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What’s the deal with thread count?

January 29, 2020

What’s the deal with thread count?

I get asked this question all the time, “What’s the deal with thread count?”  In general, the short answer is that a 200 thread count will be soft.  A 400 thread count might be a tiny bit softer.  But anything higher than that and you’re really wasting your money.

Let me explain.  Technically, thread count means the number of threads woven together in a square inch. You count both lengthwise and widthwise. So 100 lengthwise threads woven with 100 widthwise threads produces a thread count of 200.

 And in general, a thread count of 200 will feel soft, 400 may be softer, but anything above 400 won’t really warrant anything much softer than that, and in fact, it’s sort of not really possible to get a huge number of threads into a square inch.  So how is it that we sometimes see manufactures advertising thread counts of 800 or higher?  That’s because some will look at the number of fibers (plies) that make up each thread. So a single thread might be four plies twisted together. One manufacturer might call that one thread, but another might call that four threads. And thus the unusually high thread count.

 Thankfully, a bunch of federal organizations got involved in recent years, and a good part of this misleading counting of threads versus plies has gone away.

 But thread count is only part of the story, because if you don’t start with the best thread, adding more of them isn’t going to give you a softer sheet.

 Because I am so picky about what I sleep on, I make sure that at Boutique and Home, every product we sell starts with the best 100% long staple cotton.

 I hear some of you now asking me, “What is a staple?”  Staple is just another name for fiber. And with high quality cotton, those staples are longer than any other type of cotton, which means a stronger thread, which produces a better quality, more durable and luxurious fabric. 

 Whether you choose the beautiful tone-on-tone stripes of the Tuxedo Stripe Collection, the elegant, timeless Love Story, or any of our other fine high-end linens proudly made in Canada, you can be sure that they will all feel luxurious against your skin and look stunning on your bed.

 And if you still have questions about thread count, or anything else about our high end bedding, send me an email wendy@boutiqueandhome.com  I always love hearing from our wonderful community.