What is thread count and is it important?

When creating a cozy and restful sleep space where you can drift off to dream, it can be tempting to purchase the most expensive and luxurious bedding you can find in order to ensure cool, crisp comfort.  When selecting bedding, it’s important to do your research.  And it’s important to realize that a quick look at the thread count listed for a particular set of sheets may not give you the complete picture regarding linen softness, durability, breathability and beauty.

Many claim higher thread counts ensure better quality sheets.  While it is somewhat true that sheets featuring a higher thread count will feel softer to the touch and may wear better over time, there are a few other things to consider when selecting bed linens.  Thread count does matter, but it’s important to contemplate other factors as well.

Thread count:¬†The thread count of a bed sheet or other linen items is simply is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric.¬†¬†The thread count number is calculated by combining the weft (horizontal weave) with the warp (vertical weave) of the material. Extra threads can be added into weft threads to increase a product‚Äôs thread count. Sheets are available with thread counts from 200 to more than 1,000. Depending on the material, fibers and finishes used, quality can vary quite a bit. Some 200 thread count sheets can be carefully finished to create a soft and sturdy product with a luxury feel.¬†¬†Many claim that the best thread count for cotton sheets is between 300 and 400.¬†Weaving experts state that the maximum number of threads that can be woven into a fabric is about 500 to 600. Be suspicious of products with very high thread counts and very low prices. This usually indicates an artificially-inflated thread count and an inferior product.¬† Thread count does impact the softness of fabric and also effects durability and whether it sleeps ‚Äúhot‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúcold‚ÄĚ, but thread count is not the only thing to note when purchasing bedding.

Fibers: Some of the finest-quality sheets contain cotton featuring extra-long fibers. Called long-staple fibers, these pieces are spun into very fine yet very strong yarns. Not all bed linens will detail the type of fibers used, so consider product details carefully.  Quality bedding products will list not only thread count and materials used, but particulars about long-staple fibers.  

Material:¬†Bed sheets may be made of 100 percent cotton, microfiber, cotton jersey knit or a variety of other fabrics. 100 percent Egyptian cotton or pima cotton are widely considered to be two of the best choices available.¬† Cotton is durable and breathable, and feels crisp and cool to the touch. Microfiber is often made of fine-finished polyester. While affordable and soft, it is often much less breathable than other materials, creating a ‚Äúhot‚ÄĚ sleeping experience.¬†¬†Cotton jersey material is knit rather than woven.¬†¬†This ‚Äút-shirt material‚ÄĚ is extremely soft but can sleep warmer than other materials. Sateen is a cotton fabric crafted with a satin weave, which makes the material feel very soft and lustrous, but this product is usually less durable than other linens.¬†¬†Percale is a durable, crisp simple weave fabric with a moderate thread count. Affordable and breathable, it is a very popular bed linen choice.¬†¬†Combed cotton is processed to remove the short fibers and leave the long fibers, resulting in a durable yet 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, too.

With so much to consider, how do you select beautiful bedding products that fit your needs and ensure lasting comfort?  Remember to look at more than just a thread count number when purchasing an item.  Study the material the linens are made of and inspect details like fibers and finishes.  And don’t forget to consider your likes and dislikes.  Do you prefer sheets that are cool and crisp or soft and cozy?  Are you often hot or frequently cold? These things will help you narrow down which bed linens are the best fit for your preferences.

The price you pay for luxury bed linens will vary greatly depending on the material, finish, sheet size needed and other factors. If you are purchasing a complete bedding set featuring fitted sheets, flat sheets, a duvet cover and other pieces, your initial investment will be higher.   But careful consideration and a little research means you can have dreamy luxury bed linens that complete your perfect sleep space.  With so many options available today, thread count is not the only thing to consider.  After a little careful consideration and intentional shopping, you will find the luxury bedding option that will offer you a perfect night’s sleep.

To learn more about our luxurious bedding products, Perfetto mattress collection handcrafted in Italy and more, visit elegantstrand.com and feel the elegance.