According to Mark Roemer Oakland, high-quality sheets can help you achieve a good night’s sleep almost every night and there are various factors that determine the quality of a sheet. Many people assume that high thread counts automatically equal high-quality sheets but that’s a fallacy created by advertisers.
Aside from the overall softness and feel of the sheets, it’s also important to check for other factors such as shrinkage, pilling resistance, fabric strength, and more. Let’s look at the basics of thread count and what you have to know to choose a good product.
Does high thread count always equal a better-quality product?
Strictly speaking, the total number of yarns per square inch of fabric defines its thread count. A higher thread count is often associated with a better-quality product, softer touch, and higher durability but that is not the case all the time. In fact, choosing a sheet with the optimal thread count offers much more value for money compared to choosing products that sport the highest thread counts.
For instance, most consumers cannot tell the difference between sheets with 500 and 1000 thread counts in terms of softness and durability. The only difference could be the wrinkle resistance when coming out of a dryer. However, the product with the higher thread count could cost you $50-$100 more.
What is the optimal thread count for sheets?
According to experts, the top-rated products have a thread count between 300 to 500. However, you can still find quality sheets with a thread count of less than 300. In fact, there is no guarantee that a product would be of good quality simply because it has a thread count of over 300. The range is just a sweet spot when you compare the quality with the price.
And anything above 500 doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better-quality product either since other factors such as construction or fiber content are much more important.
What are the qualities of a good sheet?
100% cotton is the most popular when it comes to top-quality and premium products. Among cotton products, long-staple cottons such as Pima and Egyptian are the most durable and soft but are also quite expensive as well. It’s also important to verify the authenticity of such products.
Alternatively, you could opt for cotton and polyester blends which are less expensive but are wrinkle resistant and more durable. However, you have to sacrifice the natural feel if you opt to choose blends instead of pure cotton.
100% polyester also feels super soft and helps wick sweat whereas linen is suitable for summer since they are quite breathable. Finally, you have to look at the construction of the weave. Satin weave is much smoother and feels softer compared to percale finish which only has a grid-like weave and basic finish.
Mark Roemer Oakland suggests you focus on the thread count of a sheet only when choosing 100% cotton, single ply weaves. Avoid looking at thread counts when shopping for linen, silk, polyester or blends, flannel, and knit fabrics. Also, be wary of marketers that use gimmicky tactics such as using 2-3 ply yarns to double or triple the thread count.