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 at a big box store and true luxury you find at a boutique? Let’s demystify and examine what to look out for the next time you replace your sheets!
Is Thread Count Important for 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. 300-500 is the sweet spot for both strength and comfort!
What Fabric Should I Choose?
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, 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 sheets need come from Egypt to be perfect for you! Short staple cotton is still soft, easy to care for, and widely considered to be one of the most comfortable materials for sheets. You may also want to look into more sustainable fibers such as bamboo, which are just as breathable and soft as cotton--while being better for the planet. Brands such as Ettitude and Buffy offer high quality bedding made of bamboo and eucalyptus fibers, which are a great alternative to cotton. Whenever possible, opt for natural fibers over synthetics, which can shed microplastics into our waterways and oceans.
What Type of Weave?
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--perfect for those who tend to overhear when they sleep. Sateen tends to feel more silky and luxurious, but slightly heavier. Weave type is personal preference, but 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!