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Sateen vs Satin Sheets: How to Choose the Right One

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If you’re ready to replace your old sheet set and are looking for soft, silky sheets, look no further! Both satin and sateen sheets are incredibly smooth. What’s the difference? Let’s compare sateen vs satin sheets to help you find the best material for bed sheets.

Last week I shared our perfect duvet and why I love them, especially for our Airbnb. Many of you messaged and chimed in over on our Facebook page saying that post inspired you to refresh your bedroom with new bedding which is amazing! Today, I thought you might like to see my favorite sheet collections, which ones we use and why.

green and plaid duvet cover
Green plaid duvet with cotton sheets

“Sateen” and “satin” sound so similar and the sheets look alike, too. That’s for a good reason: both sheets use the same weave pattern with different fabrics, involving one warp thread and four weft threads. The warp thread is always on the outside, giving these sheets a smooth finish. This particular type of weave makes even low thread count sheets feel luxurious. 

Despite these similarities, satin and sateen sheets are quite different. Let’s break it down by sheet material.

What Are Satin Sheets?

What is satin made of? Satin sheets are made by weaving long filament fibers using a satin weave. Because these fibers are so long, they make incredibly smooth sheets with a shiny, glossy look. 

Most satin these days is made from synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, which are much more affordable. The best quality satin sheets are made from silk; however, silk sheets are costly and out-of-budget for most people (me included!)

Is Satin and Silk The Same Thing? No, silk is made from natural fibers and satin is a weave, not made from natural fibers.

The best part about satin bedding is that it’s naturally cool and doesn’t stick to your skin. This is perfect for people who run warm or like sheets that feel cool to the touch. Plus, satin weave sheets attract fewer dust mites, and many are hypoallergenic, so they’re a popular choice for people with allergies!

Best satin sheets

I have the Westbrooke set along with a few others at our Airbnb and these are a little pricey but I got them when they were on sale (they are 37% off now!) and they are so comfortable!

Westbrooke 500 Satin Sheets

Click here to see sheets ↗

Luxury Silky Satin Sheets

Click here luxury satin sheets ↗

luxury taupe satin sheets

I can honestly say I have never slept in (or purchased) sheets this expensive (below) but they looked amazing and had great reviews so I had to share!

Ultimate Luxury Sheets

Click here to see sheets

What Are Sateen Sheets?

Sateen fabric is made from cotton, especially short-cotton yarns. The sateen weave is very similar to satin, but because the fibers are so short, they must be processed slightly differently.

Sateen is typically only made from cotton fibers. Unlike satin fabric, cotton sateen sheets retain heat. These warm sheets are very cozy, especially for the winter. They’re still very soft and have a slight shine. Like satin sheets, sateen sheets tend to resist dust making this an excellent choice for people with allergies.

Best sateen sheets

white sateen sheets

Luxury Elastic Bottom Sheets

Click here to see sheets ↗

Egyptian Cotton Sateen Sheets

Click here luxury satin sheets ↗

egyptian cotton sheets
green egyptian sheets

Luxury Elastic Bottom Sheets

Click here to see sheets ↗

Brookelinen Luxury Sheets

Click here luxury satin sheets ↗

brooklinen 1000 sheets

Visit our Amazon Storefront to see all all these sheets and trending duvet and comforter sets.

Sateen vs. Satin Sheets

Ready to get down to the specifics? Let’s break down the distinct differences between these similar fabrics to find the right one for you.

Temperature – This is a key difference between these different materials. Satin sheets are naturally cool, perfect for hot sleepers or people in warmer climates. Sateen sheets tend to be warmer, so they’re great for the winter or people who always feel cold.

Durability – Since sateen is made from cotton, a durable fabric, it lasts longer and is easier to maintain than delicate satin.

Ease of care – Depending on your satin sheets, they most likely need to be dry-cleaned. Some sets can be washed on delicate and air-dried. Sateen bedding is machine washable like regular cotton percale sheets. Both materials are naturally wrinkle-resistant.

Price – High-quality sheets are always expensive. Natural silk satin sheets are incredibly expensive and cost hundreds of dollars per set. On the other hand, synthetic satin is very inexpensive ($30-50). Meanwhile, high-quality sateen sheets use a less expensive cut of cotton and usually start around $100. 

Comfort – Both sateen and satin sheets have a smooth, luxurious feel. If you want really smooth sheets, look for brands with a higher thread count (750-1,000). 

Sheen – Satin and sateen sheets are shiny, but satin sheets have an almost-wet glossy look. Sateen sheets have a slight sheen and smooth feel.

I mentioned in my post last week about “what is a duvet cover” that it’s always nice to have a nice set of sheets (the Westbrook sheet set is my favorite) as well as a handful of budget friendly sets (see towards end of post where I share my favorite) as backups.

brown waffle duvet cover on a queen bed with coastal farmhouse decor

Waffle Duvet | Striped Quilt | Clara Clark Cotton Sheets | Headboard

Which one is best: satin vs sateen sheets?

It’s a personal preference. Some people love satin’s shiny, silky look and are okay with paying the higher price for naturally cool bedding. On the other hand, sateen sheets are just as snuggly but with a much lower price tag. They may be too warm for some folks to use all year, but many people love them.

I love the durability of cotton. The extra warmth is perfect for those cold New England winters, and the slight shine lures you in. Plus, they’re affordable and easy to maintain.

If Satin or Sateen are not in your budget, we also have a handful of the Clara Clark Microfiber sheets and they are so soft, great quality and you can’t beat the price!

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

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