What is Thread Count? Does it matter? Is higher thread count better? We do our best to answer your questions about the number of threads in your bed linen and what difference it might make to your comfortable nights’ sleep.
What is Thread Count?
‘Thread count’ (often abbreviated to just ‘TC’) is the number of threads in woven material, per inch. For example, a 200TC cotton sheet is made from woven cotton with 200 threads of cotton, in each direction (vertical and horizontal), per inch.
But – there’s always a ‘but’ – it’s never as simple as that.
Higher thread count sheets will often feel heavier than lower thread counts, giving a more ‘luxurious’ feel, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the sheets are of better quality. If the cotton, or polycotton, is of a poor quality, the higher thread count means little – the sheets are still poor quality. There’s a nice article over at austinlinen.com.
Also, the number can sometimes be misleading. Here’s a good image…
The figure on the right shows a weave of one single fibre, while the one on the left shows how two smaller fibres can be twisted together making the same size thread, but counting double the thread count. They’re effectively the same, as the 600TC thread is made from three much thinner twisted threads.
The terms has become almost synonymous with quality, but really, it isn’t.
Preference, Not Quality
Very generally speaking, higher thread counts should mean a heavier feeling sheet. This make be good or bad, depending on your preference. Many prefer a more lightweight feel to their bedding, feeling more airy and not so rigid. If your aim is for higher quality, look to the higher quality cotton, like percale and Egyptian, don’t pay too much attention to the thread count.
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