How to find the Egyptian cotton bedding you deserve


4 tips to follow to track down the best quality bedding out there (or how to sort the rough from the smooth)

1. Terminology

Just as artificially sweetened orange juice might be advertised as 100% juice but isn’t, linen bedding producers sometimes use similar marketing ploys in order to persuade us their goods are, well, better than they actually are. Bedding advertised as ‘100% cotton’, ‘silky & soft’, or ‘1500 thread count’ is bedding you might want to avoid.

Writing ‘100% cotton’ is actually the same diverting marketing concept as ‘100% juice’. The juice may well be cold pressed and half the bottle might contain sugar. In the same way, unless your linen bedding packaging says it is 100% Egyptian cotton and states that the linen ranges between 300-700 thread count, it isn’t the real thing. Put it down, walk away and buy better.

2. Price

Real Egyptian cotton actually accounts for less than 1% of the world's cotton production and therefore it is twice as expensive as other types of cotton. So, if you find an offer for a 600 thread count, 100% Egyptian cotton bedding set that costs less than £100, it probably isn’t real Egyptian cotton. As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

Last year, major retailers were found to be selling customers what were meant to be 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, which, when tested actually contained no trace of cotton. So again, if it’s cheap it most likely isn’t the good stuff.

3. Thread count

The simplest way to understand the thread count of Egyptian cotton is by imagining a long thread and a short one with many split ends. The long Egyptian threads can be woven into a square inch between 1 and 800 times (hence 800 thread counts).

In low quality cotton, the shorter thread used is much weaker and produces many split ends. During the manufacturing process, the thread itself will be woven around 300 times and then the split ends will then also be woven in - and added to the threat count, so upping it artificially.

So, ultimately, sheets advertised as a 1200 thread count and 100% cotton can be made from nothing more than low quality cotton with short stems, which are added to the total count. It pays to be vigilant and buy quality.

4. Touch it

When you insert your hands into a pillowcase and feel the cotton, you should never be able to see your hand through the fabric. Poor quality cotton material is light and almost see-through, whilst high quality cotton fabric is much denser, almost heavy, and silky to the touch.

The moral here is be beware and buy your bedding from a reputable retailer who sells the good stuff and is passionate about supplying the best quality bedding money can buy. Just as House Babylon do!