Percale vs. Sateen Sheets: What is the Distinction and Which Is Higher?

#Percale #Sateen #Sheets #Whats #Distinction

Looking for one of the best sheets is difficult sufficient, even when you favor cotton over some other supplies. However when searching for one of the best cotton sheets on the market, you’ll possible come throughout technical language like “percale” and “sateen” which may make it tougher to search out what you’re searching for. Whereas these phrases could seem international to some, they’re pretty easy when you study what they imply. Percale and sateen describe the weave of the material, which is simply as vital as understanding what fibers (cotton, linen, silk, and many others.) the sheets are product of.

Fortunately, the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab is stuffed with knowledgeable analysts with backgrounds in textiles science who’re always testing sheets. The truth is, we’ve evaluated greater than 250 sheet units lately for every thing from softness and wrinkle resistance to material power, shrinkage and extra. Along with placing sheets by means of standardized Lab exams utilizing specialised tools, we’ve labored with tons of of shopper testers who attempt them out at residence earlier than offering thorough suggestions on their expertise. The outcomes communicate for themselves, and we’ve discovered one of the best percale sheets and greatest sateen sheets obtainable for each kind of sleeper. Right here’s the best way to resolve which weave is best for you.

What’s the distinction between percale and sateen sheets?

Percale sheets are light-weight, ethereal and crisp, whereas sateen sheets really feel silky clean and substantial. The distinction is because of how the yarns are woven. Though they’re made with the identical supplies — cotton or cotton blends — the structural variations end in very totally different textures and bodily properties for every material.

the different between percale vs sateen sheets weave illustration

Percale sheets have a fundamental one-over, one-under plain weave that enables for extra interlacings — factors the place the threads overlap — making it one of many extra sturdy materials utilized in bedding. This construction additionally offers percale’s signature mild and crisp really feel whereas providing the mandatory breathability to keep up a snug physique temperature. Alternatively, sateen sheets usually have a four-over, one-under satin-like weave that gives a clean really feel and good sheen. Plus, it doesn’t are likely to wrinkle as a lot as percale.

Each forms of sheets can be found in a variety of thread counts. Opposite to widespread perception, increased thread counts usually don’t translate to raised high quality sheets, however we’ve discovered that sheets within the 300 to 500 vary have an awesome steadiness of softness and sturdiness.

What’s percale?

Percale sheets are recognized for his or her crisp really feel and light-weight high quality and are sometimes in comparison with button-down shirts, which generally have the identical 1:1 weave. This traditional sheet can be ethereal and breathable, making it an awesome choice for decent sleepers or those that stay in hotter climates. The draw back to percale sheets is that they’ll really feel tough or scratchy in comparison with sateen sheets and have a tendency to wrinkle extra due to their crisp, sturdy nature.


  • Feels light-weight and crisp
  • Breathable
  • Sturdy


  • Wrinkles extra simply
  • Can really feel tough when new

However whereas percale can usually really feel tough in comparison with sateen, L.L.Bean’s Pima Percale Sheet Set nonetheless earned excessive softness scores with shopper testers, due to the premium Pima cotton, and excelled in sturdiness testing in our Lab. Testers additionally cherished the breathability and raved concerning the cool-to-the-touch really feel. Alternatively, in case you’re searching for one thing that’s a fraction of the value with out compromising on high quality, Sweave’s Egyptian Cotton Percale Sheets are one to have a look at. Simply word that our consultants weren’t capable of confirm the Egyptian cotton claims.

Trying to find an excellent softer percale sheet? Go for The Crisp Sheet Set from Tuck. It earned the best marks in a blind softness check, due to the texture of the cotton-lyocell mix. Or in case you favor natural bedding, Coyuchi’s Natural Percale Sheets have the identical relaxed look with GOTS-certified natural cotton that one tester referred to as “gentle [and] luxurious but crisp and funky.”

Finest General Percale Sheets

Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set

L.L.Bean Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set
Credit score: L.L.Bean

Finest Worth Percale Sheets

Egyptian Cotton Percale Sheets

Sweave Egyptian Cotton Percale Sheets
Credit score: Sweave

Softest Percale Sheets

The Crisp Sheet Set

Tuck The Crisp Sheet Set
Credit score: Tuck

Finest Natural Percale Sheets

Organic Crinkled Percale Sheets

Coyuchi Natural Crinkled Percale Sheets
Credit score: Coyuchi

READ MORE: The Finest Percale Sheets, Examined by Consultants

What’s sateen?

Sateen sheets stand out for his or her clean really feel and slight sheen, with some materials having a slippery or silky texture. Sateen bedding is right for individuals who favor softness over crispness. The material can be inherently extra wrinkle-resistant in comparison with percale, and a few sateen sheets are even handled with a wrinkle-resistant end for a no-iron, picture-perfect look. However understand that sateen sheets can really feel heavier or thicker than percale sheets, so that they’re greatest fitted to somebody searching for a comfortable, gentle sheet. They don’t present the identical breathability as percale.


  • Silky and clean really feel
  • Slight sheen
  • Sturdy
  • Tends to wrinkle lower than percale


  • Could really feel too thick for some
  • Not nice for decent sleepers

The Brooklinen Luxe Core is among the hottest sateen sheet units obtainable with high quality material that’s each clean and sturdy. To not point out, the fitted sheet consists of game-changing “brief” facet and “lengthy” facet labels for straightforward bed-making. California Design Den’s On a regular basis Delicate Sateen Sheets are additionally a wonderful choice, outperforming different sateen choices greater than 4 occasions its worth, they usually are available all kinds of colours at an reasonably priced price.

For an excellent softer really feel, Riley’s Natural Cotton Sheet Set earned among the highest softness scores throughout all different cotton sheets in our exams, with testers calling them “gentle but ethereal.” Though, if the natural issue is vital to you, we weren’t capable of confirm if the set is absolutely natural. For a completely licensed natural choice, take into account Delilah Dwelling’s Natural Cotton Mattress Sheets. Not solely are they GOTS-certified natural, gentle and light-weight however they’re additionally beneath $200.

Finest General Sateen Sheets

Luxe Core Sateen Sheet Set

Brooklinen Luxe Core Sateen Sheet Set
Credit score: Brooklinen

Finest Worth Sateen Sheets

On Sale

Everyday Soft Sateen Sheets

California Design Den On a regular basis Delicate Sateen Sheets

Now 32% Off

Credit score: California Design Den

Softest Sateen Sheets

Organic Cotton Sheet Set

Riley Natural Cotton Sheet Set
Credit score: Riley

Finest Natural Sateen Sheets

Organic Cotton Bed Sheets
Delilah Dwelling Natural Cotton Mattress Sheets

Now 20% Off

Credit score: Delilah Dwelling

READ MORE: The Finest Sateen Sheets, Examined by Consultants

The ultimate verdict: percale or sateen?

Our testers usually favor the texture of sateen in side-by-side comparability exams, however in the end it’s a matter of non-public choice. Our evaluations present that whereas percale material is inherently stronger and sateen is inherently softer, each sheets carry out effectively in our Lab and at residence with shopper testers.

  • For those who love a lightweight, crisp sheet with good breathability and aren’t bothered by wrinkles, go along with percale.
  • For those who favor a gentle, clean sheet with a bit of extra wrinkle resistance and thickness, go along with sateen.

Why belief Good Housekeeping?

Grace Wu joined the Good Housekeeping Institute in 2022 as a textiles product evaluations analyst with a concentrate on hands-on testing and evaluating shopper knowledge. With a powerful background in textile engineering, she has evaluated all kinds of bedding merchandise together with sheets, pillows, silk pillowcases and extra utilizing specialised laboratory tools and suggestions from tons of of shopper testers. Previous to working at Good Housekeeping, Grace earned a Grasp of Engineering in Supplies Science & Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Fiber Science from Cornell College.

Headshot of Grace Wu

Textiles, Paper & Attire Lab Product Analyst

Grace Wu (she/her) is a product evaluations analyst on the Good Housekeeping Institute‘s Textiles, Paper and Attire Lab, the place she evaluates fabric-based merchandise utilizing specialised tools and shopper tester knowledge. Previous to beginning at Good Housekeeping in 2022, she earned a grasp of engineering in supplies science and engineering and a bachelor of science in fiber science from Cornell College. Whereas incomes her levels, Grace labored in analysis laboratories for sensible textiles and nanotechnology and held internships at Open Type Lab and Lease the Runway.

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