What to Look for When Buying Sheets (Hint: It’s Not Thread Count)

We’re about to blow your mind. Did you know that just because a set of sheets has a high thread count doesn’t mean that you’re buying a better quality sheet? As Huffington Post points out, the misconception about thread count is actually just a helpful tool of linen retailers:

“[It’s] an invention of the American market,” said [Nancy] Koltes, [a luxury linens designer]. More specifically, thread count isn’t so much a “lie” as it is a falsified way to determine to the quality of sheets, especially when it’s used as the only way to determine quality. Just as we attach labels like “low-fat” and “organic” to food, linen retailers extended this to luxury linens in the mid-1990s, Koltes explains. By the early 2000s, the “thread count lie” had reached new levels when the first 1,000-plus thread count linens were introduced. “It’s just all promotional. Thread count doesn’t represent quality,” Koltes says. Nevertheless, it seems to have stuck with customers.

So if we shouldn’t be relying on thread count to tell us if we’re buying a good set of sheets, what should we rely on? Well, here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Fiber: longer fibers in sheets make for higher quality sheets. Look for pima, supima, organic cotton, cotton-poplin, cotton-polyester, and bamboo.
  2. Weave: you won’t be disappointed by sheets with a percale wave or a sateen weave.
  3. Location Matters:

    In an interview with New York Magazine, Amanda Mettler, a textile buyer for Gracious Home, said “I can guarantee a 200 thread count from Italy is better quality than a 1,000 thread count from Pakistan.” France and Italy are regarded as some of the best sheet-makers in the business, even though the fiber they use isn’t always from those particular countries (such as Egyptian cotton).

Learn more over at Huffington Post.