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Why Does Thread Count Matter For Your Sheets?

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When you’re buying bedding for your new bed, you might see some numbers floating around called thread count – but why does it matter how many threads you have in your sheets? 

Well, thread count is pretty significant for how well you’ll sleep, and the quality of your sheets and duvet covers, and can make the difference between standard and premium bedding! We’ll be addressing the pressing question of what constitutes a good thread count, what a thread count is, and the highest possible thread count you could buy.

Close up of charcoal silentnight pillow cases.
Silentnight Supersoft Pillowcase Pair - Charcoal

What does thread count mean?

Thread count is like a ruler for your sheets, telling you how many threads run vertically and horizontally in every square inch of fabric. So, the higher the thread count, the more threads are woven into the fabric. Typically, you’ll find that higher thread counts are made with finer fabrics because you can pack more of those yarns into one square inch.

But what’s the right thread count for you? Whether it’s 200 or 800, let’s dive in and figure out which one suits you best.

What is the typical thread count for sheets?

Most sheets will have a thread count of between 200 and 600 – however, you can sometimes see thread counts reaching above 1000! The type of fabric and its weave make a difference in the best thread count. The typical thread count for different fabrics is varied:

  • Percale: Plain weave, typically 180-200 thread count.
  • Sateen: Tighter weave, usually 250-300 thread count.
  • Cotton and Egyptian Cotton: 200-400 thread count.
  • Bamboo: 300-500 thread count.
  • Linen: 80-140 thread count (less dependent on thread count)

And some fabrics don’t rely on thread count at all! They are measured differently because the materials are unique:

  • Silk: Measured in momme, 17-22 is ideal.
  • Microfiber: Measured in grams per square meter (GSM), the optimal range is 90-120.
  • Flannel: GSM ranges from 170+ for durable sheets to lighter options.
  • Jersey: Varies in weight but often around 150 GSM.

What is the highest thread count for sheets?

The highest thread count you can buy is around 1500 – although you can sometimes see a brand trying to claim that they have a thread count of 3000! This isn't always strictly true, though.

Luxury sheet brands have been known to count not just each thread, but each fibre (called plies) that make up each thread. So, a single thread might be four plies twisted together; one brand will call that one thread, while another brand will call those four separate threads.

What is a good thread count?

Start your sheet search with a thread count of at least 200. Anything lower probably won’t give you that cosy, soft feeling you're after, leading to a less enjoyable sleep.

When it comes to picking out bedding like sheets and pillowcases, the thread count you go for really comes down to what feels best for you. Higher thread count bedding, like 800 thread count sheets, tends to feel thicker and can give your bed that luxurious, five-star hotel vibe. 

However, don’t underestimate the comfort of 200 thread count sheets—they can still be wonderfully soft and high-quality. Lower thread counts might feel lighter and more breathable against your skin.

No matter the thread count, the key to quality lies in the fabric itself. Look for sheets made from top-notch materials like cotton-rich percale, luxurious Egyptian cotton known for its long fibres and super soft feel, or ultra-smooth Supima cotton. Whatever thread count you settle on, here’s to hoping you enjoy a fantastic—and incredibly comfy—night’s sleep.

CLose up of woman buttoning sheets.

Is thread count as important as thread quality?

Just remember to keep in mind – quality over quantity! The yarn or threads' quality usually matters more than how many threads there are, or the thread count. Factors like yarn quality, production process, and weave type all contribute to a sheet's performance, and you should also take into account how you want your sheets to feel at night.

For example, when it comes to staying cool at night, thread count isn't the main factor—material matters most. Opt for lightweight fabrics like bamboo, linen, and certain cotton blends if you're prone to sweating while you sleep. 
Look out for brands that offer breathable, cooling bed sheet options for extra comfort – our guide to the best cooling bedding for hot sleepers has plenty of options to choose from.

Do hotels use high thread count sheets?

Luxury hotels don't hold back when it comes to sheets—they opt for top-notch quality. Most go for sheets with a thread count of 250, while the fancier ones lean towards 300. Some splurge even more, boasting sheets with 600 or 800 threads per inch. However, it's not just about spending more for better quality—there's a sweet spot to consider.
Discover our secrets to making your bedroom into a 5-star hotel experience every night and more in our Snooze News section. Whether you want advice on how to get to sleep in hotter weather or you’ve got specific sleep-related questions, we’re the experts you can rely on!

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