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We have always been told that when it comes to buying high quality bed sheets, we should purchase those with the highest thread count. Unfortunately, this is a lie that we have been sold by linen companies for the last few decades who have used this as a tactic to win over big profits.


In 2017 the International Trade Commission issued a general exclusion order banning bedding companies from importing sheets with exaggerated thread counts. This action was taken due to a high number of companies boasting an unrealistic number of thread counts.


In this blog we will go step by step into what makes a great bedding set and why thread count isn’t the most important factor to consider.

what is a thread count?

This measures how many threads are in one square inch of fabric. To determine the thread count, the vertical (warp) and horizontal (weft) weave of the fabric are added together. For example, a fabric that has 300 threads vertical and 300 horizontal in the square inch means it has a 600-thread count. 


Knowing the thread count is important because this indicates how comfortable the sheets are, as well as their quality. Anything below 180 will be thin and have tiny holes within the fabric.


It is also important to pay attention to bed sheets that have too high a thread count. Although it seems impressive, sheets with a 1,000-thread count will most likely be worse than those with a 300-thread count. This is because some manufacturers inflate their threads by using multiple-ply yarn, which is when lots of individual threads are twisted around each other. This then creates bedding that is less-durable and uncomfortable.


What is the best thread count for bed sheets?

According to a variety of specialists, the best sheets have a thread count between 300 and 600. If you prefer your set to feel thicker and cosier, then one with a 600-thread count would be best. This being said, you can still find good quality sheets that have a thread count under 300 and you can also find poor quality sheets in the 300 to 600 range. It’s important to pay attention to the fibre content and construction as they’re more important in determining the quality of a set of sheets.


What is the best indicator of good quality sheets?

To know how good a set of sheets are it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the cotton that is used. Organic cotton tends to be softer and safer than your typical cotton, making it a great choice if you’re after a comfortable nights sleep on natural sheets.


Great cotton, like Egyptian cotton, is naturally an extra-long staple cotton. This means the threads are naturally strong and long, creating fabric that is soft and durable. You also need to consider the diameter of the yarn used to produce the sheets. The number of the yarn represents how fine or thick they are, with the higher the number creating finer yarn. Cheaper and lower quality sheets will be made up of thicker yarns sitting around the number 30 while some high-end sheets are made up of conventionally grown cotton with yarns that are incredibly fine with the size 100 or above. 


How do you know if you’re buying good quality sheets?


As we have covered, thread count isn’t the only aspect when it comes to judging the quality of bed sheets. If you can’t afford to spend the money that a high-count thread sheet requires you can buy one with a lower thread count. You just need to make sure it meets the requirements needed when it comes to fabric, weave and ply count.


Sheets that are made from single-ply and high-quality cotton but with a lower thread count will most likely be more comfortable and durable than a polyester sheet that has a high thread count. Aim to purchase single-ply sheets that are made from long-staple cotton and have a thread count between 300 and 600. With all of this in mind, don’t forget your own personal preference. If you like your sheets even if they don’t meet the suggested requirements, then that’s all that matters!