7 Types Of Pillowcases By Design

Pillowcases are coverings for pillows and they add elegance, comfort, appealing touch and décor to our living rooms, to our beds and wherever else we place them. They are wonderful to snugly hold onto as we wait to fall asleep.

Fabric for pillowcases

It is good to take time and learn about the different types of pillowcases and the most suitable and available fabric to settle for as a sure way to give yourself, your household and your guests a satisfying and comfortable sleep.

Types of pillowcases in the market

There are 7 types of pillowcases available in the market and each type has its own unique advantages. These seven types are categorized into two main groups: pillow covers by design and pillowcases by fabric.

Pillowcases by design 

There are three primary types of pillowcases by design or shape if you like. These are housewife, oxford and bag style.

Housewife pillowcase

This type of pillowcase has a wide opening on one side for inserting your pillow. The opening has an inner flap attached to it whose purpose is for tucking in the pillow.

The housewife pillowcase is the most common and most popular type of pillowcase that you are sure to find in any household. Pillows fit perfectly well in this type of pillowcase. It is affordable and widely available.

Oxford pillowcase

This type of pillowcase has a flap or thick border attached around all the edges and which in most cases tends to be approximately two inches wide.

It has a fancy design and is commonly used as a decorative sham on beds. Oxford pillowcases come in two sub-types, namely, “true oxford’’ and ‘’mock oxford’’.

True Oxford and Mock Oxford

It is difficult to tell the difference between true oxford and mock oxford at a glance because the difference is not obvious. However, true oxford pillowcase, also referred to as traditional oxford pillowcase has mitred corners that are much better defined.

A mock oxford pillowcase on the other hand doesn’t have mitred or defined corners but is usually decorated with frills.

Bag style pillowcase

This type of pillowcase has a simple opening on one side and has no inner flap for securing the pillow inside. The opening has no zip, no buttons and no inner flap as is the case with housewife pillowcase.

This pillowcase is not designed to fit the pillow perfectly and this makes the pillow to move around within the pillowcase.

Accommodation facilities

You will find this type of pillowcase in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, lodgings, and other accommodation facilities such as retreat centres and guest houses. They are the natural choice for places with frequent rotation of people due to their great ease in putting them on and off the pillows.

Household use

Usually, the opening flap is folded under the pillow to keep it in place. The opening ends can also be tucked in instead of folding them.

Thou primarily used in accommodation facilities, bag style pillowcases are increasingly becoming common in households. Majority of them are made in polyester and cotton fabrics.

Pillowcases by fabric

Pillowcases by fabric come in four types, namely; cotton, silk, satin and polyester materials. These materials or fabrics determine the texture, breathability and temperature of your pillowcase.


When choosing your fabric, consider factors such as comfort, ease of use and care, durability, and aesthetics.

You don’t want to sleep on a pillow cover that will drain your facial skin and hair of the necessary moisture and natural oils, nor do you want to use a fabric that will be a rough on your skin. The fabric should be both skin and hair friendly while you sleep.

Cotton pillowcases

Cotton is a natural fabric and it is also the most common in the market due to its affordability. It is not only soft but it is also durable. It is also breathable, allowing it to remain warm during cold seasons and cool during warm seasons.

Colours and thread count

It comes in many colours, designs and thread count options. A cotton fabric with more thread count tends to be more comfortable than one with less thread count due to its thickness.

Cotton pillowcases come in all sizes, from standard size, to queen size and finally king size and they will give you good value for your money. They allow for both handwashing and machine-washing. Cotton is easy to wash and does not require any special handling.

The downside to cotton pillow covers is that they are prone to wrinkles, thus making them bad for the facial skin. They also tend to smell bad when not dried properly. 

Silk pillowcases

Silk is one of the most expensive fabrics in the market. It is quite popular for making sleepwear and bedding. Silk pillowcases are luxurious, cool to the touch and are of great benefit to facial skin and hair. They can be handwashed and machine-washed.

Ascertaining of Quality

Silk varies greatly in quality. The most luxurious silk pillowcase is one made of Charmeuse weave, with 22 momme count and 100% mulberry. When buying silk, consider the weave and the momme count.

Momme count

A charmeuse weave is the best weave used in making silk fabric due to its smooth surface. A momme count of 22 is the best for bed linen. The higher the momme count, the thicker the fabric. Momme count is like thread count when it comes to cotton.

Benefits of silk pillowcases

  • They are machine washable
  • They dry very fast when put outside to dry.
  • They protect from mites by repelling them.
  • They are durable, especially when the quality of silk is good.
  • They are very ideal for use by people with very sensitive skin.
  • Silk is a natural fibre and is also hypoallergenic.
  • Silk pillow covers are less absorbent as compared to other fabrics such as cotton, therefore they help to retain skin and hair moisture.
  • Silk is non-flammable.
  • Silk has anti-aging properties.
  • It reduces hair frizz due to its smoothness. Your skin and hair simply glide over the pillow.
  • It promotes beauty by preventing or reducing the formation of lines and wrinkles.
  • It provides great relief to people with skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
  • It is perfect for use by people undergoing chemotherapy and who over time have developed skin sensitivity as a result of their chemo treatment.
  • It helps to control and reduce hot flushes for premenopausal and menopausal women, allowing them nights of uninterrupted sleep.

Satin pillowcases

These are made from polyester, a synthetic material that is made to feel like silk. Satin pillows are cool to the touch and smooth, and help to prevent or reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Usually, they come at half the price of silk while offering many of the advantages that silk pillowcases offer. 

Polyester pillowcases

Polyester fabric is quite affordable but may not be ideal for people who feel hot when they sleep, more so for premenopausal and menopausal women. This is because it tends to retain heat, making it uncomfortable.


The upside to it however is that it is wrinkle-resistant. Most blended fabrics are made up of polyester with either some satin, cotton or spandex added. Polyester pillowcases are more affordable as compared to cotton pillowcases. 

Other fabric pillow covers

Flannel pillowcases

Flannel is ideal for people living in cold climates or for those people who experience very cold seasons during specific times of the year.

The reason for this is that they tend to be very warm. Flannel is both soft, cosy and long-lasting. It is affordable and very comfortable. It is an ideal aesthetic for use in a winter cabin.


Always choose high quality flannel when buying flannel pillowcases as it doesn’t pill. Cheap flannel pills and gets damaged very easily.

Flannel is made of specially treated thick cotton. It is the most popular fabric for bedsheets and throw blankets. It is however not ideal for people with acne as it leads to clogging of pores.


Too much warmth around the face of the user can lead to sweating and greasing of the face and neck, particularly for people with oily skin, which can then lead to diverse skin problems.

This is more so the case whenever it forms pills or knots. It is therefore more difficult to manage when used for making pillowcases.

Throw pillowcases

These are used specifically for decorative purposes. They are placed on couches, arm-chairs, beds and all other places in the home where a home owner desires to add some flair.

They protect throw pillows and allow for cleaning whenever they collect dust and dirt from the environment. Invest in pillow cases and throw pillows of different designs, sizes and patterns and enjoy diverse appearance to your furniture.

How to pick the right pillow case

When going shopping for pillowcases, always check the labels for the fabric used and the thread count for cotton or momme count in the case of silk.

This will ensure that you get the best in terms of quality, therefore giving you value for your money. Also remember to check the sizes of your pillows to ensure that you buy the right size of pillowcases for them.

Also don’t forget to pick pillowcases with appealing closure designs for decorative purposes.