What Is The Optimal Thread Count For Bed Sheets?

Slipping into a cozy bed that’s piled high with luxurious bedding is a treat after a long, hard day. You want to know what a good thread count for bed sheets is so that you end up with sheets that cocoon you in comfort. Added benefit? Aside from being comfortable, the right sheets also promote better sleep

We spend about a third of our lives in bed, so it is important to select bed sheets that are not only a treat for the senses but also a good fit for your preferences, your budget and the climate in which you live. 

When shopping for bedding, you’ll notice that there is a lot of talk about the best thread count for bed sheets, and it is often stated that a higher thread count equals better sheets. It is true that sheets with a high thread count will be softer and will probably wear well over time. Consider several other factors when choosing bedding. Although thread count matters, it’s not the only thing to pay attention to.

Learn about the key attributes to look for in bedding. You’ll also find thread count explained, as well as links to Elegant Strand’s sumptuous bedding collections for one-stop shopping.

What is the Highest Thread Count for Bed Sheets?

There’s not one set number for maximum thread count. You can often find sheets ranging from 200 to 800 in thread counts, but some manufacturers list thread counts upwards of 1,500. But is a higher thread count better? Not necessarily. A bed sheet may have a high thread count, but the yarns are of subpar quality, detracting from the finished product. Conversely, a 300 thread count is good if the bedding is crafted from a fine material such as superior long-fiber cotton and has a luxurious finishing process. You don’t necessarily need a thread count chart to find the best high-end bedding. Focus on the type of material and how it feels to you—you may have a personal preference for a set of 500 thread count sheets. 

Thread count affects a sheet’s softness, durability, whether it sleeps “hot” or “cold” and other factors, but it is not the only thing to consider when selecting bedding.

Thread Count 

There is so much emphasis placed on this number, but what is thread count, anyway? Thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of material. 

This number is calculated by considering the weft (horizontal weave) and warp (vertical weave) of fabric. Extra threads can be added into weft threads to increase a product’s thread count, meaning there are different methods for creating luxury sheets. 


The fabric you select is a key factor in bed sheet thread count differences. Some materials are made with long fibers that are tightly woven together to create a high thread count. The result? Softer, more durable bed sheets that caress your skin.

Bed sheets can be made of 100 percent cotton, microfiber, cotton jersey knit and a variety of other fabrics. 

  • 100 percent cotton—Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton are two of the best—is durable and breathes well, and woven cotton feels crisp and cool, unlike other fabrics.  
  • Microfiber is usually made of fine-finished polyester. While it is affordable and soft, it is often less breathable than other materials. 
  • Cotton jersey is knit rather than woven. This “t-shirt material” is very soft and can be warmer than other materials. 
  • Sateen is a cotton cloth made with a satin weave, which results in a very soft, lustrous feel. This bedding is usually less durable than other products. 
  • Percale is a durable, crisp plain weave fabric with a moderate thread count. It is affordable and breathable, making it a popular choice.  
  • Combed cotton has been processed to remove the short fibers and leave the long fibers, resulting in a strong and soft product. 

A variety of thread counts are available in each different type of material used, and manufacturing processes and finishing techniques can affect the final bedding product as well. The best thread count for bed sheets, then, isn’t limited to just one fabric but determined by a confluence of factors.


Some of the highest-quality, softest sheets use cotton featuring extra-long fibers – called long-staple fibers – that are spun into very fine yet very strong yarns. Not all bedding will list the type of fibers used, so read product details carefully. Quality bedding products will include not only the thread count and materials used, but also information about long-staple fibers and other pertinent facts.  

So how do you know what is a good thread count for your bed sheets? Remember to not only consider thread count, but also the material the product is made of and the products used. And consider your preferences. Do you get hot easily while in bed? Are you often cold? A higher thread count is better for the latter because these are denser sheets that help you feel warmer. For many, the best thread count for bed sheets is between 300 and 400. 

Comfortable, durable, luxury sheets – the ones that you reach for again and again that become even softer and more wonderful after years of use and washing – usually have thread counts from 200 to 600, depending on the material and finishing used for the product. Be wary of thread counts that are exceptionally high or low, and also be suspicious of products with very very low prices and very high thread counts, meaning it’s usually an artificially inflated thread count and an inferior product.

The price for luxury bed linens will depend on the material, finish, sheet size and other factors. If you are buying a complete sheet set with fitted sheets, flat sheets, a duvet cover and other features, your initial investment will be higher. Again, be cautious of extreme “bargains.” You get what you pay for. Visit your local retailer or order samples from an online store to become familiar with bedding material options. Touch and feel different materials, finishes and thread counts to understand how all of these work together. Remember the meaning of thread count in bed sheets so that you can be a more informed consumer. Then, consider your personal preferences before purchasing.

Careful consideration and a little research means that you can have amazingly comfortable luxury bed linens that are the perfect fit for you.  There are many options available today, and determining what is the best thread count for your sheets is only part of the process. After a little investigation, you will find the luxury bedding option that will guarantee you a perfect night’s sleep.

View The Finest Thread Count Sheets at Elegant Strand

Thoughtful selection of bedding for your home ensures that you will enjoy a serene sleep space in sheets crafted from luxury materials that are the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Feel the elegance…this is the place for the linen connoisseur to sleep peacefully. Create the perfect sleep space with our crisp, classic sheet sets and elegant bedding collections.

optimal thread count sheets