Guide on How To Choose The Right Pillowcase

How to choose the right pillowcase

While choosing the right pillow to sleep on is important to keep your head and back comfortable while you sleep, pillowcases can add many different benefits to your rest as well as just looking fabulous on your bed. At Spotlight we have a huge range of pillowcases for you to choose from, in all sorts of colours, sizes, shapes and materials. With all this variety, choosing the right pillowcase can be confusing - so let's walk through everything you need to consider when buying a pillowcase to help you get a comfortable night's sleep.

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Common Pillowcase Materials

Pillowcases can be made from natural or synthetic materials - here are some of the most common, and the benefits they provide.

  • Cotton - one of the most common materials used for pillowcases, cotton is a naturally soft material that is breathable and absorbent. You can choose from a variety of thread counts, with a lower count improving the breathability of the pillowcase and a higher one leading to a thicker, softer feel.
  • Linen - pillowcases made of linen are light, durable and become softer with every wash. Linen is a stiffer fabric than cotton and is great for wicking away moisture from the body on hot nights.
  • Silk - the most luxurious of materials, silk is the best option for a pillowcase if you can afford it. Silk is a material that is cool to the touch and gentle on your skin, and the benefits of silk pillowcases include smoother, softer hair and skin when you wake up and a breathable, moisture-wicking surface. Silk pillowcases need to be cleaned more carefully than other pillowcase materials.
  • Nylon - extremely strong and durable, nylon is warmer than polyester but wrinkles easier.
  • Polyester - pillowcases made from synthetic polyester are a great budget-friendly option and feel very smooth. They also wick away moisture!

Natural materials are generally a better choice, due to their many benefits and allergy-friendly composition. If the lower price of a synthetic pillowcase appeals to you, consider looking for a natural and synthetic pillowcase blend that will give you both benefits.

Satin vs Silk Pillowcases

We know what silk is, but what about satin? Rather than being a material type, satin is actually a type of weave that produces a smooth, slippery surface that actually can feel silkier than silk! A satin pillowcase can be made out of silk, polyester or a blend of other materials, so make sure to check the tag on a potential satin pillowcase if you are after the benefits of a certain pillowcase material before buying. Discover our silk and satin pillowcases online or in-store.

Pillowcase size guide

Pillowcase Size Guide

There's more you need to know about sizing than just the size of standard pillowcases! There is actually a wide range of pillows out there that need a matching-sized pillowcase. Here are the most popular pillow sizes you'll find on the market:

TypeSize DimensionsDescription

Standard Pillowcase

51 x 66cm

The classic pillow we all grew up with, the standard pillow size is a good choice for anyone and fits easily into a standard pillowcase. Once you have a queen or larger bed, most people will have two standard pillows instead of one to fill the space.

European Pillowcase

65 x 65cm

The only square pillow type, European pillows are mainly used for decoration, especially on larger beds. They are also helpful for support when sitting up in bed, but not as much as a dedicated support pillow like a body pillow.

Queen Pillowcase

51 x 76cm

If you find your standard pillow is looking a little small on your queen or king bed, a queen-sized pillow will fill the space nicely! Make sure to find a matching queen pillowcase or a 'loose-fitting' standard size pillowcase.

King Pillowcase

51 x 92cm

Large and luxurious, king pillows can be used for decoration or for sleeping on if you really want a pillow that you can sink right into. It's very important to find the right-sized pillowcase for a king pillow, as they can't be stuffed into a loose-fitting standard case like a queen pillow can.

V Shape Pillowcase

28 x 60cm

If you love to sit up and read, have a drink or just chat in bed, a v-shape pillow provides support for your back that even the most cushioned bed head can't match. You will need a specific pillowcase for this kind of pillow.

Body Pillowcase

48 x 150cm

Long, soft and supportive, body pillows are used to provide support while sleeping to people who are pregnant or injured.

Bolster Pillowcase

96 x 23cm

Firmer than a body pillow, bolster pillows are mainly used for decor, but can also be used for propping your feet up or providing support to the lower back as you sit up in bed. Bolster pillows will need a matching bolster pillowcase.

What Is A European Pillowcase?

A European pillowcase is designed to fit the square European pillow, and they are not usually designed for sleeping on. European pillowcases often feature textured designs that look fabulous but won't feel nice against your face, plus there won't be much thought put into the material they are made out of. Polyester is a common choice as it is easy to create pillowcases with stunning colours and designs out of this material, but it's not the nicest to sleep on!

To sum it all up, a European pillow and a matching European pillowcase aren't designed for sleeping on, so feel free to choose one that you love the look of, and don't worry about normal pillow problems like material composition and pillow density.

What Is An Oxford Pillowcase?

An Oxford pillowcase is a pillowcase is a standard size and for standard sized pillows, but features a decorative fabric border/hem. This elongates the size of a regular pillow and adds an elegant touch. Note that Oxford pillowcases can also come in European pillow sizes.

How to care for your pillowcase

How To Care For Your Pillowcase

The best way to care for your pillowcase will depend on the material it is made out of.

Most synthetic and natural pillow cases can be chucked in the wash on a gentle cycle - some synthetic materials may require a cooler cycle.

How to Wash Silk and Satin Pillowcases?

Silk pillowcases are too fragile to be safely washed in a machine, and should be hand washed with a detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. When deciding how to wash silk pillowcases, make sure to check if your silk pillowcase is a blend or not -the addition of other natural or synthetic materials may make it easier to wash. Always refer to the care instructions that come with your pillowcase and line dry to avoid damage.

Should You Iron a Pillowcase?

You shouldn't need to iron your pillowcases - hang them out to dry on a line and the outdoor air will help freshen them up, as well as dry them.

How Often Should You Wash a Pillowcase?

Pillowcases are prone to harbouring bacteria and dirt, so it is important to wash your pillowcases regularly - once a week is a good starting point. Having a clean and fresh pillowcase can help improve your overall health by minimising allergens and improving your face skin and hair. You should always have plenty of pillowcases stocked in your linen closet so you have plenty to rotate.

The bottom line is, make sure to check the washing instructions of your pillowcase to ensure it stays in good condition. This will not only make sure it is clean every time you wash it, but it will extend the life of your pillowcase as well.

How to Style Pillowcases and Match With Your Bed Linen

Because you need a few pillowcases to rotate for hygiene reasons, you can be creative and mix and match with your bed linen. If you have a vibrant or floral quilt cover you can pair it with a laid back plain pillowcase. Choosing a woven, tufted, quilted, chenille, jacquard or textured pillowcase can add dimension to your bed without being too overbearing. You can also find great European pillowcases to match your quilt cover and really add a luxurious touch to your bed.

Styling your pillowcase to compliment your bed and bedroom style can really help you achieve a fresh cohesive look. Create a soft coastal themed bedroom with pastel toned pillowcases or go for a modern minimalistic theme using a geometric patterned pillowcase.

Find The Perfect Pillowcase At Spotlight

Whether you're after a decorative cover for your European pillow or a silk pillowcase for your hair, Spotlight's range of pillowcases is sure to satisfy your pillowcase needs. Don't forget to shop the range of kids pillowcases so your little ones can also enjoy a clean fresh bed. Choose from a great selection of pillowcases from leading brands such as KOO, Linen House, Dri Glo and more. Discover the full range of pillowcases online, where you can quickly pay and have your order home delivered in no time. You can also visit your local Spotlight store and our friendly team will help you find the right pillowcase for your sleeping needs.

Why not pair your new pillowcase with a supportive pillow or a new set of beautiful bedding? We have all the bedding and bed linen you need to create a stylish bedroom online or in-store, as well as some useful buying guides such as Choosing the Right Pillow Buying Guide and Bed Linen Buying Guide.



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