What is a Good Thread Count for Bedding?
Last Modified 20 November 2023 |
First Added 02 November 2023
There are few better feelings in life than sliding into beautifully soft bed sheets at the end of a busy day. When it comes to creating that luxuriously cosy cocoon, choosing bed linen with the best thread count is probably one of the first things that springs to mind. A high thread count has become synonymous with the most snuggle-worthy bedding experience.
But when we dig a little deeper into what makes a good thread count, you might be surprised to find that it’s not the be-all and end-all when it comes to perfecting your sleep sanctuary. In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of thread count, whether it really matters and how to choose the best thread count for you and your family’s bedding.
What does thread count mean?
In your search for the most sumptuous bed sheets, you’ll have likely come across thread counts from as little as 200 to over 1000. Rest assured that you are not alone if you feel slightly confused and a little overwhelmed by what these numbers mean. Put simply, thread count can be explained as the number of threads per square inch of fabric.
It is calculated by adding the criss-crossing threads that make up the weave, so a fabric with 100 horizontal threads and 100 vertical threads has a thread count of 200. The more threads there are woven into the fabric, the higher the thread count. It has long been used as guide to signify the softness, comfort, durability and luxuriousness of bed linen.
Unfortunately, this can slightly misleading, encouraging the focus to be solely on thread count. While it’s certainly true that bed sheets with a genuinely good thread count, such as our coveted Cotton and Hotel Collections, are soft, comfortable, durable and luxurious, there are always other factors to consider beyond thread count.
Is a higher thread count better?
Clever marketing has shaped the opinion that bedding with a higher thread count is better,
but the truth is a little more complex. A higher thread count can be an influencing factor, but it is only truly relevant when combined with other attributes. It’s certainly not the only thing to consider when selecting bed linen that brings you joy.
The adage “quality over quantity” is a good phrase to keep in mind when browsing for your bedding. This is because the superiority of bed sheets has less to do with the number of threads in the weave, and more to do with the types of threads used and what they are made from. Some high thread count sheets can still be made from poor quality fabric and deliver far from a luxury finish.
Despite the narrative that the higher the thread count, the better the bedding, it is advisable to be cautious when you come across bed sheets with an extremely high thread count. You will notice that Feather & Black’s bed linen collection features nothing higher than a 600 thread count. This is for very good reason, which we will explore later in the article.
What’s the best thread count for sheets?
If you’ve ever enjoyed the indulgence of staying in a five-star hotel and swooned as you’ve snuggled down for a good night’s sleep, it is usually due to the beds having high thread count sheets. There is no magic number, but there is certainly a sweet spot when it comes to ensuring a level of luxurious comfort.
Many experts advise steering clear of multi-ply bed linen with a higher thread count than around 800. It is likely that you may be investing in something that is not as high quality as it claims to be, and the sheets in reality may be heavy, stiff and uncomfortable when on your bed. At the other end of the scale, a minimum thread count of 200 ensures a certain level of cosiness.
The ideal thread count to achieve optimum softness, breathability and durability from your sheets is between 300-600, made with single-ply fabric. Within this range, the sheets should feel silky-smooth and buttery-soft, but you will also be able to choose linen that matches your personal preferences and ensures the most comfortable night’s sleep.
If you like to feel wonderfully warm and cosy in bed, you might select sheets with a higher thread count. If you prefer your bed sheets to be lightweight, crisp and cool, a lower thread count may suit you better. Always keep in mind, however, that you must also look beyond thread count at factors such as fabric type, weave and finish.
Beyond thread count: other factors for luxurious bedding
We know that thread count matters up to a certain point, but what else do you need to consider when creating that all-important bedtime sanctuary?
1. The fabric
To ensure you are selecting the finest and most luxurious bed sheets, you must first look at the fabric used to make them. 100% organic cotton is the premium choice, as it’s naturally hypoallergenic, breathable, soft, comfortable and easy to care for. Cotton washes extremely well – so much so you’ll find that your bed sheets actually improve with age, staying sumptuously soft. Hemp blend linens offer additional antibacterial properties, making them an exceptional choice for sleep hygiene.
If bed sheets are made from the best quality, fine yarn, single-ply, pure cotton, there is really no need for anything higher than a thread count of 600. In fact, high thread count bed linen made from low quality, synthetic materials will be nowhere near as soft, breathable, luxurious or long-lasting as 100% cotton bed sheets with a lower thread count.
2. The weave
As well as the type of fabric used to make bed sheets, you should also take note of how the fabric is constructed, or its weave. This refers to the pattern of the threads, which makes a difference not only to the thread count, but also the look, feel and finish of the material. Two of the most common weaves you will come across are percale and sateen.
Percale involves a simple ‘one over, one under’ technique with fewer threads per square inch. This produces a matt finish and the crisp, light, high-quality feel found in our Cotton Collection 400TC range. Sateen features a complex alternating pattern with more threads, giving the exquisitely soft feel and luxurious sheen finish of our Cotton Collection 600TC range.
3. The rest of your bed
There is little point investing in the most luxurious bed linen if the rest of your bed accessories aren’t equally as beautiful. You could have the softest sheets in the world, but if you’re lying on a lumpy mattress or dozing under a duvet that’s past its prime, you certainly won’t be getting the best out of bedtime.
To create a truly decadent bed that you can’t wait to relax into, you need the plumpest of pillows for the perfect amount of support and comfort, coupled with a delicious duvet filled with deepest of down. Our range includes a variety of bed accessories to complement the most beautiful bed linen for a cosy, calm space to call your own.
So, when the time comes to choose new bed linen, there is no need to spend a long time worrying about thread count. Yes, it matters, but it is not the only thing that matters. Focus on the quality of the fabric, the finish of the weave and the craftsmanship of the company you’re buying from, and you’ll be sinking into luxury every single night.
For beautiful bed linen in a variety of sumptuous thread counts, look no further than our range of stunning bed sheets. Discover classic white sheets or stylish jacquard finishes, in 100% breathable cotton for luxury that lasts.