What Is a Bed Sham?


Quick Answer

A sham is a decorative pillow cover, similar to a pillowcase, that typically matches the duvet cover or coverlet. Pillow shams usually have a decorative flange around all four sides and open in the middle of the back instead of on the side as with pillowcases.

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Full Answer

Pillow shams can be made out of the same fabric as the bed sheets or out of a more substantial fabric, such as matelasse or a quilted fabric. In general, pillow shams are not used for sleeping but rather to dress up the look of the top-of-the-bed bedding ensemble and are placed on "extra" pillows. Shams come in a wide variety of sizes, styles and colors.

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