Should Buyers Rely on Thread Counts When Purchasing a Bed Linen?

For quite some time, beds adorned with deluxe linen and sheets became synonymous with luxury sleeping experience. But new reports claimed that buying bedding accessories with higher thread count does not mean that you are getting better quality sheets.

By definition, the thread count is being used to gauge the fineness of the coarseness of a fabric by counting the number of threads in one square inch of the fabric, including its length (warp) and width (weft). This measurement standard is normally applied in bed linens.

Earlier beliefs claimed that fabrics with 180 thread counts or higher can be considered to have a premium quality. It also means that the higher the head count, the softer the sheets feel. However, experts are now claiming that this is not necessarily the case.

According to an interview with Shannon Maher, an Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology Home Product Development Program who also happens to have knowledge in bedding materials and luxury linens designer Nancy Koltes, the thread counting on bed linens was just initiated as a smart marketing idea.

“[It’s] an invention of the American market,” Koltes stated. She also explained that while thread count could not be considered as a “lie,” it should just be classified as a label to define the quality of sheets just like the “low-fat” and “organic” labels on food. The luxury linen designer also said that the thread count labelling on luxury linens began during the mid-1990s, it reached a new height during the early 2000s when linen manufacturers began selling 1,000-plus thread count linens. “It’s just all promotional. Thread count doesn’t represent quality,” Koltes also shared.

But if the thread count could not be considered as a reliable scale of a good bed linen, what should consumers look for when shopping for a new bed sheet?

According to Maher, it would be more ideal to look for cotton-made beddings made with longer fiber. “Longer fiber is ideal, because when you spin the yarn, it gives it strength, which means less pilling,” she stated.

Other reports also claimed that the origin of the cotton linen could also be considered when buying a bedding accessory, especially in Singapore bed linen specialty shops. Some of the most ideal cotton linen origin includes those that came from Egypt, while others claimed that the best linen came from Belgium or France, since these places can be considered the have the best climates for growing the flax plant that is used when making the cotton fiber.

“The temperatures and cooler climates are ideal for the cultivation and controlled decomposition of the woody plant. The processing (spinning of the yarn) is generally done close to the harvesting, but where the linen really comes to life is at the weaving mills. The best weaving mills are undeniably in Italy where knowledge passed down from generation to generation is skilfully used to create the best linen fabrics in the world,” another report claimed.

It is also important to check the linen’s finishing before purchasing a bedding accessory. Those with “shrinkage control” label means that the fabric had been “finished” with chemical processes. But those who are looking for organic cotton sheets must always avoid these items to make sure that they bought a chemical-free item.

So for those who are planning to buy a bed linen in Singapore, they should always remember that a high thread count will not guarantee of a better-quality product. At the moment, there are numerous bed linen Singapore stores where they can get their ideal bed accessories.