What does thread count mean?

Looking for new sheets? Here are a few things that you need to consider


Usually, when looking for quality sheets we often look at the side of the packaging and check the number of thread count per square inch. Some of us might have heard the notion—"the higher the thread, the better." Keep in mind that with the vast number of sheets available in the market today, this notion is often used as a marketing ploy. This leads us to the question: "Does thread count really count?"

Interior designer Peaches de Guzman-Grey shares some tips to help you find the perfect bed linen for your room.

Photo by Toto Labrador. Styling by Dagny Madamba.

A high thread count doesn't equate to quality sheets.

Thread count is the number of threads (both horizontal and vertical) per square inch. Theoretically, a higher thread count gives you quality sheets. According to Peaches, fifty years ago, the most luxurious thread count available was 180.

Now, it can go up to a thousand thread count because of the double insertion method, wherein two threads are twisted together to create one single thread. These single threads are counted as double. Meaning, a 250-thread-count made of four-ply fabric could be labeled as 1,000 thread count per inch. Thus, it does not necessarily mean that the higher the count, the higher the quality. Sometimes, it all boils down to the fiber used. 

Bleached Dream. NYVOLL Bed Frame, P24,000, Mobler

Choosing the quality of fiber is essential.

“A lower grade of cotton becomes very thin when spun and twisted to create a multi-thread resulting to a higher thread count,” Peaches says. That is why you need to look for linens that are made of quality fibers. Cotton is the most popular fiber in sheets because it is comfy, easy to clean, and breathable. Here are some of the popular types of high-quality cotton that you need to take note of:

Egyptian Cotton

It has long fibers that produce soft and lustrous linens that are durable and absorbent. Although a bit expensive, it is said to provide the best quality of sheets. 

Pima Cotton

Pima cotton is grown in the United States of America. Its fiber is also soft and is less likely to pill. Pima cotton sheets are praised for their durability and super-soft feel.

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is soft, durable, and breathable. From the name itself, it is grown without pesticides or fertilizers making it a must-have natural product. 

Photo by  Dairy Darilag, Styling by Dagny Madamba

Weaves also contribute to the

It’s not just about the thread count as you also need to consider how the threads are woven together. Make sure that no matter what type your weave is, it should be firm and durable. Try looking for Sateen or Percale sheets, for high-quality weaves.

RL Tip: Keep an eye out for threads that are hanging and uneven stiches—these are signs of poor quality sheets. Remember, buying sheets may also depend on your personal preference. Feel the sheet and be on the lookout for tips that we've listed. If it fits the bill to a tee, purchase it!

Photo by Jun Pinzon. Pictorial Direction by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Styling by Dagny Madamba.

More on

Bed Linen 101

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