Hotel Bed Sheets: The truth about Thread Count (TC)

If you’re shopping new sheets for your hotel, your resort, your Airbnb or your villa, you’ll see a variety of terms used that may be unfamiliar to you. A popular quality rating is the so called thread count, which refers to the density of threads used in a square inch of fabric.

What Does Thread Count Mean?

Thread count is a measure of the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. Essentially, it’s a measure of how tightly woven a piece of fabric is.

It is calculated by adding together the numbers of length (warp) and width (weft) threads within a certain area. For example, a cotton sheet with 100 warp threads and 100 weft threads in each square inch of fabric would have a listed thread count of 200.

Thread count is used as a rough indicator of the feeling of softness of a fabric. It’s also used heavily in marketing to imply that a specific product is of a higher quality than competing sheets. While this could partially be true to a certain extent, thread count is far from the only consideration when it comes to the final and overall quality of sheets.

When thinking about buying the best thread count for your sheets, it’s important to remember an age-old saying: Quality over quantity. The quality of the yarns or threads used is often more important than the quantity of threads, or thread count.

What is the Best Thread Count for Sheets?

Quality sheets can be found with thread counts starting from 200 up to 900 and lately even beyond. There’s no magic number that is the best thread count. Generally speaking, there are acceptable ranges for various kinds of quality sheets.

It would be better start looking for sheets with an advertised thread count of at least 200. Anything lower than likely won’t feel as soft, and may result in a less comfortable experience for your guest.

The type of fabric and its weave makes a difference in the best thread count. Percale is also known as “plain weave” with a simple one over, one under pattern, so average-quality percale sheets may be around 180-200 thread count. On the other side  a sateen weave has a more tightly woven pattern, so average-quality sateen sheets will be closer to 250-300.

Here are some basic ranges of high-quality thread counts for sheets of cotton materials:

  • Cotton: 200-400
  • Egyptian Cotton: 300-400
  • Percale Weave: 200-400
  • Sateen Weave: 300-600
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Is a Higher Thread Count Better?

Sheets with a higher thread count are in general more expensive, and are marketed as being higher quality. However, it is not always the truth. A higher thread count can be an indication of higher quality, but that’s not necessarily the case.

It is true that a sheet set with a thread count of 300 will usually feel better than a comparable set with a thread count of 200. However, that’s assuming that the quality of yarns used, the and the weave are all the same for both sheet . It is also very much depending on the material used for the weaving.

When we talk about higher thread counts (600-800) likely won’t change much beyond the price tag. Very high thread counts are typically very similar in terms of feel to high-quality fabrics with lower counts. Trying to pack too many threads into a fabric can sometimes stifle airflow, resulting in a heavier feel.

So, we in MITOS believe that a hotelier, an executive housekeeper or a laundry manager should be careful of extremely high thread counts, such as 900 or more. Often, this is an indication of low-quality sheets, as the manufacturer is likely using some sort of trick to disguise the true quality of the product.

Nowdays several companies have changed the way that they count yarns and threads, they will count the plied yarns individually. This practice inflates the thread count to either double or triple than counting the threads the traditional way. Inflating the thread count has caused confusion for consumers, since they now have to find out which way the thread count has been calculated.

This could result in a sheet set with a thread count of 900 that’s actually of a lower quality than a similar set with a thread count of just 300 or 250. According to our experience this is a usual tactic used by hotel linen manufacturers in China.

Companies are not always honest when it comes the thread count, they put on their sheets. So if you are responsible for selecting the bed sheets of your hotel or resort, every time you want to look for quality hotel bed sheets, make sure to consider all these aspects and make a careful selection.

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MITOS Textile is a Hotel white linen manufacturer and wholesale supplier with a extensive know-how and expertise on the hotel linen since 1959.Follow us and feel free to contact us when it comes to select quality hotel linen.

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