May 15, 2024 6 min read

So many things go into your home design, and pillowcases are a key part of that component. Whether you’re using different types of pillowcase styles on your sofa, bed, or loveseat, choosing the right type can make all the difference when it comes to interior aesthetics and functionality. Here at Or & Zon, we’ll introduce you to the Oxford vs. housewife guide to square pillowcase styles so you can determine which one is best for your space. These two styles are quite similar, but there are also some distinctive differences as well. We will go over all the details in this guide, including the characteristics, pros and cons, and recommendations for these square pillow case covers, so let’s dive in!

Understanding Oxford Pillowcases

So, what is an Oxford pillowcase? Let’s explore the characteristics, design features, and more.

Definition and characteristics of Oxford pillowcases

Oxford pillowcases have an opening on the back. This is where you’ll insert the pillow to cover it. They’re well-known for having a beautiful decorative border that gives the pillowcase a pop of personality and added style. Most of the time, an Oxford pillowcase has a wide-stitched flat hem which can make the pillowcase appear to be slightly larger than it really is. The term “Oxford pillowcase” doesn’t come from the city of Oxford, but actually from the fabric it was originally made with, which is called Oxford cloth. This hard-wearing cloth was often used to make shirts and other clothing, serving as a much more durable yet elegant option when compared to the housewife pillowcase.

Design Features

The decorative fabric border of Oxford pillowcases gives them an elegant, high-end look. This border around the edge is also called a flange, and it can create the illusion of a larger, fluffier pillow. Using pillowcases with this extravagant border or a decorative frill can add elegance and a luxe look to both bedding and home decor. The biggest difference between Oxford and housewife pillowcases is that the Oxford pillowcase is much more detailed and decorative, while the housewife pillowcase is a bit more understated with a more modest design.

Pros and cons of Oxford pillowcases

Both Oxford and housewife pillowcases serve the same basic function, so it mostly comes down to your personal preference. Here are some pros and cons of Oxford pillowcases.


  • Decorative fabric borders give Oxford pillowcases a fun, distinctive look.
  • While there is a standard size for Oxford pillowcases, you can also find them in several dimensions for a different size pillow.
  • The unique border can make standard pillows appear to be approximately 5–10 centimeters larger, adding drama to your decor.


  • Oxford style pillowcases often feature hard-wearing fabric that might be too stiff for sleeping on.
  • If you have a smaller bed or small furniture, Oxford pillowcases may be too bulky.
  • Overall, Oxford pillowcases tend to cost a bit more than housewife pillowcases.

Recommendations for when to use an Oxford pillowcase

If you like the look of the Oxford pillowcase, they’re a great addition to your bed or living room furniture. Thanks to the dramatic flange made of different fabric colors, prints, or styles, these pillowcases can add a playful pop to a bedroom or bring dramatic flair to a living space. Pile several pillows with Oxford pillowcases onto your bed to give it a fluffy, comfortable, and cozy bedroom aesthetic. This attractive pillowcase style brings a splash of texture, color, and dimension to any space in your home. Use them to create a welcoming guest bedroom for your beloved guests.

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Exploring Housewife Pillowcases

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Now, let’s look at Oxford vs. housewife pillowcases, spotlighting the features of a housewife pillowcase here.

Definition and distinguishing features of Housewife pillowcases

What does a housewife pillowcase look like? These pillowcases have a neatly sewn edge that fits nicely around the pillow to keep it secure. It’s well-known as being the “standard pillowcase” because it’s one of the most popular choices both in America and in the UK. Most housewife pillowcases are made out of cotton or other easy-care fabrics, and they’re made to tuck over the end of the pillow for a neat, clean look. It gained inspiration from the 19th-century Bolton Housewives Cooperative, which designed the simple opening to include an inside flap to keep the pillow from coming out of the pillowcase.

Simplicity of design

The straightforward design of the housewife pillowcase makes it an easy addition to any bedroom. Many people feel that the beauty of this pillowcase is in its minimal simplicity. Both Oxford and housewife pillowcases are equally functional, so it all comes down to aesthetics and overall size. Some housewife pillowcases come as square pillow cases, making them a good option if you want something decorative. Square pillows are usually utilized as layers on a bed or a sofa, chair, or loveseat as decoration.

Advantages and disadvantages of Housewife pillowcases

Here are some of the pros and cons of using housewife pillowcases:


  • The simple design makes these pillowcases easier to integrate into any style of bedroom or living space.
  • An effective tucked flap makes it easy to keep pillows in place.
  • Most housewife pillowcases are made of easy-care fabric so they’re much easier to keep clean.


  • Some people find the housewife pillowcase too simplistic.
  • The inside flap may not work for all pillow types or sizes.
  • Not all housewife pillowcases are made of quality materials, so choosing the right fabric is important.

Recommendations for when to choose Housewife pillowcases

If you want something easy to use and low-maintenance, housewife pillowcases are an excellent choice. Because they have a more minimalist appearance, they’re often the go-to choice when decorating modern bedrooms and other contemporary spaces. These pillowcases are simple, which means they’re great for getting a good night's sleep without all of the extra fuss.

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Comparing Oxford and Housewife Pillowcases

Which is better, Oxford or Housewife pillowcases? Let’s compare the difference between Oxford and housewife pillowcases in more detail.

Design Elements

The distinctive wide stitched hem of the Oxford pillowcase makes it much more interesting to look at. Housewife pillowcases are simpler in design, giving them a clean appearance that works well in almost any environment. Its simple opening is also easier to use overall. What pillowcase is best to sleep on? The housewife pillowcase is more popular, but it really does come down to which style you prefer.

Maintenance and Care

Many traditional Oxford pillowcases are constructed of a thicker, harder fabric that makes them a bit more complicated to clean. However, housewife pillowcases are usually made of materials like cotton or linen, so they’re easy to toss in the washing machine and dryer. Look at the fabric composition tag and care instructions of your pillowcase to ensure that it’s easy to maintain.

Versatility in Decor

Choosing between an Oxford vs. housewife pillowcase often comes down to your preference or the latest trends. Try an Oxford design in a colorful pillowcase square shape and toss it on a chair or sofa to add a comfy layer of texture and color to living room furniture. Square pillow cases are great for decoration in any room. You can also pile Oxford pillowcases on top of your housewife pillowcases for a dramatic look in the bedroom. Mix and match different pillowcase types and patterns for a dramatic effect.

Making the Right Choice for Your Home

Here are some tips to help you make the right choice for your home.

  • Consider the size of your pillowcase. A standard pillow is 50cm x 75cm, which will fit most traditional Oxford and standard housewife pillowcases. However, a standard size Oxford pillowcase is typically around 60cm x 85cm total, so it’s larger than a housewife pillowcase which usually has the same internal dimensions as the pillow itself.
  • Match the right types of pillowcase styles based on your bedding and overall bedroom aesthetics. For example, a luxe bedroom looks beautiful with piles of Oxford pillowcases, while a clean, minimalist bedroom is beautifully adorned with housewife pillowcases.
  • Feel free to mix and match different pillowcase styles depending on the mood, the season, or your current bedroom style. Do Oxford pillowcases go on top or bottom? If you decide to pile it on, place the Oxford pillowcases on top of the housewife pillowcases. This will allow the unique decorative edge to shine through and give your bedroom a luscious, layered look.
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Final Thoughts on Oxford vs Housewife

Now that you know more about the Oxford vs. housewife pillowcase, you can determine which one will work best with your home decor. Remember, the different types of pillowcase designs will impact the look and feel of your bedroom. Use the information from our guide to help you make an informed choice based on your own personal preferences and needs. Once you’ve decided which option you like best, explore the selection of pillowcases and other bedding products at Or & Zon to give your bedroom a beautiful look.