Home Improvement

What is a Thread Count?

If you have been trying to figure out what kind of sheets to buy, then you need to know some basic information about the weave of sheets, materials used, and thread count. Most experts in the industry agree that cotton is typically the most popular sheet fabric. Not only is the material durable, it is soft and breathes well. In addition, enhancements in manufacturing mean that other materials, such as polyester, are also viable alternatives.

Polyester Sheets

Sheets that are manufactured of a microfiber-type fabric, or composed of exceptionally fine polyester fibres, are soft and affordable. They typically resist pulling more than sheets made of traditional polyester. However, polyester is not breathable like cotton, and is not a good choice for anyone who has sensitive skin.

Increased Softness

The softest and highest-quality sheets feature cotton with long-staple fibres that are spun into strong and fine yarns. A cotton fabric that is woven with a high thread count also makes a nice and comfortable sheet. The thread count of a sheet does matter, particularly in terms of softness.

Defining Thread Count

Thread count is the number of vertical and horizontal threads in each square inch of fabric. Typically, higher thread counts are representative of softer sheets. Usually, the thread counts of good sheets are between 200 and 800. You will also occasionally see sheet sets with counts of 1,000 or more. Sheets with lower thread counts with a nice finish can often compete with sheets with higher thread counts.

The Weave of a Sheet

Whilst the weave of a sheet is not considered a primary reason for picking a sheet, it still does not hurt to know some of the related terminology. For example, sateen is a cotton fabric that is manufactured with a satin weave. This type of weave produces a very lustrous and soft feel but may be less resilient than a sheet with a tighter weave.


Percale, on the other hand, is a durable and crisp plainly woven fabric that is often used for sheets. Usually, this type of weave has a thread count of at least 180.

Combed Cotton

Combed cotton is combed to remove the material’s short fibres and leave the long ones, thus making for a stronger material.

The Flat Sheet

The flat sheet, also called a top sheet, is usually placed between the blanket and the sleeper. The sheet protects the comforter or blanket from soil. The precise size of a flat sheet is not an important factor as it is normally used separately. For example, you can use a double-sized flat sheet on a queen bed or a queen-sized flat sheet on a double bed.

A Fitted Sheet

A fitted sheet covers the mattress. The sheet is made with elastic so it can be secured.

One Final Note

Once you understand a little more about the thread count, weave, and the finish of a sheet, you can make a more informed buying decision. Sheets come in various colours today as well so you can even use them as a primary bed covering. Each set typically comes with a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillow cases for larger-sized beds.

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