While thread count is often used by marketers as a general indication of quality, there are a few more considerations to take into account when buying sheets which will give you a better indicator of overall quality than how high or low the thread count is.
What is thread count?
The thread count of a fabric indicates the number of threads woven into a square inch of fabric. Generally, the thread count of a fabric provides an indicator of the softness and overall ‘feel’ of a fabric. Higher thread counts (a higher number of threads per square inch) usually indicates that the individual yarns are finer, allowing more to fit in per inch, creating a stronger and thicker weave.
The type of material you are looking to buy will play an important factor in how relevant (or not) thread count will be when selecting your sheets. This is because different types of materials use different size yarns. Therefore, a thread count of 300 will indicate quite a different feel for sateen sheets (which use a very fine yarn and a tight weave) vs linen sheets (which use a much thicker yarn and more natural-looking weave).
Is a higher thread count better?
As a general rule, sheets with a higher thread count are more expensive. But are they necessarily better? While it’s true that sheets with a 400-thread count are likely to be higher in quality than sheets with a 300-thread count – this improvement is only true to a certain extent. If using high grade materials, a thread count of 400 is the perfect level of premium-quality sheets. However, excessively high thread counts (600+) don’t necessarily result in higher quality.
Consider yarn quality and weave type
A more important factor to consider when buying sheets is the quality of the yarn (thread) being used and the way that is has been woven. Whether you have a thread count of 400 or 800, the actual quality of the individual threads actually have more of an impact of the finished quality of the sheets. The way that the yarns have been woven will also have an effect on the quality and finish of the sheets – and this factor (weave type) is what will change depending on the type of material that you choose.
Are you looking to buy new sheets? Read our article on ‘How to choose the perfect sheets’ to assist in making the right decision: [link to blog].
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