Oxford pillowcases and Housewife pillowcases have the same internal dimensions but there is one small difference. Oxford pillowcases, have a wide stitched hem around the edge to create a border which is usually between 5-10cm. Housewife pillowcaseshave a sewn edge which fits neatly to the pillow.
Why do Oxford pillowcases have this border?
The border is purely for aesthetic reasons. It gives a different look to the pillow and some people think it adds an element of elegance or extravagance to your bedding. They can also make your pillows look bigger, so if you’re aiming to make a statement in your bedroom this could help to do that. Housewife pillowcases are more minimalist, and so you may want to choose a more interesting print or fabric if you are going down this route.
What size is an Oxford pillowcase and a Housewife pillowcase?
A standard sized Oxford or Housewife pillowcase has the same internal dimensions - 50cm x 75cm, but a standard size Oxford pillowcase is slightly bigger on the outside because of its border, so it measures approximately 60-85cm. It is also possible to get SuperKing size Oxford and Housewife pillowcases, like these which are 50cm x 90cm on the inside and square Oxford and Housewife pillowcases which are typically 66cm x 66cm.
What size pillow would I need for an Oxford pillowcase?
A standard 50cm x 75cm pillow will fit a standard Oxford pillowcase. Oxford pillowcases come in a range of sizes though to fit bigger pillowcases and even square pillowcases, so make sure you check the size of your pillow is correct for the size of pillowcase you are ordering. Most good websites will tell you what the internal dimensions of your pillowcase are.
And what about a Housewife pillowcase?
The pillow size is the same for either the standard Oxford pillowcase or the standard Housewife pillowcase - 50cm x 75cm - as the internal dimensions for both are the same.
Why are they called Oxford pillowcases and Housewife pillowcases?
Oxford pillowcases used to be made from Oxford cloth which was a hard wearing cloth that was used for making shirts. Allegedly the Housewife pillowcase was named after the Housewives Cooperative in Bolton who invented the flap inside a pillowcase to stop the pillow falling out.
Which pillowcase is best for me & best to sleep on?
Both pillowcases are equally functional so the choice is really personal, depending on which look you prefer.
Both will function equally well to sleep on, but in hotels you will find that often a pillow in an Oxford pillowcase will be used on the top of the pile of pillows, to dress the bed, and underneath there are pillows in Housewife cases which people actually sleep on. Both pillowcases are absolutely fine to sleep on though and you will probably be more affected by what type of pillow you are using inside the pillowcase than the pillowcase itself. Find out how to pick the right pillow for a strong night’s sleep
What is a continental pillowcase?
A continental pillowcase is a square pillowcase, usually measuring 65cm x 65cm. These can also come in Housewife or Oxford design. They are usually used to dress the bed decoratively and are often used in hotels on top of other types of pillows.
So in summary, both Oxford and Housewife pillows can work on a standard-sized pillow, but the choice of which depends on which look you prefer.
If you need more help choosing your perfect pillow, take a look at our handy pillow buying guide.