Egyptian Cotton vs Sateen Sheets

Egyptian cotton and sateen sheets are some of the most-mentioned kinds of sheets in the market. However, what is the difference between Egyptian cotton and sateen sheets, and which is better between the two? We will also look at;

  • Sateen sheets vs. Egyptian cotton sheets
  • Egyptian cotton and sateen have many benefits

How do Egyptian cotton and sateen sheets differ?

Egyptian cotton

As the name suggests, Egyptian cotton are sheets spun from cotton fibres harvested from Egypt. It’s vital to differentiate Egyptian cotton from other kinds of cotton, such as long-staple cotton, brushed cotton, and so on. These cotton plants grow in a unique kind of climate that produces an excellent and longer fibre. 

Authentic Egyptian cotton products must be certified by the Cotton Egypt Association. This way, you can ensure the quality of the product. They are traditionally handpicked to maintain the long fibres and prevent them from being damaged. Because of this, Egyptian cotton is known to be one of the more expensive kinds of cotton. 

Egyptian cotton also has a reputation for being the best quality cotton globally due to its softness and durability. It feels incredibly soft, luxurious, and lofty, thanks to its delicately handpicked. It can withstand more force than regular cotton because less stress is applied upon harvest until manufacturing. 

This is the main difference between Egyptian cotton compared to other kinds of cotton. Other kinds of cotton are machine-harvested and are, therefore, very prone to breaking during harvest. Machine-picking also causes a lot of stress to the fibres, causing them to become brittle and more damage with regular use. 

Sateen sheets 

On the other hand, Sateen refers to a type of weave pattern rather than an actual material. Different materials are used to produce a sateen pattern, such as cotton, Lyocell, satin, and nylon. In which case, these differences in materials may produce a minor difference in the appearance, feel, and performance of a sateen sheet. 

Sateen sheets are weaved with one thread under and then three or four threads over the pattern. The diameter of the thread count used for sateen is generally thicker. This weave system produces a sheet that has a subtle shine and an incredibly luxurious and smooth feel. Moreover, when silk or nylon fibres are woven in a sateen pattern, they produce satin, a luxurious and shiny fabric. 

Sateen sheets are better able to maintain heat thanks to the thick sheet that is produced. This is also why they are perfect for sleepers who sleep in colder climates. In terms of durability, sateen may not be as durable as the handpicked fibres of Egyptian cotton. Sateen weaves are pretty prone to developing snags and pills over time with regular use. 

However, the great thing about sateen weaves is that they produce a fabric that is essentially low in maintenance. The resulting sheet is shiny and wrinkle-resistant. This is why it drapes so well and does not require any ironing to look pristine. 

Is Egyptian cotton better than sateen? 

Regarding determining which one between Egyptian cotton and sateen weaves is better, it is best to look at your personal preferences and sleeping habits to choose the best sheets for you. Use this as criteria to determine which of the two kinds of sheets you prefer. 

Below is a summary of the main differences between Egyptian and sateen sheets. 

Quality Egyptian sheetsSateen sheets
Feel Extremely soft Soft, silky, and luxurious 
Breathability Superior and natural breathability Known for trapping heat 
Durability Incredibly durable, inarguably the most durable fibre in the cotton family that can last for over a decadeHas standard lifespan but may be replaced sooner as it develops snags and pills
MaintenanceRequires maintenance and regular washing in mild detergent Can retain a pristine texture thanks to its wrinkle-resistance 

Therefore, if you prefer a softer sleeping surface that is breathable, Egyptian cotton is the way to go. While Egyptian cotton is more expensive than most sateen sheets, it is a good investment considering that Egyptian cotton is incredibly durable, and standard bed sets may last you for well over a decade. 

On the other hand, sateen are preferable for those who like to sleep hot and live in colder climates. It feels silky smooth to the touch and incredibly luxurious as well. However, its lifespan may not belong to Egyptian cotton. If you’re after sateen for its texture but want something more suitable for hotter climates, I suggest looking at more breathable materials such as cotton sateen. 

What is cooler? Egyptian cotton or sateen 

Egyptian cotton is naturally breathable. Cotton, in general, is a breathable fibre, thanks to its texture and full, three-dimensional look. The fibres are light, allowing air to pass through and circulate properly. Moreover, cotton is also moisture-wicking, which helps in keeping you cool throughout the night. 

However, what makes Egyptian cotton especially attractive is that it can still lock in the heat when needed for colder weather. In comparison, sateen has a thicker final product. This is because of the size of fibres typically used for sateen weaves. This is why sateen sheets are better able to trap heat and are generally recommended for colder climates. 

Benefits of Egyptian cotton and sateen

Here are some additional benefits of Egyptian cotton and sateen. 

  1. Egyptian cotton and its 5-star reputation 

Egyptian cotton is typically associated with posh neighbourhoods and five-star hotels. It’s important to know that some cotton products are labelled and marketed as “Egyptian cotton” but are not authentic. 

Manufacturers do this to markup the price without actually providing actual authentic Egyptian cotton. If the cotton from which the fibres of this product aren’t harvested from Egypt, then they are not authentic Egyptian cotton. 

  1. Sateen is good for the skin 

Using a sateen sheet or even a sateen bed set will do wonders for your skin. Firstly, the texture is extraordinarily soft and non-abrasive to the skin. This makes it perfect for those who have susceptible skins.

Moreover, sateen is also incredibly hydrating. It helps keep the skin hydrated at night as it absorbs less moisture compared to other weaves. Sateen weaves have been known to cause significant effects to those suffering from acne.