Percale vs. Sateen: What's the difference and which is best for you?

When you think of your perfect bed, are the sheets light and crisp or do they envelop you in a rich silkiness? Or perhaps both sound equally luxurious.

Different weaves create unique experiences. So how to choose…


Percale sheets summon images of a bedroom glowing with warm summer sunlight, windows open to let in the breeze. Or for the serious sleeper, black out shades and the subtle white noise of air conditioning. The word “crisp” is always used in describing percale, a light and breathable fabric. With its simple matte finish, this cotton weave is incredibly soft, so there is no need to sacrifice sophistication for comfort.

Our most popular percale collection is Matouk’s Luca sheet. Cool and dry to the touch, this indulgent 500 thread count sheet is available in 9 colors with a sleek satin stitch or 3 colors with an elegant hemstitch.

Luca Satin Stitch Bedding

For the ultimate luxury, try the magnificent Gatsby, our 1000 thread count percale woven from fine Giza 87 Egyptian Cotton. Gatsby is an astonishingly soft and light fabric. Gatsby is finished with a subtle sateen border that is available in 6 beautiful colors.

Gatsby 1000 thread count bedding

Pro Tip: Outfitting a beach house or kids rooms? Try beautiful, easy care Positano, a 200 thread count percale made from an Egyptian cotton/poly blend.

Easy Care Positano Bedding


A Sateen fabric is another cotton weave that embodies luxury in its luster and drape. Slightly weightier than percale, sateen is often associated with colder months when nothing sounds better than burrowing into silky soft sheets layered with downy duvets. There is no mistaking that luminous sheen – sateen gives comfort a glamourous touch.

Home Treasures Royal Sateen Collection takes the decadence up a notch with a variety of opulent colors…

Royal Sateen Bedding Collection

…and check out best-selling Giotto, a sleek sateen expertly woven to create a lovely, silky smooth finish.

Sferra Giotto Sateen Collection

Need some inspiration? Sferra's ultra luxe Giza 45 Collections are available in a variety of sumptuous sateens.

 Giza 45 Sateen Bedding Collections

Whichever weave you prefer, make sure to read the label for staple length! Long Staple cotton is exceptionally fine and strong – two necessary qualities for truly fine linens. “Staple” refers to the measurement of the cotton fibers, the longer ones offering a higher caliber product. When used to make bedsheets, long staple cotton produces velvety fabric that becomes softer with every wash. And when it comes to bedding – softer is always better!

So…do you prefer a crisp softness to your sheets or a silky one? If you’re still undecided, there is always a third option: BOTH! You could adorn your bed in percale for summer and then switch to sateen when temperatures drop. Whichever sheets best suit your preferred sleep style…high quality percale, sateen or both…sweet dreams are guaranteed. After all, what is luxury without variety?