Sheets: Does Thread Count Really Matter?

August 17, 2018 4:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

We’ve all heard about the luxurious feel of high thread count sheets. For years, high thread count sheets have been touted for their softness, extreme comfort and breathability. But just how important is thread count, really? Does a higher number correlate with higher quality? High thread counts certainly can make better sheets, but it’s actually the thread itself that matters most. A better-quality fiber with a low thread count will feel much softer and be more durable than a low-quality fiber sheet with a higher thread count.

At our mattress store in Manhattan, KS, we get lots of questions about sheets from customers who are shopping for new beds. Let’s take a closer look at how much thread count really matters.

What does thread count even mean?

Technically, “thread count” means the number of threads woven together in one square inch. Industry standards count the vertical and horizontal threads, also known as the warp and weft, respectively. The thought behind this is that higher thread counts require finer threads, which are softer, smoother, stronger and tightly woven.

False advertising

As you can see, thread counts are more confusing than they might initially seem. Unfortunately, many manufacturers use this confusion to their advantage. Sheet manufactures will advertise their product as luxury sheets when they really aren’t. Companies promising thread counts of 1,200 or even 1,600 are likely inflating the numbers to justify a higher price tag. In reality, the highest available thread count is about 500 because there is a limit to the amount of thread that can be woven into one square inch.

What really matters when buying sheets

Higher thread count sheets are only considered high quality when they are accompanied by the following characteristics:

  • Quality fiber: The best option is always 100 percent cotton sheets. Not only is the material naturally luxurious, but it’s also incredibly soft, moisture wicking and durable. Plus, they are less likely to stain than polyester or blend options. Look for Supima, Pima and Egyptian long-staple cottons in conjunction with a high thread count.
  • Weave: The weave effects how the sheet feels, looks, lasts and costs. Most people prefer percale or sateen weaves. Percale is a traditional one-yarn-over, one-yarn-under weave that offers a matte finish and a cool feel. Sateen, known for being soft and smooth, uses a one-yarn-under and three-yarn-over weave. This weave leaves more thread surface exposed, resulting in that beloved silky feel and luminous sheen.
  • Finish: Some manufacturers treat their sheets with a barrage of chemicals to prevent the fabric from shrinking and losing their shape. Unfortunately, the concoction can be harmful to anyone suffering from allergies or chemical sensitivities. One option is to choose a pure finish or an organic sheet, which doesn’t use any chemicals during the manufacturer process. However, these finishes are much more prone to wrinkling.

Visit a mattress store in Manhattan, KS today

Ready to start shopping for the perfect sheets? Then stop by Beds For Less! Our mattress store in Manhattan, KS carries all the ingredients vital to a good night sleep. Visit Beds for Less today to check out our extended selection of mattresses and accessories—all at affordable prices!

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