Sheet shopping and thread count: What really counts?
When thinking of adding a little luxury to our lives, sheets are often on our upgrade list. One stay at a nice hotel or resort and we are dreaming of new sheets. Shopping for linens can be confusing. Good shopping habits and instinct tells us to find the highest thread count at the best price possible- but, is thread count what matters to a sheet’s softness, durability, and sleep-ability- No. Absolutely not. So, what really counts?
Thread count is solely the number of threads per a square inch of fabric, it is not a reference of quality. The quality of the cotton makes the quality of the sheet. Quality cotton has a longer staple length allowing the cotton to be spun, often in single ply, to create the softest and strongest threads. Ply being the number of yarns twisted together to create the thread. Lower quality cotton creates a shorter staple length and needs to be spun into multi-ply thread. A multi-ply thread often leads to a sheet that is thicker with a more coarse feel as the fibers poke out of the weave, especially after a wash or two.
The maximum thread count of a single ply cotton is 500 threads per square inch
What often makes thread count confusing, manufacturers will often multiply the actual thread count with the ply. With this being so, poor quality sheets are disguised with a high thread count on the label and the manufacturer is banking on consumers knowledge to make the most money on the cheapest product.
When it comes to investing in new linens, your sleep habits play an important role. In Arizona, we have special considerations with our weather. As you can imaging, the higher the number of threads in that inch of fabric, the more concentrated and tighter the weave, the less breathable the sheet. Less breathability equals a higher sleep temperature.
When choosing sheeting for our heat, the type of cotton, thread count, and weave should be a consideration.
Egyptian Cotton is known for being luxurious, it has the longest staple length, about twice long as other cottons, and can be spun into the most soft, lustrous, and durable yarns. A lower thread count of the highest quality Egyptian cotton will have a fabulous hand and breath well. Eastern Accents De Medici sheets are made exclusively in Egyptian Cotton.
Percale Weave is cotton woven in a plain structure (as many threads over as under) allowing a crisp, light, and cool feel with good breathability. Featured in Eastern Accents Adelle, Enzo, Gala, Tessa, Posey, Scout, Hampton, Watermill, and Marden collections.
Linen is made from flax fiber and can be spun into extra-long fibers resulting in a fabric 2-3xs stronger than cotton. Its natural heat and moisture wicking properties make it a great choice for hot summer nights. Anne Selkes Lush Linen Collection sold in the showroom.
What do you avoid to keep your cool in the summer months? Flannel, Jacquard, and Sateen.
Flannel is known to keep heat close to your body, why it is often used to make undergarments for winter sports.
Jacquard is a fabric woven to incorporate a complex pattern, often requiring a higher thread count.
Sateen- Surprised? It’s satin weave creates a soft hand and shiny surface, but the way the fabric is woven retains the most heat and is better for colder climates, or if your significant other likes to blast the AC at night.