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Should Pillow Shams Match Comforter?

Approximately one-third of the average person's life will be spent in their bed. For this reason, you should love your bedding. Whether you like the traditional matching bedding and pillow combinations or a funky mixture of patterns and colors, bedding accessories such as pillow shams can provide the perfect touch to your bed space. But should pillow shams match the comforter?

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It is not necessary for your pillow shams to match your comforter. In fact, matching is sometimes not the desired look. When planning for your perfect bedding set, remember that matching your pillow shams to your comforter is only one of the ways to coordinate your bedding. Other methods to coordinate your pillow shams with your bedding are with:

  • Contrasting colors
  • Contrasting patterns
  • Neutral-colored shams or bedding
  • Complementary colors

Picking colors or patterns for your pillow shams is not the only decision that must be made when coordinating your bedding. What are some alternatives to the traditional matching pillow sham and comforter set? What kind of pillows should you be using to fill your shams? Is there a certain size pillow you need for your shams? We will answer these questions and discuss other closely related topics in more depth, so just keep reading. 

Cozy bedroom with natural linen cushions and white cotton bedding, Should Pillow Shams Match Comforter?

Styling Your Pillow Shams And Comforter

Matching your pillow shams with your comforter was once considered the standard. While this is not necessarily the case any longer, matching your pillow shams with your comforter can create a classic coordinated look. Accent your pillow shams and comforter with bold, bright, or contrasting patterned throw pillows (or other accents) to add a pop of color or contrast. Consider a different color or pattern for your sheets to provide some extra color or print to your bedding. 

Click here to see this bedding set on Amazon.

Contrasting Colors

Another popular way to coordinate your pillow shams with your bedding is by using contrasting colors. Contrasting colors are any two colors that aren't similar to one another. Use one warm color and one cool color for a popular contrasting color choice.

Two contrasting colors can coordinate with another decoration in the room such as a picture or piece of furniture containing both of the contrasting colors to create a cohesive look for the contrasting colors.

Contrasting Patterns

Using the same color scheme and contrasting patterns is a great way to coordinate your pillow shams and comforter. As illustrated in the picture above, the various patterns have a coordinated appearance due to the similar color pattern. Finding pillows, sheets, and other accessories that fit the desired color scheme can add to the contrasting look.

The different patterns pictured above are similar in size, creating an even more similar appearance but can be mixed up, even more, using different sized prints. 

Neutral-Colored Shams

The beauty of neutral-colored shams is the versatility of the neutral colors to accent just about any other color or print. Neutral colors include shades of white, taupe, and grey. These inconspicuous colors are very adaptive to most color and pattern schemes and can add depth when layering these neutral accents with colors or prints that match or coordinate with your bedding.

Another alternative to neutral colors is neutral prints. It's a modern spin on a classic concept that can add variety and texture to your bed space.

Using Various Prints As Neutrals

Neutral prints are alternatives to neutral colors, especially when used to accent other colors or prints. Combine the cheetah print pillow shams, as pictured below, with pretty much any color or print pattern for a fun wild pop of color and texture.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

While animal print as a neutral is one of the most popular neutral alternatives, other prints being used as neutrals have quickly gained popularity. Bold plaid, checked, and even camo have become favorites when using prints in decorating. 

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Using Various Materials As Neutrals

In addition to neutral prints, alternative neutral materials used for pillow shams can provide a fun transformative look to your pillows. Fur, leather, and velvet are some popular examples of alternative neutral materials. In the example provided below, this leather pillow sham could be used to accent many colors or prints for some added alternative texture and a pop of color.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Neutral-Colored Bedding

Neutral-colored bedding, similarly to neutral-colored pillow shams, is versatile. Combine or layer it with other printed or colored accents to add color and depth to your bed space. The neutral-colored comforter set below has accents of bold orange that these decorators used to inspire the boldly printed pillow shams.

Using neutral-colored bedding allows your accents and accessories to be the visual focus. Neutral bedding also allows for the use of more color and various prints in your other furniture and decorative pieces without the room appearing overwhelming. 

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are defined as colors that are across from each other on a 12-shade color wheel. They pair well with each other, despite being very different colors.  The design below uses blue and orange, colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel.

Other examples of complementary colors are shades of purple with yellow or red with green. For more information on complementary colors, make sure to check out these 29 Interior Design Color Blocking Ideas.

What Kind Of Pillows Do You Use For Shams?

A new over-stuffed pillow is ideal for use in your pillow shams. Since pillow shams are used mostly for decoration, a pillow that will fill out the sham completely in all directions is best for a full, fluffy look. Pillow shams are known for the outer fabric that surrounds the pillow borders of most pillow shams. The fabric will also stand up better with a fully filled out pillow sham using a new pillow. 

Click here to see this standard-sized sham pillow insert.

If you're interested in pillow materials, check out these 10 Types Of Filling Materials For Pillows

What Size Pillow Goes In A Sham?

Pillow shams come in sizes similar to the pillows that fit into them. Use standard pillows with standard-sized shams, king pillows with king-sized shams, and European pillows with European-sized shams. For throw pillow shams, it is suggested to get a pillow 2 inches bigger than the sham to ensure that it will fill out the entire sham. 

Do Comforter Sets Come With Shams?

Yes, most comforter sets come with a bed comforter and 2 standard shams. The shams that come with the comforter set will usually match the color or pattern of the comforter. If mixing and matching shams is what appeals to you, consider purchasing separate pillow sham sets for use instead of, or in combination with, the matching shams. 

Click here to see this comforter set on Amazon.

In Closing

Beds are usually the main focal point in a bedroom. Bedding choice is one of the most important decisions that you will make when decorating your bedroom space and can be accessorized using various pillow shams. We have discussed various alternatives to the basic matching pillow shams that come with your comforter set and hope that it makes your search for the perfect pillow shams to complement your bedroom easier!