Our beds are our safe havens, now more than ever. Some people are curled up among the pillows for a day of meetings, while others are spending extra time under the covers for much-needed R&R. Regardless, yours should be a place where you want to spend time. These days, with many of us spending extra time between the sheets, paying attention to our bedding can be a key factor in curbing anxiety. We’re here to discuss an often overlooked piece of the puzzle: pillow shams.
Shams are the cherry on top of your bedding sundae—they round out your cozy space and fill in any missing palette, pattern, or even texture gaps. It can be hard to know which are right for you when so many options exist, so we rounded up our favorites pairings based on your current linens setup. Happy snoozing.
We’re defining neutrals as solid, earthy tones meant to complement a low-key pattern. The striped comforter you love or your polka-dot sheets are begging for a boost with a sham that brings some variety without overwhelming the senses. Brooklinen’s soft blush or the Citizenry’s calming olive offers a soothing visual break that will still let your prints shine. The best of both worlds.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Stripes never go out of style. Best paired with a solid linen duvet, stripes, however funky, make for the ideal statement piece without going overboard. Go the classic route with this beachy number from Hay; add a bit of frill; or redefine stripes altogether (see: CB2’s nontraditional take). Think of striped shams as noncommittal eye candy.
For some of us, more of, well, everything, is a welcome distraction to help us relax. If you’re looking to pile on the prints, graphic shams are definitely for you. Florals are the perfect layering pattern: They merge multiple hues to tie together any number of other designs for the ultimate hodgepodge effect. We recommend pairing these looks from some of our favorite maximalist brands with as many fun prints and patterns as you can find because—why not?
Nothing screams “crisp refresh” like brand-new white shams. When everything around us feels chaotic, a light, airy space in which to truly let go of the noise can be the perfect remedy. You might already have your fair share of all-white pillowcases, but odds are they’re not without the occasional mascara or chocolate stain. When looking to upgrade, don’t just turn to the bleach bottle—opt for a touch of texture, like Anthropologie’s fringed choice, or a hint of color in a stripe or piping to add dimension.