The Difference Between Oxford and Housewife Pillowcases

Ever wondered what the difference is between Oxford and Housewife pillowcases?

There’s only one small difference between the styles - Housewife pillowcases have a sewn edge, which fits neatly around the pillow, whilst Oxford pillowcases have a fabric border around the edge. It's as simple as that! Here’s all you need to know..

Bedfolk Softest Pillowcases | Relaxed in Rose BeddingRelaxed in Rose Bedding

What is an Oxford Pillowcase?

Let’s dive a little deeper into the fundamentals of the Oxford Pillowcase: it often has an opening at the back where the pillow is inserted and it’s famous for having a decorative border of various shapes and sizes. It’s usually mistaken to be larger in size because of its wide-stitched flat hem.

What is a Housewife Pillowcase?

The Housewife pillowcase often referred to as the ‘standard’ pillowcase because of how widely-used it is in the UK, is usually made out of cotton or polyester fabrics and is designed to tuck over the end of the pillow.

Bedfolk Housewife Pillowcase | Relaxed in DoveRelaxed in Dove Pillowcase

Traditional Styles for the Modern Bedroom

The Oxford pillowcase surprisingly didn’t originate from the city of Oxford but coined its name from the hard-wearing fabric it was originally made with: ‘Oxford cloth’. It was typically used to make shirts and became the more elegant and durable alternative to the simple housewife design. These days the pillowcases are made with cotton or linen for a softer feel. 

The Housewife pillowcase drew its inspiration from the 19th Century Housewives Co-operative which adapted the simple opening at the end of a pillowcase to include an inside flap to stop the pillow falling out. Genius.

We design thoughtfully because life is complicated enough

In case it's helpful, here's the low-down on the standard sizes for the two pillowcase styles. The standard UK dimensions for a Housewife pillowcase are 50 x 75cm. Oxford pillowcases are also 50 x 75cm internally, but with a 5 - 10cm hem around the edge.

The Bedfolk Choice

At Bedfolk, we're all about the minimal aesthetic, so our pillowcases are Housewife in style with just a little enhancement. Most housewife pillowcases have a tucked side flap, but we found our pillows often 'escaped' in the night and displayed the unfavourable ‘white’ of the pillow. So we designed ours with an envelope back in the centre, meaning the pillow sits snugly inside even if you toss and turn.

Bedfolk Housewife Pillowcase | Luxe in SnowLuxe in Snow Pillowcase | Envelope Back

Oxford or Housewife Pillowcase?

The decorative and wide-hemmed, Oxford, or the simple, yet effective, Housewife; which ones for you? Here at Bedfolk, only the bespoke Housewife pillowcase will do.

And after all that Pillowtalk, why not treat yourself to some new ones?

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