The First Step in Shopping for Luxury Bedding - Deciding between Percale or Sateen Sheets

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Understanding the Difference Between Percale and Sateen when Shopping for Luxury Sheets

When building your new luxury bed, deciding on your sheets is the first step to creating your perfect sleep space. Sheets are the most important part of the bed as this is the main fabric that comes in direct contact with your skin. Choosing the right bed sheets will ensure a blissful night's sleep.

But what are the ‘BEST' sheets to buy? This is a difficult question because what is perfect for one person may not be for another. There is always the personal preference factor to consider.

The first question to ask when beginning your search for your perfect sheets is, "Do I like my sheets crisp and cool or silky and warm?" The fabric style is where you want to pinpoint your specific preference. This is our first question when someone is looking for sheets; Percale or Sateen.

Percale - Crisp and breathable

Matouk Luca Hemstitch Bedding Collection finely woven in Italy for a smooth touch

Percale is a crisp, cool and luxurious bedroom standard. Like sleeping in a luxury five-star hotel, high-quality, closely woven percale is light and breathable with a fresh feel. It's ideal for summertime sleeping and can also be used year round by people who like to sleep "cool." High-thread-count percale is cozy and durable. With proper care, these sheets should last for many years.

Pros: Most durable sheeting. Provide a light, cool, crisp feel. Great for Summer and ‘cool' sleepers. Very breathable fabric helps keep you comfortable for a great night's sleep.

Cons: 100% cotton percale sheets tend to wrinkle and can use a press to look their best. Some people don't like their ‘crunchy' sound. Typically less options for bright colors.

*Making sure to put Percale sheets right onto the bed out of the dryer will help smooth without pressing. A quick iron on the pillowcases if needed can finish off the bed perfectly.

Sateen - Silky and smooth to the touch

Sferra Giotto Bedding Italian-woven Egyptian cotton sateen sheetin

Sateen sheets are thicker and known for their luster and drape. Sateen feels silky and soft to the touch. Sateen is a warmer fabric and ideally suited for cooler weather or those who are looking for warmth in their bedding. With a lustrous sheen, they're perfect for bedrooms with a heavy emphasis on luxury and romance.

Pros: Soft, silky feel. Warmer, good for cold climates. Wrinkle less (but this doesn't mean not at all). Typically, more and brighter color options.

Cons: Warmer, not the best option for Summer months or warm sleepers. Tend to carry a higher price point.

Beyond the fabric style… Does thread count matter?

Once you've decided on whether Percale or Sateen sheets are best for you, the next question customers typically ask about is Thread Count. High thread count has become synonymous with high quality. And while that's true to a certain extent, thread count numbers are only part of the big picture.

Thread count is defined as the number of threads, horizontally and vertically, per square inch of fabric. Thread count is often considered the signifier of sheet quality; high-thread-count sheets are assumed to be softer and more durable. This may not always be the case. Much depends on both the quality of the fabric and workmanship by the manufacturer. Thread count matters most when you are evaluating high-quality, well-made sheets, whether percale, sateen, or another weave. If sheets are of similar quality, thread count may then be used to differentiate among them.

Choosing from 200 thread count up to 1000 thread count sheets available from the top manufacturers can be a tough choice, but comparing based on your preferences of fabric type, color options available, and the price point where you're comfortable will lead you in the right direction. Once you've narrowed down your choices, feel free to order complementary fabric swatch samples or talking to one of our knowledgeable design consultants.

Caring for your Percale or Sateen sheets and bedding

Whatever sheets you choose, remember that you can extend their life and beauty by caring for them properly. Always follow manufacturer's directions for washing, and consider using a detergent specially formulated to care for fine linens, such as Heritage Park Laundry essentials.

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  • Kendra Cosenza