.

Ease of Care

While you might not wash your pillow shams as frequently as regular pillowcases, you’ll still want to clean them on a regular basis. We think that process should be as hassle-free as possible, so we focused on shams that are machine-washable. In most cases, the options on this list are also dryer-friendly.

Manufacturing

The way in which a pillow sham is manufactured can have an impact on its safety, quality, eco-footprint, and so on. Whenever possible, we prioritized options that are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, which means they’re free of certain harmful chemicals and meet environmental standards.

Materials

The materials used in a pillow sham have a big impact on its feel and (to a lesser extent) its appearance. Different people have their own preferences when it comes to materials. For instance, some people love the feel of silk, while others won’t think of using anything but cotton. We included shams made from a variety of materials — including microfiber, silk, and cotton — to accommodate different tastes.

Sleepopolis Buying Tips

Hunting for the best pillow shams around? Narrow down your search by considering the following:

  • What material do you prefer? Shams can come in a range of materials including cotton, microfiber, silk, and so on. If you have a strong preference, that can refine your search.
  • What are your aesthetic preferences? Do you want a plain sham, or one with intricate embroidery or a waffle weave? What color are you looking for? If you want a specific look, this is another quick way to shrink the list of possible options.
  • What size pillow are you trying to cover? Pay close attention to measurements before ordering shams online, as they come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different pillow sizes and shapes.

The best pillow shams for your needs will help keep your decorative pillows clean while enhancing your bedroom’s aesthetic. To find the right shams for you, think about your budget along with your preferences when it comes to materials, designs, colors, and so on. Then bask in the glory of finally having cohesive bedroom decor!

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Logan Block
Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole. When he’s not hopping on a new bed or working with our editorial team to whip up an engaging sleep education guide, you can find him reading books on world history, walking his dog Pepper, or searching for the best cheeseburger in New York City.
Logan Block

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