27 Sep How does the Thread Count Matter?
A.K.A. WHAT MAKES GREAT SHEETS
The thread count measures the number of threads that are in one square inch of fabric. It’s the total of vertical (warp) and horizontal (weft) threads. Although there are many aspects that result in great quality bedding, thread count has the most hype.
How important is the thread count?
Imagine that you were looking to buy a camera. Focusing on just the thread count is like judging a camera by the number of megapixels. You are missing out many other factors to consider such as the type of camera, aperture, shutter speed, lens sharpness, image sensor, processor, etc. Likewise, a higher thread count does not signal a better quality sheet.
Most manufacturers take advantage of uninformed consumers and make poor quality sheets with a misrepresented thread count or clever word play such as ‘1500 Series’ to give an illusion of superior bedding.
What makes sheets great?
There are four main factors that gives you the bedding of your dreams. They are: material, ply, thread count and weave.
100% Bamboo viscose products are considerably softer, wick more moisture and are significantly more breathable than those that blend bamboo with cotton or microfiber/polyester. For the bedding to be durable and smooth, they need to be constructed with long-staple fibers. Short-staple fibers will result in a rough hand feel and sheets that pill easily.
Perhaps the best indicator of high quality bedding is the ply which shows how true the actual thread count is. Ply is the number of yarns that are in one thread. Single-ply indicates that there is only one yarn per thread, whereas two-ply has two yarns twisted together. Some manufacturers use multi-ply where up to four strands of inferior yarns can be twisted to make one single thread.
Thread count does matter to an extent. 270 and lower thread counts yield sheets that are not soft or luxurious – like a burlap sack. 400 and above thread counts are usually made of multi-ply yarn where the manufacturer is deliberately mislabeling the thread count by counting the multiple yarns twisted in each thread. Short-staple discarded grade fibers are twisted to create a false strength in these sheets. They are not breathable, feels coarse and are not long-lasting.
After many trials of checking (and sleeping) through sheets with various thread counts, we found that 300 was the sweet spot. A 300 thread count single-ply construction delivers the best quality, softness and durability.
Sateen is the weave present in every luxury bedding range. This is not to be confused with ‘Satin’ which is a super shiny fabric made from polyester that pills extremely fast after only a handful of washes. Sateen weave on the other hand denotes that there are more threads going over than under surface of any fabric (whether it is cotton, bamboo, linen or microfiber). This weave pattern makes bedding feel buttery-soft to the touch. Some prefer percale weave with one-yarn-over one-yarn-under since it is slightly more durable and hardy than the sateen weave. At ZENLUSSO, we have a modified sateen weave to achieve the perfect balance between luxury and durability. Since bamboo viscose is 3x softer than cotton anyways, there is no need to have more threads exposed on top to achieve the ultra-softness. Instead of four-yarns-over, our bedding is woven with two-yarns-over and one-yarn-under. We have selected the mid-point between the traditional sateen weave and percale weave to bring you sumptuous softness with enhanced durability compared to other luxury range bamboo bedding.
And the result….
With ZENLUSSO, you get the perfect combination of all four factors that makes for the ideal bedding. We only use 100% Bamboo viscose with long-staple fibers, single-ply yarn, a 300 thread count and the sateen weave. Do not fall for the marketing gimmicks and false advertising that lead with high thread counts.