The Thread Count Myth

Don't let numbers rule your bed.

We've got to let you in on a little secret. A higher thread count doesn’t always mean better quality. 

The truth is, thread count has been given hugely exaggerated importance in the world of bedding. Let’s face it, piles of plastic wrapped bedding all look the same. Over time, retailers and manufacturers have increasingly used thread count as a marker for the quality of the bedding they sell.

Thread count is a very convenient marketing tool, however it really isn’t the determiner of quality that we’ve all been led to believe.

Let us explain.


What exactly is thread count?

As you probably know, thread count measures the number of horizontal and vertical threads in a square inch of cotton. In reality, it’s only possible to fit a limited number into that square inch. The exact number depends on the thickness of the threads, but is normally around 400.

With retailers wanting to offer more and more products, at higher and higher prices, they asked manufacturers to produce bedding with higher thread counts, boosting the perceived value and quality of bedding in the now established ‘higher thread count = better quality” world.

To boost thread count above the upper limit at which they would fit, manufacturers began wrapping individual cotton yarns around each other to create a plait-like yarn. In the industry we call this double (2 yarns) or triple (3 yarns) ply.

The great irony in all of this is that a single ply construction creates a softer, longer-lasting and more breathable cotton.

It’s not just us saying this, the thread count myth has been busted by The Huffington Post and Business Insider.


So does thread count matter at all?

Yes, but like with food, it’s not just one ingredient that makes a good meal.

Thread count is one (pretty small) component in determining quality. As a rule, anything over 200 indicates a high-quality sheet, and you should certainly meet anything over 400 with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Within that range, the quality, softness and durability of your bedding is determined by 5 other key factors. More on that here.


Psst. At Bedfolk you don’t need to worry about these kind of marketing gimmicks. We’ve spent the last year trialling every construction of bedding you can possibly imagine (harder work than it sounds – we promise).

In the end we found the perfect bedding, made from the finest quality long staple cotton in a single-ply 300 thread count weave. We’re all about honesty. No bullsheet; just pure, natural sheets that get softer and softer with use.