The Truth About Thread Counts

What to consider when buying new bed sheets

You’ve heard thread count being discussed on television, celebrity blogs and home improvement shows. But when it comes to having soft, comfortable sheets, does thread count really matter? Can the average person tell the difference between a 200 thread-count and a 1200 thread-count sheet? First of all, let’s take a look at exactly what thread count means.

Manufacturing is a serious business and there are federal standards that apply to thread count. To be specific, the term thread count refers to the amount of threads woven together over a square inch of fabric. You count both lengthwise (warp) and widthwise (weft) threads. So 100 lengthwise threads woven with 100 widthwise threads produce a thread count of 200.

So does thread count really make sheets softer? A recent story published in Consumer Reports found that, indeed, a 400 thread-count sheet is going to be softer than a 200 thread-count sheet. But, you’re going to have to pay for it. To put this in perspective, a muslin sheet has a thread count of about 150 and, as we all know, muslin feels a bit rougher than the sheets you would put on your bed. A good-quality sheet comes in at about 180 and anything over 200 is considered high quality.

That being said, how do manufacturers’ reports of 1200 thread-count sheets stand up in reality? To the average consumer, it seems scientifically improbable that one could weave 600 threads by 600 threads in one square inch of fabric. The truth is they can’t. A recent study by Consumer Reports found that after testing these sheets in a lab, researchers only found 416 threads per square inch, just 35% of what was claimed by the manufacturer. So how did the manufacturers get around this untruth? They counted not just each thread, but each fiber in each thread which quadrupled the count. This study ended up with the manufacturer being taken to court and compensating their customers with refunds and gift cards.

At Sit ‘n Sleep, we offer our customers high quality, high thread-count sheets without having to resort to bogus claims. Sheets play a very important role in how well you sleep each night as well as the overall appearance of your room. Next time you go looking for sheets, ignore the thread count and go with what you think feels nice, because that’s what really matters.

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