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Primer: Sheet Thread Counts

I have slept for too many nights under the assumption that “Back-to-School” jersey sheets were the softest thing around. So, I wanted to give all of you the 4-1-1 on a wonderful measure called thread count. Thread count is a measure of a sheet’s quality, or the coarseness or fineness of it. It’s measured by counting the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric.

The higher the count, the softer your sheet will be. Standard cotton thread counts are around 150, while good quality sheets are 200 or above and are considered “percale.” Beware of extremely high thread counts (400+); they tend to be misleading, as they usually use plied yarns (one yarn that is made by twisting together multiple finer threads). The type of fiber used (i.e. Egyptian cotton, Sea Island cotton) also has a play in the softness of your sheets. A 250-thread-count Sea Island cotton sheet will likely feel softer than a 350-thread-count sheet made of a short-staple cotton, which is a lesser quality fiber.


Join The Conversation
mellie_608 mellie_608 9 years
I absolutely love my Charter Club Damask Stripe sheets from Macy's. They come in a variety or colors and always look and feel clean and look sharp on the bed. I think they are 400 thread count. The only downside I've heard is that you can't let the darker colors touch or rub against wall, since the color transfers.
trace-face62028 trace-face62028 9 years
I have Sateen (not satin) sheets and they are awesome.. I think they're about 400-450 TC and I love them. However, I sleep on a SATIN pillowcase and it is heavenly. It's great for your hair and skin because it doesn't absorb the natural oils like cotton, and doesn't rough up the cuticle and make your hair frizzy when you move around at night. I highly recommend!!
lily314 lily314 9 years
Super-high thread counts are a complete rip-off: - A lot of companies will count each ply in two-ply threads as a thread, so you're only getting 300-thread count sheets for a 600-thread count price. - People generally can't feel the difference between 600-thread count and higher, and not that much between 300-thread count and higher. - As stated before, the high thread count sheets do not last as long. - You sleep on them. Once they're of a sufficient quality (I buy 300-thread count only) that you feel comfortable, why go higher?
CestLaVie CestLaVie 9 years
Egyptian cotton!!! That movie w/ Brit. Murphy!
alli135 alli135 9 years
I don't think I've ever heard of Shea Island Cotton. I've always used the t-shirt sheets too.
Heart-Holland Heart-Holland 9 years
I've also heard that while sheet thread count is important to a degree, splurging on nicer pillowcases can really make a difference. (cheaper than going all out on the whole bed, too).
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Mmmm I have some great 600 thread count sheets, they are SO soft and beathable and I love them to death!
geohiker geohiker 9 years
I am also fussy about my sheets and my comfort. I spend eight hours in bed (and maybe a little more if I am watching tv there!), and I want great sheets to make me feel pampered. (It can help balance out the rest of the day's stresses!)
Beauty Beauty 9 years
I agree with your mom — I feel like the 600, 800-thread count sheets don't stay clean very well. Even after washing them, they feel a little... not-so-fresh. I never have this problem with my 300-count sheets!
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
My mom always told me to stay away from those super expensive 1000 thread counts b/c they break down super fast. I get moderately priced 350-400 egyptian cotton.
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
i love soft, new sheets.
rlveronica rlveronica 9 years
Thanks Casa! I always thought the higher thread count the better... totally disregarding what kind of fiber used! Now I know. :)
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
I had no clue what a difference good sheet made until I got some. Now when I sleep at my parents or at a hotel I almost want to bring my own sheet because the others feel ichy.
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