Sateen vs. Percale: What’s the Difference?


Cotton is popular for a reason. It’s breathable, comfortable, and versatile. And when it comes to cotton bedding, there are two main weaves: sateen and percale. While both offer luxurious experiences (we wouldn’t have them at SIJO if they didn’t!), they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. Let’s dive into the nuances of sateen weave cotton and percale weave cotton to give a clearer picture of what makes each unique when deciding on percale vs sateen sheets or bedding.

The Basics

Before we delve into the details, let’s establish a baseline understanding of these weaves:

  • Sateen Weave Cotton:
        • Typically has a smooth and silky surface. 
        • Created by weaving multiple threads over one another, resulting in a lustrous finish.
        • Known for its softness and luxurious feel.
        • Often has a higher thread count, contributing to its smooth texture.
        • Think of this as the cotton version of our best selling AiryWeight Bedding.
        • At SIJO, all of our cotton bedding is GOTS certified organic.
  • Percale Weave Cotton:
      • Has a crisp and cool feel.
      • Made by weaving one thread over and one thread under, creating a tight and durable weave.
      • Offers a matte finish with a slight texture.
      • Generally has a lower thread count, giving it a lightweight and breathable quality.
      • Think of this as hotel-crisp cotton.
      • At SIJO, all of our cotton bedding is GOTS certified organic.

    Texture and Feel

    One of the most noticeable differences between sateen and percale is their texture and feel. Sateen, with its smooth surface and subtle sheen, feels luxurious against the skin. It drapes elegantly and often has a slightly warmer feel, making it ideal for cooler climates or those who prefer a softer touch. On the other hand, percale's crispness and coolness make it perfect for warmer weather or individuals who enjoy a more structured and airy sensation. 

    • Sateen offers a silky, smooth texture with a slight sheen, feeling luxurious against the skin.
    • It drapes well and tends to be warmer, suitable for cooler temperatures or those who get cold easily.
    • Percale provides a crisp, cool touch with a matte finish, giving a clean feeling.
    • It's lightweight and structured, making it perfect for hot sleepers or warm climates.

    Breathability and Durability

    At SIJO, breathability and durability are important factors in all of our bedding. The tight weave of percale allows for excellent airflow, making it a great choice for hot sleepers or summertime bedding. Additionally, percale's durability shines through due to its tightly woven structure, resisting pilling and maintaining its integrity wash after wash. Sateen, while still breathable, may trap a bit more heat due to its denser weave. However, its luxurious feel and smooth surface make it a timeless, year-round choice for bedding enthusiasts.

    • Percale is highly breathable due to its tight weave, allowing for excellent airflow.
    • It's also durable, maintaining its quality and resisting pilling through many washes.
    • Sateen, with its thicker weave, is still breathable but may hold more heat.
    • It offers a durable and smooth surface that remains soft and luxurious over time.

    Appearance and Care

    In terms of appearance, sateen's subtle sheen adds an element of sophistication to your bed. Its lustrous finish can elevate the aesthetic of a room! Percale, with its matte appearance and crispness, exudes both a feel of timelessness and versatility. When it comes to care, both weaves are relatively low maintenance and can withstand regular washing.

    • Sateen has a lustrous finish that gives beds an elegant and sophisticated look.
    • It's relatively easy to care for, withstanding regular washes while maintaining its sheen.
    • Percale has a matte appearance that can lend a timeless and versatile elegance to any bedroom.
    • Care is simple; it's less prone to wrinkling and can handle regular laundering to stay fresh.

    Choosing the Right One

    Ultimately, the choice between sateen and percale comes down to personal preference and lifestyle. If you prioritize a silky smooth feel and luxurious look, sateen weave cotton is an excellent option. This is a great winter update for anyone who loves our AiryWeight Eucalyptus collection. On the other hand, if you prefer a crisp, cool touch and enhanced breathability, percale weave cotton might be more suited to you. Before clicking order, think about your climate, sleeping preferences, and desired aesthetic.

    • Choose sateen if you're looking for a silky, warm bedding with a luxurious sheen.
    • Sateen is great for colder months, adding elegance and comfort to your sleep.
    • Go for percale if you prefer bedding that feels crisp, cool, and refreshing to the touch.
    • Percale is ideal for warmer climates or if you desire bedding that offers a clean, structured feel.

    Whether you lean towards the silky softness of our organic sateen sheets or the crisp coolness of our organic percale sheets, both weaves offer exceptional comfort and quality. So, which weave do you find yourself leaning towards? 

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