What is a Pillow Cover?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
A patterned pillow sham over a pillow.
A patterned pillow sham over a pillow.

Pillow covers are simple fabric encasements that protect the pillow placed inside the cover. The design for the pillow cover normally includes a zippered opening at one end, which helps to make the insertion of the pillow a simple process. A variation on the zipper design is an overlapping slit in the middle of the back of the pillow cover that provides the ability to insert the pillow.

A pillow with an embroidered cover.
A pillow with an embroidered cover.

A pillow cover should not be confused with the common pillowcase that is used with bed pillows. While both devices are used to provide protection to pillows, pillowcases feature an open end that remains open at all times. A pillow cover will provide a complete encasement of the pillow, with no end remaining open.

There are decorative and functional forms of the pillow cover in common use. The practical pillow cover has a simple padded construction that is can be washed by hand or in a washing machine. Often made of cotton or similar durable materials, this type of pillow cover is often used with bed pillows. The pillow is inserted into the cover and the cover is zipped shut. The combination of the pillow and the pillow cover is then slipped into a pillowcase.

A bed with pillows on it.
A bed with pillows on it.

The pillow cover is also utilized with throw pillows as well. With this application, the pillow cover is constructed of heavier material and used to provide a colorful protecting cover for occasional pillows used on sofas and chairs. Like the pillow cover used for bed pillows, a throw pillow cover can also be washed and reused. Because the covers come in many colors and patterns, many people employ them to dress up a room for seasonal and holiday changes.

A woman asleep on a pillow with a pillow cover.
A woman asleep on a pillow with a pillow cover.

Finding the right pillow cover is not a difficult task. The types designed for use on bed pillows are carried in any discount retail store that sells bedding products. Pillow covers designed for use with throw pillows are found in upscale bed and bath shops. It is also possible to have pillow covers custom designed by decorators. As a useful device to protect pillows as well as a great decorating accent, the pillow cover offers a great deal of versatility for very little money.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including PillowGuide, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including PillowGuide, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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    • A patterned pillow sham over a pillow.
      By: karam miri
      A patterned pillow sham over a pillow.
    • A pillow with an embroidered cover.
      By: aspen rock
      A pillow with an embroidered cover.
    • A bed with pillows on it.
      By: David Hilcher
      A bed with pillows on it.
    • A woman asleep on a pillow with a pillow cover.
      By: taka
      A woman asleep on a pillow with a pillow cover.