Have you wondered what sheet thread counts mean and the best thread counts for your sheets? You’re just in the right place. In this guide, we’ll discuss
- Sheet thread definition
- What makes hotel beds so comfortable?
- The softest and coolest thread counts for sheets
- Choosing the right thread count for various sheets
What does sheet thread count mean?
Thread count is a measurement of the number of vertical and horizontal lines within a square inch of the sheet. It is usually a good indicator of the quality of the sheet in terms of its softness, comfort, and durability. Durability, in this case, is the ability of the sheet to weather regular wear and tear that comes from regular use.
Good quality sheets should be around 200 to 800 in thread count. However, it’s essential to understand that a higher thread count automatically means it is better. Some companies abuse this misconception by inflating the thread count to various means, such as using multiple twisted yarns, which doesn’t necessarily translate to quality or comfort.
Comparatively, it doesn’t automatically mean that a lower thread count means low quality. There are companies out there that produce low thread count sheets, but because they are manufactured using fewer chemicals, the result is a better quality product.
Moreover, there are also certain sheet materials that a higher thread count is something that you would want to avoid. Take linen, for example. It is a thicker fibre that is already robust and durable. This is why while linen thread counts may be lower than, say, cotton sheets, the quality is on par if not far superior.
It is also important to understand that thread count is not a universal measurement in terms of sheets. The common sheet materials measured according to thread count are cotton, Egyptian cotton, percale weave, satin weave, bamboo, and linen.
In fact, some materials are measured using different units of measurement. We’ll briefly discuss them for your benefit.
- Silk is measured according to momme. Momme is a measurement of weight. It refers to the grams within a square meter. 1 momme is the equivalent of 44.5g per square meter. 25 momme is the industry standard.
- Microfibre and jersey are both measured according to GSM (grams per meter). For microfibre, look for sheets with a GSM of 90-120. For Jersey, look for those with a 150 GSM.
Why do hotel beds feel so good?
There are many reasons why a hotel bed may feel so good. It could be because of the mattress. In which case, most 5-star hotels use high-quality, luxurious mattresses that feel incredibly soft but at the same time, do not fail in providing a sufficient amount of support and sinkage to the body.
Another reason as to why hotel beds may feel so good lies in the sheets. Hotel sheets are incredibly soft, which is why they feel so good on the skin. This is also what makes the sleeping surface friendly to sleep on.
The secret to soft sheets is a higher thread count. Most hotel sheets are within the 300-400 range. It’s also not unusual to see sheets with an astronomical thread count of 1000 or above. They also use sheets that have longer and softer fibres.
Aside from the mattress and the sheets, the pillows are also worth looking at. Hotel pillows are large, fluffy, and incredibly soft. Most of them are made with goose down feathers, which are considered the softest pillow material in the market.
Coolest and softest sheet thread counts
Generally speaking, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet. However, the higher the thread count, the more stuffy a sheet may also feel. This is why if you want a sheet that feels cool and soft simultaneously, you are advised to stick to the middle 250-300 range. Anything above 500 will not feel breathable.
However, if you are in a cool area and need all the warmth, softness, and luxury you can get, there is no problem in buying sheets with a thread count of more than 500. However, keep in mind that a higher thread count also means a more expensive item.
What is the best thread count for sheets?
The ideal thread count for sheets dramatically varies according to the material. However, generally speaking, the range that you are looking for is 200-800. We’ll look at the best thread count for these materials.
For cotton, the consensus for an ideal range is 200-400. The standard thread count of regular cotton is 150. However, if you want a more comfortable feel, look for those in the 300-400TC (thread count). There are even companies that offer 1000TC for extreme luxury.
- Egyptian cotton
Egyptian cotton feels the softest at around 400 to 700TC. However, there are sheets with a lower count than this range but still feel comfortable and might cost you less. In that case, you might also want to consider looking at regular cotton as it will give you the same feel without costing as much.
- Percale weave
Percale weave is also known as the simple one over the other weave. Percale weaves are usually made with cotton but can include silk, jersey, and linen. For percale weave, you want to look for those with a thread count in the 200-400 range.
- Sateen weave
A sateen weave is a tighter pattern as compared to percale. This is also why the ideal is a higher thread count, at around 300-600. However, the usual TC for sateen weaves is 250-300.
Average linen sheets have a TC of 80-150. Linen thread counts are much less than other materials because linen is a thicker fibre, so it can achieve the same level of comfort without needing as many threads as more delicate fibres.
Bamboo is usually presented as an alternative to cotton in terms of softness. Sheets made from bamboo fibres are usually within the 250-350 range. In which case, you can achieve the same level of softness of a 400TC cotton sheet with a 250TC bamboo one.