While buying bed sheets, you may consider the size of your bed and your favorite color, isn’t? But there is much more to know that really helps in buying the perfect bed sheet. For this, you need to consider these three things while choosing a bed sheet: the truth about higher thread count, what type of weave is better and is it necessary that the sheet fabric is Egyptian cotton. These three factors really help you to better prepare yourself for choosing the bed sheets that are best for your budget, your individual preferences and of course, your bed.
Thread count – what it actually is?
Thread count is one of the most important of these factors that you should know about so that you can’t follow what you have heard about the common thread-count myth: the higher thread count of bed sheets indicates their high-quality. Well, unfortunately, this is NOT a complete truth.
So what’s the reality?
In reality, if you buy an 800-thread count sheet, it is actually a 200-thread count sheet. The different bedding companies have used for years, such marketing tactics that help them to sell the products to the customers with fake thread count numbers and they will continue to do this because it is very much profitable. Customers believed that they have bought a high-quality product when the real picture is very opposite to that. Let’s see how they play a thread-count game with you:
Thread count is the number of threads that are woven in one square inch of bed sheet fabric. The threads are woven in the horizontal direction (called, weft) and in the vertical direction (called, warp). The typical range of thread count is from 150 to 1,000 or even more.
The real side of a picture is that a sheet that has a 250-thread count comprises 125 horizontal threads and 125 vertical threads that are woven together (125 + 125 = 250). Now, the unreal side of a picture is that a sheet of 750-thread count comprises 125 horizontal threads and 125 vertical threads…sounds confusing! In this case, the manufacturers twist 3 extra threads together (similar to the braid of hair) into the weft to inflate the thread count and these added threads are called “picks”. Then, they add this triple-ply thread when counting the overall number. For example:
- An honest 250-thread count fabric
- With triple-ply thread
- 3 x 250 = 750-thread count fabric
Due to the fact that this triple-ply thread is made of cheaper, weak, low-quality cotton, it adds nothing to make the fabric soft or comfortable or luxurious while only used to increase the thread count that could even end up in thousands. That is why; the higher thread count is NOT an indicator of quality.
How does dishonest triple-plys affect you?
A dishonest triple-plys of weak, cheap and low-quality cotton creates a bed sheet that is thick and dense and suffocates the flow of air around you when sleeping. The good-quality honest sheets are breathable and regulate your body temperature during sleeping. When the airflow is restricted, your body temperature rises that cause you to overheat. Due to this, you are unable to have a restful and comfortable sleep. The sheets having high thread count are not durable and become weaker and prone to snags or rips (hole, tear, or loose thread in cloth).
What is the right thread count to look for?
Fortunately, there are many sheets available in the market that have less thread count and are less-expensive and they are soft, comfortable and luxurious. The bed sheet fabric should be woven with honest single-ply threads.
Most of the quality sheets are in between 180-300 thread count. 200 to 250 thread count and 400 to 600 thread count are also considered good for softness, comfort, durability, and these all are far-less-expensive than higher thread count sheets.
Weave – what type is better?
The bed sheets that don’t have any specific type of weave are called basic weave. These have a same number of threads in weft and wrap. These are less expensive and low thread count.
The two most common types of weaves are percale and sateen.
Percale has the same amount of threads like basic weave but the cotton is of very high quality than the basic weave. Percale sheets are very durable and strong and have a crisp feel that you definitely like.
If you are looking for lighter fabric, choose percale sheets with 200 to 400 thread count and 400 to 600 if you want heavier fabric.
Sateen has a higher amount of wrap threads than weft threads and this makes it sheen, soft and silky. Due to its softness and silkiness, there are high chances of rip and the pill (a small ball of thread forms on cloth) and so sateen sheets are not the right choice when you are considering the durability such as for child’s bed.
If you want to feel the pleasure of sateen sheets, choose them with a thread count between 300 and 600 for everlasting strength and softness.
Fabric – is the fabric of Egyptian cotton really matters?
While there are many varieties of bed sheet fabrics, still the cotton and cotton blends (especially cotton/polyester) are most popular. On one hand, cotton blends are durable, inexpensive and resist wrinkles while on the other hand, the 100% cotton is the most breathable and comfortable fabric.
But if we see the different types of cotton then we need to narrow down our choice. It really matters if the fabric is Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton or no specific type.
Egyptian cotton is the most high-quality cotton in the entire world. The long, silky fibers are weaved to manufacture the softest, comfortable sheets. Pima cotton has also long-fibers making it the best choice, it commonly grown in Australia, the United States, and Peru and sold under the brand name of Supima®. If you find a bed sheet that has the label of 100% cotton but it doesn’t specify Egyptian or Supima then it is low-quality cotton, not durable and won’t feel good against your skin. Although you will pay more for Egyptian or Supima cotton nothing is worth than the comfort you get laying on them every night.
Now, you know that there are other factors to consider while buying bed sheets than the size, color, etc and how much these factors are important to consider getting quality bed linen. Just remember what to look for on the label and then go with your preferences.
Remember; don’t let the numbers ruin your sleep and make sure that the fabric you choose feels good against your skin!