Percale vs. Sateen: Understanding the Difference

percale vs sateen sheets

 Premium-quality sheets are essential for a peaceful night of sleep. That means you don’t want to buy just any sheet set at just any store. Instead, you want to consider several factors that speak to the sheets’ luxury quotient so that you can make the best possible purchase, preferably with a retailer that has a reputation for fine bedding. 


Perhaps the best-known factor is thread count, but another one that’s just as important is the type of weave. Two of the most common options are percale or sateen. Understanding their different characteristics helps you make an informed choice, one that suits your needs and preferences for comfortable bedding.


cotton percale sheets

Percale Sheets

This is the definition of the crisp, classic sheet. Cotton percale sheets are made with a simple, plain weave in which the yarn goes one-under and one-over. But this is a beautiful kind of simplicity. Percale is lightweight, with a clean matte finish that looks good on any bed.

Percale has a tight weave (like the kind found in high-end men’s button-down shirts). But these sheets don’t feel constricting or heavy because the cotton is a thinner thread. This gives percale exceptional breathability. That’s why percale is a popular choice for summer sheets or people who tend to sleep “hot” and need the caress of cool sheets. When it comes to percale vs. plain cotton, the latter often has an uncomfortable stiffness—the opposite of percale’s luxury.

Sateen Sheets

Unlike percale’s one-under, one-over weave, sateen features a weave with four yarns over and one yarn under. This accounts for the difference between percale and sateen. A sateen sheet has a trademark satin-like finish with a light sheen. The result is a sheet with the subtle, shimmering quality and soft drape of satin combined with the strength and durability of premium cotton.

Sateen is comfortable yet also practical. The tight, distinctive weave makes these sheets wrinkle resistant, adding a sumptuous feel that’s delightfully soft. These sheets are slightly heavier than percale, due to the thicker yarn, but they’re still comfortable no matter the season. It’s an ideal pick for anyone who wants to feel enveloped in billowy sheets that feel like a dream.

In the end, choosing between the two may come down to a simple matter of personal preference. But if you still can’t decide on percale vs. sateen sheets, we have an inviting alternative. 

The Ingenuity of Euro-Weave

At Elegant Strand, we engineer our products so that they are the best in the marketplace. We take our time in development and design to create home goods of singular elegance and quality. One of the innovations that resulted from our efforts is Euro-Weave. 

This is a proprietary weave that marries the best attributes of percale and sateen. We’ve made a pill-resistant fabric that has an exceptional and buttery-soft feel. It’s a strong material, resistant to the tears and snags that plague lesser-quality sheets. This is bedding made to last—and be treasured—over time. 

We offer all three weaves in our Elegant Strand sheet sets, and they’re all made with extra long, extra fine 100% combed cotton. This process eliminates shorter fibers and impurities, leaving only cotton fibers of superior quality. You can find Euro-Weave in our Monte Carlo, Florence and Capri collections. These linens offer a 350 thread count and come in goes-with-everything white as well as tasteful neutrals. 


Luxurious Sheet Set Capri Collection

Make Your Dream Bed at Elegant Strand

Sheets are only one element in creating the ideal sleep environment. You also need a mattress that offers spinal support and breathability to allow you to wake up refreshed, not achy. A pillow that adapts to any sleeping position is also a requirement, as well as a pillowcase made in the same refined fabric as your sheets. 

Elegant Strand is your one-stop shop for everything you need for a good night’s sleep. All of our products are made with the same attention to detail as our sheet sets. Our pillows, for instance, boast a unique “double pillow” design in which an inner compartment of goose feathers is surrounded by goose down. And like our Euro-Weave fabric, our Perfetto mattress combines two great things (in this case, spring mattress support and foam’s cooling comfort) and makes them even better in a one-of-a-kind product. You can also give your bedding a sophisticated touch with our selection of perfectly tailored duvet covers, decorative shams and quilted coverlets and shams

Our online ordering process is easy, with exceptional customer service at every stage of the process. Order free fabric swatches before purchasing your sheets if you wish to feel the material and get a true representation of how the color will look in your bedroom. We also offer a 30-night, risk-free trial and a streamlined return policy. Once you’ve decided whether percale, sateen or Euro-Weave is right for you, find the ideal sheets at Elegant Strand.