High Thread Count Myths

Egyptian cotton thread count

Long staple cotton sheets are graded by thread count, ranging from 200 to 1500 TC. These days thread count has become a very important factor for choosing the right sheets. It is a general perception that higher the thread count, softer and smoother the fabric. This very perception and the soaring demand has enabled bedding stores to sell what they call the "High Thread Count Sheets" for unreasonably high prices.

While thread count is an important factor to judge the quality of a fabric, it is not the only criteria. A high thread count sheet set may not necessarily be the most luxurious one and we are here to break this myth. A good quality bed sheet is the one which is soft to touch, thick enough, easy to launder and the one which lasts longer.

The softness of a sheet can be judged easily by simply touching it. The sheet is soft as long as it feels good to your skin and if it is not rough like a "sandpaper". Yes, this is the term we always get to hear from customers when they describe how rough their sheets are. It is also easy to judge the thickness of your sheet with the help of a "Hand & Light" test. Your sheet is thick enough as long as you are not able to see your hand through it when you hold it against the light.

We conducted a study on the various thread counts to find out which one is the softest and most comfortable one. Due emphasis was given to the strength and durability of the fabric. We collected feedback from a sample of around 300 customers who have been using sheets of various thread counts over years. The sample was divided into three groups as follows:

1. Low Thread Count Users: Those who have been using 200 to 300 TC sheets

2. Medium Thread Count Users: Those who have been using 300 to 800 TC sheets

3. High Thread Count Users: Those who have been using 1000 to 1500 TC sheets.

Each individual from the respective group was asked to rate their sheets based on three factors which were Softness, Thickness & Durability. The results were astonishing and sufficient enough to break the "Thread Count Myth".

1. Low Thread Count Users (200 to 300 TC): About 70% users felt that their sheets were soft enough which is a good thing. However, about 95% users complained that the sheets were not thick as they could not pass the "Hand & Light" test. They also complained that the sheets did not last for more than 4 months as they started pilling within a month. Well, that's one of the drawbacks of low thread count sheets which are cheap enough but are not long lasting.

2. Medium Thread Count Users (400 to 800 TC): The feedback of this group was interesting. About 90% users were happy with the softness of their sheets. That's not surprising as long staple cotton is known to be soft. However, it was interesting to know that 95% users were happy with the thickness of the sheets as the sheets passed the "Hand & Light" test. Another good thing to know was that the sheets did not ball up even though they were washed numerous times. Most of the users have been using their sheets for more than 2 years and they are still like new. They also said that it was very easy to launder the sheets as they were not too heavy and they weighed anywhere between 7 to 10 Lbs.

3. High Thread Count Users (1000 to 1500 TC): The feedback of this group was an eye opener. Only 40% of the high thread count users felt that their sheets were soft enough. 60% of them felt that the sheets were hard, stiff and rough like a sandpaper. This is not surprising as a "very thick" fabric cannot be the softest one. Thickness of the sheets was not an issue for most of them as high thread count sheets will certainly pass the "Hand and Light" test as there is no way light can penetrate through such a thick fabric.

The life of the sheets was not an issue either for all the users as high thread count sheets last for years. They last for so long that ultimately you feel bored of using them for years. They neither ball up nor do they tear themselves. However, almost all of them complained that it was an extremely tough task to wash the sheets due to their weight.

Conclusion: After going through this data, it wasn't very difficult for us to conclude which thread count is the best in terms of softness, quality, thickness and durability. As explained above, the best sheets are those which are soft, reasonably thick and long lasting. Lower tread count sheets are good for you if you have budget issues. The sheets are soft enough. However you may not expect them to last for ever as you get what you pay.

On the contrary, high thread count sheets are unreasonably thick, heavy and expensive. They last for a life time unless you decide to donate them. However, they are not the best if you are looking for a combination of softness, quality and durability. For how long a bed sheet lasts doesn't really matters but comfort does.

So to conclude, the medium thread count sheets have all the three essential qualities we have been talking about. They are soft, subtle and are thick enough. They launder well and do not ball up even after years. If softness, quality and durability are your priorities, then thread counts ranging from 400 to 800 TC are the best for you.

1 comment

  • Andy M.

    Very informative. Thanks!

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