What Is the Difference between Sateen and Percale?

Blue 300 Thread Count Cotton Sateen Sheet Set


When shopping for bed sheets, there are a number of factors you should consider to pick out the most comfortable bed sheets for your bedtime routine. Along with understanding fabric fibers, thread count, and pre- and post-fabric treatment, it’s important to understand the different weave styles that go into making a piece of fabric.

At Southshore Fine Linens, we are proud to offer premium quality bed sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers, and other bedding fabrics made from the highest-level weave patterns available. Among these weaves are premium Percale and Sateen weave patterns. Read on to learn more about percale vs. sateen weave patterns and see which type of fabric will better suit your needs.

Why Fabric Weave Patterns Matter

Bed sheet sets come in a variety of fiber materials, including synthetic and natural fibers. Some manufacturers will even incorporate a mixture of both types of fabrics in order to create a bed sheet set that is as versatile as it is comfortable.

Along with the material used, thread count, different finishing processes, and the use of dyes will all impact the comfort and quality of a bed sheet. Among all considerations, arguably one of the most predictive factors of a bed sheet’s quality is its weave type.

Basic weaves will use an equal number of vertical and horizontal fiber weaves to create a fabric. Sateen and Percale weaves, on the other hand, use a more intricate style to create a premium bed sheet that meets your comfort and durability needs.

What Is a Percale Weave Bed Sheet?

Steel Blue 300 Thread Count Cotton Percale Pillow Cases

A bed sheet that uses a percale weave is a fabric that implements a one over, one under yarn weave. This type of weave results in a very crisp yet comfortable fabric that is both smooth and soft to the touch.

Overall, this type of weave is fairly tight yet still breathable. Often, you'll find this type of weave offered in the thread count of 200 to 400. Because of its lightweight construction, it's the ideal weave for individuals who tend to be hot sleepers. The fabric is breathable and will keep you comfortable all night long.

Percale Weaves are found in a variety of fabric materials, including cotton, nylon, polyester, rayon, and blends. Of course, for the highest quality bed sheet, it's best to shop for natural materials like cotton.

Pros of Percale Weave Bed Sheets

As one of the more intricate bed sheet weaves available, it should be no surprise that Percale sheets have a number of benefits to them. Some pros you can expect out of this type of wave include the following:

  • Enhanced durability
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Crisp, smooth feel
  • Easy to care for and maintain
  • Percale fabrics get softer with each wash

Cons of Percale Weave Bed Sheets

Of course, with all fabrics, there are some negatives you should be aware of. The downsides of percale fabrics include the following:

  • Softness will depend on the material used
  • More crisp than soft, especially when compared to sateen weaves
  • Percale weaves tend to wrinkle easily and can require ironing

Ready to choose the sheets & bedding custom to your preference? Click Here if Percale bedding is to your preference!

What Is a Sateen Weave Bed Sheet?

Unlike the classic weave offered in percale fabrics, sateen weave fabrics incorporate a one yarn under and three or four yarns over weave pattern. This pattern results in a relatively distinct look that is soft, smooth, and definitively higher-end. You'll also notice that sateen fabrics tend to have a unique sheen to them as well.

As a result of this unique weave, sateen fabrics drape a lot better than percale fabrics. Because they drape nicely, sateen fabrics are much less prone to wrinkling, with some fiber types allowing the fabric to be completely wrinkle-resistant. This unique dynamic of sateen fabrics allows them to offer a high-end, quality feel.

Because of their unique weave, the sateen fabrics tend to be heavier than percale weave fabrics and typically capture more fibers per square inch. Additionally, sateen fibers do a better job retaining heat. For those who like to sleep warm at night, sateen fabrics offer the ability to trap heat, giving you a cozier night's sleep.

Much like percale weaves, sateen weave fabrics can be used with a variety of fibers. These fibers include cotton, linen, bamboo, polyester, rayon, lyocell, and blends. Of course, higher-quality fibers will provide a more comfortable night’s rest.

Pros of Sateen Weave Bed Sheets

Because of its intricate weave, sateen weave fabrics are often regarded as premium quality bed sheets. Some of the pros you can enjoy with these types of sheets include the following:

  • Hold heat well
  • Soft, comfortable feel
  • Drape nicely, offering an elegant and luxurious look
  • The intricate weave creates a lustrous sheen
  • Wrinkle resistant

Cons of Sateen Weave Bed Sheets

There are some downsides to shopping sateen weave bed sheets as well. Common cons of sateen sheets include the following:

  • Retains heat
  • Pilling is more common with sateen sheets
  • Fabric can feel slippery
  • The unique sheen can fade over time.

Ready to choose the sheets & bedding custom to your preference? Click Here if Sateen bedding is to your preference!

Staying Warm This Winter: How to Choose What Type Of Bedding You Need

As the colder months roll around, it’s important to understand how weave patterns can impact your night’s rest. Knowing the different types of weave patterns to look for in your sheets will help you determine which set to shop for.

Use Premium Quality Duvets and Comforters

Your duvet or comforter will be doing the most work in keeping you warm this winter. Because you’ll be using these the most, it’s essential to shop for premium quality materials. Duvets and comforters made of cotton, bamboo, and even linen will hold your warmth while providing a soft and comfortable feel. These materials will especially be comfortable if you are not using a bedsheet underneath the cover.

Weave pattern on duvet covers only really matters if you won't be using a bedsheet underneath the covers. Using a breathable percale weave duvet cover will give you a comfortable night's rest. The breathability of the material allows air to circulate well, and because you’ll be using a duvet, you won’t lose your warmth during the night.

When to Use Premium Quality Bed Sheets?

If you are using a bedsheet under your heavier covers, you’ll have some room to sacrifice material quality in the duvet and comforter. Instead, focus on the bed sheet you’ll be using underneath the duvet and comforter. Use a lightweight, breathable bed cover with a good thread count, quality material, and quality weave.

If you like to have a breathable fabric, opt for percale weaves. For a thicker yet silkier feel, sateen weave fabrics are the way to go.

Where to Buy Percale and Sateen Sheets?

Bright White 300 Thread Count Cotton Sateen Pillow Cases

Whether you are shopping for your own room, your child’s daybed bedding, or for a loved one, knowing where to shop is imperative to find quality bedding. With all the different thread counts, bed sheet materials, and bed sheet styles available, it's understandable if you feel overwhelmed in picking out a bed sheet set you'll love. At Southshore Fine Linens, we are proud to offer an impressive selection of best-selling high-quality bed sheets, linens, duvets, comforters, and more. Shop by size, material, weave type, and more when you explore our wide selection of high-quality bedding sets.

If you're looking for premium quality bedding sets made out of natural fibers, including bamboo and cotton, Southshore Fine Linens is the retailer for you. Visit us online today to find your next favorite bed sheet set.