Is thread count important?
Thread count has long been touted as the supreme indicator of sheet quality, but is it really the end-all, be-all when it comes to picking the comfiest set for your nightly slumber? Like most things in life, there's much than meets the eye here (or rather, that meets the skin). Let's unravel the myth of thread count and discover what truly makes for a heavenly set of sheets.
What is thread count?
Firstly, what is thread count exactly? It's the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. The common belief is that higher thread counts mean softer and more durable sheets. However, this is a threadbare truth (sorry, we're contractually obligated to weave these puns in).
Why? Because once you go beyond a certain count – typically around the 400-500 range – the difference becomes less discernible to the touch and more a matter of marketing. In fact, higher thread counts can sometimes lead to stiffer sheets, as manufacturers cram thinner threads together to elevate the count, often at the expense of breathability and comfort (less breathability because the threads are more tightly packed).
What's more important than thread count when it comes to sheets?
So, what should you look for instead? Fabric type is paramount. For instance, Eucalyptus Lyocell, the material Sheets & Giggles specializes in, is renowned for its softness and eco-friendly properties. Because Lyocell has a lower coefficient of friction than cotton, a lower thread count Lyocell sheet will often feel softer than a much higher thread count cotton sheet. Plus, it's derived from sustainable wood sources and requires less water and energy to produce than conventional cotton.
The weave also plays a crucial role. Percale (one thread woven over another one) is crisp and cool, ideal for hot sleepers, while sateen (two threads woven over one) offers a silkier feel and a somewhat warmer embrace. There's no right or wrong weave, just personal preference and seasonal suitability.
Temperature regulation is another key factor. Sheets that wick away moisture and promote airflow can greatly enhance sleep quality, especially for those prone to night sweats. Eucalyptus sheets, for instance, are highly breathable and have natural moisture-wicking properties, making them excellent for temperature regulation.
So while thread count isn't irrelevant, it's certainly not the sole consideration you should focus on. Look beyond the numbers and focus on the fabric type, weave, and temperature regulation to find the perfect set of sheets for blissful sleep.
In other words, sweet dreams are made of these.