Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on sheets with high thread counts that will feel cheap and wear out in months. Here’s how to spot a good set of sheets and know you’re getting what you pay for.
If you ask someone how they shop for sheets, most people will tell you they look for the highest thread count in their price range. But is thread count really all that matters?
As it turns out, thread count is only a part — and often a misleading one — of what makes a set of sheets crisp, cool, and smooth. Unfortunately, a lot of companies manipulate their thread counts for marketing purposes. If you know what to look for though, you can get sheets that feel great, last longer, and actually live up to their hype. Here’s how to shop for the perfect set of sheets.
Why Some High Thread Count Sheets Aren’t What They Seem
The “thread count” is the number of threads woven together in one square inch of fabric. High thread counts are often used to get customers to pay more — but the number is often misleading.
Many manufacturers count individual threads twisted together to make a single thread, which leads to an inflated thread count. They use low-quality, multi-ply threads — two or three strands twisted together. So a 200-thread count sheet with a three-ply thread can be marketed, and sold at a much higher price, than a 600-thread count sheet.
For a true thread count, look for single-ply weaves. A 400- or 600-thread count sheet with a single-ply weave will be higher quality than a 1,000-thread count, triple-ply weave (which is just a 333-thread count twisted around three strands).
Organic Cotton Sheets Are Safer and Sleep Better
Just as important as weaves and thread counts are the actual fabric the company uses. With no petroleum-based products or pesticides, certified organic cotton sheets are safer and non-toxic, since our bodies can absorb chemicals through our skin.
Conventional cotton is a polluted crop. And organic cotton is held to a stricter standard, without pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. This is better for you, farmers, and the planet.
Organic cotton also sleeps better, because it’s more breathable than stuffy synthetic- or pesticide-grown alternatives. Organic cotton sheets have that crisp, cool feeling that makes for such a blissful night’s sleep. Plus, long-staple organic cotton sheets are made with longer cotton fibers, so they’re softer and less prone to pilling.
When shopping for organic cotton sheets, be sure to look for trusted certifications, like those from the Global Organic Textile Industry (GOTS), that distinguish between marketing and actual impact. GOTS is a third party that validates materials to the highest environmental and socially-responsible standards.
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