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Types of Pillows

What is a "Euro" sham? How exactly do you go about arranging all of these pillows on your bed? If these are the types of questions you find yourself asking, this quick guide will get you set on the right path. Learn about the different kinds of pillows you can decorate with, as well as the best way to arrange them for a photo-finish look.


Ways to Style Pillows on a Bed

Note: European shams are propped against the headboard, sleep pillows come next, and then Standard/Queen or King shams are propped against these. Finally, the smaller accent pillows are arranged in front of the backdrop of larger pillows.

    Twin:
  • 1 Euro sham, 1 Standard/Queen sham (or 1 King sham) + one standard pillow (or one king pillow) + 1-2 accent pillows
  • Full
  • 2 Euro shams, 2 Standard/Queen shams + 2 standard pillows + 1-2 accent pillows
  • Queen
  • 2 Euro shams, 2 Standard/Queen shams + 2 standard pillows (or 2 queen pillows) + 2-3 accent pillows
  • King
  • 3 Euro shams, 2 King shams (or 3 Euro shams, 3 Standard/Queen shams) + 2 king pillows (or 3 standard pillows) + 3 accent pillows

Accent Pillows
Accent Pillows
Smaller pillows displayed in front of shams and sleep pillows; this category covers square, round, and rectangle pillows as well as neckrolls.

Bolster Sham
Bolster Pillow (Bolster Sham)
A long, wedge-shaped pillow designed for use with a Hollywood cover.

Tip: A bolster pillow includes the sham and foam insert. A bolster sham is the covering only (no foam insert inside.)


Euro Sham
European Sham (Euro Sham)
Decorative coverings for a 26"x26" pillow. These are generally propped against the headboard and are useful for sitting up in bed to watch television or read.

King Pillow
King Pillow
A sleep pillow that is 18"-20"x36" in dimensions; these pillows go inside the pillowcases that often come with a sheet set.

King Sham
King Sham
A decorative casing that holds your 20"x36" stuffer pillow; these shams are displayed in front of European shams.

Neckroll Pillow
Neckroll (Cylinder Pillow)
Small, cylindrical pillows that traditionally were used to support the neck.

Pillow Sham
Pillow Shams
Decorative coverings for Standard/Queen or King stuffer pillows (not to be confused with sleep pillows); most have an opening on the reverse side.

Tip: A “Standard Sham” and a “Queen Sham” are usually the same size. Some pillow shams may have a zipper closure at the bottom.


Queen Pillow
Queen Pillow
A sleep pillow that is 18"-20"x29" in dimensions; these pillows go inside the pillowcases that often come with a sheet set.

Rectangle Pillow
Rectangle Pillow
Four-sided accent pillows that are longer than they are wide.

Round Pillow
Round Pillow
Circular accent pillows, often (but not always) with a button in the center, that are used to style a bed.

Standard Pillow
Standard Pillow
A sleep pillow that is 18"-20"x26" in dimensions; these pillows go inside the pillowcases that often come with a sheet set.

Standard Sham
Standard Sham (Standard/Queen Sham)
A decorative casing that holds your 20"x28" stuffer pillow; these shams are displayed in front of European and/or King shams.

Stuffer Pillows
Stuffer Pillow
Plump pillow form that fills the inside of a decorative sham casing; designed for ornamental use but may be used as a firm support pillow.

Square Pillow
Square Pillow
Four-sided accent pillows that are equal in length and width.