What Are Bed Shams? Comprehensive Guide by Cozy Bed Quarters

Bedding Sham

What Are Bed Shams? A Complete Guide by Cozy Bed Quarters


When it comes to creating a cozy and inviting bedroom, every detail counts. One often overlooked element is the bed sham. But what exactly are bed shams, and how can they enhance your bedroom decor? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about bed shams, their benefits, and how to use them effectively. We’ll also touch on the importance of bed positioning to maximize comfort and aesthetics.

What Are Bed Shams?

Bed shams are decorative pillow covers designed to enhance the look of your bed. Unlike regular pillowcases, which are typically used for sleeping, bed shams are more ornamental and are usually placed in front of or on top of your regular pillows. They often feature decorative fabrics, patterns, and trims, adding a touch of elegance and style to your bedding ensemble.

Types of Bed Shams

There are several types of bed shams to choose from, each offering a unique look and feel:

  1. Standard Shams: These fit standard-sized pillows and are a popular choice for most beds.
  2. King Shams: Designed for king-sized pillows, these shams are larger and ideal for king or California king beds.
  3. Euro Shams: These square-shaped shams are typically 26×26 inches and are used to add height and dimension to your bed.

Materials and Designs

Bed shams come in a variety of materials and designs to suit different tastes and decor styles:

  • Cotton: Soft and breathable, cotton shams are easy to care for and perfect for everyday use.
  • Silk: Luxurious and smooth, silk shams add a touch of elegance to your bed but require delicate care.
  • Linen: Known for its natural texture and durability, linen shams are great for a relaxed, rustic look.
  • Velvet: Plush and cozy, velvet shams are ideal for adding warmth and sophistication to your bedding.

Benefits of Using Bed Shams

Bed shams offer several benefits that go beyond mere aesthetics:

  • Protection: They protect your pillows from dust and dirt, extending their lifespan.
  • Versatility: Shams can be easily changed, allowing you to update your bedroom decor without buying new pillows.
  • Layering: They add layers and texture to your bed, making it look more inviting and well-dressed.
  • Comfort: Shams provide extra support when you sit up in bed to read or watch TV.

How to Choose the Right Bed Shams

Choosing the right bed shams involves considering several factors:

  1. Size: Ensure the sham fits your pillow size correctly. A too-small or too-large sham can look awkward.
  2. Material: Select a material that complements your bedding and suits your comfort needs.
  3. Design: Choose a design that matches or complements your overall bedroom decor.
  4. Maintenance: Consider how easy the shams are to clean and maintain. Some materials require more care than others.

Bed Positioning: Enhancing Comfort and Style

Bed positioning plays a crucial role in creating a comfortable and visually appealing bedroom. Here are some tips on how to position your bed for maximum effect:

Optimal Bed Positioning

  1. Focal Point: Position your bed against the main wall of your bedroom, making it the focal point of the space.
  2. Symmetry: Create symmetry by placing matching nightstands and lamps on either side of the bed.
  3. View: Ensure the bed has a good view of the room’s best features, such as a window or a piece of artwork.

Feng Shui Principles

Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of arranging living spaces for harmony and balance, offers additional insights into bed positioning:

  • Command Position: Place your bed in a commanding position, where you can see the door but are not directly in line with it. This promotes a sense of security and control.
  • Headboard: Use a solid headboard for support and stability, both physically and energetically.
  • Avoid Clutter: Keep the area under and around your bed free of clutter to promote a restful sleep environment.

Practical Considerations

  • Accessibility: Ensure there is enough space around the bed for easy access and movement.
  • Lighting: Position lamps and lighting to provide adequate illumination for reading and other activities.
  • Ventilation: Place your bed near a window if possible to allow for fresh air and natural light.

Styling Your Bed with Shams

Now that you understand the basics of bed shams and bed positioning, let’s explore how to style your bed using these elements.

Layering with Shams

Layering is key to creating a luxurious and inviting bed. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start with Basics: Begin with your fitted sheet, flat sheet, and primary sleeping pillows.
  2. Add Shams: Place your decorative bed shams in front of your sleeping pillows. For a balanced look, use an equal number of shams on each side.
  3. Layer Blankets and Throws: Add a cozy blanket or throw at the foot of the bed for extra warmth and style.
  4. Accessorize with Accent Pillows: Use accent pillows to add color, texture, and personality to your bed. Mix and match different sizes and shapes for a dynamic look.

Coordinating Colors and Patterns

When selecting bed shams and other bedding elements, consider the following tips for coordinating colors and patterns:

  • Color Palette: Choose a cohesive color palette that complements your room’s decor. Neutral tones are versatile and timeless, while bold colors can add a pop of personality.
  • Patterns: Mix and match patterns for a stylish look. Pair solid-colored shams with patterned sheets or vice versa. Stripes, florals, and geometric designs can all work together if they share a common color scheme.
  • Textures: Incorporate different textures to add depth and interest. Combine smooth cotton with plush velvet or rustic linen for a layered effect.

Seasonal Updates

Refresh your bed decor with the changing seasons:

  • Spring/Summer: Opt for lighter fabrics like cotton or linen in bright or pastel colors to create a fresh, airy feel.
  • Fall/Winter: Choose warmer fabrics like velvet or flannel in rich, deep hues to add coziness and warmth.


Bed shams are a versatile and stylish addition to any bedroom. They not only enhance the visual appeal of your bed but also offer practical benefits like protection and added comfort. By understanding the different types of bed shams and how to choose the right ones, you can easily transform your bed into a cozy and inviting haven.

In addition to selecting the perfect bed shams, consider the importance of bed positioning in creating a comfortable and harmonious space. Whether you follow Feng Shui principles or focus on practical considerations, proper bed positioning can significantly impact your sleep quality and overall bedroom aesthetics.

At Cozy Bed Quarters, we believe that every detail matters when it comes to creating the perfect bedroom. By incorporating beautiful bed shams and thoughtful bed positioning, you can design a space that is not only stylish but also conducive to restful and rejuvenating sleep. So go ahead, experiment with different shams, play with bed positioning, and transform your bedroom into the sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of.