What are Euro Pillows?

Euro pillows are a type of pillow also known as a Euro or European sham pillow and are typically larger than the normal types of pillow.  They are used mostly as decorative pillows that are added to the bed then removed before sleeping.

Pillow sizes

Normally, pillows come in three sizes in most bedding sets; standard, queen and king.  The standard pillow is 20 x 26inches, the queen is 20 x 30inches and the king is 20 x 36 inches, making them all rectangular.  Euro pillows are square in shape and typically measure around 26 x 26 inches so are often referred to as square pillows.

How to use Euro pillows

Like any decorative element, there are plenty of different ways to use them only limited by your imagination and your space.  However, here are a few ideas of how to arrange Euro pillows to get the best from them.

One idea is to use around five different pillows and stand them in front of the headboard.  Typically, the largest ones will be at the back, with rectangular ones in the middle and smaller Euro pillows at the front.  Often the back pillows will be plain in colour with the front two rows being patterned or coloured in keeping with the room décor.

If you don’t want to keep moving the pillows you sleep on, you could do a standing and stacked mix.  This would mean leaving your sleeping pillows in their normal place then standing some decorative pillows in front of them.  A typical arrangement may be three Euro pillows with a single, long and narrow decorative pillow, called a rolled pillow, at the front.

Another use of Euro and rolled pillows is to have a pair of rolled pillows at the back of the display, your sleeping pillows next, two or three Euro pillows then another rolled pillow at the front.  By having a single patterned Euro pillow behind a plain rolled pillow then white normal pillows behind this can highlight the colour or pattern you have chosen.

Of course, there doesn’t have to be order and function to the design; take a load of coordinating pillow and throw them on the bed for a random look that will be different every day.  Aim to have the most colourful pillow near the centre of the pile to bring out the match to your décor and don’t have too many patterns going on to avoid losing the impact of any one variation.


Usually, people choose not to sleep on Euro pillows and use them as a decorative piece.  This may because often the pillowcases provided with them tend to be more decorative and not so much the comfort option.  However, there is no reason that a Euro pillow can’t be used as a sleeping pillow just as easily.  Plain pillowcases are available in their specific size and, if nothing else, you could always turn your hand to a little sewing and make yourself some bespoke covers for them.

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