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Percale Vs. Sateen Sheets: Which is Best In Bed?

Let's compare percale vs. sateen sheets to find your best sheet match. 

When it comes to beautiful cotton sheets, the terms 'percale' and 'sateen' often emerge, pivotal in determining the texture and comfort of your bedding experience. But what do these terms really mean, and more importantly, which type of sheet best fits your everyday bedding needs?

At Organic Favorite, we understand that the quest for the best cotton sheets extends beyond just picking a side —it's about making a thoughtful, long-term investment that aligns with your personal comfort and lifestyle.

So let's get into it, and compare percale vs. sateen sheets and find out which is best for you. 


What Are Percale Sheets?

Ever slip into a beautifully luxurious hotel bed and marvel at how crisp, cool, and delicious the bedding is? Yeah, me too. You should know, when comparing percale vs. sateen sheets, that luxury hotels almost always opt for percale sheets for their durability and their cool and crisp characteristics. 

Percale sheets, known for their crisp and airy feel, epitomize classic bedding elegance. This style of sheeting is defined by its tight, one-over, one-under weave, which results in a matte finish and a smooth texture that feels fresh and cool against the skin. 

Unlike sateen, percale offers a lightweight quality, making it especially popular among those who prefer bedding that helps regulate temperature during sleep. Percale sheets are our recommended cotton sheets for those who value a cool, crisp sleeping environment and appreciate the classic elegance of a matte finish. If you are looking for warmth to keep you toasty on a January night, then look to sateen (or flannel) sheets.


  • Breathability: Ideal for hot sleepers, the lightweight nature of percale fabric allows air to flow freely, helping regulate body temperature throughout the night.
  • Durability: The tight one-over, one-under weave enhances the fabric's strength, making percale sheets resistant to pilling and ensuring they last longer.
  • Crisp Feel: Many people love the distinctive crispness of percale sheets, similar to a freshly ironed shirt, which can contribute to a refreshing sleep experience.
  • Easy Care: Percale sheets are generally easy to care for, requiring no special washing instructions to maintain their quality and feel.
  • Easy Layered Bedding Look: Because percale sheets are light and airy you won’t feel weighed down when you layer on your duvet or comforter plus a waffle blanket, or other bed blankets on top —even in summer. 


  • Wrinkling: Due to their crisp nature, percale sheets are prone to wrinkling. We suggest with any sheet to take them out of the dryer and fold them while hot, or put them on the bed while hot to avoid wrinkling. 
  • Initial Roughness: Some percale sheets may feel a bit rough to the touch when new but typically soften after a few washes. The more you wash percale sheets, the softer they become. 
  • Coolness: While a pro for many, the coolness of percale sheets might not be ideal for those who tend to get cold easily during the night.

What Are Sateen Sheets?

Sateen sheets are known for their silky smooth texture, gentle sheen, and heavy drape. 

This type of cotton sheet is crafted using a unique weave pattern, typically four yarns over and one under, which brings out the lustrous sheen and smoother, silkier feel compared to its percale counterpart. This weaving technique not only imparts a softness that rivals that of silk but also lends the fabric a subtle, elegant gloss that enhances the aesthetic appeal of any bedroom setting. 

The texture of sateen is unmistakably plush and soft to the touch, providing a cozy embrace that is particularly appealing during cooler nights. Its denser weave contributes to the fabric's drape, enveloping sleepers in unparalleled comfort and warmth. Beyond its tactile and visual allure, sateen sheets are admired for their durability and resistance to wrinkles, maintaining a polished look with minimal effort.


  • Softness and Smoothness: The silky surface of sateen sheets offers an indulgent feel, making them a favorite for those who prioritize softness.
  • Wrinkle Resistance: Sateen's tighter weave reduces the likelihood of wrinkling, keeping your bed looking effortlessly sleek.
  • Warmth: The heavier weight of sateen sheets makes them ideal for cooler climates or seasons, providing a snug and warm sleeping environment. Depending on your preference or environment, this might be a con. 
  • Visual Appeal: The subtle sheen of sateen adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to your bedding ensemble.


  • Less Breathable: The denser weave can make sateen sheets less breathable than percale, potentially leading to overheating for some sleepers. This might just mean sateen sheets are saved for winter.
  • Prone to Pilling: While durable, the surface of sateen sheets can be susceptible to pilling over time, especially with frequent use and washing.
  • Cost: Due to the intricate weaving process and the luxurious feel, sateen sheets can be more expensive than other types of bedding.

Percale vs. Sateen: Head To Head Comparison

Ok, so now that you know the real difference between percale vs. sateen sheets, let’s compare the two head-to-head and find out which sheet is best for you.


Percale Sheets

Sateen Sheets


Excellent – ideal for hot sleepers and warmer climates.

Good – slightly less airy, suited for cooler environments.


Very durable – becomes softer with washes, resistant to pilling.

Durable – smooth but may pill over time with frequent use.

Feel and Texture

Crisp and cool with a matte finish, akin to a fresh button-up shirt.

Silky smooth and soft with a slight sheen, feels luxurious.

Care and Maintenance

Easy to care for, though prone to wrinkling, may require some care tricks for a crisp look.

Wrinkle-resistant, easier to maintain a sleek appearance without ironing.


Ideal for spring and summer due to their light and breathable nature.

Better suited for fall and winter, offering warmth and coziness.

Personal Preference Insights:

  • If you prioritize coolness and crispness in your bedding, or if you're a hot sleeper, percale sheets are likely your best choice. Their breathable nature and lightweight feel offer a refreshing sleep experience.
  • For those who value softness and warmth, along with a desire for a more luxurious, smooth feel, sateen sheets might be more appealing. Their drape and luster add a touch of elegance to the bedroom.
  • Regarding durability, both types of sheets are long-lasting, but the choice may come down to how you balance the trade-off between percale's tendency to wrinkle (requiring more care to maintain a crisp look) versus sateen's potential for pilling.
  • In terms of care and maintenance, consider whether you prefer the low maintenance of sateen's wrinkle resistance or don't mind the extra effort to keep the percale looking its best.

Seasonality Insights:

It’s our opinion that both types of sheets are fabulous, they just have their time and place. 

  • Percale sheets are the go-to choice for warmer months. Their breathability and lightness make them perfect for spring and summer, providing a cool and comfortable sleep experience that combats the heat.
  • Sateen sheets, with their denser weave and smoother texture, tend to retain more warmth, making them a cozy option for the cooler months of fall and winter. Their softness and slight sheen also add a comforting and luxurious touch to colder nights.

Ultimately, the choice between percale and sateen sheets comes down to personal preference in terms of feel, texture, and the specific qualities you value most in your bedding.

Read More: How to Care For Cotton Sheets: Wrinkle-Free & Long-Lasting

Why Organic Cotton?

In the realm of bedding, the significance of GOTS-certified organic cotton cannot be overstated. This certification ensures that from seed to sheet, the cotton used in your bedding meets the highest standards of organic farming and ethical production practices. But why does choosing organic cotton matter so much for your bedding?

Firstly, environmental benefits stand out prominently. Organic cotton farming drastically reduces water usage and eliminates the use of harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, leading to healthier soil, water, and air. Furthermore, it supports biodiversity and ecosystems, creating a positive impact far beyond the bedroom.

The health benefits are equally compelling. Organic cotton is free from harsh chemicals and irritants, making it kinder to your skin and essential for those with sensitive skin or allergies. By choosing organic, you're not only opting for supreme comfort but also ensuring that your sleeping environment is as pure as possible, contributing to your overall well-being.

Last Thoughts on Percale vs. Sateen

Whether you choose the crisp and cool touch of percale or the smooth and luxurious feel of sateen sheets, both offer unique benefits to enhance your sleep experience. 

Made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, our sheets not only promise exceptional comfort but also uphold sustainability and ethical practices. 

Ultimately, it really comes down to your personal preferences in finding the perfect sheets for a restful night's sleep.


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