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September 17, 2019

Does Thread Count Matter?

A stack of folded white Centium Satin sheets rest on a bed.

Thread Count is a system of fabric identification that counts the number of vertical and horizontal threads in one square inch. We’ve been trained to think high thread count equals better quality. The truth is, with today’s advanced technology, counting threads in a square inch to determine quality is obsolete.

The Facts on Thread Count

Fact 1

The concept of thread count was created before synthetic fibers (e.g. polyester, acrylic) were invented, making the thread count discussion backward-looking.

Fact 2

Thread count assumes that all the yarns being counted within an inch of fabric are of a single strand, like cotton. Synthetic fibers may be made up of hundreds—even thousands—of strands of yarn, which are twisted together.

Therefore, thread count ignores the high number of individual strands that are present in a synthetic, multifilament yarn.

Fact 3

Many different kinds of fibers make up the fabrics we love and touch every day. Natural fibers like cotton, silk, or wool come from plants or animals and can be delicate. Synthetic fibers like polyester make sheets strong, durable, and keep them looking white and crisp.

The combination of the two types of fibers can give your sheet a soft, comforting feel, with the strength to endure rigorous washing. Our own Centium Core Technology® leverages this combination.

Fact 4

Thread count is a figure that’s often manipulated. There’s no governing body or ultimate authority on thread count. People can arrive at thread count by double-counting plied yarns (two or more yarns that are twisted together) or simply overstating the actual physical construction.

Comparing Multifilament Yarn to Traditionally Woven Fabric

In the case of Standard Textile’s ComforTwill® sheets, there are 7,180 individual spun cotton yarns and synthetic filaments per square inch. How could we compare this number to the 200, 250, or even 300 “threads per square inch” that would be derived by counting the threads of traditionally woven fabric comprised entirely of spun yarns?

Put simply, talking about thread count is like talking about vintage hotel room keys. We’ve progressed.

If thread count is out, how do I choose linens for my hotel?

Instead of asking “What’s the thread count?” try asking these questions:

  • How does it feel against your skin?
  • Is it strong?
  • Is it durable?
  • How does it look?
  • What is the cost-per-use?
  • Have guests commented on their wonderful night’s sleep?

You don’t have to take our word for it. Designers and bedding experts agree:

“Sheets Buying Guide” & “You’re Buying Your Sheets Wrong. We’re Here to Help.” Consumer Reports

“Pulling a Few Threads” New York Times

“The Truth About Thread Count” New York Magazine

“How to Choose the Right Thread Count” National Sleep Foundation