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What is a Pillow Cover?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pillow covers are simple fabric encasements that protect the pillow placed inside the cover. The design for the pillow cover normally includes a zippered opening at one end, which helps to make the insertion of the pillow a simple process. A variation on the zipper design is an overlapping slit in the middle of the back of the pillow cover that provides the ability to insert the pillow.

A pillow cover should not be confused with the common pillowcase that is used with bed pillows. While both devices are used to provide protection to pillows, pillowcases feature an open end that remains open at all times. A pillow cover will provide a complete encasement of the pillow, with no end remaining open.

There are decorative and functional forms of the pillow cover in common use. The practical pillow cover has a simple padded construction that is can be washed by hand or in a washing machine. Often made of cotton or similar durable materials, this type of pillow cover is often used with bed pillows. The pillow is inserted into the cover and the cover is zipped shut. The combination of the pillow and the pillow cover is then slipped into a pillowcase.

The pillow cover is also utilized with throw pillows as well. With this application, the pillow cover is constructed of heavier material and used to provide a colorful protecting cover for occasional pillows used on sofas and chairs. Like the pillow cover used for bed pillows, a throw pillow cover can also be washed and reused. Because the covers come in many colors and patterns, many people employ them to dress up a room for seasonal and holiday changes.

Finding the right pillow cover is not a difficult task. The types designed for use on bed pillows are carried in any discount retail store that sells bedding products. Pillow covers designed for use with throw pillows are found in upscale bed and bath shops. It is also possible to have pillow covers custom designed by decorators. As a useful device to protect pillows as well as a great decorating accent, the pillow cover offers a great deal of versatility for very little money.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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