What is the Difference Between Percale and Regular Sheets? Your Ultimate Guide

Have you ever been tossing and turning all night because your sheets were scratchy and uncomfortable? You may have purchased regular sheets without even realizing that there are other options out there. One of these options is percale sheets. You may be wondering, what exactly is the difference between percale and regular sheets?

Well, to start off, percale sheets are made of a specific weave that creates a crisp, cool feel. They are usually made from 100% cotton with a thread count between 200 and 400. Regular sheets, on the other hand, can be made from a variety of materials and weaves, resulting in a range of textures and feels.

Another difference between percale and regular sheets is how they are cared for. Percale sheets, due to their crisp nature, tend to wrinkle more easily and may require ironing. However, they are also breathable and durable, making up for the extra effort in care. Regular sheets may not wrinkle as easily, but they can also be less breathable, causing you to overheat at night. Knowing the differences between percale and regular sheets can help you make a more informed decision when it comes time to buy new bedding.

Percale Sheets

Percale is a type of weave that is commonly used in sheet manufacturing. Its tight weave is one of its defining traits and it is often preferred for its crisp, cool feel. Percale sheets are made from cotton, linen, or a blend of both and are known for their breathable nature. These sheets are perfect for those who live in warmer climates or tend to get hot when they sleep.

  • Percale sheets have threads which are tightly woven together, resulting in a smooth and crisp texture.
  • The thread count of percale sheets is usually between 200 and 400, which provides an optimal balance between durability and comfort.
  • Percale sheets are easy to care for and can be washed and dried using regular laundry procedures.

Differences between Percale and Regular Sheets

The main difference between percale and regular sheets is their weave. While percale sheets are tightly woven, regular sheets may have different weaves, including sateen or flannel. This results in a different feel and texture of the sheets. Regular sheets tend to be softer and smoother to the touch, while percale sheets can feel cool and crisp.

Another difference between the two is their breathability. Percale sheets are known for their breathability, which makes them a popular choice for those who live in warm climates. In contrast, regular sheets may not be as breathable, and can lead to overheating during the night.

Why Choose Percale Sheets?

There are several reasons why percale sheets are a popular choice for bedding. Firstly, their tight weave ensures that they are long-lasting and durable. They are also less likely to pill or become rough over time. Secondly, percale sheets are breathable and lightweight, providing a cool and comfortable sleeping experience. Lastly, percale sheets tend to be less expensive than other types of high-quality bedding, making them an affordable option for many.

Types of Percale Sheets

Percale sheets are available in a variety of materials, including 100% cotton, cotton blend, and linen. Cotton percale sheets are the most common, but linen percale sheets are becoming increasingly popular due to their natural texture and durability. Some popular brands that specialize in percale sheets include Parachute, Brooklinen, and Boll & Branch.

Type of MaterialAdvantagesDisadvantages
100% Cotton Percale SheetsDurable, soft, and comfortableNot as breathable as other materials
Cotton Blend Percale SheetsLess prone to wrinkling, more affordable than 100% cottonMay not last as long as 100% cotton sheets
Linen Percale SheetsNatural texture, highly durable, temperature regulatingExpensive, may feel rough to some

When choosing percale sheets, consider the type of material that will suit your needs and preferences best.

Regular Sheets

Regular sheets, also known as standard sheets, are the most common type of sheets. They are made of a variety of materials including cotton, polyester, bamboo, and blends of these materials. They usually come in a thread count of 150-300, though higher thread counts are also available.

  • They are affordable and widely accessible in different sizes and colors.
  • Regular sheets may feel cozy, but they are not as breathable as other types.
  • They have a tendency to pill, shrink and fade easily, especially after multiple washes.


One of the biggest factors that can affect the feel and quality of your sheets is the material that they are made from. Generally, sheets can be made from a variety of different materials, including cotton, silk, linen, bamboo, and more. However, when it comes to percale vs. regular sheets, the materials used can differ slightly.

  • Percale sheets are typically made from 100% cotton, but they can also be made from a blend of cotton and other fibers like polyester or rayon. The key difference is that percale sheets are made using a specific type of weave, which creates a unique texture and feel.
  • Regular sheets, on the other hand, can be made from a variety of different materials. They may be made from 100% cotton, or they may be made from a blend of cotton and other fibers like polyester or microfiber.

As you can see, the biggest difference between percale and regular sheets when it comes to material is the specific type of weave used to make percale sheets. This weave creates a more lightweight, breathable fabric that feels crisp and cool to the touch. Regular sheets may vary more in terms of feel and texture, depending on the specific materials used to make them.

For a more in-depth look at the different materials that can be used to make sheets, check out the table below:

CottonSoft, breathable, durable, easy to care forCan wrinkle, may shrink in the wash
SilkSoft, smooth, luxuriousExpensive, delicate, requires special care
LinenLightweight, breathable, cool to the touchCan be scratchy, wrinkles easily
BambooSoft, smooth, eco-friendlyMay wrinkle easily, can shrink in the wash

Ultimately, the material that you choose for your sheets will depend on your personal preferences and needs. However, if you want a crisp, cool, and lightweight feel, percale sheets made from 100% cotton or a cotton blend may be the way to go!


Weave refers to the pattern or method used to create a sheet’s texture. It is an essential factor in determining the overall quality and feel of the sheets. There are various weaving techniques used in manufacturing bed sheets, but two of the most popular ones are percale and regular weave.

  • Percale Weave: This type of weave is tight-knit, and one-over-one-under pattern is employed during weaving, making the fabric strong and durable. Percale weave sheets are known for their crisp, cool, and breathable characteristics, which makes them perfect for warm nights.
  • Regular Weave: This weave is otherwise known as a standard weave and is less expensive to manufacture than percale weave. It is a lighter and more porous weave, which makes it less durable than percale. Regular weave sheets are not as soft as percale and tend to wrinkle more due to their loose weave construction.

When choosing between percale and regular sheets, the weave can make all the difference in the way they look and feel. It’s a personal preference, but if you’re looking for sheets that are durable, soft, and breathable, investing in a set of percale sheets is the way to go.

Here’s a quick table comparing the key differences between percale and regular weave:

Percale WeaveRegular Weave
ConstructionTight-knit one-over-one-under patternLighter and more porous weave
Strength and DurabilityStrong and durableLess durable
SoftnessSoft and crispLess soft than percale
WrinklingLess prone to wrinklesMore prone to wrinkles than percale

Choosing the right weave for your sheets is important to ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the night. The percale weave is ideal for those who want crisp and cool sheets that are long-lasting, while a regular weave provides more affordable options but may compromise on quality.


When it comes to durability, percale sheets have a clear advantage over regular sheets. Percale weave is known for its tightly woven fabric that makes it sturdy and resistant to wear and tear. It is also less likely to pill compared to regular sheets, giving the sheets a longer lifespan.

  • Percale sheets retain their shape and crispiness wash after wash
  • The tight weave of percale makes it less prone to snagging
  • The sturdiness of percale sheets translates to a longer lifespan

On the other hand, regular sheets are often made from a looser weave, which makes them prone to rips and tears. They also tend to pill after a few washes, making them look old and worn out.

Percale SheetsRegular Sheets
Tightly woven fabric that is resistant to wear and tearLooser weave that makes it prone to rips and tears
Less likely to pill over timeTends to pill after a few washes
Retains shape and crispiness wash after washMay lose shape and wrinkle more easily

Overall, if you want sheets that will last longer and maintain their quality over time, percale sheets are the way to go. They may be a bit pricier than regular sheets, but the investment is worth it in the long run.


When it comes to selecting bed sheets, the level of comfort is a critical factor that can make or break your sleep experience. The feel of the sheets against your skin can determine how well you sleep, and this is why you must consider both percale and regular sheets’ comfort to decide which one is best for you.

  • Percale Sheets: Percale sheets have a crisp texture that gives them a luxurious feel. They are lightweight and have a matte finish that not only looks elegant but also feels soft to the touch. The fabric is tightly woven, which gives it a smooth, silky finish that is perfect for those who prefer a crisp feel. The breathable material ensures that air circulates through the sheets, making them ideal for year-round use. They are perfect for those who live in hot climates and those who get hot during the night.
  • Regular Sheets: Regular sheets are usually made of a blend of cotton and polyester. They have a smoother finish compared to percale sheets but can feel slightly rough on the skin. They are heavier and tend to have a sheen, making them look luxurious. However, the downside to regular sheets is that they can be less breathable, which can make them feel hot and stuffy for some people.

Thread count

Thread count refers to the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. The higher the thread count, the softer and more luxurious the sheets will feel. Both percale and regular sheets come in varying thread counts, but the density of the threads can vary, resulting in differently textured sheets.

Below is a handy guide to help you select the right thread count for you:

Thread CountTextureLevel of Softness
200-400Crisp, lightweightMedium-soft
400-600Smooth, softSoft
Above 600Silky, luxuriousVery soft

The sweet spot for most people is between 400 and 600 thread count, which offers the right balance of texture and softness. However, you can choose a higher thread count for an extra dose of luxury or a lower one for a crisper feel.

Care Instructions

Proper care can make all the difference in the life of your sheets, regardless of whether they are percale or regular sheets. Follow these care instructions to get the most out of your bedding:

  • Always read the care label attached to your sheets before washing them.
  • Wash your sheets on a gentle cycle in cold or warm water.
  • Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners as they can damage the fibers of the sheets.
  • For best results, line dry your sheets or use a low heat setting to dry them in your dryer. High heat can cause shrinkage and damage the fibers of your sheets.
  • Iron your sheets on a low setting to remove any wrinkles. Avoid using a high heat setting as it can scorch your sheets.
  • Store your sheets in a cool, dry place to prevent mildew and discoloration.
  • Wash your sheets every one to two weeks to keep them fresh, clean, and hygienic.


Caring for your sheets is an important part of maintaining their quality, comfort, and longevity. Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to get the most out of your bedding, whether you have percale or regular sheets. With the right care, your sheets can provide you with a comfortable and peaceful night’s sleep for years to come.

What is the Difference Between Percale and Regular Sheets FAQs

1. What is percale?

Percale is a type of weave for sheets made with a one-under-one-over pattern. It results in a crisp and cool feel, making it perfect for warmer climates.

2. What are regular sheets?

Regular sheets refer to any sheets that are not made with the percale weave. This includes sateen, flannel, and jersey knit sheets.

3. What is the difference between percale and regular sheets?

The main difference is in the weave. Percale sheets are made with a one-under-one-over pattern, resulting in a crisp feel. Regular sheets can be made with different weaves, resulting in different textures and feels.

4. Which is better, percale or regular sheets?

It depends on personal preference and the climate you live in. Percale sheets are great for warmer climates because of their cool and crisp feel, while flannel sheets are better for colder climates because of their warmth.

5. How do I care for percale and regular sheets?

Percale sheets can be machine washed with like colors and dried on low heat. Regular sheets should be cared for according to their specific material, such as flannel sheets being washed in cold water and dried on low heat.

Closing Thoughts

We hope these FAQs have helped you understand the difference between percale and regular sheets. The decision on which type of sheet to use ultimately comes down to personal preference and climate. Remember to care for your sheets according to their specific material for the best results. Thank you for reading and please come back soon for more helpful tips.