Percale vs Sateen Bed Sheets – What’s the Difference?

Everyone knows that there is no better feeling than a good night’s sleep in a fresh set of light, airy and cool sheets. We don’t pay enough attention to the types of sheets that we are buying and quite often pick linens that do not do our REM cycle the justice that it deserves. Whether it is the type of mattress, or deciding between Percale vs Sateen bedding or the ambiance that you create in your bedroom, the overall environment that you lay your head in can make or break the night for you.

So many factors must be considered when determining the right environment for you to hit the sack in. Some people generate more heat than others, while some people can sleep through noise better than others. There are also some people who need a special type of pillow in order to make it through the night well-rested.

Everyone has different priorities and preferences, but this article will help you understand the differences between the two most common types of sheets: Percale and Sateen.

Comparison Between Percale and Sateen Sheets

girl asking what's the difference percale vs sateenPercale sheets are known for their cool and crisp feel, particularly for those who get warm at night time. These sheets have a tight and flat weave in the thread that allows the sheet to breathe more and feel more airy to the sleeper. This type of sheet is typically cotton and can look a bit wrinkled if not laundered correctly, so be sure to follow instructions closely!

Sateen sheets are designed for softness but not necessarily for breathability. These sheets are on the heavy side and are woven differently to make the sheets look silky-smooth. The weave on these sheets is looser, so for those who tend to get chilly this sheet will keep you warm.

It may sound confusing that the percale sheets are woven tightly but are cooler than the warm sateen sheets that are woven more loosely. The part of the sheet that makes the biggest difference on the temperature is the weight of the yarn and the weight of the yarn determines the tightness of the weave.

First, allow me to explain the necessary terminology to understand how the weave of each of these sheets is different. The thread that moves lengthwise is called the “warp” and the thread that moves through the warp in the other direction is called the “weft.

Percale sheets have a light yarn, which keeps it cool, and that yarn has to be woven tightly at a 1 weft to 1 warp ratio for the sake of durability. Sateen sheets have a heavy yarn that stays warm and cozy, but that heavy yarn requires a loose weave at a 1 weft to 3 warp ratio for the sake of construction.

Which Should you Choose? Percale vs Sateen Sheets

Everyone has different sleeping needs because everyone’s body type is different. Some people have the tendency to run warm in regards to their core temperature and others who have worse circulation may feel chilly at night. Of course, temperature is not the only thing that factors in but it may be the most important when it comes to choosing the right sheet set.

couple who prefer percale sheets over sateenIf you run hot then it is recommended to use the lighter and airier percale sheets, but the sateen sheets are better for those looking for the warmest bed sheets. Of course, this same logic can apply to the time of year that it is. If it is a hot summer, then opt for the lighter and crisper percale sheets. If it is the cold of winter or that terrible time of year when only the nights are freezing, then go for the heavier and thicker sateen sheets.

Outside of the temperature, the aesthetics and washing instructions can play a role in which type of sheet you prefer. The weaving of the percale sheets can make them feel similar to how a crisp, button-down shirt would typically feel. That material and method of weaving makes this sheet more susceptible to being wrinkled. If you are looking for sheets that feel amazing but may require more maintenance in the area of laundry, then this is probably the most likely choice for you.

Sateen sheets may feel a bit less luxurious than the percale, but they certainly look like top of the line luxury! The method of weaving used on these sheets makes them look silkier and shinier like a set of satin sheets without the slippery feel. This aesthetic may be appealing for the look of your bedroom, and although they may not feel as light and airy as the percale, they are surely less work to keep the wrinkles away.

The final factor that may play into which of these two categories of sheets you may select and that is durability. Nobody wants to have to buy replacement sheets every other month, so the manner of washing must also allow for the linens to hold up over long periods of time. The method of weaving for percale and sateen sheets plays a big role in determining how these two types of sheets last.

The amount of breathability in the percale sheets creates more longevity and less wear and tear on the linens. These sheets tend to last much longer, so they are highly recommended for households that want their sheets to live for as long as possible. The key to the percale sheets longevity is the maintenance process, though. If you are washing and drying these sheets appropriately, then you are likely to hold on to them for a long time.

The density of the weaving for your sateen sheets are what allow for their durability to manifest without much regard for the washing and drying instructions. The heavy fabric has less wear and tear over time and wrinkles with much more difficulty, so it is an easier sheet to maintain.

Overall, you should stop overlooking your sheets when creating the ultimate bedtime environment for yourself. Whether you finished a hard day at the office, a hard day at school or a hard day running after kids, you deserve the best night’s sleep possible!