Slipping into a cozy bed that’s piled high with luxurious bedding is a treat after a long, hard day. 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 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, but there are several other factors to consider when choosing bedding. Thread count matters, but it’s not the only thing to pay attention to.
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 product 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.
There is so much emphasis placed on sheet thread count, but what does thread count actually mean for sheets? 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. 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.
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 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? Today, bed sheet thread count ranges from 200 to 800…and sometimes you will even see thread counts of 1,000 or more. Depending on the finishing process used, some 200 thread count sheets can be finished very nicely to create a soft, sturdy, quality product with a luxury feel. For many, the ideal cotton bed sheet thread count is between 300 and 400. Weaving experts say that the maximum number of threads that can be woven into a fabric is about 500 to 600.
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 high thread counts and very low prices. This usually indicates 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.
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.