Includes well-known professionals, who together provide decades of sleep medicine experience that enables Talk About Sleep to fulfill its mission of creating access to high-quality sleep information, education, and support.
Talk About Sleep is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Pillows aren’t necessarily bedding essentials but they are a must-have if you want to add a decorative flourish to your room. With the best pillow shams, your entire sleep space will look all spruced up and put together. You can get them to match your quilt, duvet, and other bedding or get them as one-offs to blend with your overall aesthetic. While it might seem easy to pick the best pillow sham for your space, the myriad brands, with different materials, dimensions and colors can be a tad confusing.
We scoured the market and came up with a refined list of some of the best-rated pillow shams to help you make a quick and informed decision. Some of the features we considered in our review include: color, pattern, fit, dimensions, and material. They determine the quality of the sham and its aesthetic appeal. The dimensions of the sham are a crucial consideration as it will help you find the perfect fit for your pillows.
Size: European 26” x 26”, Toddler 14” x 18”, Standard 20”x 26”, Queen 20” x 30”, King 20” x 36”, Body 20” x 54”
Material: 100% silk
Other features: 43 available colors, 600-thread count, hypoallergenic, zipper closure, naturally dyed, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certified
This over the top 100% silk pillow shams gets the top spot on our list for all the right reasons. They will instantly glam up your space and you can choose from the generous 43 color options offered.
If you are the typical naturalista, this should be your go-to choice as nothing beats the comfort and smoothness of silk plus it is generally known to be gentler on skin and hair than any other material. You will not only achieve the ideal aesthetic with the shams but also get premium comfort whenever you use your pillows.
With a 600-thread count, you can count on the shams’ durability. Even after a couple of washes, it will stay shiny and intact.
What are our favorite features? The shams come in 6 different sizes including toddler size and it is OEKO-TEX standard 100 certified. It offers premium comfort and multiple color options. They are also chemical-free as they are naturally-dyed.
What could be better? Other than the high price point, these shams couldn’t be any better.
Other features: hygroscopic, ventilative, anti-static, natural mineral or vegetable dyes, envelope design
Just from the look of it, these 2-piece pillow shams offer interesting textural detail that could add some character to your space. They are the ultimate choice for organic freaks as they are dyed with natural minerals and vegetable dyes that are a tad gentler on your skin and the environment than other dyes.
You not only get beauty and comfort with these shams but also top-notch convenience. Unlike most pillow shams, they are designed with an envelope closure to hold the pillows in place without giving you the tough zipper frustration.
Moreover, the shams come in various colors so you can pick what makes you tick.
Why did it make our list? The shams have a beautiful pattern detail on them and are organically made with natural mineral and vegetable dyes. Its envelope closure design is also very convenient.
What is not ideal about it? The material used to make the shams is a bit thin which makes their durability questionable and they are a little sized up so some users find the edges too dropped?
Size: 26” x 26”, 20” x 20”, 22” x 22”, 12” x 20”, 16” x 16”, 18” x 18”, 24” x 24”
Material: corduroy velvet
Other features: invisible zipper closure, 21 available colors
This is quite the piece if you want to add some casual ruggedness to your sleep space or living area. The stylistic corduroy velvet will not only add texture to your space but will also blend with your other décor pieces easily.
We are partial to this neutral and cozy grey color but you have other 20color options to pick from. It also comes in tons of sizes so you can get a perfect fit for your bed pillows or living area throws.
What’s more, the shams have an invisible zipper closure because who wants to see a tacky zipper on an incredibly beautiful decorative pillow sham?
What are its best features? The shams come in various sizes and colors and they are not only soft and comfy but also texturized to add an attractive decorative flourish to your space. Quite simply, they are the best quality European pillow shams.
What could be improved? There are a few complaints from customers that some sizes like the 20” x 20” are a bit loose on the inserts.
Other features: wrinkle-resistant, machine washable and dryable
This is a fantastic choice for everyday spaces and the bedroom because of its simple but elegant design and colors. They are mind-blowingly soft and durable with superb airflow.
The quilted patterns not only elevate the shams’ beauty but also give it some extra padding for superior comfort. The 2-inch flange adds some flare to the shams’ design which gives your space a finished chic look.
Further, you will love the 100% cotton material that you can wash in the machine and pass through a dryer. And the best part is that it is wrinkle-resistant, so, it will always look sharp and ready after a wash.
What are its best features? You will be winning at life when machine washing and drying these WINLIFE cotton pillow shams, plus they are wrinkle-resistant.
What could be improved? There is little room for improvement with this duo set in the color department. A few customers have complained of color inaccuracy.
Other features: 400-thread-count, envelope closure, OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified
There are all the great things about life and then there is the feeling of curling up in bed on Egyptian cotton. If you haven’t experienced it yet, here is your best chance. Egyptian cotton is popular for its perfect combination of luxurious softness and unparalleled strength.
With a 400 thread count and a sateen weave, you can trust this sham to offer you the best comfort. It also has a silky sheen about it and it comes with about 6 coloring details that you can choose from.
What are its best features? The sham is OEKO-TEX standard 100 certified thus safe for you and the environment. It is incredibly soft and has an embroidered stitching band on a 2-inch flange around its envelope closure which is decorative.
What could be improved? How we wish the sham came in various sizes.
Size: Standard 20” x 26”, Queen 20” x 30”, King 20” x 36”
Material: 100% cotton
Other features: two available colors, machine washable, macrame tassel cute lace trim
For a Boho vibe, you couldn’t make a better choice than these YINFUNG pillow shams. It has pretty macramé tassels, a cute lace trim detail, and pintuck handwork that will spruce up your space and add a luxurious yet homey touch to it.
The shams come in a set of 2 in 2 colors. They are made of 100% cotton which is soft to the touch, breathable, and easy to maintain. The shams are machine washable, though they will wrinkle as they are 100% cotton which isn’t much of a deal-breaker as you can always iron them.
What makes it stand out? the shams’ soft, breathable and hypoallergenic cotton material offers unrivaled sleep comfort over the night. They are also super-cute and can go well with various décor styles.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? The shams could be much better if they were wrinkle-resistant.
Size: Standard 20” x 26”, Queen 20” x 30”, King 20” x 36”, Euro 26” x 26”, a 2” decorative flange
Material: 100% microfiber
Other features: 20 available colors, a 90-day return and replacement, a life-time free customer service
So if you are on the market for basic looking yet high-quality shams on a low budget this is your best bet. The pair comes in tons of colors that you can choose from bright neon colors to calming bedroom tones.
The shams are smooth and pretty simple but fun. They don’t have much going on in terms of style except for their decorative flange but with the large color variety, you can tailor them to suit your room’s style.
You will love the 100% microfiber material that is superbly soft to the touch as well as stain and wrinkle-resistant.
Even more, the shams are machine washable and dryable.
Why did it make our list? NTBAY sets itself apart by offering a 90-day return and replacement policy and the most excellent free customer service for a lifetime.
What is not ideal about it? there are a few color inaccuracies and poor stitching complaints from customers.
Size: Standard 20” x 26”, Queen 20” x 30”, King 20” x 36”, Euro 26” x 26”
Other features: wrinkle-resistant, machine washable, low shrinkage
These are the best 2-pack pillow shams on this list because they come in myriad sizes. Also, they offer the best value for money as they are surprisingly cheaper than most pillow shams that offer similar features and quality.
The shams have multiple color options from which you can pick something to match your bedroom color scheme. They are made of super-soft microfiber that can be washed and dried in the washing machine and dryer. The material doesn’t shrink as much as others and it is wrinkle-resistant.
They are pretty basic design-wise, which is perfect for a minimalistic décor style or a simple vibe addition to a sophisticated space.
What are our favorite features? The shams’ price point is such a steal for a high-quality 2-pack set. The material is not only comfortable but also easy to maintain as you only have to throw it in your washer/dryer.
What could be better? The fabric used to make the shams is very thin, therefore the brighter color options might be a bit see-through for some people’s preference.
Things to Consider
Other than an attractive design, there are a lot of considerations to make before buying the perfect pillow sham for your space. This section contains a few quick tips on how to choose the best pillow sham. You will get to know the most crucial features you have to be on the look for when you go shopping.
Features to consider when choosing the best pillow sham
Here are some of the features any great pillow sham should have.
Dimensions and shape
This is the most crucial aspect. Before you go shopping for a sham you have to ensure you have the right size and shape of your pillows for a perfect fit. Shams come in 3 different sizes: 36”x20” which is the king-size, standard size 26”x20” and 26”x26” which is the Euro sham. The Euro sham has a square shape and is more versatile.
The choice of material is a matter of personal preference. However, it is advisable to consider the existing materials in your space like furniture and beddings. For instance, a sateen sham will look out of place on a corduroy textured bed cover or comforter. The most commonly used sham materials include: microfiber, linen, percale, and satin cotton.
Color and pattern
Most shams meant to be used in the bedroom come in neutral colors with calming yet elegant patterns. For the living space, the colors and patterns are very versatile. You can get plain white or dark and simple patterns or even bright neon with more pronounced patterns.
You can go with whatever suits your tastes but do note that neutral and soft colors fade the slowest compared to dark and bright colors. Also, crisp whites have the risk of visible discoloration over time.
There are 4 common types of sham closures: the envelope, button closure, permanent closure, and the hidden zipper closure.
The hidden zipper closure allows you to easily remove the sham for cleaning and it gives the sham the hidden adjective which is more appealing.
The envelope closure is also common on shams. It also allows easy removal for cleaning. The button closure is the most decorative of all as it is a decorative element added by a rectangular or square overlapping fabric connected to a single or more button. It also allows easy removal of the sham for cleaning.
Ease of care
You should choose a pillow sham that you are well capable of cleaning and maintaining. Some shams have material that calls for hand washing and sun drying while others can be easily washed and dried in the machine like the YINFUNG Boho Pillow Shams.
For instance, shams made with silk are easy to care for as they require dry-cleaning only while those made of cotton-like the Pinzon Egyptian Cotton Sateen Hotel Stitch Sham tend to shrink after washing and might need ironing to look great again.
Return and sleep trial policy
If you are the kind of shopper who is never sure they have the right thing, then you should consider buying your shams from a company with a good return and sleep trial policy. It will allow you to see if the colors and patterns fit well in your space.
For excellent value for your money, you can opt for a sham set that includes 2 or more pieces. A sham set has a blended look and can help you achieve a coordinated look in your space. The only downside to this is that it might not appear like you bought and matched them creatively yourself.
A pillow sham should be used only for decorative purposes. You can use them on the pillows on your beddings but you have to put them away before sleeping to reduce wear and tear. The one in the living space can be used for back support when watching TV or reading.
The higher the thread count the softer the pillow sham. Anything above 300 thread counts is soft and comfortable.
Pillow shams are a must-have if you want a super spruced up space. The information on this guide is enough to give you buyers’ confidence when you go shopping for pillow shams. You can also choose any of the top-rated shams on our product list to glam up your space. Our best overall pick ALASKA BEAR 100% Silk Euro Pillow Shams, is the best pillow sham you can get with multiple color options and a super-high thread count (600) at its price point.
The MarCielo 2-Piece Embroidered Pillow Shams was out premium pick and it stood out because it’s a set of 2 made with high-quality materials and natural dyes. Its hygroscopic and ventilative nature also makes it one of the safest options.
Third on our list, the Home Brilliant Decorative Euro Throw Pillow Sham scooped the spot because of its decorative velvet corduroy. The fact that it has multiple color and size options makes it one of the best pillow shams out there. Plus, it has an invisible zip closure which makes it even more aesthetically appealing.