Understanding The Different Types Of Sheets

by Sierra Neale

When it comes to sheets there is no shortage in options to choose from. From fiber to fabric structure it can be overwhelming, especially with the various terminology used to describe them all. Here we are going to explore what the most common terms you may come across mean and how to determine which types of sheets may be the best fit to get you the perfect night’s sleep.

Percale is a very fine woven plain weave commonly done in cotton for sheeting. Plain weave is when the fabric is woven in an even one to one construction which contributes to percale sheets’ tendency to have a smooth and crisp hand feel. If you’re interested in more details on the woven structures commonly found in bedding and sheets visit our Basic Woven Structures post.

The term Microfiber actually refers to the fineness a synthetic yarn. Microfibers are ultrafine filament fibers that commonly have a smooth and soft hand; especially if the microfiber is given a washed or brushed treatment. Microfibers can be made out of different synthetic materials besides polyester. So the term microfiber does not equate to polyester. Microfiber fabrics do not use thread count to identify the quality or density of the fabric but use GSM (grams per square meter) to refer to the weight of the fabric. For more, check out our Polyester and Microfiber post.

Silk is a high luster, filament, protein fiber that is derived from the cocoons of silk worms.  Silks do not use Thread Count and GSM but “momme” to refer to quality.  To learn more about silk and how it’s cultivated visit our Natural Fibers article.

Sateen is a durable fabric structure which is why it is often used to for sheets. In sateen the weft yarns have more coverage on the face of the fabric which creates a subtle sheen and gives the fabric’s surface a smooth, soft hand feel. Sateen should not be confused with Satin, as they are the opposite of each other. In a Satin weave it is the warp yarns that have more coverage on the face of the fabric.

Our Satin, Sateen and Silk post discusses the differences and common misconceptions made when it comes to Silks and Satins.

Flannel is a plain or twill woven fabric that is napped/brushed on either one or both sides. The more brushing the fabric undergoes the more indistinct the woven structure becomes giving the fabric a soft hand and fuzzy appearance. Flannel sheets are very warm which makes them ideal for the colder months.


How to decide which option may be the best for you? Determine which qualities are most important to you:

Finishes can be applied to give sheets an added softness, such as garment washed percale or brushed microfiber.

Which is better for hot vs. cold sleepers?

  • Percale sheets are good for people who tend to get warm while sleeping as they are lighter and more breathable which helps keep cool especially in the warmer seasons.
  • Sateen and microfiber sheets are better for people who get cold at night as these are more insulating.
  • Flannel sheets are ideal for the fall/winter seasons when it tends to gets colder at night.


At LinensNow we offer quality textiles priced right in all of these qualities, constructions and more. Below are some of our favorites!

Our Reborn Recycled Fiber Percale Sheet Sets are made out of 100% recycled fibers, they are 52% recycled cotton, and 48% recycled polyester.

Our Cosmic Comfort™ Birthstone Sheet Sets are made out of brushed polyester microfiber. The brushing of the fabric gives the sheets their ultra silky soft hand-feel. Unlike the usual thin and scratchy microfiber sheets in the market our sheets  are made out of a heavier weight fabric and brushed for added softness.

These sheets are extra special because their colors are inspired by the birthstones so there is style to match everyone’s personality and personal taste! So not only are they are silky soft and easy care but also come in unique colors to compliment any room.

Our Valeron® Estate 100% Silk Sheet Set & Pillowcases are 19 momme, made in Turkey and woven in a sateen weave. The combination of the sateen weave and luxurious silk fibers give these sheets a beautifully subtle sheen and (literally) silky soft hand feel.

The Brielle Home 300 Thread Count TENCEL™ Lyocell Sateen Sheets is available in five colors. The combination of its 300 thread count, sateen weave construction and TENCEL™ Lyocell fiber content make this sheet unbelievably silky soft and perfect for year round use.

The Brielle Home 100% Cotton Flannel Sheet Sets are breathable but still keep you comfortable, warm and cozy during the cooler months.

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