Satin vs Sateen: A Detailed Guide


Shopping for the right sheets will be very easy when you know the facts about them. Either satin or sateen, getting your mind and eyes trained will save you from unnecessary confusion.

Satin vs Sateen bedsheets

Sleep [ˈsæt.ɪn] noun, informal
a type of cloth, sometimes made of silk, that is smooth and shiny on one side but not on the other:

Many buyers get confused when shopping for sateen and satin sheets, even when they have the privilege to run their fingers through them.

If you are not careful, misspelling the two words can make you get a different order from what you have in mind. That’s to let you know that they are not of the same fabrics. Although they have the same pronunciation, their spelling is different. More than that, satin and sateen are not made from the same material.

Are you one of the people that think the two fabrics are the same? Do you want to know more about them? Moreover, are you eager to find out about their differences?

Let’s dive into the full details of this guide and give you accurate answers to your questions.

What Is Satin?

Never make the mistake of calling satin a fiber; instead, call it a fabric weave. Satin is weaved with a specific pattern that makes it look dull on the reverse side and shines on the top. Satin fabric can be produced from silk, polyester, rayon, and nylon. These materials are also mixed to get a satin fabric. However, some manufacturers believe that silk is the only material used to produce genuine satin.

Satin is also a flexible weave pattern, in which its threads are woven to give uncertain twill lines on the finish of the cloth. The outcome of this pattern is a lustrous finish and smooth surface.

Satin is different in quality depending on the material or material blend used. A silk satin will look precisely like silk, but its sheen usually identifies satin. Polyester satin, on the other hand, looks too shiny and slippery. Lastly, satin made from other synthetic materials and natural silk is not as breathable as other satin materials.

Satin is one of the most famous weaves. It’s usually used in clothes like women’s lingerie, blouses, men’s ties, dresses, and more. You can also get bed sheets and upholstery made with satin.

This weave has been in existence for decades and is defined as a sophisticated, elegant, and luxurious product.

What we like about satin sheets:

  • Moisture free
  • Protects hair from matting and knotting
  • Dust mites and particles
  • Breathable
  • It’s smooth and soft
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What Is Sateen?

Sateen is a little bit similar to satin. The same weave pattern that is used on satin is also used to produce sateen. The only notable difference is that sateen can only be derived from cotton, unlike satin that can be made from different materials.

Usually, sateen is produced from short-staple yarns, known as cotton, but rayon can be used as an alternative. Mercerized cotton is the commonest, also combed and carded cotton are used too.

Sateen can be dyed, bleached, and printed. The fabric is known for its softer feel and sheen, similar to satin because of the same weave method. Hence, people get confused easily, while some concluded that they are the same.

Before, sateen was only common in vintage dresses or shirts and other vintage clothes, but presently, it’s common in beddings.

What we like about sateen sheets:

  • Resist mildew
  • Highly breathable
  • Soft feel
  • Repels Dust mites

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Satin vs Sateen: The Differences

sateen vs satin bedsheets

Before you learn the differences between these two fabrics, there is something important you should know;
As said earlier, satin and sateen are not fibers but weave patterns of fabrics. If this is your first time hearing the word “weave,” don’t worry. The weave is the pattern used to produce a fabric, simple!

The majority of the fabrics are designed by weaving two sets of threads. These threads are woven in different forms. Above all, they have a simple common standard: one over and another under. Sateen is four-thread over and one thread under, which leaves it with an incredibly soft feel. A sateen sheet will have more fibers on the surface than satin sheets, but it may be more prone to sagging. Satin, on the other side, will feel softer while sateen will be coarser.

Satin vs Sateen weave style

On the left, the shiny and soft top-side of the weave. On the right, the dull bottom-side of the weave.

Fabrics can be woven horizontally or vertically. The horizontal method is referred to as “weft,” while the vertical is known as “warp.” These methods are as well used to determine the thread count of fabrics. The quantity of weft and warp threads in a square inch gives the fabric’s total thread count.

Likewise, it is believed that the higher the thread counts in a square inch, the higher the quality of the fabric. No wonder many people choose their sheet based on thread count.

In summary, sateen and satin are of the same weave pattern. Their thread count is different; sateen has a higher volume of thread on the top side. They both have one shiny side while the other side is dull. Satin can be produced from any fiber, such as silk, rayon, polyester, and nylon, while sateen is made from cotton. (We have some options for you to check out – keep reading!)

Presently, sateen is also derived from the fast-growing bamboo tree- bamboo/rayon sateen sheets.

Now that we have established the main difference between satin and sateen let’s figure out which fabric to choose for your bedsheets.

Know enough? Want to jump straight to our recommended list of sateen and satin bed sheets? Click here!

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Satin vs Sateen: Durability

Satin, in its classical understanding, is a fabric made of 100% high-quality silk, which is known for its durability. The nylon and polyester types, however, are a different thing altogether. If you purchase cheap satin sheets, be ready for them to start wearing out fast.

Satin is durable, but sateen is preferred for bedding and drapes due to its higher quality.

Now sateen, in general, tends to be quite sturdy. Although there are several factors that influence it, such as the thread count and the quality of cotton used in its production. Unlike satin, it does not require special maintenance: the sheets can be machine washed and tumble dried.

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Satin vs Sateen: Look and Feel

Both fabrics are soft, shiny and luxurious looking, but satin more so than sateen. The slippery feeling of satin might not be to everyone’s taste, while sateen just feels soft and smooth.

Satin is very lightweight. In addition to feeling nice, it also means easier storage for satin bed sheets. Satin sheets that are made of synthetic materials will retain heat. So they may be better suited for winter months.

Sateen sheets, on the other hand, are breathable. Being made from natural fibers, they can keep you cool in hotter nights.

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Satin vs Sateen: Health Properties

Satin made of 100% silk is hypoallergenic. And so is sateen.

In terms of health properties, these two fabrics are pretty even – but keep in mind that we are not talking about synthetic satin and blends here.

Since both of these materials are soft and smooth, they are less irritating to sensitive skin and less rough on hair. In fact, satin pillowcases are very popular just for their hair protecting qualities.

Convinced? Check out our top 3 recommended list for both Sateen and Satin sheets!

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Satin Vs. Sateen: Maintenance

Since their durability is not the same, their maintenance will also differ. Another tip for you to remember is that genuine satin is a delicate fabric that needs to be hand-washed or even dry-cleaned. It’s better to machine wash it occasionally, well, depending on fibers used.

Satin is not the best choice if you hate housework! You wouldn’t want your expensive sheets to tear after a few months just because you neglected proper maintenance, would you?

Now sateen, in general, tends to be quite sturdy. However, several factors influence it, such as the thread count and the quality of the cotton used in its production. Unlike satin, it does not require special maintenance: the sheets can be machine-washed and tumble-dried. Some may require hand washing to make it last for years.

To be on the safer side, always confirm from the maintenance instructions on the sheets to avoid confusion and ruining your fabric.

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Satin vs Sateen: Cost

Pure silk satin is as expensive as you would expect. The synthetic versions are a lot cheaper, so you can find an option for every budget.

The cost of sateen depends greatly on the quality of fiber and the thread count. There are some pretty expensive satin sheets, and some very affordable ones. See our best picks below!

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Sateen vs Satin Sheets: Final Verdict

If you are looking for an easy answer, it doesn’t exist. Just like with every choice between two different things, both fabrics have their own pros and cons.

Satin is either made of pure silk and pretty expensive, or synthetic and cheap, with corresponding quality.

Sateen is available in a variety of options as well, and their quality may differ drastically from manufacturer to manufacturer, from set to set.

There is no definite reason to say that one is much better than the other. In truth, it all depends on your particular wants, needs and budget. But we do have some recommendations for you to check out! Find them below.


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Top Rated and Recommended Satin Bed Sheets

7.7/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: Satin Sheets Queen [4-Piece, Ivory] Hotel Luxury Silky Bed Sheets - Extra Soft 1800 Microfiber Sheet Set, Wrinkle, Fade, Stain Resistant - Deep Pocket Fitted Sheet, Flat Sheet, Pillow Cases - $28.99
Last Amazon price update was: 11 August 2022 04:31
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If you desire a better sleep and refreshing mornings with full energy, this sheet set is a go-to for you. It’s made from the highest quality, 100% polyester microfiber that will last longer than you expect. They won’t fade or tear easily.

The quality of this set is perfect. They are silky soft, looks attractive and luxurious. You can’t sleep on these sheets and still feel uncomfortable. They don’t snug all through the night, thanks to the elastic sewn all over the edges that make it stay put on. Above all, these satin sheets will add aesthetic to all the rooms in your house.

7.7/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: ARTALL Silky Super Soft 4 Piece Deep Pocket Satin Sheet Set, Full Size Teal - $21.99
Last Amazon price update was: 13 August 2022 04:41
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Artall luxury silky satin sheet is made with good quality brushed microfiber material. The finish of the product is enticing, elegant, soft, and smooth. You will enjoy super comfort and mesmerizing sensation while sleeping on the sheets. The sheet is highly recommendable to enjoy your sleep time and give your bedroom a luxurious treat.

They are perfect for summers, as they won’t make you feel the heat, leaving you comfortable on your bed. The original 100% polyester microfiber used in manufacturing the sheets makes them durable and cool for nighttime.

7.6/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: Vonty Satin Sheets Queen Size Silky Soft Satin Bed Sheets Grey Satin Sheet Set, 1 Deep Pocket Fitted Sheet + 1 Flat Sheet + 2 Pillowcases - $32.99
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Price history for Vonty Satin Sheets Queen Size Silky Soft Satin Bed Sheets Grey Satin Sheet Set, 1 Deep Pocket Fitted Sheet + 1 Flat Sheet + 2 Pillowcases
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  • $32.99 - 12 August 2022
  • $35.99 - 26 July 2022
Since: 26 July 2022
  • Highest Price: $35.99 - 26 July 2022
  • Lowest Price: $32.99 - 12 August 2022
Last Amazon price update was: 12 August 2022 04:25
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Vonty satin sheets are specially designed for you to enjoy both winter and summer. They will keep you cool in winter and warm you up in summer. The sheets have an elegant glassy luster look plus fantastic softness. The silky and smooth feel of the soft satin sheets is jaw-dropping. We suggest these sheets to you because it is also durable. The material used in making it is 100% polyester and nothing else.

Vonty satin sheets will protect your skin and hair from getting dry and messed up. This means you don’t have much to worry about while you sleep. We love these sheets because no matter how long you sleep on it, you won’t wake up with wrinkles on your skin and sheets.

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Top Rated and Recommended Sateen Bed Sheets

8.6/10 Read review
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Set Alert for Product: California Design Den 800 Thread Count Sateen Sheets - 100% Pure Cotton Hotel Luxury Range, Soft and Crisp, Deep Pocket with Anti-Slip Gripper Elastic (5 Piece, Split King, Pure White) - $109.99
Last Amazon price update was: 12 August 2022 04:13
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California design sateen sheets are the softest and crisp sheets you will ever sleep on. The product is of high thread count that guarantees the premium and comfortable experience you will enjoy. The 100% long-staple cotton used promises durability of the sheets.

It’s not a sheet that will pop off while you are sleeping. It is fashioned with an anti-slip feature. Sturdy elastic is sewn around it to make it stay in place for a long time: asides, it’s free of toxic substances. The sheets are 100% certified by OEKO-TEX. That is, it meets the health standard score. The maintenance of the sheets is simple, so you don’t have much to worry about.

8.6/10 Read review
86 %
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Set Alert for Product: 800 Thread Count 100% Pure Egyptian Cotton – Sateen Weave Premium Bed Sheets, 4- Piece White King- Size Luxury Sheet Set, Fits mattresses Upto 18” deep Pocket - 0.00
Last Amazon price update was: 13 August 2022 09:13
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Comfy’s sheets manufacturer is known for producing unique beddings. These sheets are not an exemption. They are made with long-staple 100% natural Egyptian cotton with a sateen weave. This is one of the sheets anyone should invest in to have an excellent night treatment. The luxurious sheets are of high quality and soft on the skin.

Enhance the standard of your bedrooms with these shiny and lustrous bed sheets. The sheets are certified and proven healthy after a series of tests. More so, they are highly breathable and affordable. These premium sheets will bring the feel of a five-star hotel to your home.

8.7/10 Read review
87 %
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Set Alert for Product: CHATEAU HOME COLLECTION 100% Egyptian Cotton Sheets Queen Size, 800 Thread Count Charcoal 4 Piece Sheet Set, Solid Sateen Weave 16" Deep Pocket (Fits Upto 18" Mattress) Long Staple Cotton Bedsheet Set - $99.99
Last Amazon price update was: 12 August 2022 04:52
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Chateau home collection has offered this classy sateen bed sheet set for no other person but you. The flawless sheets will make you sleep like a baby anytime and any day. Premium 100% Egyptian cotton means you are paying for the highest quality sheets. The sheets are fashioned with long-staple cotton with a sateen weave that offers you the best silky-soft feel.

The product is safe and healthy since OEKO-TEX certifies it at 100 standards. The OEKO-TEX standard 100, as you already know, means that the fabric has been thoroughly tested for quality and safety. No harmful chemicals have been used anywhere in its production. The 800-thread count is also tested to ensure it will make consumers comfortable, and yes, the result is perfect.

Get yourself these valuable sheets and begin to feel like a king or queen, or offer any of them as a gift to your loved ones.

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[FAQ’s] Consumer Questions & Answers

Do sateen and satin have the same feel in touch?
Although they have the same weave pattern, as well as texture and look. Nevertheless, sateen and satin are not made with the same fiber. Satin is derived from 100% silk, which is the highest quality satin. In comparison, sateen is purely made with cotton or, at times, bamboo/rayon. When you touch them, you may get the same feel, but satin is slippery than sateen. Likewise, satin shines better than sateen.

What is the significant difference between satin and sateen?
The noticeable significant difference is the material used to produce them. Satin is made with synthetic materials, nylon, polyester, and silk. Sateen, on the other hand, is manufactured with cotton and bamboo/rayon.

Is satin the right choice for hair and skin?
Yes. Satin is the right option for you if you are concerned about your hair and skin. The slippery feel and sheen will protect your hair and skin from getting dry, damaged, and rough. A satin pillowcase is usually recommended for hair to avoid breakage, matting, and knotting. It’s highly hypoallergenic too.

How can I identify satin quickly?
You can quickly identify a satin fabric with its very smooth and glossy texture. Satin’s topside is usually shiny like a mirror while the reverse side is dull or matte.

Can I iron my sateen sheets to avoid pilings?
Yes. You can iron your sateen sheets. Check the instruction label of your sheets to see how to do it right.

Which sheets feel crisp the most?
Sheets with the tightest weave are the most durable, and they have the best crisp. You can only get the great crisp on percale weave since it’s the tightest of all weaves.

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