The Best Bed Sheets — Sateen vs. Percale vs. Lyocell

How to pick the best material for bed sheets.

From touch to feel to durability, picking sheets is a subjective decision. Three options persist in the market: sateen, lyocell, percale. But, how do you know your preference when you’re not even sure of the difference between the three? Here, we break down the most important aspects of each with a definitive guide to the sheets we have on offer. Find the one that’s best suited for you…and your sleep.

What is Sateen

Often equated with the most luxe hotel sheets you’ve ever slept on, sateen sheets have a smooth almost silken quality to it. Tightly woven to create a soft luster and subtle drape, sateen is typically a little heavier in weight than percale, making it perfect for year-round comfort.

How To Care For Them: Handle sateen sheets with care so they retain their luminosity. Do not mix synthetic or blended fibers with 100% cotton. Wash them in warm water with mild detergent (you may use bleach for white, and no bleach for colored sheets).  Tumble dry them at a low setting, and avoid fabric softener which can compromise the integrity of the fabric. Once out of the dryer, lay flat or fold to avoid wrinkles. Do not dry clean.

Try the Slumber Cotton Sateen Sheet Set.

What is Percale

Crisp and clean, like the taut sheets of a freshly-made bed, percale sheets are light and breathable enough for any time of year. Not as super silky as the rest, percale sheets have a tighter weave which results in more of a matte finish and a crisp feel that improves with each wash.

How To Care For Them: You’ll want to use warm water with your percale sheets, too. Do not mix synthetic or blended fibers with 100% cotton. Like the rest, stick with mild detergent and gentle cycles to protect the integrity of the fabric (you may use bleach for white, and no bleach for colored sheets). Use less soap than recommended on percale sheets—excess soap can make percale sheets feel scratchy. Do not dry clean.

Try the Slumber Percale Cotton Sheet Set.

What is Lyocell


The most environmentally-friendly of the bunch, lyocell sheets are made from wood cellulose, whose fibers are most commonly regenerated from eucalyptus trees. Cool to the touch and innovative in its ability to wick sweat and water away from the body, lyocell material is ideal for hot sleepers.

How To Care For Them: To keep your eucalyptus sheets soft, machine wash them in warm water with like colors and fabrics. Use the delicate setting when available and tumble dry them on low heat. Avoid any additives or softeners—these sheets are already as soft as it gets.

Try the Slumber Eucalyptus Sheet Set.