busting the “thread count” myth: 4 key things to shop for
October 25, 2018
As consumers, we’re led to believe that bedding with a high thread count means high quality. Until you end up with pilling everywhere, leaving a rough feeling from low-quality sheets.
A high number does sound impressive. But contrary to popular belief, your best ever sleep experiences were probably not down to high thread count bedding. In fact, more threads can make sheets heavier, rougher, and less durable. Instead, quality bedding manufacturers focus on thread quality to ensure a truly luxurious experience for guests.
Keep reading to be in the know!
what exactly is thread count?
If you’re not sure exactly what thread count is, you’re not alone. After years of research, we discovered that only 5% of the people we surveyed actually understood thread count.
Thread count is the number of threads there are in one square inch of fabric. This includes both the vertical (warp) and horizontal threads (weft) that weave together to create the fabric.
The catch? This technical detail has morphed into a common ploy that doesn’t mention thread quality.
what should I look for in sheets?
Be sure to always look out for these all-important factors!
1. fibre quality
In reality, there are only so many threads that can actually fit into that one square inch of space, so manufacturers get creative with their weaving processes to try and cram more in. By twisting the yarns together in a plait-like method (we call these double or triple ply yarns in the industry), deceivingly high thread counts can be created. These sound great for marketing purposes, but the yarn quality is usually poor, and the products can deteriorate quickly.
Did you know that not all cotton yarns are the same? They vary in length and thickness – characteristics that determine the grade. Products on the market claiming wildly high thread counts (500-1000) are often made using weaker, shorter yarns. For example, a 600 thread count sheet often means 200 three-ply. These create heavier sheets that can suffocate airflow while you sleep (not helpful for maintaining a good sleeping temperature).
Single ply, long staple yarns are a far better indicator of high quality bedding, because it explains exactly how the thread count was achieved.
2. fibre content
Scan for percentages. Is it 100% cotton, or a blend of natural and synthetic fibres?
Where you see “100% organic cotton bedding” – you know you’re onto a winner.
Natural fibres are the most breathable, keeping you comfortable and able to enjoy the best Zzz’s possible. Bamboo and eucalyptus are rising in popularity as bedding fabrics, but these aren’t always as environment friendly as some advertisements would like to make you think. Be sure to read our breakdown on bamboo and eucalyptus vs. cotton and linen here!
3. processing details
Conventional (non-organic) cotton bedding processing relies on methods that involve toxic chemicals, dyes, and bleaches. This is on top of the chemicals and pesticides already used during the fibre growing process.
We turn to organic methods that’re free of any harmful substances, to produce our bedding.
Not only is the organic cotton fabric softer and stronger than conventional cotton, it also requires less water and energy to produce, lowers greenhouse gas emissions, and contributes to healthier soil.
Certifications are the proof we need in a market where marketing terms can sell us the dream… Quite literally! That’s why we certify our entire range to meet the highest standards.
Your Dip & Doze organic cotton bedding is GOTS certified, and our natural linen is OEKO-TEX certified. That’s right, we’ve got the quality-assuring receipts.
soft & smooth or cool & crisp?
Soft & smooth (sateen) and cool & crisp (percale) are defined by their weaves. Rest assured that whichever you decide is for you, both are already softer and more durable than conventional cotton.
soft & smooth
Your organic soft & smooth cotton is made with a looser weave than cool & crisp. Threads are spun in a, four-over-one-under pattern. The result is a buttery soft organic cotton fabric that gracefully drapes and folds around your body for a blissful sleep – how sublime!
cool & crisp
Our organic cool & crisp cotton is made by spinning threads in a tight one-over-one-under pattern. The result is a crisp, cool-to-the-touch, sturdy finish that always feels just like the flip side of your pillow. Highly breathable and neat in appearance, cool & crisp is just so refreshing.
Still wondering what the best thread count for sheets is? For hotel quality bedding that truly gets softer with each wash and ages with grace, 300 thread count sheets made of the finest quality, long staple organic cotton in a single-ply weave is your best bet!