What’s So Important About Thread Count?
The thread count of a fabric is determined by the number of threads along one inch. The thread count of the fabric determines its density and generally gives you a good idea of its quality and softness to the touch. Usually, the higher the thread count, the better the fabric. However, there are other factors such as the fabric’s content that also impact the softness of the fabric. Some sheets are made of a blend of cotton and polyester that may make the fabric courser and less soft than a 100% cotton sheet. Also, even in 100% cotton sheets, it is important to look at the type of cotton the sheets are made of. Some 100% cotton sheets are made from less desirable species of cotton than others. More on this later.
Caution High Thread Count Alert
Thread count can be tricky, because sometimes cut-rate linen manufacturers exaggerate the thread counts of their products. One way to do this is to twist gossamer thin threads around a central thread to overstate thread count. Be wary if you find an inexpensive set of sheets that claim to be 1000 thread count. If sheets truly are made of good quality 1000 thread count fabric, the price will not be cheap.
“In a quality product, the incremental comfort value of thread counts over 300 is very little. A high quality 300 thread count sheet set can feel far superior to a 1000 thread count sheet set. Thread count has become a simple metric used by marketing people to capture interest and impress with high numbers. The problem with mass produced high thread count sheets is that to keep the price down, important elements of quality must be sacrificed, meaning in the end the customer gets a product with an impressive thread count but that probably feels no better (or even worse) than something with a lower thread count.” From Lineplace.com
What About Polyester/Cotton Blended Sheets?
Even if you buy a polyester blended sheet with a high thread count, it will not feel as good as 100% cotton sheets with a low thread count. There are several possible advantages to cotton-poly blended sheets, however:
- Cotton-poly blended sheets don’t wrinkle as badly as 100% cotton sheets.
- Sheets made with cotton-poly fabrics are more durable than their 100% cotton counterparts and they are also less likely to shrink.
- You can wash these sheets frequently in hot or cold water without worry.
- Cotton-poly sheets are usually less expensive than 100% cotton sheets, so you can buy more!
- Some people like the crisper, more starchy feel of a cotton-poly blended sheet set.
What Are The Different Types of 100% Cotton Sheets?
Owing to climate and geography, certain regions of the world produce better or more desirable cotton for sheet fabric. Following is a brief description of some of the different types of cotton:
- Pima cotton is a variety of cotton developed in the southwest US. Pima is an extra-long-staple cotton that was developed from Egyptian cotton. Pima cotton, rivaling the quality of Egyptian Cotton, is often used to make high quality sheets.
- The Nile Valley produces nearly the same breed of cotton as the US. Generally regarded as the finest cotton fiber, this cotton is called Egyptian Cotton. The fibers are long, soft, and thick and are used to weave very high quality fabrics. Dreamfit 400 Thread Count Sheets are made from fine Egyptian Cotton.
- “Sateen” cotton fabric can be made from any variety of cotton, and the term “sateen” refers to the type of weave used in making the fabric. With sateen fabric, the weaver stitches four threads over, one thread under, placing the most threads on the surface. This creates an extremely soft cotton fabric with a satin-like finish. Our Dreamfit 3 Degree Sheets are made with sateen cotton fabric.
Microfiber sheets, depending on the quality, can be incredibly luxurious and long lasting. Rather than coming from nature, microfiber is made in a laboratory from polyestor or nylon polymers. W
Other Things To Consider When Shopping For Quality Sheets
Measure the height of your mattress and make sure to look for sheets that will fit your mattress. Look for “deep pocket” sheets that are designed for today’s thick mattresses. Some sheet packages advertise that they will fit mattresses up to 15″ or even 20″ thick, but then the sheets don’t live up to the claim.