Buying bedding is far more complicated today than it was two decades ago. Several years ago buying a set of sheets meant you had to know if you had a twin bed or a full bed. The sheets were both flat and white.
Times have changed. Today when the consumer goes to shop for bed linens, one must know the size of the mattress. The bed may be twin, full, king, queen, and California King. And, of course just to confuse the matter some bedding for the twin bed is extra long. Luckily, most of us know what size we need to purchase.
The next decision is usually based on thread count. We are confronted with numbers that range from 100 to 200 or 300 up to 600 or more. But, what do those numbers really mean? Basically, divide the stated number by two and you will have the number of strands that run horizontally and the number of strands that run vertically within a one inch square.
Most consumers have been led to believe that the higher the number the finer the bedding and the softer the sheet will be. However, what is often not mentioned is the ply of the threads that make up the fabric. For example, if the number is 600 and the strands of thread are one ply, the bedding will be closely woven and in most cases very soft to the touch. However, if the same 600 count refers to a three ply fabric, the consumer will find that the sheet is not nearly so closely woven, but is considerably stronger and probably less comfortable.
If the consumer decides on flannel bedding, thread count means nothing. Flannel is weighed, not counted. Most flannel sheets are made of a four ounce cotton fabric. The weight is based on a square inch of sheeting. The higher the weight, the thicker… and warmer… the bed linens.
All too often the average consumer is distracted by numbers without really knowing what they mean for comfort, warmth, and durability. And, all too often this lack of knowledge leads us to pay more than we should for what we think we are purchasing. Knowledge is the key to shopping wisely and buying true comfort.