What Is the Best Thread Count for Bed Sheets?

You can appreciate a good set of luxury sheets—an unparalleled softness and quality invites you to curl up for a good night’s sleep. But do you know what actually makes a sheet “luxury”?


High-end sheets are made up of a constellation of factors. Fine fabrics, impeccable sewing techniques and haute couture finishings are all things to look for when buying sheet sets. Perhaps the most-talked-about factor is thread count. However, there’s no set industry standard on what thread count number constitutes a luxury sheet. What’s the difference between a 200 thread count and one that’s 800? Can you see and feel it in the quality of the fabric? That’s why it’s helpful to know the answer to this important question: what does thread count mean for sheets?

What Does Thread Count Signify?

Thread count indicates the number of threads used per square inch of bedding fabric. Bed sheets are made by weaving together threads that run vertically and horizontally (referred to as warp and weft, respectively). Determining a thread count simply involves adding the number of warp and weft threads in a square inch. So, if there are 200 warp threads and 200 weft threads, that’s a 400 thread count. 

But what is the meaning of thread count in bed sheets? Generally, the higher the number, the softer the sheet. When a greater number of threads, or yarns, are woven together for a denser, tighter weave, it creates a sumptuously smooth feel. 

Thread Count and Sheet Fabric

A sheet’s thread count range can vary, depending on the type of fabric used. You can find many different types of sheets on the market: bamboo, linen, polyester, silk, flannel or blends of two different materials. Fabrics with thicker yarns may not have a high thread count compared to those with thinner threads, simply because you can’t weave as many of them into a square inch. 

That’s why cotton is a popular choice for sheets. It’s natural, breathable and thin offering great durability. However, there are varying degrees of quality when it comes to cotton. The best cotton has an extra-long yarn length for the tightest weave. It’s also been combed to remove any shorter threads or other impurities. This results in a sumptuous softness you can’t find in sheets made of lower-quality cotton. 

sheet thread count

What Is a Good Thread Count for Sheets?

Cotton is used to craft two popular types of sheet weaves. Percale has a crisp, light and smooth feel to it because it uses larger cotton yarns, so it generally has a thread count between 200 and 400. Sateen has a softer feel and a bit of sheen to it because it uses a different weave (four threads over one, compared to percale’s one over, one under weave). The thread count for sateen sheets often runs between 300 to 1,000. 

And since percale and sateen have their own signature look and feel, choosing one is a matter of personal preference. For instance, by its nature a set of percale sheets may not have as high of a thread count as sateen sheets, but you may prefer how the lightweight percale keeps you feeling cool throughout the night.

If you’ve chosen a type of weave that best suits you, and the sheet set you’re considering is made from high-quality cotton, opt for the highest thread count for a truly luxurious experience. If you’ve been sleeping on sateen sheets with a 500 thread count, consider moving up to a 750 thread count. As a sheet’s thread count increases, so does its softness—you’ll feel a significant difference between your old and new sheets. Once you experience the incredible comfort of a high thread count sheet made with the best cotton, you won’t want to sleep in any other kind of sheet. 

It’s worth noting that high thread count sheets can be more expensive as the manufacturing process is more involved—it takes more time to spin the cotton into thinner yarns and comb them out. You may need to look for sheets that fit your budget, but keep in mind that an investment in superior-quality sheets pays off over time; they’ll last longer than a cheaper sheet set with less durability.

In the end, finding the best thread count for sheets involves taking all these factors into account and selecting the set that works for you. 

Explore Elegant Strand’s Bedding Collection

Our bed sheet thread count is just one hallmark of our collection’s superior elegance. We’ve designed our sophisticated selection of bedding with 100% combed cotton that is extra long and extra fine, with a high thread count that feels splendid to the touch. Our sheet sets also offer distinctive style with high-end finishes—their timeless beauty makes them a perfect fit with any type of interior design. Looking for the definition of luxury sheets? Find the answer at Elegant Strand.