Ignore thread count – it’s quality, not quantity that counts

Since the mid-1990s, bed sheet manufacturers have been boasting about thread count. Like most things, they have preached ‘more is better’ and charged more for higher thread counts.

Thread count is the number of threads that occur in a square inch of fabric. Threads can run horizontally, this is called ‘weft’, or vertically, this is called ‘warp’. A low thread count could mean a thinner, more fragile fabric, whilst a higher thread count could mean you have a fabric that will wash well and last longer.
But don’t be fooled

“Once you get beyond 400 threads per square inch, be suspicious” says Julian Tomchin, retired Vice President of homestore Macy’s in the USA. “An 800-thread-count sheet made of two-ply yarn should legitimately be relabeled as 400,” he said. “That’s how you get 1,000 threads per square inch: creative counting.”

So if you can’t rely on a number, then what can you rely on?

“You can’t tell a good set of sheets until you feel them,” Tannen says. “Pull it out of the package, or look at the sample on the floor. Look at the stitching. Is it tight? Is it neat? Although a lot of products are machine-made, if the craftsmanship looks good, that’s a sign of a product that will last.
Jim Symmes, vice president at Revman International, which manufactures sheets for prominent brands such as Tommy Bahama and Laura Ashley agrees.

“There are 200-count cotton sheets out there that are finished very nicely and actually feel like they have a higher thread count,” Symmes says. Read more here: Guide to buying sheets.
Sealy offers sheets and pillow cases made from quality 100% percale cotton with a 300 thread count. These sheets feel soft and luxe, but are crisp and fresh and help wick away both heat and moisture. Our unique fitted sheet comes with a 3-way stretch skirt offering a snug fit on the mattress. The skirt prevents the sheet from bunching up and moving, but don’t take our word for it, give it a try and you’ll love the difference it makes.

Want to dress your bed, with soft, breathable bedding made from 100% cotton Percale? Sealy has the answer. Click here to find out about our sheets and other bedding.

Written by Roxanne Atkinson

Read more about bedding:

Polycotton, cotton or linen – what bedding works best?

How to keep bedding clean – Part 1

How to keep bedding clean – Part 2