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Myth Buster: Does a higher thread count mean better sheets?

Posted on 07-May-2020

Thread count has been given a huge importance in the world of bedding. Manufacturers and marketers use high thread counts as an indicator of quality, shouting about 600, 800 or 1000 thread count sheets as if they are the epitome of luxury.

Myth Buster: Does a higher thread count mean better sheets?

The truth is that thread count is simply the number of threads per square inch of fabric, and it is not really the determiner of quality we have been led to believe.

Let’s break it down! Thread count measures the number of horizontal threads and vertical threads in a square inch of cotton, which means it is only possible to fit a limited number of threads per square inch of fabric, depending on the thickness of the yarn. This number is usually between 200-400.

In order to make bedding with a thread count above this number, manufacturers wrap individual cotton threads together – similar to how you would braid hair – to create thicker, plait like threads. This is what is known as multi-ply yarn. You will often see bedding advertised as 2-ply, 3-ply or even 4-ply, without much explanation as to what this actually means. The irony is, therefore, that the bedding with thread count higher than 400 tends to be made with weaker, coarser and less-breathable fibres. More threads make your sheets heavier, less durable and rougher to sleep on – not very luxurious at all!

What, then, do you need to look out for when choosing the best bedding possible?

Firstly, look at the quality of the fibres used in the bedding. The highest quality cotton you can get is called long staple, where staple is the length of cotton fibre used to spin the yarn. Single ply cotton is recommended for more breathable and durable sheets, and a thread count of 200-350 is perfect to create soft, luxurious bedding that allows a steady movement of air for a comfortable sleep.

In addition, quality often depends on location – as in where the cotton comes from. At CLEAN, our buyers have travelled the globe to source the best linen products possible, choosing master craftsmen with high standards and ethical practices.

Our ethically sourced collection includes the ‘Lucia’ – a value orientated selection of 130 thread-count bed linen, towels and bath mats; ‘Isabella’ – bed linen available in a range of designs and thread counts as well as bath mats and towels; and ‘Oria’ – CLEAN’s premium selection of bed linen used in luxury hotels with up to 350-thread count linen, which uses long staple cotton to create a fine yarn to produce, strong and soft cotton that is durable and long lasting.

Each of the ranges within the collection is single ply and are of a standard that can comfortably withstand the commercial laundry process without impacting on the quality.

So, don’t be fooled by marketing ploys to get you to invest in higher thread count bedding. Quality over quantity wins every time in this debate.

Click here for information on CLEAN’s linen range or here to read our Hotel Linen Rental Product Buying Guide, this guide helps to explain the key buying considerations when considering which hotel linen is best for your hotel.


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Winner of The Green Apple Bronze Award in 2017 for Environmental Best Practice Service Industries category for our project 'Developing a Super-laundry'. Winner of ‘Most Innovative Company’ 2017 at the Laundry And Drycleaning Awards (LADAs) recognising companies, individuals, services and products that showcase a new level of customer service and professionalism within the industry. Awarded the ‘Sustainable Supplier’ title at the 2017 Footprint Awards; recognising organisations at every stage in the food supply chain from growers, producers, manufacturers and distributors, through to all hospitality and foodservice operators in both public and private sectors, their suppliers and other stakeholders. CLEAN has joined the list of inspirational British companies to feature as a 2016 finalist in the Amazon Growing Business Awards 2016: shortlist in the 'Company of the Year – Larger Firm category'. Winner of ‘Commercial Laundry of the Year’ 2016 at the Laundry And Drycleaning Awards (LADAs) recognising companies, individuals, services and products that showcase a new level of customer service and professionalism within the industry. Winner of The Green Apple Gold Award in 2015 for Environmental Best Practice for our Environmental Improvement project 'Eco-friendly laundry services focused on creating sustainability'. RoSPA Gold Merit Award (achieving Gold Standard for a 5th consecutive year). Recognised internationally, the RoSPA Awards have become one of the most sought after accolades for many organisations from every industry sector.