Is there a better feeling than knowing that after a long day at work, there’s a luxurious sanctuary in your bedroom that will make all your worries fade? Even if it’s just for those few precious moments, there is something about that womb-like feeling a quality bedding offers that just can’t be replaced…
But do you ever ask yourself if you are getting your money’s worth with your linen?
Do you know enough about the subject?
Are you asking the right questions?
This is what this article is all about – making sure that you do. There is a lot of confusion about the subject of thread count in bedding. The main questions we’ll try to answer here are:
• What is thread count in the first place?
• Is it a determining factor of bedding quality?
• What are the ways you could be misled by the numbers and some shady advertising practices?
Let me make a bold claim here – by the end of this article, you will understand this “thread count business” better than a vast majority of people and have an almost unfair advantage when making your next buying decision.
What is thread count?
• It’s a simple number that represents number of threads in one square inch of fabric.
• The threads woven vertically are called “warp” and the ones woven horizontally are known in the industry as “weft”. Combined, they give you the thread count.
• One thing is beyond doubt – most consumers believe that the higher the thread count the better the sheets. The truth is not so simple.
• Because of threads called “picks”. These are the extra threads that can be woven into the horizontal ones. If they are included in the thread count it gives it a significant “boost” in numbers, while it’s not so much of a boost in quality.
• Because of threading technique where the manufacturers weave two threads into a one and, for the purposes of the thread count on the fact sheet, count it as 2 separate threads. This doubles the thread count. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that you should dismiss thread count as a quality signal. All I am saying is just like you shouldn’t judge a book just by it’s cover, you shouldn’t judge your bedding just by it’s thread count.
What else should you look for when choosing your bedding?
Now that we have the thread count confusion out of the way, let’s get into some subtler things to look for. Most of the time, these will be a matter of taste, so I am here to inform and you’ll be passing the final verdict on what finds it’s way into your bedroom.
The weave techniques
How the linens are woven will determine their “feel” and probably their longevity. The basic (and least expensive) woven linens will include the same numbers of horizontal and vertical threads. On the other hand, sateen weave will have more vertical threads that will result in a smoother feel. One thing to keep in mind is that sateen sheets are more likely to tear and should be handled more gently. Other weave techniques that are more intricate will usually cost a lot more, like the jacquard and Damask. These linens are made using what’s called an alternating pattern and can have anything from a softest to a texture-rich coarse feel.
As I said, a lot of this will come down to your taste, but let us look at some of the advantages of different materials. There is a sea of choices, but here, we’ll discuss the advantages of two of the classics – silk and cotton.
Before we get down to listing the advantages of cotton, let me stress that I feel very strongly about choosing Egyptian or Pima cotton. It’s tested and proven that these two are in a category of their own when it comes to quality. • soft • durable – can be washed and used for years without any significant change • breathable – allows for better air flow and temperature regulation • ability to absorb water – cotton can absorb over 25 times it’s own weight (no waking up in sweat for you any more) • cool natural feel – ideal for hot summer nights • hypoallergenic
If you are looking for excuses to start basking in the luxurious feel of silk, let me give you a few more:
• proven to slow down aging- proteins and amino acids that can find their way into your skin and slow down the aging process
• very smooth- less friction and it’s easier for you to turn during the night
• It’s gentle to your hair– minimizes the breaking and thinning
So, after taking a closer look at these two main options in material choices, and equipped with the knowledge about thread count, I believe that you are prepared to tackle your next choice of bedding more confidently knowing that you’ll be getting your money’s worth.
I hope that I delivered on my bold claim from the start of this article.
Choose wise and sleep tight.
James Menta is an expert on sleep products – specifically air mattresses – and has been writing sleep related articles for years. He is known for his posts and product reviews on his site www.bestairmattressguide.com.