These days we see thread counts noted everywhere, even on hotel advertisements! Egyptian cotton sheets sound luxurious, and does it really matter if your sheet has a lower count, or is a poly blend? Read on to find out more about thread count.
Thread Count Involves Federal Standards!
According to Home & Garden’s HowStuffWorks, “thread count means the number of threads woven together in a square inch. You count both lengthwise (war) and widthwise (weft) threads.” So why would a higher count be considered “better?” Because the finer the thread, the more you can fit into that one inch space. But how high can those counts go, and at what point does it become a marketing ploy and not really something you can feel?
A 400 Thread Count is the Sweet Spot
According to Consumer Reports, once a manufacturer starts listing thread counts of 600, 800 or even 1,000, its actually misleading. Using thinner and thinner strands, threads are twisted together to make a single thread but allowing for “double, trips or even quadruple the thread count.” That doesn’t mean it’s a better sheet, but it certainly seems to mean the higher price is accepted by many. Don’t get fooled. In tests done by Consumer Reports, the sheet that scored the highest was only 280! It maintained its size and fit. The difference is in the fabric itself.
Percale, Sateen, Egyptian, Pima, What Does it All Mean?
The top three choices for cotton are Pima, Egyptian and Combed. Make sure you know what you’re buying, and purchase based on your personal preference. Sateen provides a soft sheet. Percale provides those crisp cotton sheets we hear about. And remember, cotton sheets are usually treated to make them feel softer in the store. Don’t be surprised if a sheet feels differently after it’s been washed. As a matter of fact, it’s a good idea to wash sheets before using them the first time. And if you don’t like how they feel after that first wash, return them. Sleepdex provides the following explanations.
- Combed Cotton – cotton that has had short fibers and impurities removed
- Egyptian Cotton – Grown in Egypt and of amazing quality due to the long growing season there
- Flannel – Usually a blend of different cottons
- Italian Linen – luxurious cotton grown in Egypt and manufactured in Italy
- Muslin – rough, lower count cotton used many times for children’s sheets
- Percale – a mix of combed and close-woven cloth. May be cotton/poly blend or 100% cotton, known for its crisp feel
- Pima – Grown in Peru, Australia, or Arizona
How Long Will Good Sheets Last?
Sheet counts under 200 will not last long, and will probably feel coarse to the touch. According to Sleepdex, if you hold a 160 thread count sheet up to the light with this low count level, you will be able to see through the threads. At 180 you’ll have a decent quality and can expect three to four years of usage. Between 200 and 400 count, you’ll get an additional two years or so if you change out sheets regularly. In fact, 400 is the sweet spot for thread counts with sheets. At Jacaranda Living we offer a choice of thread counts, 200 – 400, which are the softest and best quality 100% Cotton. Our fitted sheets fit up to 18” deep mattresses, and also come in a 200 or 400 thread count option.
Buy Quality Sheets and Save Money
If you’re considering new sheets, and want quality that will last, select 100% cotton sheets with a thread count between 200 and 400. These sheets will last longer, and give you the feel seek for a great night’s sleep. We offer a wide selection of embroidery options and sheet sizes from Twin to Queen to King, including fitted and flat sheets.