To get the most out of your new sheets, you’ll need to know some new words. Thread count, which measures the density of threads in a square inch of fabric, is a common quality rating.
What is the significance of thread count? What does it matter? If this is the case, what is the optimal sheet thread count? We’ll go over all of these subjects and more in detail.
What Does Thread Count Mean?
To measure thread count, you divide the number of threads in a square inch of cloth by the number of square inches. Measurement of the fabric’s tightness is what counts here.
The total number of threads (warp and weft) in a given region is determined by summing the total number of threads (warp and weft). If a cotton sheet has 200 threads per square inch of cloth, the thread count would be given as 200.
When it comes to fabric softness and feel, thread count can be used as a basic guideline. To imply that a given product is of superior quality than competing goods, it is frequently used in marketing campaigns as well. While this is true to some extent, thread count is not the main factor in determining the quality of a set of sheets.
What is the Best Thread Count for Sheets?
Thread counts ranging from 200 to 800 and beyond can be found in high-quality, comfortable bed linens. There isn’t a single number that is the ideal thread count for each given project. But there are acceptable ranges for a wide variety of sheet types.
Sheets with a thread count of 200 or above are a good starting point. Anything lower than that is likely to be less plush, which could translate into a less pleasurable night’s sleep.
The ideal thread count depends on the type of fabric and the weave. Average-quality percale sheets may have a thread count between 180 and 200. Percale is also known as “plain weave.” Sateen sheets, on the other hand, have a more closely woven design, therefore you can expect to pay between $250 and $300 for decent sateen sheets.
In terms of thread count, these are some fundamental ranges for sheets of various materials:
- Cotton: 200-400
- Cotton from Egypt: 300-400 g
- A Percale Weave: 200 to $400
- Weave Count for Sateen: 300-600
- Bamboo: 300-500
- From 80 to 140. For linen sheets, thread count is a less helpful indicator and is rarely mentioned.
- Avoid linen sheets with a higher thread count.
Consider that some materials are not counted in threads. Some of the most prominent ones are:
- Measurement in momme: Silk. Measurement of weight by Momme is the number of pounds contained in 45-inch by 100-yard length of silk. You’ll want to look for sheets in the 17-22 momme range while shopping for silk.
- Weight per square meter of microfiber (GSM). In the 90-120 GSM range, you’ll find microfiber sheets that are comfortable.
- Flannel: GSM is the unit of measurement. Flannel sheets in the 170+ GSM range are long-lasting and heavyweight enough to last a long time. In terms of durability and breathability, the lighter the flannel sheets, the less durable they will be.
- Jersey: Cotton is frequently used in the production of jerseys, however this is not always the case. Depending on the material, the weight can vary. Many jersey cotton sheets have a GSM count of 150 or less. ‘
Of course, don’t forget that thread count isn’t the only way to tell if a fabric is good or bad. Bed sheets’ performance is influenced by a wide range of parameters, including the quality of their yarns, their fabrication, the weave pattern, and many more.
To get the greatest results, get sheets from a reputable company. Consider thread count as one of many aspects to keep in mind when reading bed sheet reviews and researching the quality of the materials. Check out our bed sheet buying guide for our recommended items if you’re seeking for high-quality sheets.
Is a Higher Thread Count Better?
The higher the thread count, the more expensive and better-quality a sheet is advertised to be. There is, however, a correlation between an item’s thread count and its overall quality, but that’s not always the case.
True, a sheet set with a thread count of 400 will typically feel better than a comparable set with a thread count of 200, but there are exceptions. However, this is based on the assumption that both sets of sheets have the same level of yarn quality, craftsmanship, and weave.
For the most part, the best outcomes may be found by shopping for sheets with a thread count between 200 and 600. Keep in mind that the quality of the material chosen will alter your expectations.
High thread counts (600-800) are unlikely to affect much more than the price.. to change anything at all. When it comes to feel and performance, high thread counts are fairly similar to high-quality textiles with lower counts. Too many threads in a cloth can restrict ventilation, making it seem heavier and warmer than necessary.
Extremely high thread counts, such as 900 or above, should be avoided by consumers. Low-quality sheets are often indicated by this, as the producer is likely utilizing some form of gimmick to conceal the genuine quality of the product.
The use of lower-quality double- or triple-ply threads is a typical way to increase the thread count artificially. The thread count is multiplied by two or three because each thread theoretically has two or three fibers. 900-thread-count sheets may be of inferior quality than 300-thread-count sheets of the same style and material.
When does thread count really matter?
When it comes to 100% cotton, single ply weaves, thread count is only relevant. When it comes to thread count, you should completely disregard it:
In order to increase the thread count, some marketers have utilized two or three ply yarns instead of one. Twisted together from two smaller threads, 2-ply yarn is just that: 2-ply. This false claim was initially exposed by Good Housekeeping in 2002, but thankfully it is no longer being made as frequently.
Thread counts in the thousands can be achieved by using polyester or a cotton/polyester blend: unlike cotton, polyester fibers are man-made and can be created to be extremely thin. Thin polyester yarns are increasingly being used by manufacturers only for the purpose of inflating the claimed thread count. Using one of these methodologies, we recently evaluated a 1,400 thread count cotton/polyester sheet set, and (not surprise) it didn’t perform very well. Despite the fact that polyester is tougher, more wrinkle-resistant, and less expensive than cotton, it lacks the sensuous feel of a natural material.
Fibers like linen and silk, like polyester, can’t produce thread counts equivalent to cotton’s. The thread count of linen is high due to its thickness, whereas the weight of silk is used to gauge its quality.
Many of these textiles are made of cotton, but you won’t find thread count information for them. Flannel sheets are priced according to the amount of fabric they contain, whereas jersey knit sheets are constructed altogether differently from standard woven sheets.
What qualities make for a good sheet?
Content of fiber. Egyptian and Pima long-staple cottons, for example, make the fabric even softer and more durable, making it a popular choice. The only caveats are the higher price tag and the possibility of brands mislabeling normal cotton sheets as Egyptian.
Cotton/polyester blends are also available, however they are less expensive and more durable and wrinkle-resistant than pure cotton. Microfiber and performance sheets are both made of 100% polyester, which is why you’ll see it in both sets. It’s also possible to wear linen in the summer because it is airy and casual.
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Percale and sateen are two of the most common constructions for sheets, and they make a great difference in how they feel. Unlike percale, sateen is a satin weave that has threads in one direction that float over numerous strands in the opposite way, creating a silky and smooth texture.
Flannel for the winter and jersey knit sheets, which feel more like a T-shirt, are two other options. Sateen is the fabric of choice for our test subjects because of its silky texture.
Bottom line: What are the best bed sheets to buy?
For your convenience, we’ve simplified this task for you. The following are some of the greatest bed linens that we’ve come across in our tests.