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What Is Sateen? The Fabric Used For Sateen Sheets

Sateen sheets are a luxury that cannot be ignored. Who doesn’t look forward to laying down in bed each night? This is especially true if you’ve just had a long or stressful day. This is why making sure your bed is everything it can be is important. 

what is sateen

One thing that all beds need is a set of nice sheets. You can buy simple cotton sheets from the grocery store or you can buy organic silken sheets from a high-end retailer. But before you do, you need to know more about a little thing called sateen

What Are Sateen Sheets?

Sateen is a fabric made using a satin weave with spun yarns. In short, it is a glossy fabric made using cotton. It is a combination of satin sheets and cotton sheets but with distinct differences that you can notice. 

However, that is today’s description of sateen. In the early 19th century, it was often used in place of the word “satin” or “velveteen” which is mock velvet. But today, it is used to describe a material with a satin weave and cotton fabric. 

Sateen Sheets Vs Satin Sheets

Here is a question we get a lot. Sateen and satin have one thing in common. They are both made with a satin weave. A satin weave is a type of fabric weave that creates a characteristically glossy and smooth surface.

The weave is tight but not as tight as a classic weave which is a single weave. A satin weave alternates the number of threads that the other thread passes over before going under again. This gives a lustrous look. 

Both satin sheets and sateen sheets use this weave. But what they don’t have in common is the type of thread used. Satin sheets use a filament which is a silky thread while sateen sheets use spun yarn.

Cotton Sheets Vs. Sateen Sheets

What Is Sateen

The truth is that sateen sheets are almost always cotton as they are made with yarn. Yarn, is in fact, made of cotton. So the two are similar in this way. The difference is the type of weave that they use.

Traditional cotton sheets use a traditional single wave. While the sateen sheets use a satin weave, which favors one direction and is not symmetrical and pleasing pattern when up close. Yet makes the threads look longer and glimmery. 

Choosing between the two can be difficult. They don’t look very different though the sateen is a bit shinier. However, sateen is also slightly warmer than cotton despite them being made of the same material. 

Other Types Of Sheets

Other Types Of Sheets

There are many other types of sheets aside from sateen, satin, and traditional cotton. But there are only a few that tend to confuse people. These types of sheets aren’t common but they also aren’t rare in the world of luxury. 


The term “percale” refers to a type of weave primarily used to make bed sheets. Like sateen, they are made from 100 percent cotton fabrics but are often blended with other materials like silk and rayon. 


Charmeuse is a type of silk that can be made from many different types of silk fabrics. It is often made with Mulberry silk and is used as an insulator on sheets where only one side of the fabric is visible.


Crepe, or crêpe, is a material made from silk, wool, or synthetic fabric that has a wrinkled and bumpy texture. It comes from the French word meaning a small, thin pancake. It is normally a lightweight and breathable fabric. 


Chiffon is a light, transparent, or semi-transparent fabric made from nylon or silk. It is very lightweight and used for clothing or curtains more often than it is used for sheets because of its sheer nature.


Taffeta is also another uncommon sheet fabric more often used in fashion, for example, in prom dresses. But taffeta is a crisp and plain-woven fabric made from silk or rayons and comes from the Persian word meaning “twisted woven”.


Voile is a simple, sheer fabric much like chiffon. It is soft and most often made off 100% cotton though other materials can be mixed in as well.  It is often used for mosquito nets and veils as the word literally means veil. 

Best Sateen Sheets Online

You can buy sateen sheets almost anywhere, but buying them online is usually your best bet. This is because you can look at all of the product info on one page and compare the item to other items like it easily. 

400 Thread Count Striped 100% Cotton Sheet Set

400 Thread Count Striped 100% Cotton Sheet Set

This lovely set is made with 100% cotton and uses a satin weave. You can get it in nearly ten colors and every one of them is gorgeous. What makes this sheet set special though is the stripes on them.

The stripes give it a classy look that is also unique. They are alternating with one stripe being shimmery and the next being more matte. This gives the sheet depth and lets you make your bed look larger.

Amherst 1000 Thread Count Egyptian Certified Cotton Sateen Sheets

Amherst 1000 Thread Count Egyptian Certified Cotton Sateen Sheet Set

One type of sheet that is very similar to sateen is Egyptian cotton. Egyptian cotton comes from a specific type of cotton plant and is often woven into a satin weave, making it a sateen fabric used in sheets.

This sheet set is very smooth, soft, and high-end. That is because they are 1000 count sheets! If you’ve never had 1000 count sheets then you won’t believe how smooth and soft that they are until you try them. 

Gormley 1200 Thread Count Egyptian-Quality Cotton Sateen Sheets

Gormley 1200 Thread Count Egyptian-Quality Cotton Sateen Sheet Set

Another sheet set that comes in a lot of colors, this 1200 count sheet set from Ivy Bronx is amazing. It is a sheet set made for those who value both luxury and simplicity because this no-pattern sheet set is smooth as can be.

It is also very reasonably priced, being half the price of the Amherst sheet set we just mentioned. They will make your bed look as smooth as can be, so if that’s important to you, then there isn’t a better option.

Almus 1000 Thread Count Egyptian-Quality Cotton Sateen Sheets

Almus 1000 Thread Count Egyptian-Quality Cotton Sateen Sheet Set

This Three Posts sheet set is also 1000 count and is another option that comes in over a dozen colors. Only this time, the colors are primarily neutral so you can match them with any design or color scheme.

The secret is that they are just as smooth as the Gormley set and are based on a minimalistic design. This type of design is very in right now as it can bring peace, solace, and comfort to those with stressful lives. 

Jiggs 600 Thread Count Striped Egyptian-Quality Cotton Sateen Sheets

What Is Sateen

Here we have another great striped set. You may wonder why the striped sets are lower count but it’s because when making the striped pattern, the threads can’t be as tight or as smooth, but they are still smoother than average sheets.

If you are wondering if 600 is a lot, here’s the deal. The thing is, it isn’t a lot compared to 1200, but standard sheets you buy on the clearance rack are more likely to be 200-300 count. So in that case, 600 is a lot.

Garden Palace 300 Thread Count 100% Cotton Sheet Set

What Is Sateen

This set is very affordable and is one of the only sateen sheet sets with a pattern like this. The sheets are cottage-like and are as adorable as can be. While they aren’t high count they are perfect for a guest room.

They also are a great option for people who like to replace or repurpose their sheets on a regular basis. Sheets should be replaced every two to three years and washed every week if used every night or day.

Spring Bloom 300 Thread Count Floral 100% Cotton Sheet Set

This sheet set, as you may have noticed, has the same designer as the cottage one we just mentioned. They are both by Laura Ashley and they are both perfect for a farmhouse or shabby chic design style. 

The difference is that the Garden Palace design is softer and more versatile while the Spring Bloom option is bolder yet still not loud. So you can just choose the design that you like because either can work well.

700 Thread Count Pima Cotton Sateen Sheets

If you are looking for a sateen sheet set that looks like satin, then this option by Belle Epoque is a good one. There are six colors to choose from of this silky smooth sheet set and they are all super shiny.

It’s hard to believe that this satin-woven sheet set is actually made from cotton. But it is! Unlike the standard satin sheets, this sheet set is made from woven cotton so it is still considered a sateen sheet. 

Are Sateen Sheets The Best For Me?

Sateen sheets are nice sheets that are often said to be higher-end than traditional cotton sheets. In most cases, they are about twice as expensive as cotton sheets that have a traditional weave, but both can be found for under $50 if you catch a sale.

That said, it all comes down to what you feel comfortable with. As for allergens, they are both similar. The same goes for washing them, as they can both be washed in the washing machine. So it’s all about your personal taste and budget.