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Myth Buster – Sateen vs Percale weave

Posted on Jul 09, 2020

While we have already established that higher thread count doesn’t mean higher quality material and Egyptian cotton isn’t always the stamp of ultimate luxury in our previous myth buster articles, the question about softness and quality of bedlinen also comes down to a choice of two types of weave: percale or sateen.

Myth Buster – Sateen vs Percale weave - News - CLEAN Services

Each of the weaves utilise the softer long-staple cotton, the main difference between percale and sateen is the structure of weave used to create the material. The different weave pattern used affects the feel, temperature, look and durability of the linen, and it really comes down to preference when deciding which option to choose.


Percale’s one under, one over weave structure aids circulation and increases the sheet’s breathability, making it lightweight and ideal for summer months. This particular weave is used heavily within hotels in warmer climates and is recommended for any hot sleepers.

On the other hand, sateen uses a one under, three over weave structure, which helps trap warmth in. To achieve its silky feel, sateen is more tightly woven and therefore heavier than most sheets, which makes it the perfect choice for those living in colder countries.


Percale linen is known for its durability and texture, which naturally improves with every wash. Not only is it simpler to look after than most weaves, but its excellent robustness means it will not pill or fade over time, so your linen will look fresh for years to come.

As sateen has more thread surface, it is easier for the threads to get caught or bobble, which means sateen sheets are more prone to damage and typically have a shorter life cycle than percale linen.


Percale is known for offering the crisp, cool feel that many people look for in their perfect linen. According to research by linen manufacturer Hotel Sheet, 80% of its readers prefer the feeling of crisp sheets.

Those looking for a more luxurious linen, however, might prefer sateen weave. The structure of sateen weave means that more of the yarn is on show, which provides it with a satin-like finish to the sheet, without the hefty price tag of the real thing.


Percale sheets have a matte finish and offers a more casual linen look. Although it is easy to maintain, percale sheets are more susceptible to creasing and wrinkles, which means a little more effort is needed to get the pristine, ironed hotel look.

Sateen sheets require slightly less maintenance as its tight weave makes it naturally wrinkle-resistant and creases drop easily. Renowned for its luxurious sheen that mimics that of silk or satin, sateen sheets are the perfect choice for those looking for an Instagram-ready bedroom aesthetic.

So, does the idea of a cool, crisp sheet thrill you or does a luxurious silky fabric sound like a sweet dream? Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal opinion to which weave is better for you and it’s very common for people to invest in both types to get the best of both worlds in their hotel.

Read our Bedlinen Product Buyers Guide

At CLEAN we offer both sateen linen with our Oria range, and our Isabella linen uses a percale weave this ensures we can offer the right product for each of our customers. You can view our hotel linen product range here.

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