The best long pillow case will be the right size for your pillow, have a comfortable thread count, and reflect the overall style of your bedding or other decor. The type and style of long pillow case usually depends on fabric and embellishments. If the pillow is decorative, you'll want to choose an embellished pillow case known as a sham. If not, search for a soft pillow case with a a high thread count.
Typically, pillow cases come in three basic sizes: standard, queen, and king. Each is designed to be half as wide as the corresponding bed. Therefore, two standard pillowcases can lie side by side at the head of a full or double bed. Two queen pillows are used for a queen bed and two king pillows for a king or California king sized bed. Three standard pillows also work well on a king bed.
One other size is the body pillow. It is about twice as long as a standard. A body pillow requires an extra long pillow case, and it is normally labeled as body pillow sized.
Pillow cases are made to reflect standard pillow sizes. There are many other sizes of pillows, but their cases are usually custom made to match. You should purchase the pillow case that is the same size as your pillow to avoid having excess fabric hanging from the end of the pillow.
There are two types of pillow cases: cases and covers. Covers are typically made to go over the pillow to add a hypoallergenic layer. Usually they are white or off-white. Covers come in all the basic sizes and usually zip closed. Cases are typically open at one end and can be found in a variety of colors and fabrics.
If you want a decorative long pillow case that you don't intend to sleep on, you have your choice of fabrics and styles. Decorative pillow cases are also called shams. Shams are usually quite stiff, since they are made for show, and should be matched to the surrounding decor or bedding. Often, a "bed in the bag" or comforter set will include matching shams with a blanket.
For practical pillow cases, you want a long pillow case with a high thread count that is made of cotton. Higher thread counts mean that the threads are smaller and the weave smoother. This gives the pillow case a soft, supple feel that is very comfortable.
Thread count is a personal choice. If you have slept on sheets with a low thread count for many years, two things can happen. Either you are accustomed to the feeling and going up even 50 or 100 threads per inch in thread count will feel luxurious, or your sheets have become smooth after years of washing.
The best method for choosing a good thread count is to feel the material it in question. Go to a home store and experience the difference between 200 thread count and 500 thread count. Unfortunately, the higher the thread count, the higher the price. To find the best long pillowcase for you, find a long pillow case in a comfortable thread count that is still in your price range.