Let’s set this common assumption straight: high thread count doesn’t always equal high quality bedding.
Here’s a clear definition of what thread count refers to:
In countries using the metric system, thread count is the amount of both vertical and horizontal threads in 10 square centimetres (3.16cm x 3.16cm), while in countries using the imperial system it is the amount of threads in 1 square inch (2.54cm x 2.54cm). So, depending on the country of origin the thread count of the same fabric can be different.
Be careful though, as a higher thread count fabric is by no means a better quality fabric. Thread count can give you some indication of the finesse of the weave and density of a fabric. The higher the thread count, the more threads have been woven into a specific area. If these threads are not soft and fine, the result will be a fabric that is hard and unpliable.
Why is ‘thread count’ used so much?
Thread count has become a simple metric used by marketing departments to capture interest and impress with high numbers. But beware! To keep prices reasonable companies often sacrifice important elements of quality such as the most fundamental quality indicator: the thread itself.
Focus on thread quality
The initial quality of the raw cotton is always the most important factor for you to consider. No matter how many threads you squeeze into a square inch, bad quality cotton will always remain bad quality.
So, assess all the quality indicators when you’re in the market for new natural bedding. Factors such as the origin and quality, yarn size, weave, finishing and construction are all essential to creating a beautiful finished product.
Here are 5 boxes to tick when you’re next in the market for new quality bedding:
- Go natural: The product should be 100% natural cotton, Egyptian cotton or long staple cotton is a good option as these are known to be superior.
- No blends: If you are purchasing Egyptian cotton bedding make sure it is 100% Egyptian cotton and not blended with short staple cotton or poly cottons.
- Look at the weave: It should be even without any knots and inconsistencies. Feel the fabric, is should be smooth to the touch but not feel synthetic.
- The final product: Check the manufacturing quality and how the product has been packed. Quality products are manufactured and packed with care.
- Read the washing instructions: Cotton bedding that does not allow for tumble drying is often manufactured from a lower grade cotton.