At its simplest, a euro pillow, also known as a euro sham or euro sham pillow, is an added way to dress up a made bed. These large, square pillows typically sit behind the regular bed pillows, propped up against the headboard.
Standard Euro Pillow Dimensions
The euro sham pillow usually measures 26 inches square. Special shams or pillow cases are made to go along with those square pillow inserts—just look for the "euro" wording on the linen packaging. Although 26 inches is standard for a euro pillow or sham, some shops sell them in other square sizes such as 22, 27 or 28 inches. Some companies refer to the smaller sizes as decorative pillows, rather than euro pillows. Be sure to buy a sham that matches the size of the euro pillow to ensure it looks its best atop the bed. If the pillow is extra fluffy, a slightly larger sham may suffice.
How to Use a Euro Pillow
Business-class hotels often display euro pillows atop the bed for added looks of comfort and luxury. Achieve that same look by propping two euro pillows against the headboard, or even three if you have a king-sized bed. Layer two or more of your usual bed pillows in front of those. If you have throw pillows suitable for the bedroom, add one or two in front of the bed pillows for a finished look.
The Key to Classy Looks
Some hotels keep things simple by going with an all-white or monochromatic color scheme for the pillows. If your bed linens are all white, stick to that look with the shams and pillowcases, to create a peaceful look that will encourage a good night's rest. Otherwise, it's all about creating a stylish look that suits your bedroom's style. For a cohesive look, find euro pillow shams that match the duvet cover or comforter, using the pillowcases that match your sheet set and your usual bed pillows. Pillow shams open in the back, rather than on the side as do pillowcases. This makes them ideal for decorative pillows such as the euro pillow. If using throw pillows, opt for a complimentary color or pattern that goes well with the rest of the bedding. A textured throw pillow adds an extra layer of visual interest to the bed.
Besides giving that bed an ultra comfy, welcoming look, euro pillows are actually useful once you're in the bed. Align them behind your back while sitting up in bed to read or watch TV. Choose fluffy, full euro pillows for optimal comfort and support, as you would when shopping for standard bed pillows. Thin, flimsy euro pillows won't look as fluffy or full on the bed, nor will they offer as much back support or comfort as a plush pillow, such as a down or down-alternative variety.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.