Buying Bed Sheets: Does Sheet Thread Count Matter?

sheet thread count

So it’s time to buy a new set of sheets, and naturally you want to balance cost with quality. And quality means higher sheet thread count, right? 

Not necessarily. 

There are other factors that contribute to the quality of your bed sheets, such as breathability, softness and comfort, not just thread count. So, what is sheet thread count, and how much does it actually matter?

What is thread count?

Sheet thread count is simply a measure of the number of horizontal and vertical threads (fabric strands) per square inch of woven fabric. It doesn’t indicate the quality of the actual thread, or what they’re made of; it’s just how many and how tightly woven they are. So, if there are 150 horizontal (warp) threads and 150 vertical (weft) threads, then the total sheet thread count is 300.

How much does it matter?

Generally, thread count is used as an indication of how soft the fabric will feel, but this is mostly a marketing ploy designed to charge you more for your sheets. Other factors determine the softness and feel of fabric, including:

  • The type of material used – cotton will feel softer than man made fabrics like polyester
  • The quality and length of the threads – shorter threads are prone to pilling and don’t feel as soft
  • The weave method – percale and sateen are examples of different ways to weave the fabric threads
  • The manufacturer’s process – how the sheets are made and stitched will impact the quality of the end product

Relying on thread count as an indicator of quality isn’t always the best bet – and in some cases, a higher thread count is just a matter of quantity over quality. 

What should I consider when buying bed sheets?

choosing bed sheets - sheet thread count

The type of material used should be considered first, before looking at the sheet thread count. Cotton is much more breathable because it’s a natural fibre, so it breathes with your body temperature - which is important in the middle of summer. 

Next, look at the quality and density of the stitching; given how often we wash our sheets, you want to know they’ll last the distance and not fall apart after one season’s use. Buy bed sheets from a trusted manufacturer – do your research, and read their reviews. 

Then, look at the sheet thread count. Typically, cotton sheets have a thread count of around 200-400. Buying bed sheets with a very high thread count puts you at risk of getting low quality sheets where the manufacturer has packed in smaller, lower grade threads with a poor weave method. Unless you’re buying Egyptian cotton (and paying the premium associated with that), 100% cotton bedsheets with a thread count of around 300 will give you good bang for buck.

Buy your next set of bedsheets from the brand you can trust

Our Zip Sheets come in a colourful range of 300 thread count 100% cotton bed sheets for the ultimate in breathability, softness and comfort. Our sheets are double stitched, with a sturdy YKK zipper for ease of bed making and use. If you haven’t explored our quality range of bed sheets yet, read our reviews and see for yourself just how clever these bedsheets are. Zip Sheets – the best invention since sliced bread!

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