Sheet Thread Count! What’s Your Number?
Hi Friends!! Before we get started on our topic today I wanted you to know how thrilled I was to meet so many of you in Round Top. Thank you so much for coming up and saying hello!!! It truly warmed my heart!
At Arbors, I was surrounded by beauty in Susan Horn’s booth!!! It was so fun to see friend Julie with Barry Dixon and Ike Isenhour while they were shopping Round Top of their Designer Dream Spree!! I was so busy there I could not stop to shop!!
Marburger is always incredible!! My Sister-in-Law Heather was a big help and so much fun!! Coming out from California I was so happy it cooled down a bit for her. I had heard the week before was scorching!!!
And now the topic!
I am buying sheets for the Colorado townhouse and needed new sheets for all the beds so I thought I would share my findings with you!! We spend almost one third of our lives in bed– shouldn’t we love the sheets we’re wrapped up in? I get a lot of questions about thread count and how to choose sheets. So, I did a little research and learned so much about this topic!!
What exactly does THREAD COUNT mean, anyway? Well, it refers to the number of threads running vertically (warp) and horizontally (weft) per square inch. With all the buzz about thread count, it’s easy to assume that higher means softer. But that’s not always the case. A lower-thread-count sheet made from fibers that are softer by nature, such as Egyptian cotton, will feel silkier than a high-thread-count sheet made from a lower-quality cotton blend.
I couldn’t resist this image!! How adorable is this? I wonder what thread count this little guy prefers? Cotton, still considered the go-to material, is comfortable year-round and easy to care for.
Coming is different qualities there is a wide range of price and feel that is produced from this natural fiber which is hollow in the center and, under the microscope, resembles a twisted ribbon. I found this pod cast by ABC news where two beds were set up in Central park. One had 1000 sheet count threads and the other 300. The 300 won-but why?
Do Not Be Fooled!
Thread count refers to the quantity of threads woven into a square inch of the sheet’s fabric. Look for a minimum of 200, but no higher than 600. (Anything over 600 is likely to uncomfortably trap body heat.) Manufacturers inflate thread counts by twisting multiple threads together and other techniques that don’t always make a higher-quality sheet. Textile expert, Pat Slaven at Consumer Reports, states “The sweet spot is 400” which falls in line with many experts who say the smoothest feel is in the 350-500 thread count range.
What is Your Type?
Different weaves produce a dissimilar feel, even from the same raw material. The percale weave creates a soft, cool sheet that tends to feel cool against the skin and can wrinkle easily. Jacquard and damask are both heavier weaves with patterns woven into them. Sheets that feel silky smooth and buttery soft are usually made with the satin weave called sateen sheets. These sheets have a slight sheen on one side, feel slightly warmer on the skin and resist wrinkling more than other cotton sheets. Jersey or T-shirt sheets, have a less desirable slippery heavier feel, but typically are the least expensive. Nubby cotton or flannel sheets are ultra warm for a very cold climate. Linen breathes well and has a natural cooling effect, but be careful because it wrinkles very easily.
After you have decided on which “feel” you love best, its time to look at the type of cotton. For instance, a cotton-polyester blend is great for kids, but we grown ups prefer 100% cotton! In this category, the best investment for good cotton sheets will be combed cotton, Egyptian cotton or Pima cotton, as these will be smoother against the skin and they won’t get fuzzy. Egyptian cotton is the best-quality sheet available with long fibers. Pima grown right here in the USA, Australia and Peru, is a similar long-fiber cotton and is sold under the brand name Supima. If your sheets don’t specify these three names it is typically a lesser quality sheet.
Beware of Hand Enhancers
According to Slaven, many maufacturers put silicon softeners on linens so they feel softer in the store. So what you are actually feeling are silicone softeners, which disappear after the first wash! Also, if you have skin sensitivities check for chemicals which can be used on the sheets to keep them from wrinkling. Although wrinkle free sheets require less upkeep if you are concerned with chemicals look for organic in the description.
Keep Your Receipts!
Most stores and online retailers have return policies, so if you are not happy with your sheets after you’ve washed them, do not be afraid to send them back!
Do Flannel and Silk Have a Thread Count?
Although thread count is an indicator of quality in cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets, flannel is measured in ounces or grams per square meter (GSM). Like flannel, silk is measured by weight, not thread count. In fact, silk is measured in momme weight, which is the weight of 100 yards x 45 inches. If a product listed has a weight of 19mm, that means the weight of 100 yards x 45 inches of that particular silk is 19 pounds. The average momme weight for silk sheets is 15, but if you find higher, it’s worth its weight.
What About Bamboo?
Bamboo sheets are often blended with cotton or other materials and are a great eco friendly option since they are made from sustainable materials. It also is a very absorbent fabric and is recommended for people who sweat at night.
Are there Less Expensive Options for Kids or a Spare Set?
There are a lot of sheeting options for kids that won’t break the bank. Look for 100% cotton percale. It has a superior softness and wears well over time. A cotton-polyester blend, often marketed as “easy care,” is a good choice as well since it withstands frequent washing. A little poly is all you need—a 90/10 blend is durable, looks presses right out of the dryer, and is still soft. Don’t go above 30 percent synthetic: The sheets won’t be soft and don’t breathe so they could make the sleeper sweat.
So, remember, the highest thread count does not always give you better sheets!! Sheets falling within the thread count sweet spot of 280 to 400 will have a smooth, soft, absorbent and breathable feel. They’ll wear better and shrink less, meaning you’ll replace them less often than their cheaper counterparts. Best of all, they’re widely available at all price points.
Book Signings this Week!
I hope you have learned as much as I have about thread count!! This week I am off to Friendswood to visit with the Gals from Marrone Market!! I would love to visit with you at the big event!! Please come by and say Hi!!
October events will be so much fun, I hope you’ll join me!!
Thank you so much for the tremendous response to Segreto Vignettes!! You can order your copy here!
Until next time, have a good week!
CathyPosted at 07:47h, 03 October
Thank you for making thread count more clear! Which sheets did you like the best for your Colorado home?
Also what did you ever do with your dining room arrangement that you asked advice for on this blog? It
Would be fun to see how you arranged it. Maybe in your next blog you can include a picture!
Leslie SinclairPosted at 06:59h, 04 October
I am installing in Colorado the 14th of November! I so hope it looks good. I honestly flew up there and made all selections and then have done the furnishings here to ship up. Goodness I hope it all turns out well! I am just an internet sale shopper on all the discount sites. I ended up doing 400 threat count for all the bedrooms and 600 Egyptian cotton for ours. the research really helped when pressing the order button!!
Cheryl AlbinPosted at 08:31h, 03 October
Love your latest book..it is a feast for my eyes….Midland Tx
Leslie SinclairPosted at 06:56h, 04 October
Hi Cheryl!! You are so sweet–Thank you!!! I think this one is my fav!!! xo
ColleenPosted at 10:24h, 03 October
I do not purchase cotton sheets. I quit about 8 years ago. I only use linen. The reason is that I got tired of cleaning up the cotton fibers that become airborne when you move at night. No matter the thread count [I tried several high to low], I would have to clean off the headboard a deposited white film layer of dust of these fibers. Also questioned if I was breathing them at night. I switched to linen and have not had the floating fiber problem. I love French linen sheets with big fabulous monograms on the top sheet. My husband loves the linen as well as it breathes. I do have the extra work of ironing the deep 33″ turnback on the top sheet due to some wrinkling from the washer/dryer, but I consider that pleasure.
Leslie SinclairPosted at 06:55h, 04 October
Hi Colleen! I loved your comment. I honestly have never slept on Linen sheets!! I will have to try them!! I love the monograms always!! Thanks for sharing with all of us!!
michele@hellolovelyPosted at 16:10h, 08 October
i come away with all kinds of nuggets of wisdom today thanks to you, friend. thanks for a smart post and best to you along the tour trail. peace.
Leslie SinclairPosted at 06:43h, 12 October
I would love to tour in your areas so we could meet in person one day!! Your renovation just looks amazing!!