THREAD COUNT. What makes the best cotton sheet?

Thread Count matters. Although thread count is not the only thing that indicates QUALITY.

What is Thread Count?

Thread Count is the number of threads per 10cm2. So the higher the thread count, the finer the quality of the sheet. It takes long fibres of cotton to make strong but thin threads, and it takes these silky thin threads to make high thread count fabrics.

Higher-thread-count sheets are made with finer (thinner) yarns. The more yarns that fit into a square inch, the smoother, denser, and more durable the fabric. Fine yarn is also more expensive to produce, thus resulting in pricier sheets (and why densely woven sateen is more expensive than percale).

Cheap sheets are made with thicker yarns, resulting in lower thread counts and a rougher feel.

However, it doesn’t matter what the thread count of the sheet is, if the thread itself is of poor quality.

‘It is the thread that counts, not the thread count”

And the best cotton, long staple cotton, which has longer threads of cotton fibre which therefore helps the alternating warp and weft yarns stay smooth and flat, is either certified Egyptian Cotton or Supima Cotton. And that gives you smooth, luxurious sheeting.

When you see counts above 300 for percale or 600 for sateen, that sometimes means the manufacturers are using ply—the number of single threads twisted together in yarn—to artificially inflate the thread count, namely counting two-ply yarns as two yarns instead of one. That means a 500-thread-count sheet made with two-ply yarns might be advertised as 1,000 thread count.

However, Thread Count is a good benchmark of a good quality cotton sheet.

As a general guide, Good Quality Cotton sheets start at about a 250 thread count, while European sheets can go much higher. Combine the thread count with a good long staple cotton, and this should help you choose your beautiful quality cotton sheets.

Egyptian Cotton Sheet Sets


What makes the best cotton sheet? Firstly it is The Cotton.

One of the best cottons in the world is Egyptian cotton (see our earlier article on Egyptian cotton).

However, 90% of the world’s cotton crop is American Upland variety. This cotton is grown in most cotton producing countries, but it has a shorter fibre length than Egyptian cotton. It is this cotton however which makes up a large percentage of fabric being labeled and sold to you as “Egyptian Cotton.”

So if you want the best cotton sheet, you need to buy yourself genuine EGYPTIAN COTTON sheets.

      Target and Walmart are pulling bedding off their shelves after a falsely labeled Egyptian cotton products        controversy involving manufacturer Welspun India – The Guardian Sat 19 Nov 2016.

There are a couple of things that can help you tell if you have a REAL Egyptian cotton sheet.

The first is PRICE. A low priced ‘Egyptian Cotton’, ‘Made with Egyptian Cotton’, ‘Made in Egypt’ sheet usually means a low quality cotton sheet. As one supplier noted, if an Egyptian cotton Sheet set is priced at under NZ$400 then it’s a reasonable indicator that the cotton is NOT genuine Egyptian cotton.

The other thing to look for is CERTIFICATION. A genuine Egyptian cotton sheet will be labelled with Certified Genuine 100% Egyptian Cotton.

Genuine Egyptian cotton is a long staple variety so it has extra-long and fine silky fibres. Egyptian cotton is grown in Egypt along the Nile. Growers in the US have developed Egyptian cotton varieties known as PIMA cotton. Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton are preferable for sheets, both for their silky softness and durability.

After the cotton is grown and harvested, it goes through a process called Ginning, and it is carded to remove weaker and broken fibres. If the cotton is then ‘combed’, this further refines the cotton leaving linger fibres that produce a finer yarn.

But as well as the long staple cotton, there is also the THREAD COUNT which makes your cotton sheet a beautiful sheet.

‘It is the thread that counts, not the thread count”.


Egyptian Cotton Sheet Sets

What Makes Good Quality Cotton Sheets? – The Cotton

What makes good QUALITY Cotton Sheets?

It is always hard to know what makes a good cotton sheet and how to choose.


There are so many sheets made from so many different fabrics from so many countries, so many brands and the prices vary so much. How to tell what to look for when choosing a quality cotton bed sheet? It is worth spending a bit more money on really good quality sheets (in my opinion, it is always better to buy less but to buy quality!). On average, we spend a third of our life between the sheets. Why would you not want the BEST you can afford!


One of our suppliers, Seneca, has put together a great summary of what makes a good quality cotton sheet, so over the next few articles, I will take you through what to look for.

Quality Cotton Sheets.

Quality Cotton Sheets must be made from 100% cotton.

No other fabric will give you the cool, soft feel of good quality cotton bed sheets. This is because cotton wicks away moisture, so you feel comfortable, not clammy. The softness you can achieve with a high quality cotton bed sheet is an addictive luxury your skin will remember. Polyester will NOT give you this. It may wear like iron and you don’t need to iron it, but your skin will know the difference!

Experts generally classify cottons (which are used for bedding) into four main types with many categories in each type. These classifications are based on appearance and STAPLE length ( extra-long, long, medium and short).

And what you need to know is that the longer the staple, the finer the fabric. Length really does matter with cotton!

Next time I will go through the main difference between the beautiful cotton produced in Egypt and the cotton that is produced from American Upland cotton which makes up 90% of the world’s cotton crop.

Always buy the best quality cotton sheets you can afford!

Clearing The Linen Cupboard for a Fresh Start to the Year

Clearing your linen cupboard and refreshing your linen is a great way to start the new year. Clearing life of any clutter is always good! Take an hour or so to review and sort your linen into a couple of piles:

  • OLD and WORN-OUT Linens, towels and sheets. THROW them out! If they look tattered and have the odd hole, if they are stained or marked and you cannot remove the marks, throw them out.  Do not keep them and do not donate them to charity as nobody actually wants to receive or use old, stained and worn out items.  And do not take them to the bach thinking you could use them there either. There is no pleasure on holiday using old and worn out towels and sheets!  About the only use for these old linens is to maybe donate them to an animal shelter if you really can’t bear to throw them in the bin!



  • EXTRA linens or linens that don’t match. If your shelves and cupboards are groaning with towels and sheets and tablecloths that you don’t actually use, these can all be donated to your local charity shop. Our company supports a charity called Guardian Angels, and there is always a need for good QUALITY bedding, especially for blankets and quilts in the winter. Other charities will also appreciate your donations of these.


  • CLEAN your bedding. Make a note on your calendar to CLEAN your bedding. You only need to clean pillows and comforters two or three times a year. TIP: It is easy to remember to do so when the seasons change. (I will be posting a BLOG shortly on HOW to CLEAN your bedding).


  • FOLD and STACK your beautiful fresh linens in the cupboard. TIP: Stack your sheets in SETS along with their matching pillowcases. It is so much easier to get the set out when you next make your bed rather than rummaging through piles of flat sheets, then fitted sheets, then search for matching pillowcase pairs!