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Pillowcase Sizes and Dimensions: Everything You Need to Know

By: Christina Davies
Updated on: April 05, 2024
FAST FACTS

  • Pillowcases are essential for maintaining the cleanliness and longevity of pillows, as they protect against allergens, sweat, and dirt.
  • Choosing the right pillowcase size is crucial for a snug fit and visual balance in your bedroom decor.
  • Standard pillowcases (20×26 inches) are versatile and fit standard and queen-size pillows, making them ideal for various mattress sizes.
  • Queen-size pillowcases (20″ x 30″) are designed for queen pillows and provide better coverage for queen-size mattresses.
  • King-size pillowcases (20″ x 36″) are ideal for king-size mattresses and can also fit California king-size beds.
  • Body-size pillowcases (20″ x 54″) are tailored for body pillows, providing ample length for hugging and snuggling.
  • Specialty pillowcase sizes, such as Euro, orthopedic, travel, and throw pillowcases, cater to unique pillow types and purposes.

Pillowcases are not just decorative elements; they serve a practical purpose in maintaining the cleanliness and longevity of your pillows. A well-fitted pillowcase protects your pillow from allergens, sweat, and dirt. It also adds an aesthetic appeal to your bedding ensemble. In this section, we will delve into the importance of pillowcases and highlight the significance of choosing the right size for your pillows.

Pillowcases come in various sizes to accommodate different pillow dimensions. It is crucial to select the appropriate pillowcase size to ensure a snug fit and prevent the pillow from slipping out. Additionally, choosing the right pillowcase size based on your mattress size helps maintain a visually pleasing balance in your bedroom decor.

Pillowcase Sizes and Dimensions

Pillowcase sizes and dimensions vary to accommodate different pillow types and personal preferences. Let’s explore the most common sizes and their suitable pillows:

Pillow SizeMeasurements
Standard20 inches by 26 inches
Queen20 inches by 30 inches
King20 inches by 36 inches
Body20 inches by 54 inches

Standard Size Pillowcase

The standard-size pillowcase is the most commonly used and versatile option. It typically measures 20 inches by 26 inches, making it suitable for standard and queen-size pillows. The slightly longer length of the standard pillowcase can cover the extra length of a queen pillow without compromising its aesthetic appeal.

Standard-size pillowcases are an excellent choice for pillows used on twin, twin XL, full, and queen-size mattresses. They are also ideal for creating a cohesive look when two standard pillows are placed side by side on a full or queen mattress. Bedding sets for twin, twin XL, and full sizes usually include one standard pillowcase, while larger sizes like queen, king, and California king come with two.

Sometimes, you may come across the super standard size pillowcase two inches longer than the standard size. The super standard size can accommodate both standard and super standard pillows but may not fit king-size pillows.

Queen Size Pillowcase

Queen-size pillowcases are specifically designed to fit queen pillows four inches longer than standard pillows. Measuring 20 inches by 30 inches, queen-size pillowcases provide a perfect fit for queen pillows and are an excellent choice for queen-size mattresses.

The longer length of queen pillowcases allows two queen pillows to span the width of a queen mattress, creating a visually pleasing arrangement. Additionally, some queen pillows can fit inside standard pillowcases, as the extra length can accommodate the longer queen pillows.

If you tend to shift positions during sleep, a longer pillowcase like the queen size can provide better support for your head and neck, ensuring a comfortable and uninterrupted sleep.

King Size Pillowcase

King-size pillowcases are designed to fit king pillows larger than standard and queen pillows. They measure 20 inches by 36 inches, making them 10 inches longer than standard pillows. King-size pillowcases are an excellent choice for king-size mattresses and can also fit California king-size beds.

Two king pillows can comfortably rest side by side on a king-size mattress, covering the width of the bed. However, using two king pillows on a queen mattress may result in overcrowding, with the pillows hanging over the edges of the bed. If you have a queen mattress and tend to switch sleeping positions frequently, it is advisable to stick with queen pillows for a better fit.

King-size pillowcases provide ample room for the larger dimensions of king pillows, ensuring a secure and snug fit. They are also ideal for individuals who prefer a larger pillow surface area for enhanced support and comfort.

Body Size Pillowcase

Body-size pillowcases are designed to fit body pillows, which are longer and larger pillows that provide full-body support. The standard body pillow size measures 20 inches by 54 inches, offering ample length for hugging and snuggling.

Body pillows are commonly used during pregnancy for added support and comfort. They can also be used by individuals who prefer to sleep with a pillow that spans the length of their body. Body-size pillowcases are specifically tailored to fit body pillows, ensuring a secure and snug cover.

It is important to note that body pillows come in many shapes and sizes, including C-shaped, I-shaped, U-shaped, and J-shaped. Each shape requires a corresponding pillowcase that matches its dimensions. When purchasing a body pillow, it is advisable to check if it comes with a pillowcase or if a compatible pillowcase is available separately.

Specialty Pillowcase Sizes

Apart from the standard, queen, king, and body pillowcases, there are specialty pillowcase sizes available for various types of pillows. These specialty pillows have unique dimensions and shapes, requiring custom pillowcases or pillow shams. Let’s explore some of these specialty pillowcase sizes:

Euro

Euro-style pillowcases are made for Euro pillows, which are square-shaped pillows usually used for decoration. These Euro pillows are 26 inches by 26 inches and are popular in Europe. In the United States, Euro pillows are often used for decoration or as support pillows for reading or watching TV in bed.

Although Euro pillows are sometimes left uncovered for decorative purposes, using a pillowcase helps protect them from dirt and stains. Euro pillowcases are typically square-shaped to fit the Euro pillows perfectly.

Orthopedic

Orthopedic pillows come in multiple shapes and sizes, each designed to provide specific support and alignment for different body parts. Orthopedic pillows can be used to support the head and neck or to align the legs and hips.

The dimensions of orthopedic pillows can vary significantly based on their intended purpose and design. Some orthopedic pillows may come with custom pillowcases, while others require separate purchases. It is essential to check with the pillow manufacturer or retailer to find a compatible pillowcase for your orthopedic pillow.

Travel

Travel pillows are compact and portable, designed to provide comfort and support during travel. These pillows come in different sizes and shapes, with the most common options being rectangular or C-shaped.

C-shaped travel pillows wrap around the neck and provide a comfortable resting place for the head during long journeys. C-shaped travel-size pillowcases are less common, as many travel pillows come with built-in covers that cannot be removed. Rectangular travel pillows, also known as toddler pillows, are smaller versions of standard pillows and are easier to find compatible pillowcases for.

Throw

Throw pillows are decorative pillows used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a bed, couch, or chair. They come in various sizes and shapes, with the most common square-shaped throw pillows.

Throw pillows are strictly decorative and are not designed for sleeping. However, they can be used to elevate certain areas of the body for added comfort. Throw pillowcases offer a wide range of colors, patterns, and designs, allowing you to effortlessly change the look and feel of your living space.

When shopping for throw pillowcases, you may come across pillow shams, which are decorative pillow covers that often have extra fabric around the edges for added embellishment.

Do Pillows Need a Pillowcase?

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While it may seem like an obvious question, the answer is a resounding yes—pillows need pillowcases. Pillowcases serve several important functions that contribute to your pillows’ overall hygiene and longevity.

Firstly, pillowcases act as a protective barrier, preventing your pillows from coming into direct contact with sweat, oils, and dirt that accumulate on your skin and hair during sleep. They help to keep your pillows clean and fresh, reducing the need for frequent washing. Pillowcases also play a crucial role in preventing allergens, dust mites, and other microscopic particles from accumulating on your pillows, which is especially important for individuals with allergies or asthma.

Additionally, pillowcases add extra comfort and softness to your pillows, enhancing your overall sleep experience. They provide a barrier between your skin and the pillow’s surface, reducing friction and maintaining a cool and breathable sleeping environment.

To further protect your pillows, it is recommended to use pillow protectors in addition to pillowcases. Pillow protectors are often waterproof and act as a barrier against liquids, allergens, and bed bugs. They are typically zippered or encasement-style covers that completely enclose the pillow. By using both a pillow protector and a pillowcase, you can extend the lifespan of your pillows and maintain their cleanliness and freshness.

While some specialty pillows may come with their custom covers or cases, it is generally advisable to use a pillowcase in conjunction with any type of pillow for optimal protection and comfort.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about pillowcase sizes and dimensions:

Do queen-size pillows fit inside standard cases?

Some queen-size pillows can fit inside standard pillowcases, depending on the brand. Standard pillowcases are generally one to two inches larger than the actual pillow, providing enough room to accommodate the four extra inches of a queen pillow. However, it is advisable to check the specific dimensions of your pillows and pillowcases to ensure a proper fit.

What is a sham pillow?

A sham pillow is a decorative pillowcase that fits over a standard pillow. Sham pillowcases are often used to hide bed pillows and add a touch of style to the bedding ensemble. They typically have extra fabric around the edges for added embellishment and can be an excellent choice for enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your bedroom.

How often should you wash your pillowcase?

Pillowcases should be washed regularly to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Wash pillowcases at least once a week, along with your bed sheets, is recommended. Regular washing helps remove sweat, oils, allergens, and dust mites, ensuring a fresh and clean sleeping surface. However, you may need to wash your pillowcases more frequently if you have specific skin conditions or allergies.

Are pillows machine-washable?

Most pillows can be machine-washed, but it is essential to check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Set the washing machine and dryer on delicate cycles when washing pillows to prevent damage or flattening. Latex and memory foam pillows should be washed on a delicate cycle with minimal agitation. Before transferring the pillow to the dryer, gently squeeze out excess water. If your pillow is too large for your washing machine, consider taking it to a local laundromat with commercial-sized machines. Some pillows may require spot-cleaning or professional dry cleaning.

How are pillow sizes measured?

Pillows are typically measured in inches or centimeters. To determine the correct pillowcase size, measure the width and length of your pillows before making a purchase. This ensures a proper fit and avoids ending up with too small or too large pillowcases.

Conclusion

Pillowcase sizes and dimensions play a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness, comfort, and aesthetic appeal of your bedding ensemble. Choosing the right pillowcase size ensures a snug fit, prevents the pillow from slipping out, and enhances the overall sleep experience. Whether you have standard, queen, king, or specialty pillows, pillowcase options are available to accommodate your specific needs.

You can create a visually pleasing and comfortable sleep environment by understanding the different pillow sizes and mattress dimensions. Also, if you use both pillowcases and pillow protectors, it helps keep your pillows safe and makes them last longer. We hope this guide has given you useful information about pillowcase sizes. With this knowledge, you can pick the right size for your pillows and sleep comfortably. And remember, a well-fitting and nice-looking pillowcase works well and makes your bedroom look stylish. So, choose the perfect pillowcase that complements your style and creates a cozy sanctuary for your sleep.

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