Is it a myth, a marketing ploy, or is there something meaningful behind the mysterious thread counts on the sheets? Believe it or not, thread counts are strictly regulated and indicate the number of threads interwoven in a square inch of your sheets. So what does it all mean and what’s the difference between the sheets you find on Amazon and true luxury you find at a boutique store? Let’s demystify and examine what to look out for the next time you replace your sheets!
It’s been said that if you’re buying sheets over 400 thread count, you’re being duped. Many manufacturers resort to cheap tricks to make it seem like you’re purchasing something of high quality when in reality it’s just your everyday bedding. Rather than counting individual threads in the thread count, sometimes multi-ply yarn is counted as several threads in one, misleading the customer to believe the price point is worth it for quality that simply isn’t there.
It’s also important to remember that thread count isn’t everything - the material being woven is equally, if not more important! When it comes to material, cotton is king. You may recognize “Egyptian Cotton” as the most highly regarded of sheets. That’s due in part to it being made of extra long staple cotton - the longer the staple, the higher the quality of cotton and the longer it will last. But not all cotton sheets need come from Egypt to be perfect for you! Short staple cotton is still soft, it’s easy to care for, widely considered the most comfortable material for sheets, and best of all, cotton being a natural material means it won’t release microfibers with each wash as synthetic fiber sheets do!
Perhaps less important, but still a factor to consider when deciding what sheets are best for you is the type of weave, with two options: Sateen or Percale. Percale is a basic grid pattern weave which tends to feel light, but not too soft. Sateen, regarded as a generally more all around pleasing weave, tends to feel more silky and luxurious. Depending on how picky you are with fabric textures, this might be the key to finding your perfect sheets!
In conclusion, it’s best to avoid the hype of marketing. Half the time, when you’re paying a high price for a high thread count you’re actually paying for that company’s ads, not the sheets. Ignore thread counts if the yarn ply and staple length is not verifiable. And finally, touch the sheets you want. Online shopping is taking over, but the ability to feel what you will be sleeping on for months to come is a priceless opportunity to make the right decision!