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Understanding Thread Counts - Cuddly Panda Bedding

Understanding Thread Counts

To get the best sleep, you need high quality sheets. To get high quality sheets, you need a high thread count, right? Well, lets look into that.

We have tested bed sheets for fabric strength, pilling resistance, shrinkage, and more, then in a blind comparison for softness and overall feel. We've cross referenced our results with thread counts to see whether it really makes a difference. 

But first let's understand thread count.

What is thread count?

Thread count is the total number of yarns per square inch of fabric. This is calculated by how many horizontal (weft) and vertical (warp) threads per square inch.

A high thread count is often associated with high quality fabric because it’s thought to make the sheets softer and more durable, but in reality other factors like the fibre quality and weave are more important.

How many thread count is necessary?

The number on the packaging does mean something, but to an extent. Having a higher thread count doesn't necessarily mean it is always going to be a better product. A 300 Thread Count sheet can be better in all metrics then a 500 Thread Count sheet. It is all about the smaller construction details that play the big part.

The first is that it is the quality of the fibre, the yarn size, the finishing and the construction. An inferior fabric with a thread count of 800 is going to be of lesser quality than a superior fabric with a thread count of 300.

Types of Weave

Usually, the fabric weave and the manufacturing processes used won't be a big factor in your decision; often they don't even appear on the packaging. But there are a few terms you should know:

  • Sateen is a cotton cloth made with a satin weave, a weave that produces a very soft, lustrous feel but can be somewhat less durable than a tighter weave.
  • Percale is the crisp, durable plain weave fabric typically used for sheets; it has a thread count of at least 180.
  • Combed cotton has been combed to remove the short fibres and leave the long ones, which makes for a strong, soft fabric.

It is often hard to know the quality of the yarn used and the construction method, the simplest thing to do is not always fall for the high thread count lie. Construction and material quality are just as important as the 'thread count'.

Whether it is cotton or bamboo, we only use premium grade materials to ensure high quality, high comfort and highly desired sheet sets and quilt covers.