25+ Difference between Pillar and Column

When discussing an upright standing structure that is often made of stone, metal, or wood, the terms “pillar” and “column” are commonly used interchangeably in architecture.

Both are cylinder-shaped physical structures that are upright and often support a much bigger structure above them, such as a horizontal beam or a building. Other than sharing a similar architectural feature, each can be applied in many circumstances. 

One such distinction may be how they are used in a building or, from an artistic perspective, nomenclature.

A pillar may be viewed as a decorative element by some, while an architectural structure that stands erect like a column may be seen by others. With a few minor variations, the functioning of each is nearly identical.

Comparison Between Pillar And Column

DefinitionA pillar is vertical support meant to support a building’s roof.The column transfers the structure’s weight to the earth and footing.
RelationEvery pillar is a column.Not all columns are pillars.
Usage of steelThe pillars never contain any steel.You might utilize steel in columns.
FunctionA support structure for larger architectural structures.To support the load-bearing wall, columns are utilized.

Major Differences Between Pillar And Column 

What exactly is a Pillar?

A pillar is a substantial engineering structure that is often cylindrical, stands erect, or provides stable support for a larger structure like a building or a monument.

A pillar is a crucial component of something much larger and is typically made of construction materials like concrete, stones, or bricks. As a supporting structural feature, pillars are designed to sustain weight like a building’s roof or higher levels.

A pillar is any vertical structural component used in architecture or building construction, such as a pier, columns, or post.

A single bit of stone or wood, or smaller pieces like bricks, might be used to construct it. Its cross-section can take on any form. A pillar often performs a load-bearing or stabilizing purpose; however, certain pillars, such as memorial pillars, can stand alone.

Pillar Key Differences

  • A pillar is a vertical support meant to support a building’s roof.
  • Every pillar is a column.
  • Pillars serve as ornamental elements.
  • A support structure for larger architectural structures.
  • A pillar may support a building’s roof or stand-alone.
  • The pillars never contain any steel.

What exactly is a Column?

A column is a specific kind of pillar with remarkable load-bearing capacity, and as such, it plays a crucial role in a building’s structural construction.

A big-standing structure’s structural design depends heavily on its columns, which are often paired with a strong base or foundation and capital. 

In contrast to pillars, columns may be built from stainless steel or masonry and come in a wide range of forms, including rectangular, square, round, hexagonal, and more.

The term “column” can also refer to a row of vertically arranged cells in a chart, table, or spreadsheet outside of the context of architecture. They can also be used as highlighted sections or articles in magazine or newspaper columns.

Column Key Difference

  • The column transfers the structure’s weight to the earth and footing.
  • Not all columns are pillars.
  • To support the load-bearing wall, columns are utilized.
  • From the base, it rises and settles on the ground. Beam, slab and other loads are supported by columns.
  • You might utilize steel in columns.

Contrast Between Pillar and Column


  • Pillar- In engineering and architecture, a pillar is a tall, strong structure that stands upright and is supported by another structure. It can be made of different materials, like stone or metal. Pillars can be both useful and pretty, like a front entrance with pillars.
  • Column- The only purpose of a column, but on the other side, is to support a roof or other horizontal beam, and it is a particular type of pillar that fits this description.


  • Pillar- In architecture, a pillar is a strong vertical support made of materials like stone or bricks. It can hold up a structure or be used on its own for support. Pillars are usually tall and thin.
  • Column- A column is a vertical structural element that provides a strong base for a structure and is typically part of a broader structure. The most common materials used to build columns are masonry or structural steel.


  • Pillar- Pillars support buildings and monuments. They work better when they have a strong foundation and hold up a big structure. Pillars can be made of one material or many, like bricks. Sometimes, they’re just for decoration, like commemorative pillars.
  • Column- A column’s primary purpose, typically seen in structures, is to sustain the weight of the roof or even the upper stories. A column may not always be structural.


  • Pillar- The function of pillars is more akin to that of an aesthetic feature.
  • Columns – Columns are strong and can hold up heavy buildings. They usually have a base and a regular shape, like a row of columns called a colonnade.

    Skyscrapers use stainless steel columns for their strength. Other types of columns include piers, concrete or stone columns, or pilotis, which lift a building off the ground.

Material Usage

  • Pillar- It is a structure that stands tall and is usually made up of masonries such as stones and bricks.
  • Column- It is usually used in architectural designs in which it uses materials like masonry or steel.


  • Pillar- Pillars are usually used for aesthetic purposes or as decorative structures.
  • Column- They are not used as a decorative item. They rather serve a useful purpose to the building.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What can all materials be used to make pillars?

Typically, pillars are built from materials with strong compressive strength, such as stone, brick, block, concrete, timber, steel, etc.

What variety of steel can be used in making a column?

Based on their form, columns can be categorized as square or rectangular. They have a minimum of four support beams made of longitudinal steel.

Square or rectangular columns frequently make it simple to shutter, install reinforcement, and pour concrete.

Name one type of cement which is used in a column.

In all RCC constructions, such as footings, columns, beams, and slabs, OPC 53 Grade Cement is advised where initial and final strength is a crucial structural requirement.

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