What is a good thread count?

What is a good thread count?

What is thread count?

Thread count (TC) is often thought of as an indicator of the quality of a fabric, but it's not that simple. Let’s first see the actual technical side of what thread count actually constitutes. Thread count is the number of threads woven together in a horizontal and vertical orientation per square inch of fabric. You count both lengthwise (warp) and width-wise (weft) threads. So, 100 length-wise threads woven with 100 width-wise threads produce a TC of 200. While 150 lengthwise threads woven with 150 width-wise threads make a 300TC. Thread count is a highly used phrase for describing luxury bed linen. The idea is the finer you can weave the threads together, the softer and finer the fabric will be, and the more likely it will wear well, evenly, and will soften and become more comfortable with each wash.


What is a good thread count for my bedding?

When considering bed linen, there is a common misconception that quality increases linearly with thread count. While up to a point this may be largely true, weaving experts report that beyond 300 to 400TC, there is no further increase in quality. In fact, the amount of thread that can evenly fit into a square inch of fabric is limited and with very high thread counts (over 600) there is a sharp decrease in breathability, and an increased tendency for the fabric to bobble due to the fibres being overly compacted. It can be seen then,  that bedding beyond 400TC is likely to be simply a marketing gimmick - you pay more, but get less.
So, how to choose bed linen on the basis of thread count?  The rule of thumb is that anything above 200TC is very good quality, and anything above 400TC is not necessary and just brings a bigger price tag with a compromised experience.
The same rule applies to organic cotton bedding too - 300 TC is considered in the luxurious, premium range. You will find 300TC organic cotton bedding is softer and more comfortable compared to conventional (non-organic) cotton due to the superior quality of organic cotton fibres, and the fact that no harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde were used in its manufacture.

Beyond thread count...

Another hugely important factor to consider when buying bedding is the quality of the actual threads themselves, not simply their number (thread count). Shorter fibres will have more break points leading to a greater tendency to undergo pilling over time. At Sleep Organic we only use the finest quality long staple organic and Fairtrade cotton fibres woven to a sumptuous 300 thread count. Happy sleeping!
Dr Chris Murphy, co-Founder Sleep Organic 

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