Beautiful bed linens are one of many ways to appoint a bedroom and dress a bed and create a comfortable haven where you can drift off to dream. But in addition to being attractive and also comforting, bed linens serve a variety of purposes including protecting your mattress, providing warmth while sleeping or shielding the pillows on which you slumber.
Many pieces go into dressing a bed. Flat sheet, fitted sheet, mattress cover, duvet, coverlet, pillow case, pillow sham, pillow cover…the terms can get a little confusing. But let’s take a closer look at pillow covers, what makes them different from pillow cases and pillow shams and learn more about why pillow covers are an important part of any bedding collection.
Most people are familiar with traditional pillow cases. A simple envelope of material with an opening at one end that surrounds your bed pillow, pillow cases are part of most bedding sets and can also be purchased separately. Pillow cases provide a smooth space for you to lay your head each night as you rest on your pillow, and they help protect your bed pillows, too. Pillow cases should be laundered frequently, because oils and dirt from your hair and face can soil them quickly.
Pillow shams enclose pillows and are used for more decorative purposes. These pillow enclosures usually are closed at both ends and have a slit opening in the back for pillow insertion.
Pillow covers are zippered pillow enclosures that are used underneath a pillow case to encase a pillow. They are usually crafted from tightly woven fabric that protects the pillow from allergens, dust, soil and other contaminants. Pillow covers can be frequently washed in hot water to remove these impurities, making for a fresh and clean sleep surface. Although it might seem like an extra, un-needed step when dressing your bed, pillow covers actually have a number of benefits:
Keep your pillows cleaner: Pillow covers do keep your pillow surface and filling cleaner for longer. While you may think that your pillow case does this, the weave of the fabric and makeup of the pillow case material may allow for oils, dirt and other contaminants to adhere to your pillow and make their way into the pillow filling. Pillow covers are made from different and more tightly woven fabrics than pillow cases in order to prevent soil from entering the pillow.
Reduce allergens: In the same way that pillow covers keeps pillows and their filling clean, they also prevent allergens such as pollen and dust from entering your pillow filling. Since pillow covers can be washed frequently in hot water, allergens are whisked away when laundering and not allowed to linger and cause problems.
Prolong pillow life: Since pillow covers protect your pillows from oils, dirt, allergens, dust, sweat and other soil, your pillows will last much longer. Protecting pillows and their synthetic, down or feather fillings from these substances means that your pillow will continue to provide support and comfort for months or years to come.
Eliminate pests: Although bedbugs are more common in mattress folds than pillows, the tightly woven nature of pillow coverings ensures that you won’t have any uninvited guests in your pillow at night. This is especially helpful when traveling with your favorite pillow from home. Pillow covers will ensure that you don’t bring home any unintended hitchhikers after your pillow accompanies you on vacation.
Peace of mind: If bringing your favorite pillow from home isn’t an option while traveling, consider stowing an extra pillow cover and pillow case from home in your luggage. Encasing a hotel pillow in your pillow cover and pillow case ensures a clean sleep surface and can also convey a feeling of home while on the road.
Pillow covers may seem like an extra step in dressing your bed, but they are actually a very important part of ensuring a clean and well-maintained sleep space. Pillow covers are available in a variety of materials and price points to suit every budget. Don’t be tempted to skip this important step in appointing your bed. Investing in a few quality pillow covers will ensure that you have a fresh and unsoiled space to lay your head each night as you drift off to dream.
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