Two types of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) copolyesters were successfully prepared with sodium-5-sulfo-bis-(hydroxyethyl)-isophthalate (SIPE) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) units with different molecular weights named as cationic dyeable polyester and easy cationic dyeable polyester. Their chemical and crystalline structures were characterized by the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), and small angle X-ray scattering measurement, and their thermal properties were tested by differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis, respectively. NMR experimental results showed that the actual molar ratio of comonomers was basically consistent with the correlative feed ratio. WAXD results indicated that the crystalline structures of prepared copolyesters were similar to that of PET. Moreover, the glass transition temperature, melting temperature, and thermal degradation temperature were found to decrease with the reduction of the of PEG units as the incorporation of lower of PEG units brought more ether bonds into molecular chains, which increased the irregularity of molecular chain arrangement and led to lower crystallinity. In addition, because the incorporation of PEG units with lower molecular weight led to more ether bonds and hydroxyl end-groups in molecular chains, the value of contact angle of PET copolyesters dropped, manifesting PET copolyesters had better hydrophilicity with the decreasing molecular weight of PEG units.© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39823.