Percale vs Sateen: Difference and Comparison

To add the perfect sheet to your collection, you can get a lot of options in the market, but two names that can often be heard are Percale and Sateen.


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These both have very distinct weaving qualities and their disadvantages also. One should know the difference between Percale and sateen are woven fabrics to know the best bedding for yourself.

Key Takeaways

  1. Percale is a tightly woven, crisp fabric, while sateen has a smooth, silky feel.
  2. Percale is more breathable and better suited for warm sleepers; sateen drapes more heavily and is warmer.
  3. Sateen has a lustrous sheen, whereas percale has a matte finish.

Percale vs Sateen

Percale is a crisp and cool weave structure used for bed sheets and pillowcases. They are 100% cotton but can be mixed with silk, rayon or synthetic fabrics. Sateen has a silky and wrinkle-free structure with a subtle shine. They retain heat and have shorter durability.

Percale vs Sateen

Percale is for those who love crisp sheets. The finely woven percale sheets give a crisp feel, just like an ironed dress shirt having a tight and flat cotton weave.

They are breathable and are perfect for warm sleepers. They give a cool sleep experience and are perfect for those who live in places having warm and hot climates.

Sateen is for those who love the buttery softness. With a smooth finish and a silky texture, sateen is the way to go for cooler sleepers.

They are a bit heavy and perfect for those who are prone to get chilly. The amazing this about sateen is that they are not prone to wrinkles, and thus no ironing is required. They give a warmer slumber the whole year because of their thicker yarn.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPercaleSateen
Feel and comfortabilityThey are crisp and light and have a comfortable, smooth feel, are breathable, and get softer with every wash.They have a silky texture, are wrinkle-resistant, and ideal for people having sensitive skin.
DurabilityAs they get softer with every wash, that makes them very durable and exceptionally comfortable.Limited durability if pilled and snagged, moderately durable, and sheen fades over time.
MaintenanceIt can be machine washed and dried. Their prone to wrinkles makes it necessary to iron them to have the crispiness.It can be machine washed but on a gentle cycle and with the use of a mild detergent. It can also be dried using air-dry or no heat.
Temperature neutralIt regulates temperature and thus can be used in all seasons. They are breathable enough and keep you warm and cozy.Prone to heat retention and is cozy and warm. It is too warm for the hot sleepers. It can be used year-round.
WrinklesThey are prone to wrinkles.They are winkle-resistant.

What is Percale?

Given a classic, smooth feel and crisp, percale sheets are much more popular and use a one-over-one-under weave that is fairly tight. With at least a thread count of 200, percale is highly breathable and perfect for those types of people who love to sleep hot.

There are several materials used to make percale sheets, such as polyester, rayon, cotton, etc., having their performance implications.

With repeated washing, they tend to get softer and thus make them exceptionally durable. With a smooth matte finish, they are a lot easier to maintain and care for.

They have a disadvantage in that they are prone to wrinkling, and to enhance their crispness, one has to iron them.

Moreover, they are pretty good for being used in all seasons as they regulate temperature. They can be machine-washed, perfect for those who want to get a cooler, airy, and comfortable sleep.


What is Sateen?

With a distinctive look and feel with a silky texture, Sateen fabrics use one yarn under three or four yarns which tends to give them a subtle shine. With the feature of having prone wrinkle-resistant, sateen gives a smooth look and does not need ironing.

These cosy and luxurious fabrics, which are a bit heavier than percale, give extra warmth as they tend to trap heat, making them less attractive for hot sleepers.

When it comes to durability, they are less durable as they are more prone to pills and snags. They can also fade out over time. Having more prone to heat retention, sateen sheets are used year-round.

They are also machine-wash safe when used with mild detergent and a gentle cycle.


Main Differences Between Percale and Sateen

  1. Percale is prone to wrinkle-resistant, whereas Sateen is not wrinkle-resistant.
  2. Percale has more durability and gets softer with every wash, whereas Sateen is prone to pilling and thus has limited durability.
  3. Percale regulates temperature and is used in all seasons, whereas Sateen is prone to heat retention and is generally cosy and warm.
  4. Percale has a crisp and smooth light texture, whereas Sateen has a more silky touch texture.
  5. Percale is machine washed and dried, whereas Sateen is also machine washed but on a gentle cycle and using mild detergents.
  6. Percale is light and airy and perfect for warmer sleepers, whereas Sateen is a bit heavier, and its thickness is also high, so it is perfect for cooler sleepers.
Difference Between Percale and Sateen

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