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Choosing The Best Thread Count for Sheets

When shopping for luxury bed linens, many people are concerned about finding the best thread count for sheets. Bedding experts recommend that you purchase sheets that have at least 200TC, but beyond that, the quality of the materials, manufacture, and finishing are much more important. The base fibre and the size and quality of the yarns have an enormous impact on the quality of the final product. Read on to learn more about what thread count is, what's a good thread count for sheets, and what other factors you should consider when choosing superior bedding.

Defining Thread Count

Cotton fabric thread count is simply the number of warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal – sometimes called "picks") threads per square inch. It is a technical definition used in the weaving industry, and you can theoretically use a magnifying glass to examine a piece of fabric and count each thread. Threads can be single or twisted ply, which indicates how many yarns make up each thread. Single ply and single pick fabric cannot have a thread count higher than 400TC, and any bed sheets boasting higher counts are multiple pick or twisted plies.

Generally speaking, sheets with a higher thread count tend to be smoother and finer, because they are made with finer gauge (thinner) yarns, which allows more threads to be woven into 1 inch of fabric. That said, the idea that there is a specific best thread count for sheets and that you don't need any other information is misleading. A high thread count sheet made with inferior fibres or low quality construction is unlikely to be worth the expense.

What's Really Important When Buying Sheets

At Frette, we emphasize the 3 F's when we create fabrics of the highest quality:

1. Fibre — Exceptional sheets begin with exceptional materials. The finest bedding is made with high quality long-staple cotton, which makes a thread that's more uniform, finer, and more resistant. We weave these high quality fibres into several types of fabric, Percale, Poplin, and Sateen in particular, each of which offers a different appearance and feel.

2. Finish — How fabric is finished is vitally important for its durability and shine. At Frette, we use special patented techniques to give our sheets their beautiful look and feel. Our finishing methods eliminate any fuzziness, improve colour saturation, strengthen the cloth and make it more resistant to laundering, and provide a beautiful lustre.

3. Feel — A key reason that focusing too much on thread count won't necessarily result in you choosing the best sheets is that it does not always reflect the feel of the finished product. Feel is the texture and weight of your sheets, and not everyone shares a preference for the same properties. Percale, for example, is a crisp, cool cotton that's perfect for warmer climates, while Sateen features a loose weave in a dense thread to create warmer, silkier sheets.

Explore the fibre, finish, and feel of our classic designs through our Fabric Finder. >

What Is a Good Thread Count for Sheets?

As you can see, the best thread count for sheets varies depending on the quality of the materials and manufacture, as well as your personal sleeping preferences. In fact, some manufacturers will manipulate the weaving process to produce high thread count sheets from low quality materials, resulting in a final product that lacks the delightful look and feel of true luxury linens.

At Frette, all of our cotton sheets are 200TC or higher and all are made with high quality long-staple cotton that has been woven and finished using our specialized production process. Every sheet is then carefully tailored to ensure its beauty and longevity, with reinforced joints and mitred corners for strength and high density embroidery stitching (where applicable) for long-lasting elegance.

When you're next shopping for new bedding, rather than asking, "what is the best thread count for sheets?" ask about the quality of the materials, the method of finishing, and the reputation of the brand to produce exceptional products.