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10 Best Sateen Sheets of 2023

Jun 24, 2024Jun 24, 2024

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We put silky smooth bedding to the test — durability, wrinkling, softness and breathability included.

Indulging in a lavish and comfortable night's sleep is just a sateen sheet away. If you prioritize softness for your dream slumber, these fabrics come in a range of textures, from slippery to silky. Usually crafted from cotton, they are woven with a satin-like technique which gives them their characteristic smooth and silky feel. Sateen sheets have a subtle sheen that matches their luxurious texture and are popular for their ability to resist wrinkling better than other cotton sheets available. That's what sets sateen sheets apart from percale and other types of sheets.

Our team of fiber scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab meticulously evaluates dozens of sheet sets each year to curate a selection suitable for all sleepers. Using our Lab equipment and consumer testers, we scrutinize bed sheets by washing, drying, tearing apart, rubbing, measuring and, of course, sleeping on them. That includes a wide range of sheets like cotton sheets, linen sheets, cooling sheets, silk sheets and more. We found that cotton sateen offers a luxurious, soft and smooth feel with improved wrinkle resistance and thickness, which our testers thoroughly enjoyed. In recent evaluations, we've tested more than 275 sheet sets, including more than 60 sateen sheets, to provide personalized recommendations based on every sleep preference.

Look to the end of this guide for more info on how we test sheets and what to consider when shopping for new bedding. While you're at it, check out our recommendations for the best pillows, the best mattresses and the best duvet covers.

Named by our Textiles Lab as the best sheets you can buy, Brooklinen's traditional sateen set wowed consumer testers with its excellent performance. It was durable across the board in our tests: The fabric was strong, didn't easily pill and held up well to repeated laundering. Testers called out its breathability and gave comments like "soft" and "smooth" when rating the feel. What's more, making your bed is much easier thanks to clever tabs labeled "long side" and "short side" on the fitted sheet. The easy-to-navigate shopping platform helps narrow down the sheer amount of options, with the perk of free shipping both ways and a year-long any-reason return period.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT: Take 15% off your Brooklinen purchase using code GOODHOUSEKEEPING15.

Boasting more than 85,000 reviews, these Amazon sateen sheets live up to their rave reputation. The affordable set stood out in our tests for how well they held up to repeated laundering, earning a perfect score for not pilling. Choose from 37 colors and prints to ensure you get just the look you're after. One tester who tried the white set called the color "beautiful — a true bright white that holds up after washing." Making the bed is a breeze because of how nicely the sheets fit onto mattresses: "There wasn't any additional fabric that bunched or came untucked easily." While a couple of testers enjoyed their "crispness," another noted the set felt too coarse for their liking.

Riley's sateen sheets are much airier than others, thanks to their breathable fabric ideal for hot sleepers. Using a combing technique on long-staple cotton results in a smooth, durable canvas with no pesky fibers that poke at you mid-slumber. Both our pros and testers found a favorite in the sturdy yet soft fabric. As a top performer in the Lab, the sheets held up to washing with minimal shrinkage and didn't pill during durability tests. The set even includes directional tabs to make it easier to put on, and testers praised its deep pockets that fit perfectly over tall or thick mattresses. While the sheets are made of organic cotton, it's important to note that we weren't able to verify if the entire production process follows organic standards without proper certification.

The Company Store's sateen set may be the smoothest and softest sheets you'll ever own. While ultra-soft sheets made of polyester and rayon can be thin, this sateen fabric is thicker and made with Supima cotton, a premium fiber grown in the U.S. Testers rated the set highly for softness, with one describing it as "buttery soft and very luxurious without being slippery." Still not convinced? You can request a free swatch from the company to see and feel the fabric before buying. In our tests, the fabric proved strong with minimal shrinkage, although it did show some pilling after samples were rubbed together.

Mix and match this 2022 GH Bedding Award winner that earned a perfect score in softness. Made from organic cotton with a soft sateen weave and casual matte finish, they're designed for a lived-in look and feel. Testers attested to the comfort of the fabric, with one saying, "These sheets have a broken-in feel that seemed to get better every day." In laundering tests, they barely shrank, but testers noted that they looked wrinkled after washing, but that's to be expected from the slightly textured fabric. If you're looking for comfortable, high-quality sheets with a casual vibe, these are a great option.

This set is GOTS-certified, ensuring that the entire manufacturing process is organic, not just the growing of the cotton. And it's our top pick for the best organic sheets. Priced at less than $200 for a Queen set, these smooth luxury sheets offer great value. They proved durable with minimal pilling after our abrasion machine rubbed swatches together 1,000 times. Although the sheets had some shrinkage and creases after washing, the sateen fabric scored highly with testers for its softness, lightweight feel and smooth texture. This set does not come in a wide range of colors like some others, but it is available in neutral hues that complement almost any bedroom palette.

Prized as one of the softer and more luxurious sheet types, Egyptian cotton offers long, uniform fibers, which makes for smoother, more durable fabric. It proved just that when tested for strength and pill resistance, scoring highly in each category. The brand claims the sateen sheet set is certified by the Cotton Egypt Association, too. For its favorable price point, our pros and testers alike enjoyed the buttery, smooth set. Just note that our tests found some shrinkage when washing.

These hotel sheets from Macy's aim to provide the same quality sleep experience as luxury hotel bedding. Made with premium Supima cotton, the durable fabric earned high marks in our tests, while at-home sleep testers raved about the near-perfect softness and "decadent" feel. The collection offers fitted sheets for extra-plush or tall mattresses, including a standard 16-inch depth for mattresses up to 18 inches deep and an extra-deep pocket version for mattresses up to 25 inches deep. With several muted colors to choose from, you can mix and match, but note that buying the entire set can be pricey.

Making the bed may fall quite low on the chore list for some, but One Bed's genius labels make the task less daunting. Our testers enjoyed the clever tabs labeled "long side" and "short side" on the fitted sheet, as well as the stay-put elastic straps and split-corner flat sheet. Despite tossing and turning, one tester wrote that they were blown away by how snug the fitted sheet stayed. They also gave the cotton sateen high softness scores and noted that it felt cozier after each wash. It held up well to our pilling tests, too. It's worth highlighting that the sheet set didn't fit on one of our Lab pros' tall mattresses. It's recommended for mattresses up to 15 inches deep.

When it comes to crease-free, polished sheets, none compare to Cuddledown's sateen set, our top pick for the best hotel sheet. It comes in white with 10 colored stitching options as a decorative accent. The fabric's wrinkle-resistant finish looks smoother than other cotton fabrics and feels extra soft thanks to its combed cotton construction. Though there are sometimes concerns around chemicals like formaldehyde in wrinkle-resistant fabrics, this one is certified by OEKO-TEX so you know it's been tested to ensure there are no unsafe levels in the fabric. The fabric wasn't the strongest in our test, but it still proved to be highly durable and had minimal shrinkage.

Ideal for those who prefer softness over crispness, sateen bedding tends to have a light sheen and smooth feel thanks to its satin-like weave. Special techniques like combing or brushing the fabric to make it feel softer. Some sateen sheets are even treated with a wrinkle-resistant finish for an iron-free, picture-perfect look. The fabric tends to feel heavy and thick, making it best suited for someone looking for a cozy, soft sheet.

Our fiber scientists in the Textiles Lab run rigorous tests on bed sheets. Here's what we consider:

✔️ Softness: In a blind comparison test, dozens of consumer testers feel and rate each fabric after it's been laundered to remove any leftover finishes from production. At-home sleep testers and experts try the top performers.

✔️ Fabric strength: We use our specialized machine called an Instron, pictured here, to pull swatches of fabric until they break, letting us know how durable each material is.

✔️ Pilling resistance: An abrasion machine rubs swatches together, which mimics tossing and turning as well as regular wear and tear. We visibly score signs of pilling against textile industry standards.

✔️ Washability: Each sheet is repeatedly washed following its care label, then we give multiple scores on both shrinkage and appearance after laundering.

✔️ Wrinkle resistance: Once the sheet dries, each is immediately taken to our specialized lighting room and visually measured according to industry standards for wrinkles and creases.

✔️ Other factors: We also check measurements to see how well the sheets fit onto a mattress and consider any organic claims.

✔️ Softness: Fiber content can be telling when it comes to gauging a sateen sheet's softness. Long-staple cotton means there are no short fibers to stick out or break off, making the fabric smoother and more durable. Combed cotton includes longer cotton fibers that feel smoother and are less likely to break.

✔️ Price: Cotton sheets tend to cost more than ones that include synthetics, like polyester-cotton blends and microfibers, but you don't need to spend a fortune to get good quality. We've found that our top-performing sheets land in the $100 to $200 range and strike a balance of good value and high quality.

✔️ Care instructions: Sateen sheets tend to be pretty low maintenance as cotton is machine washable, but it's always best to follow any special instructions that each care label may prescribe. Pro tip: Warm water is best for cleaning cotton sheets, especially if you're a hot sleeper or don't wash your sheets regularly. It's best to opt for sheets that can withstand these settings.

✔️ Organic certifications: Some bedding brands may misuse organic claims. When shopping outside of our vetted picks, you can check the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) public database as the easiest way to confirm whether sheets are truly organic. It outlines strict standards throughout the entire production process, not just the growing of the cotton or other natural fiber.

Grace Wu is a textiles product reviews analyst with a focus on hands-on testing and evaluating consumer data. Grace has evaluated all sorts of bedding products for GH, including sheets, pillows, silk pillowcases and more using specialized laboratory equipment, plus feedback from hundreds of consumer testers.

Jacqueline Saguin, a commerce editor at the GH Institute, closely collaborated with Grace to write this guide based on our Textiles Lab's extensive testing data.

Jacqueline (she/her) covers all things e-commerce in beauty, lifestyle and beyond for the Good Housekeeping Institute. Before joining GH in 2021, she was a style and beauty reviews fellow at Insider, testing viral trends, reviewing sustainable brands and more. She's a graduate of the University of Florida's School of Journalism, with a specialty in magazines and mass communication.

Grace Wu (she/her) is a product reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Textiles, Paper and Apparel Lab, where she evaluates fabric-based products using specialized equipment and consumer tester data. Prior to starting at Good Housekeeping in 2022, she earned a master of engineering in materials science and engineering and a bachelor of science in fiber science from Cornell University. While earning her degrees, Grace worked in research laboratories for smart textiles and nanotechnology and held internships at Open Style Lab and Rent the Runway.

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woven with a satin-like technique which gives them their characteristic smooth and silky feel we've tested more than 275 sheet sets, including more than 60 sateen sheetsdurable across the board in our tests:XCLUSIVE DISCOUNT: earning a perfect score for not pillingmuch airier than others, thanks to their breathable fabric ideal for hot sleepers.this sateen fabric is thicker and made with Supima cottona broken-in feel that seemed to get better every dayGOTS-certified the entire manufacturing process is organic, not just the growing of the cottonsmoother, more durable fabricnear-perfect softness and "decadent" feelDespite tossing and turning, one tester wrote that they were blown away by how snug the fitted sheet stayed wrinkle-resistant finish looks smoother than other cotton fabrics and feels extra soft other cotton fabricsa light sheen and smooth feel thanks to its satin-like weave. Special techniques like combing or brushing the fabric to make it feel softer✔️ Softness✔️ ✔️ Fabric strength✔️ :✔️ Pilling resistance: ✔️ ✔️ Washability:✔️ ✔️ Wrinkle resistance: ✔️ ✔️ Other factors: ✔️ ✔️ Softness:✔️ ✔️ Price:✔️✔️ Care instructions:✔️✔️ Organic certifications:✔️ Grace WuJacqueline Saguin