What Size Is Standard Pillow Case?

When discussing the dimensions of a standard pillowcase, the typical measurement you’ll come across is 20 inches by 26 inches (51 cm x 66 cm). This size is designed to snugly fit a standard-sized bed pillow, which also measures 20 inches by 26 inches. However, it’s important to note that some variation can occur depending on the brand and design of the pillowcase, with some allowing a bit more room for ease of use.

Understanding Pillowcase Sizes

Pillowcases come in various sizes to match the different types of pillows. Other than the standard size, there are also queen, king, and even body pillowcases, each meant to cover pillows of corresponding sizes. Here is a quick overview:

  • Standard pillowcase: 20 x 26 inches (51 x 66 cm)
  • Queen pillowcase: 20 x 30 inches (51 x 76 cm)
  • King pillowcase: 20 x 36 inches (51 x 92 cm)
  • Body pillowcase: 20 x 54 inches (51 x 137 cm) or larger

The size of your pillowcase is important, not only for aesthetics but also for comfort. A too-small case won’t fit, and one that’s too large might allow the pillow to slide around inside, both of which could hinder a good night’s sleep.

Standard Pillowcase Materials

Pillowcases can be made from a range of materials. The most common include cotton, polyester, and blends of both. There are also luxurious materials such as silk and satin, as well as more specialized fabrics like bamboo and linen. The choice of material can impact the feel, breathability, maintenance, and durability of a pillowcase.

The Importance of Pillowcase Closure Styles

The closure of a pillowcase might seem like a small detail, but it can significantly impact your comfort as well as the overall look of your bed. Generally, there are two primary closure styles:

  • Open-end: The most common style, where one end of the pillowcase is left open for easy insertion and removal of the pillow. Sometimes, there is a flap inside to tuck the pillow in and prevent it from sliding out.
  • Envelope closure: This style features a fold-over flap at the open end that tucks in, similar to an envelope. It provides a more finished look and helps keep the pillow contained.

Zippered Pillowcases

Some pillowcases have zippers, another closure type that ensures the pillow stays in place. Zippered pillowcases can be particularly helpful for those with allergies, as they prevent dust mites and other allergens from entering the pillow.

Choosing the Right Pillowcase for Your Bed

When choosing the perfect pillowcase for your bed, there are several factors to consider:

  • Size: Ensure the pillowcase matches the size of your pillow. It should not be too tight to put stress on the seams, nor too loose to cause wrinkles and discomfort.
  • Style: The pillowcase should match or complement your bedding and bedroom decor. Colors and patterns play a key role here.
  • Comfort: Depending on your preferences, the texture of the material may be important. Some prefer the coolness of cotton, while others enjoy the smoothness of satin or silk.
  • Maintenance: Consider how easy the pillowcase is to care for. Some materials are machine washable, while others may require more delicate handling.

Protective Pillowcases

In addition to standard pillowcases, there are also protective pillowcases designed to safeguard against allergens, bed bugs, and moisture. These often have special fabrics and closures and can be used in conjunction with a decorative pillowcase.

Custom Pillowcase Sizes

While standard, queen, and king are the most common pillowcase sizes, custom pillowcases can be made to fit any pillow size. These are great for decorative throw pillows or unusual-sized pillows that might come with a specific set of bedding or a handcrafted pillow.

Measuring for a Custom Pillowcase

To measure for a custom pillowcase, use a tape measure to determine the length, width, and depth of your pillow. You’ll want to add a bit of extra space to these dimensions for seam allowances and the ease of putting on and taking off the case.

DIY Pillowcase Making

For those who enjoy sewing, making your own pillowcase is a simple project. This allows for full customization of the fabric, pattern, and size. Plus, it can be a fun, creative way to add a personal touch to your bedding.

Step-by-Step Guide to Sewing a Standard Pillowcase

Here’s a brief guide on how to sew a standard pillowcase:

  1. Choose your fabric and prewash it to prevent shrinkage after you’ve made your pillowcase.
  2. Cut the fabric to size, allowing for seams and hems — typically, a piece 21 inches by 32 inches is enough.
  3. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, with the inside out, and sew along the long side and one short side.
  4. Hem the open short side by folding the edge back on itself twice to hide the raw edge, then stitch it down.
  5. Turn the pillowcase right side out, and it’s ready to use.

Finishing Thoughts

The standard pillowcase size offers a universal fit for most standard pillows, ensuring a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing setup. However, the wide variety of sizes and materials available means you can find or create a pillowcase that perfectly meets your needs and preferences, whether for comfort, hygiene, or style. It’s also a simple sewing project that beginners can tackle, adding a handmade and customized element to the bedroom. When chosen thoughtfully, pillowcases contribute not only to a good night’s rest but also to the overall ambiance of your sleeping environment.


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