Do You Really Need to Put a Pillowcase Over a Pillow Protector?

The importance of a good night's sleep can’t be overstated. Sleep is essential for our overall well-being, and a comfortable bed setup can play a crucial role in helping us achieve that much-needed rest. One of the essential components of a comfortable bed setup is pillows. Pillows offer support for our neck and head, ensuring that we don't wake up feeling sore or stiff. However, pillows can also accumulate dirt, dust, and other allergens, which can affect our health negatively. That's where pillow protectors come in. They provide an additional layer of protection against these allergens, ensuring that we breathe easier while we sleep. But what if you want to use a pillowcase along with your pillow protector? Can you do that? In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about using pillow protectors and pillowcases to help you create a bed setup that's comfortable, clean, and healthy.

Should You Put Pillowcase Over Pillow Protector?

However, it’s worth noting that the main purpose of pillow protectors is to prevent the buildup of allergens, dust mites, and moisture on your pillows. Pillowcases don’t offer the same level of protection as pillow protectors. A pillowcase is merely a covering to add color and pattern to your bedding while protecting your face from direct contact with the pillows material.

These protectors are made from tightly woven materials that trap pollen, dust, and other allergens, preventing them from settling on your pillow. They can also prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria that can thrive in a damp environment. So, if you’re allergic to these things, it’s advisable to use a protector.

Pillow protectors come in different materials such as cotton, microfiber or polyester. Some are waterproof, while others are not. If you’re someone who sweats a lot or has a tendency to drool during sleep, then a waterproof pillow protector may be the best option for you. It will protect your pillow from stains and also prevent moisture from building up in the fibers of your pillow.

You can use both a pillow protector and a pillowcase if you wish, but the protector is the most important for your well-being.

Now that we’ve established the difference between a pillow case and a pillow sham, let’s delve into the question at hand: do you put a pillow sham over a pillow case?

Do You Put a Pillow Sham Over a Pillow Case?

It’s a common question whether or not to put a pillow sham over a pillow case. The answer to this question actually depends on personal preference and the style and function of the bedding. A pillow case is essential for protecting the pillow that’s used for sleeping. It’s usually the first layer of cover that’s exposed to our face and hair, which can cause dirt and oil buildup. A pillow case can be easily removed and washed when it’s dirty, without having to wash the entire bedding.

On the other hand, a pillow sham is usually used as an extra layer of decorative cover that sits over the pillow case. It’s usually made of more luxurious and decorative materials, such as embroidery, lace, or satin, which can make the bedding look more elegant and stylish. Pillow shams are usually not used for sleeping, but as decorative components of the bedding. They usually have a flap closure in the back, which makes it easy to switch them out as a part of seasonal d├ęcor.

For example, if you’ve a solid colored comforter or duvet, adding a decorative pillow sham can add a pop of color or texture to the overall look of the bedding.

Some people prefer to sleep on a soft and breathable pillow case made of natural materials like cotton or linen, while others prefer to sleep on a more luxurious and smooth material like silk or satin.

How Often Should You Wash Your Pillow Sham and Pillow Case?

  • Wash your pillowcase every week.
  • Wash your pillow sham every 2-3 weeks.
  • If you’ve allergies, wash your pillowcase and pillow sham every few days.
  • Follow the care instructions on your pillowcase and pillow sham, and use hot water and detergent.
  • Consider using a pillow protector to help prolong the life of your pillowcase and pillow sham.


In conclusion, protecting your pillows is important for maintaining their hygiene and extending their lifespan. Using a pillow protector is a wise choice, as it prevents dust mites, allergens, and spills from penetrating your pillow's fill. Nonetheless, not everyone may require a pillowcase over their protector, so it's paramount to understand your health needs and taste in home decor. Ultimately, determining whether to use both or one of these options is a personal preference that should align with your sleep habits, comfort, and peace of mind.

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