What's a Euro Sham?
The Difference Between Standard & Euro Shams

The Difference Between Standard & Euro Shams

When it comes to luxury bedding, there are a variety of different pieces that were designed specially to enhance the design elements of your bedroom and match the color, theme, or style that you are dreaming of.
One of those luxury bedding items that we just can’t live without is the coveted pillow sham. You may be familiar with a standard sham, but another popular term in the fine bedding world is the euro sham. While they perform the same task quite well, there are some differences when it comes to a standard vs euro sham you should be aware of so that you choose the perfect luxury pillow shams for your room.

What is a Pillow Sham?

A good place to start when talking about a standard vs euro sham, is to answer the question that some of you may be wondering and that is, ‘What is a pillow sham?”

A pillow sham is a decorative cover for a pillow that is used to make the pillows more visually appealing. Traditionally, in the U.S., pillow shams are used purely for decorative purposes, although some pillow shams are made from sheeting, allowing them to be used as an alternative to a pillow case if you prefer. Whether you’re using pillow shams for a decorative touch or to sleep on, the sham is a great choice to complete your bedding ensemble. 

When pillow shams are used for bed decorations, they can make a huge design statement in your bedroom. This popular bedding element can be simple and come in solid colors that match your luxury bedding ensemble, or pillow shams can be decorated and embellished elaborately. Both standard shams and euro shams can be purchased as part of a luxury bedding set, or they can be purchased separately to mix and match with your decor.


The two basic types of pillow shams are the standard sham and the euro sham.  Here are the main differences:


What is a Standard Sham? - A standard pillow sham is designed to cover standard American-size pillows, which are your typical regular size bed pillows that most people use on their beds. Standard shams fit rectangular-shaped pillows.

What is a Euro Sham?  - A euro pillow sham is designed to cover European-size pillows, which differ from standard American styles. European pillows are square in shape, versus rectangle like the standard pillows, requiring a square-shaped sham for proper coverage.

Differences Between Standard & Euro Pillow Shams

While European shams serve the same purpose as standard pillow shams, there are some notable differences when it comes to a standard vs euro sham for your bedroom. Here are a few:

What are the Main Design Feature Differences Between a Standard vs Euro Pillow Sham?

The most obvious difference between the standard sham and euro sham is the shape of the bedding items. The standard American pillow sham is rectangle in shape, while the European style pillow sham is square.

What is the Size Difference Between a Standard and Euro Sham?

Size is a main difference when it comes to standard vs euro pillow shams. Since standard American pillows measure 20×26 inches, this is the measurement for the standard pillow sham. European pillow shams measure 26×26 inches, which is the size of the standard European pillow.

What is the Cost Difference Between a Standard Pillow Sham and a Euro Pillow Sham

Standard size pillow shams are typically less expensive than euro size pillow shams, but this is not always the case. While standard shams do use less fabric to create than the euro shams, the quality of the materials used, added embellishments, and other design elements come in to play where cost is concerned.

Peacock Alley Has Fine Luxury Pillow Shams to Compliment Your Bedding Ensemble

Peacock Alley is proud to offer a fine selection of high-quality pillow shams for your home. We offer standard shams, which are perfect for the middle row of decorative stacked pillows on your bed. In addition, we offer king shams, which are slightly longer than a standard sham to fit king-size pillows, which can be used to wonderfully decorate a king-size bed. And, we also have a great selection of luxury euro shams, the largest of our shams, which are perfect for using as the back row of pillows because they add height to design arrangement and really make a statement.

No matter what type of bedding set you have, pillow shams can add a unique and stylish design element to your bedroom. We invite you to explore our collection of fine pillow shams at Peacock Alley to complete your bedding ensemble.