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What Are Sateen Sheets and Are They Worth The Price?

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Sateen sheets

Most of the time when you hear talk about sheets you hear about Egyptian cotton, 100% cotton, or even bamboo sheets. But what about sateen sheets? We are here to give you more information about what sateen sheets are if they are right for you, and whether they are worth the price.

Finding the best mattress for you is obviously an important decision but don’t forget about or minimize the importance of finding the best sheets. Finding the right sheets will definitely help you feel more comfortable throughout the night so you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

The Basics of Sateen Sheets

A lot of times we hear people asking about whether sateen sheets are better than cotton sheets. Well, there is a distinction that we want you to understand right upfront. Sateen sheets are actually made from cotton just as cotton sheets are. The main difference between the two sheets lies in the type of weave in the fabric.

Sateen sheets are made from cotton using a satin weave. This is a type of weave where warp threads actually interlace with other threads called filling threads. It sounds complicated but the end result is that more of the thread surface is exposed. This leads to a very soft and silky feel that seems to retain heat well.

Sateen sheets are generally made from a long-fiber cotton thread. The threads are woven together and they are then soaked in lye and in acid. This is a process called mercerized. It sounds like a strange thing to do but there is a reason for it. The mercerizing process actually helps to strengthen the cotton fibers and helps to make them more durable. This process is also the reason that sateen sheets have their signature feel.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Sateen Sheets

We have looked at an overview of why sateen sheets are different and the process by which they are made to give them their signature feel. But what are some reasons why you would want to sleep on sateen sheets? If you are not familiar with sateen sheets then you probably would like to know why you should give them a try.

We had talked briefly about the mercerization process. This process is important because it gives the sateen sheets a high degree of luster and gives them a very soft and silky type of feel. The neat thing about this process is that the sheets feel this way right out of the package. You don’t even have to worry about ‘breaking them in’ at all. Just wash them and they have that amazing feel.

The mercerizing process also plays other roles when it comes to sateen sheets. Besides giving the sateen sheets a signature feel the process also helps to give the cotton increased tensile strength. Tensile strength refers to a maximum load that a material can support without becoming stretched.

Another benefit of sateen sheets is that they are very resistant to mildew. This means that they are a very good choice for anyone who may be suffering from allergies as the fabric will not hold mildew.

Overall, sateen sheets honestly have a very luxurious look and feel about them. They are appealing when they are new because of the clean look. They are, however, prone to some wrinkling and pilling as they are used. Pilling is when you start to see those annoying little balls of fabric all over your new sheets. This is a definite downside to sateen sheets and is a deal-breaker for some people.

Vibrant color
Resistant to mildew
Luxurious look and feel
Prone to pilling
Not as durable as Egyptian cotton

Sateen vs Egyptian Cotton Sheets

When looking for sheets one very common option is Egyptian cotton sheets. Let’s briefly take a  look at some of the differences between Egyptian cotton sheets vs sateen sheets. This may give you a better idea as to whether or not sateen sheets might be a good choice for your next set of bed sheets.

So, how do these two types of sheets compare with one another? Well, to start with, they are both made out of cotton as the base material. The types of thread weave and cotton fibers are different but the bottom line is that both of these are cotton.

Both sheets are made from long-fiber cotton but Egyptian cotton sheets are a more specific cotton fiber. Egyptian cotton is woven from the Gossypium barbadense cotton plant. This plant is grown in some American regions but is actually native to Peru and the West Indies. This plant specifically produces long and thin fibers of cotton. These fibers won’t pill because the plant itself produces almost no lint.

Sateen sheets are also made from long-fiber cotton thread, but not the same plant type as Egyptian cotton. They are different because the mercerizing process is used to achieve a luxurious feel. Sateen sheets have a high thread count, as do Egyptian cotton sheets.

Durability is an important factor when looking for bed sheets. It is hard to beat a quality Egyptian cotton sheet set when it comes to long-term durability. A nice set of Egyptian cotton sheets can literally last for decades if you take care of it. They also aren’t prone to pilling like you can get with sateen sheets.

Both sateen and Egyptian cotton sheets are very breathable due to them being made from cotton. Both of these sheets are also suitable for all seasons, temperatures, and climates. You will find that neither of these sheets will keep you sleeping hot during the summer months and both of them will help to retain heat during the winter when you need it most.

The mercerization process used in the sateen sheets actually causes the cotton fabric to be able to absorb color better. This leads to some incredibly rich, deep, and bright colors if you choose to go with sateen sheets. It is something that helps set sateen sheets apart from other types.

What Is the Price Range of Sateen Sheets

As with anything else, there can be a wide range of pricing for sateen sheets. It depends on various factors including the sheet size, specific cotton used, thread count, and the process used by the particular manufacturer.

In general, sateen sheets seem to fall somewhere in between cotton sheets and Egyptian cotton sheets in the price spectrum. Again, this varies greatly but that will give you an idea of what you are looking at.

Final Thoughts

We think sateen sheets are great! But, they probably aren’t the best choice for everyone. We will try to explain why.

With sateen sheets, you get very vibrant colors and they look fantastic, especially when they are new. They look very clean, crisp, and luxurious. Sateen sheets drape very well so they make for a very luxurious look and feel. They are also very comfortable and breathable to sleep on. So you’re probably asking what the issue is?

From our experience sateen sheets don’t hold up to continued use as well as some other sheets, especially Egyptian cotton. As you use sateen sheets more you often start to notice pilling. This is when you start to see little cotton balls all over your sheets. This is not as comfortable and also makes them look a little more shabby.

If you are someone who does not mind buying new sheets then sateen sheets are great! If you like your bedroom to look like it could be in a photoshoot then sateen sheets are great because of their luxurious look when new.

On the other hand, if you are looking to use your sheets for many years to come and hopefully not have to buy new ones then sateen sheets are not what we would recommend. In that case, we would steer you towards Egyptian cotton. Egyptian cotton sheets are still very nice looking and they keep their appearance for much longer than sateen without pilling. Sateen sheets would be a great choice for a guest bedroom that is not used on a regular basis as well.


Q: Are sateen sheets worth the price?

A: Yes, and we definitely recommend sateen sheets depending on your intended use.

Q: Are sateen sheets made of cotton?

A: Yes, sateen sheets are made from cotton but feature a different type of weave than traditional cotton sheets.

Q: What sets sateen sheets apart from other types of sheets?

A: One thing that distinguishes sateen sheets is a process called mercerization. Sateen sheets go through this process which gives them their distinctive characteristics.