frenchback vs. bagstyle pillow cases



A few years ago, we posted on the theme of "bedding education" and explained our two different types of pillow cases: frenchback and bagstyle. Today, with the 2019 AREA annual sale looming, we’re revisiting this subject.

Frenchback is a style of pillow case with a tucked, envelope closure. This style offers a neat and tidy look for the bed. Bagstyle has fabric that extends past and overhangs the end of the pillow. This is a more traditional style with a simple, draped look.

Photo above: JEWEL grey comes in frenchback cases. INES grey in bagstyle.

When Anki Spets founded AREA in New York in 1990, she discovered something interesting about pillow cases in the United States: “All pillow cases in the US were ‘bagstyle’." she explained, "There was no name for the style, though the design and name ‘frenchback’ was common enough in Europe.”

And so AREA started using “bagstyle” to help differentiate between the two types of pillow cases.


AREA's longtime staple linen sheeting SIMONE has been around since 2011 & the new washed version comes in frenchback cases.

Frenchback had mystique and sophistication, and bagstyle a relaxed, organic quality. There was no need to make the choice between the two styles because each had their merits. At the time, the approach was that we liked both styles and found them equally at home among AREA designs.

In recent years, the popularity of the bagstyle case has been on the decline. The transition took quite a few years, but this year we are discontinuing all but one style of bagstyle pillowcase in favor of frenchback.

As AREA moved into washed linens and cottons, frenchback became the norm. The easy unfussiness of a natural fabric wrinkle meant that the frenchback style no longer felt so tailored. That, and it’s so compact and easy to style. Still, we'll miss that drape.


EMILE mineral bagstyle cases

EMILE linen just recently switched from bagstyle to frenchback, and the latest color, EMILE moon, only ever had a frenchback option.

Though it seems the days (and nights) are numbered for bagstyle, it does mean there will be plenty to choose from at this year’s sale!  Mark your calendar: March 21-28, 2019.

Next time, we’ll give you the inside scoop on what exactly is going on sale this year.

Stay tuned...


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twin 68 x 86”
full/queen 86 x 86”
king 104 x 86”


twin 66 x 102”
full/queen 90 x 102”
king 108 x 102”


FITTED SHEETS (w/ 14” pocket)
twin 39 x 75”
full 54 x 75” 
queen 60 x 80”
king 76 x 80”
cal-king 72 x 84”


accommodates pillow sizes:
standard 20 x 26”
euro square 26 x 26”
king 20 x 36”
standard body 20 x 60”
king body 20 x 72”

LEARN MORE about bagstyle vs frenchback.



twin 69 x 90”
full/queen 90 x 90“
king 108 x 90”
throws 51 x 70”
xl throws 70 x 90"


Thread count (TC) refers to the number of threads per square inch.
Type and size of individual threads are just as important as the count.

LEARN MORE about thread count


At AREA we carefully consider how each sheet should not only look but also feel. 
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