Is Your Sheets Thread Count Misleading You?

March 23, 2011

By: Emmalie Kipp

You’re at the store and miraculously found 1000 thread count sheets for super cheap. You’re thinking, “Wow, what an awesome find, this is so great!” But, hold your horses, you are probably being misled. What we believe when we’re reading about the thread count for our sheets may not be what it actually is.

The thread count of a set of sheets is the measurement of how many threads there are lengthwise and widthwise in one square inch of fabric. The finer the thread, the higher the thread counts. This means, that sheets with a high thread count should be of higher quality and be more comfortable. In an ideal world, this means that standard sheets would have a thread count of 150 (75 length and 75 width), while 180 is considered good quality and anything over 200 would provide maximum comfort.

How then could you have a thread count of 1000? Well, these sheets are marketed to you by some manipulative masterminds. Many threads are actually two ply or multi ply which means that they use two or more finer threads and spin them together to make a new thread. Companies will then count the smaller components of these threads to boost their thread count. For example, if you have 1000 thread count sheets that are really a multi ply thread of 5, then your thread count is actually 200.

The best quality sheets to look for are with single ply threads at a high thread count. If you have single ply sheets, the highest the thread count could possibly be is 400. Therefore, if you have a single ply sheet with a thread count of 250, it will be a much higher quality than your multi ply sheet with a thread count of 1000.

Try looking at some other aspects of sheets before you buy. The fiber quality plays a big part in the comfort level of a sheet. Look for long staple cotton like Egyptian and Pima. The higher the yarn size of your sheets the finer that they are and therefore the softer they can be. Lastly, look at the finishing of your sheets. Make sure that it is singed (tiny fuzz is burned off that would usually create pilling) and mercerized, which increases its strength and durability.

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