What’s Up With Thread Count?

Posted by cloudten team on

It’s the number one question we’ve been trained by conventional marketing executives to ask when looking at buying sheets: what’s the thread count? It seems to make sense. How do we measure luxury in linens? Does softness have an objective measurement?

Here’s the short answer: forget thread count. Or at least, forget about using it as an absolute measurement of the quality of bedding. Let’s dive in. 

Thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric; it’s the warp (vertical thread), plus the filling (horizontal thread). As a marketing tool it’s a relatively new concept, as companies started using excessive thread counts to differentiate from their competition in the early 2000’s. There are three main reasons why you should look past thread count to more authentic measurements of quality:

  1. Thread count is a completely unregulated and manipulated concept.
  2. A higher thread count does not imply softness, quality, weight or luxuriousness.
  3. There is no third point, the above two just about cover it. Three points sounded better than two.


1: Thread Count is a Completely Unregulated and Manipulated Concept

When you compare two products that have different measurements, it is natural to assume that those measurements were regulated by some type of governing body, or niche agency. In reality, there is no thread count regulation agency; the FTC has a voluntary mandate that manufacturers count the threads, but that is it.

Past simple lies about thread count, manufacturers do many things to reach a higher number of threads per square inch, such as using smaller thread (that lessens the quality of the fabric and its lifespan), double weaving (which is simply pointless and messy), and mixing the material with polyester or other tiny materials (no longer true cotton bedding).

Textile expert Julian Tomchin told the NY Times that “once you get beyond 600 threads per square inch, be suspicious.” Keep that in mind while shopping for the perfect bedding!


2: A Higher Thread Count Does Not Imply Quality

In addition to the faulty numbers that most manufacturers use to measure thread count, the basic principle of higher thread count = more quality is simply inaccurate.

In fact, it’s often the opposite; too many threads all packed into a square inch will cause a sheet to be heavy, tough, and unable to breath. To this, you might say, “but my favorite soft sheets are 1200 thread count!” And that very well may be, my friend! But the reason they are soft is because of the materials they were made with and the way they were chemical-washed before you received them, not because of a high thread count. As Consumer Reports stated recently, “Our latest tests again confirmed that higher thread count doesn’t guarantee better sheets.” 

The weave of the material is a much more impactful piece of what makes your sheets feel the way they do. Click here to learn about the difference between Percale and Sateen Weaves.


Closing Thoughts

Marketing executives in the bedding industry have created confusion around thread counts for years; and that’s exactly what they want. This is because if you’re not educated about the topic (which most people are not), you’ll naturally go for the higher thread count number. 

Here at cloudten, we challenge you to forget about an outdated concept like thread count and focus on what really matters when shopping for bedding. What are the materials used? Are the products well-reviewed by customers? Do they offer a true worry-free trial to back-up their claims? 

There are many great bedding companies out there, but we truly believe our hardworking team has designed the world’s most comfortable sheets that are not only soft, weighted, breathable and long-lasting, but made responsibly and help to give back. Our Long-Staple Egyptian Cotton is the finest material for bedding known to man, and we offer an industry-best 100 Night Trial. Don’t absolutely love them? We’ll give your money back and donate your returns to an organization in need.

Join the thousands of sleepy dreamers who have chosen to join us in Bed Heaven, and try out a set of the world’s most comfortable sheets today.

The World's Most Comfortable Sheets

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