What’s All the Hype About Sheet Thread Count?
Prior to the 1990’s, thread count in bedding was not a hot topic of conversation. But in general; if you were purchasing new sheets and saw a thread count from 160-200 you felt you were getting good quality sheets. Since that time, stating higher thread counts has become a bit of a marketing gimmick. With many manufacturers trying to distinguish themselves from other brands by touting sheet thread counts of 600 to 1,000.
What’s Warp and Weft?
Thread count refers to how many threads are woven into one square inch. They count the vertical threads (called ‘warp’) and the horizontal threads (called ‘weft’). This is then totaled to determine the sheet thread count.
It’s almost impossible to weave more than 400 threads into one square inch, depending on the mill. So some creative counting is being used when the label says that the thread count is over 400. Here’s they hype: in order to ‘state’ that a thread count is 800, the weaver uses thinner strands of fabric, called yarns, and twists them together. Then it ‘looks’ like its one strand, but is counted as two.
The Pitfalls of Twisted Threads or 2-Ply Thread Counts
In the above example, what the manufacturer has done is twisted another strand around the thread and ‘doubled’ the sheet thread count. So then the consumer thinks they are buying a really high thread count product, but its not really true. This can also be called ‘2 ply’ and often does not equate to a softer hand feel. The incremental comfort value of thread counts over 300 is barely noticeable. BedVoyage uses 300 thread count for all of our Bed Sheets, Duvet Covers, Coverlets and Shams. We do this because we feel that this is the sweet spot between hand feel and breathability. If you double or triple the threads in order to state a higher count, you are also creating a weave that is so tight that it won’t breathe well. Now the sleeper is hotter and less comfortable.
Additionally, BedVoyage linens have a twill weave, which is a diagonal weave that locks in the fibers and greatly limits the possibility of pilling. This is what happens when the fibers have loosened and knotted together. Pilling creates little balls on the surface of the fabric, which is unsightly and scratchy to the skin, and nobody wants on their bedding!
Does A Higher Linen Thread Count Feel Better?
Interestingly, a higher sheet thread count does not necessarily represent quality and can sometimes be an indicator that the linens are of inferior quality. The manufacturer may be using cheaper, weak threads that need to be twisted together to create some strength. To fit that many threads into a square inch, the threads must be very thin. This can decrease the quality and longevity of the linens. Spending money on really high thread count sheets is not necessary, instead, you could focus on the quality of the fibers or fabric used. Most experts agree that the ‘quality’ of a sheet is based on hand feel, breathability, construction, and durability.
If you’ve heard the old saying ‘if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t’. This can relate to sheet buying; if the sheet thread count is very high and the price is very low, you are likely not getting a quality product. To protect consumers from misleading claims, The Federal Trade Commission has been reaching out to manufacturers that might be employing deceptive marketing practices when it comes to thread count.
Why are Soft Sheets Important to My Sleep?
Sleep is such an important part of life, study after study has found links between good sleep and good health. The loss of sleep can have cumulative effects on weight, mood, and overall well-being. The older we get the more we understand that a great night’s sleep makes for a great day. So it’s important to spend the money on good quality bed sheets, pillows, and comforters for your bed. When you spend over 1/3rd of your life in bed, why not sleep on quality linens? They make you feel luxurious, pampered and tempt you to ‘Go To Bed’ and get more sleep!
REST assured when you slip into bed with BedVoyage 300 thread count linens made from 100% rayon from bamboo! You’ll be comfortable, cozy and be slumbering on some of the softest linens on the planet!
To learn more about our twill weave super soft sheets you can visit bamboo bed sheets and start sleeping better, naturally!