Nate Home by Nate Berkus bedding with throw pillows and light blue Percale sheets

What’s the Difference: Percale vs. Sateen Sheets

Written by: Katherine Flacco



Time to read 1 min

Learn the key differences between cotton percale and cotton sateen sheets for a more comfortable and enjoyable night's sleep

Bedding shouldn't just elevate your bedroom; it should also feel as good as it looks. Shopping for sheets is stressful enough but throw in technical jargon like cotton percale and cotton sateen and it's easy to be thrown for a loop. Understanding key differences like feel and breathability between percale and sateen sheets can dramatically enhance your sleep for a good night's rest.


Percale and sateen technically refer to the weave or how the yarns are woven together. The slight difference in the weave alters the texture and physical properties of each fabric. Percale uses a one-over-one-under weave giving them their classic crisp, lightweight feel with a matte finish. This type of weave allows for more threads to overlap, making this fabric incredibly durable. Crisp and refreshingly cool to the touch, percale sheets are commonly compared to button-down shirts or a freshly made hotel bed. The tightly woven construction of this material is not only incredibly smooth, but it is also naturally pill-resistant and moisture-wicking, making percale sheets ideal for hot sleepers or anyone living in warmer climates.


• Lightweight, crisp feel ideal for hot sleepers

• Breathable for a comfortable night’s sleep

• Durable due to the weaving technique


As for sateen sheets, this weave uses a one yarn under, three or four yarns technique to give them their lustrous sheen and incredibly smooth feel. This type of weave exposes more thread surface creating a heavier and thicker feel compared to percale. Sateen sheets feature a silk-like texture that retains heat, making it the ideal option for cold sleepers or those who live in cooler climates. This inviting, buttery smooth feel of sateen sheets drapes well for a naturally pristine and wrinkle-free look right out of the dryer.


• Silky feel with a slight sheen finish

• Wrinkle-resistant

• Cozy fabric retains heat ideal for cold sleepers

COMPARE THE TWO - Percale and Sateen Sheets

Percale vs. Sateen Sheets weave and feature comparison

While these two weaves have different physical properties, they both complement each other in many ways, so you can easily enjoy the crisp, cool feel of percale in the summer and the warm feel of sateen in the winter. Swapping your sheets with the seasons refreshes your bed for an elevated look and feel you’ll love season after season.