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What Is a Bolster Pillow Case?

By Cindy Quarters
Updated May 23, 2024
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A bolster is a long, narrow, usually cylindrical pillow typically used to add a decorative accent to a bed or couch. Large bolsters are often used for people to rest one knee upon when sleeping, as neck or shoulder support, or just for hugging when in bed. A bolster pillow case is a type of pillow case made to fit a bolster. The case helps to keep the bolster clean and to make it appear more decorative.

Many people use a bolster as an aid to sleep. Using a pillow between the knees when a person is sleeping on his or her side can help to alleviate back and hip pain. A small bolster under the neck helps to keep the vertebrae in comfortable alignment. Very large bolsters are often used as hugging pillows, and a person may sleep with a leg and arm draped over one, taking the stress off of those body parts.

A bolster pillow case is a pillow case that is specially made to fit over a bolster. If it is used mainly as decoration, such as an accent piece on a couch or a bed, the case may be made of heavy material. In some instances a purely decorative bolster pillow case may have a zipper on it. Sometimes, instead of a zipper the sides of the opening may overlap, holding the bolster snugly in place once it is inside.

These functional pillows are typically placed in a pillow case made of cotton or microfiber. Such covers are made to be comfortable and to allow for the circulation of air which the bolster is in use. They may or may not have a zipper, but usually they don’t, as a zipper might scratch the person who is using the bolster as an aid to sleep.

If a bolster is custom-made or is an unusual size it may be hard to find a bolster pillow case that fits properly. The best place to find one is usually the store where the bolster was purchased. Bolster coverings may be found with living room furniture, if the bolster is an accent piece for a couch. It is also possible to locate a case in the linens section of a large store, along with sheets and other bedding.

When the right size bolster pillow case cannot be found, one can often be made. A standard pillow case can quickly be altered to fit a small bolster. For larger ones, a piece of fabric can be stitched together relatively easily to create a custom covering for a bolster of any size.

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