What is the best thread count for your sheets? Is bigger better? What should you look out for?
Read this cheat sheet on sheets to find out.
Bedding Guide | What Is the Best Thread Count for Your Sheets?
What Is Thread Count? And Why Is It Important?
Thread count refers to how many threads are woven per square inch of your sheets. It’s one of the measures of mattress quality and feel. The higher the count, the denser your sheets will be.
The thread count for bed sheets could range anywhere between 200 to 1,200. However, many experts think that a count between 200 and 800 could get you could sheets. In fact, a thread count of over 800 just might be proof of tricky and false marketing.
You’ll find many brands proudly displaying the thread count of your sheets on the packaging.
In many cases, a higher thread count may work in your favor. This could mean your sheets are:
- denser and warmer (because it allows for lesser air circulation)
- softer and smoother
- more resistant to snags
- more weighty (which some sleepers find cozy like a weighted blanket)
A higher count may also mean that the manufacturer used finer threads, which are more expensive.
However, keep in mind that a higher thread count does not indicate higher quality sheets. There are some threads or yarns that have a maximum capacity.
There are also many factors that come into play to fabricate luxurious and high-quality sheets. And the thread count is just one of them.
How Do You Compute for Thread Count?
For example, in one square inch, you have 150 warp (lengthwise) threads and 150 wefts (longitudinal) threads. To compute for the thread count, you would simply add these two numbers.
Thread Count (TC) = Warp + Weft
TC = 150 + 150
TC = 300
However, take heed.
Some manufacturers might try to bump up the numbers by using triple-ply threads. They could then triple the thread count instead of counting each thread as one.
So if you spot a brand that uses multiple plies, take the thread count with a grain of salt. Instead, look at the fabrics that they use.
More often than not, you can find better beddings with lower thread counts but better fabrics than beddings with colossal thread counts.
What Is the Best Thread Count for Soft Sheets?
When you go shopping for beddings, focus on what kind of material you want. From there, search for sheets that contain the average thread count for that specific type of fabric.
Any higher than that, you could be the victim of a cunning marketing effort.
- 100% cotton – 200-400
- Percale – 200-400, but a 400-500 thread count could also mean that a manufacturer used finer threads
- Sateen – 300-600
- Egyptian – 300-400
- Linen – 80-140
- Bamboo – 300-500
Some fabrics are measured in grams per square meter (GSM) and point to the weight of the fabric instead of the number of threads. Fabrics usually measured in GSM include:
- Microfiber – 90-120 GSM
- Flannel – 170+ GSM
- Cotton jersey – 150 GSM
In the case of silk, instead of indicating the GSM, brands list the weight in momme instead. Momme is the weight of the fabric pounds within a 45in x 100yd area. Silk sheets typically have a weight of 17-22 mommes.
What Do You Need to Consider When Looking for Sheets?
In addition to the thread count, there are other factors to take into consideration.
- Fiber Content. Long-staple cotton fibers are your best option if you want durable, plush, smoother, and luxurious sheets. Keep an eye out for Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, or Supima® cotton.
- Weave. Cotton percale is crispy and is widely used in hotels. Cotton sateen has a smooth and silky satin feel. Neither one is better than the other and depends 100% on your personal preference.
- Breathability. Sheets with a lower thread count are less dense and therefore allow for more air circulation. Cotton percale is a popular, breathable fabric.
- Fit. Sheets come in standard sizes, but do not take into account the height of your mattress. Measure your sheets carefully especially if you use additional mattress toppers.
When Should You Pay Attention to Thread Count?
Mostly when you’re looking to purchase single-ply cotton sheets. A higher thread count could be a good indicator of soft and durable quality sheets.
Linen threads are naturally thick and may have a rougher feel before you’ve washed them. And because of its thickness, it will naturally have a lower thread count. And in this case, the thread count may not be a sufficient indicator of quality.
Silk, microfiber, and cotton jersey are measured differently and are also produced with different techniques. So search for the thread count only when you’re looking to buy cotton sheets.
So What Is the Best Thread Count for Sheets?
It will depend on your budget, sleeping partners, and preference. Higher isn’t necessarily better. Unless you want something long-lasting or like to sleep warm and cozy.
Only look at the thread count when you’re looking for single-ply cotton sheets. Other than that, focus on the finish, material, dye, or weave. These factors are also determinants of how soft, plush, or durable your beddings will be.
And often times, manufacturers could play around with the threads to falsify a higher thread count. If you’re going for a higher thread count, stick to reputable and trustworthy companies that will serve you quality for the right price.
Ultimately, when it comes to your bed threads, it’s quality over quantity.
What factors are important to you when it comes to your bedding? Do you look at the best thread count for your sheets? Or do you think it’s not as important as long as you’ve got the right mattress? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!