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

Katie Golde: Hey guys, it’s Katie from Mattress Clarity. Today, we’re talking about the difference between percale and sateen sheets. Now, if you’ve been sheet shopping in the last century, you probably have seen these labels, and you may not know what they mean. They refer to different types of weaves. It’s important to know what they are because they affect the overall feel and experience you’re going to have with the sheets.

I’m going to talk about the similarities, the differences, and who I think they’re a good fit for. We’re also going to get an up-close look at both different types of sheets so you can get the best idea on what’s going to be the right one for you. Let’s dive into these sheets. Katie: I do have one quick question for you. I want to know, after you watch this video, if you’re more “Team Percale” or “Team Sateen.” Which one do you think is going to be the best fit for you? Don’t hesitate to comment below.

Let me know. Write “Percale” if you like percale sheets, “Sateen” if you like sateen. I’m checking back, and I want to know which one you like. Personally, I’m Team Percale, but I think that they’re pretty much great across the board. Of course, if any questions come up, leave them there, too. I’m always checking back. I want to talk to you about these sheets. First of all, both percale and sateen sheets are woven with different fabrics from all different manufacturers. You’re going to see them in cotton, bamboo, and linen. What it means is how they’re woven, but the other thing that they have in common is that they’re both used with long-staple fibers.

For example, the ones I have in my lap right here are long-staple cotton. That means is that they’re more durable and they’re softer compared to short-staple cotton, which is not going to hold up as much. If you see these weaves in any fabric just know that they’re going to be synonymous with a higher quality sheet. You can’t go wrong with either. Let’s dive into each one, and I can give you an idea of which one’s going to be the best fit for you. Now, it’s time to learn a little bit about more about the percale sheet. They are very popular. You’ll see them all over the place.

In fact, I’m sitting on a set of cotton percale sheets, as well as holding them up right now to give you an idea of the fact that they are everywhere. I want to talk to you about how they’re made first and why that results in the kind of fabric that it does. Percale, the weave itself is very simple. It’s a one-under/one-over weave. Think about summer camp potholder loom making, very simple basic construction. That results in a crisp, lightweight feel. These are cotton sheets, so bear that in mind. They can come in different fabrics. There’s something called a “Hand-feel” in the sheet world. That means how does it feel on your hand? I’m going to show you. It definitely has that, again, crisp is the best way to describe it. The cotton rustling is happening. It does drape nicely over my hand, it is really soft. It does hold its own. It’s got its own structure. For a better example, think of a nice hotel sheet or a nicely crisp laundered menswear shirt or womenswear shirt. Again, I hope you’re getting that vibe that I’m trying to share with you.

That’s the feeling of percale. It is lightweight. It’s a great fit if you’re in a warm climate, you’re a hot sleeper, you have the night sweats, or something like that. Go with percale. It’s going to be nicer for you but keep in mind that it does tend to wrinkle a little bit easier than other weaves. What you’re going have to do, if you either have an iron on you or take it right out of the dryer when it’s a little bit warm and put it straight on your bed. What’s the deal with sateen and why is it as popular as percale? A lot of that has to do with the complexity of the weave.

A sateen, you’re going to go one-under/two-over, one-under/three-over, even one-under/four-over. Although that might seem very simple in the difference, it creates a very different weave, different fabric overall. As a result, a very different sheet set. These sheets are a little bit thicker. They have a buttery feel to them. I’m going to hold up and do the hand feel for you so that you get this idea here. You can see how it’s draping a little bit closer to my hand. It’s extremely soft, a little bit thicker. Hopefully, you can see here, there’s a little bit of luminosity, a little bit of a sheen. I’d go so far as to say a “Silkier” feel overall. If you think about it, putting that on your bed with your beautiful pillows, your comforter, it’s all going to create such a rich, luxurious feel. I think that’s so appealing to people. Now, again, I mention that it is a little bit of a thicker fabric overall, so that’s going to be great for those colder months.

Maybe you like to sleep cold and so you want that warm sheet set. The sateen is going to be the right fit for you. It is durable. Make sure you follow the care instructions to keep it as long as possible. It may not be as durable as percale, but the nice thing here is that it doesn’t wrinkle as easily. By now, you’ve had a chance to learn a lot about both types of weaves and hopefully have a clearer idea of which is going to be the right fit for you.

I want to briefly recap them again. The percale sheets are going to be crisp, lightweight, breathable, and very durable, all great qualities. Remember, they are going to be a little more prone to wrinkles. The sateen sheets are, without a doubt, going to look amazing on your bed. They’re buttery soft, they have that nice sheen to them, but because they’re thicker, they’re going to sleep a little bit warm. Keep in mind, they might be better for the winter. Now, the weave is just one of the many factors to take into consideration when shopping for sheets. Don’t forget you’ve got fabric, color, thread count, and, of course, you’ve got price. If you want to learn more, check out our YouTube channel Mattress Clarity. You’ve got a whole bunch of sheet stuff going on there. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you’ve got any questions. Now, I’m exhausted.

I’m going to go take a nap on these sheets, so I’ll see you later. .

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