Does thread count matter?

Posted by Jane Tauber on

Does thread count matter?

Picture it: you’re standing in the bedding aisle of the department store. Lined up in front of you are rows and rows of sheets to choose from. You’re not sure which one to buy, so what do you do? You check the thread count. Higher is better, is what you’ve heard.   

Except…that’s just not true.

Below, the truth about thread count, and what to consider instead.

What is thread count, anyway?

Thread count is simply a measure of how many threads are woven into one square inch of fabric. The idea—promoted by marketing executives for years—is that the higher the thread count, the softer and more durable the sheet will be. But it’s not that simple.

Why is thread count so misleading?

To start, thread count doesn’t take into account factors such as the material and yarn used, which have a much bigger impact on quality than thread count. Then there’s the fact that some suppliers use cheaper, multi-ply yarns in their sheets to artificially increase thread count. Those same suppliers then finish their sheets in harmful chemicals to create the illusion of softness.

There are other ways to inflate thread count, too. Suppliers might use smaller threads, a double weave, or mix cotton with synthetic materials like polyester…all of which leads to sheets of lower quality.

A good rule of thumb: if a supplier claims to have a thread count over 600, be wary. It was likely achieved using the tactics above.

Okay, I’m a believer. What should I look for instead?     

Glad you asked. Here’s what really matters when you want to choose high-quality sheets:

  • Material: Cotton is the most beloved fabric for bedding—and for good reason. It’s breathable, soft, and, long-lasting. Fabric made with long-staple cotton like ours is best; short-staple cotton is weaker and creates a coarser fabric.     
  • Yarn: Remember when we mentioned multi-play yarns? Single-ply yarn is what you really want. Single-ply yarn is softer and stronger than multi-ply yarn, which consists of several weaker fibers wrapped around one another. We only use single-ply yarn in our sheets.
  • Weave: The type of weave determines how the sheet feels against your skin. Percale and Sateen weaves are two you may have heard of. Our unique Cool Flow Cotton weave is another. We’ve developed a technique that opens up the fabric for superior breathability while maintaining the integrity of the fiber. This creates a strong, soft, crisp sheet that will keep you cool as you snooze. 
There you have it — the truth about thread count. Now, you know what to look for next time you’re stuck in the bedding aisle. Or, skip the trip altogether and enjoy a set of our American-made luxury sheets delivered right to your door. They’re soft, breathable, and with our 100-day sleep trial, you can buy with confidence.

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