Busting the Bed Linen Myths
Sleep is such an integral part of our lives. We spend a third of our lives sleeping. After a long day, we want to reward ourselves with a good night’s rest and don’t mind investing good money to buy great sleep.
Today, the range of bed sheets, mattresses and pillows are mind boggling. Unlike mattresses and pillows that come with technical drawings of spring and memory foam layers, together with cooling materials, buying a quilt cover or fitted sheet can be pretty confusing given the lack of useful information.
There is some information out there, but what does it mean? Here, Weavve explores three common bedding myths: (1) high threadcount is always better, (2) always go for Egyptian cotton, and (3) expensive, branded sheets are a great indicator of quality.
Myth #1: The higher the threadcount, the better the sheets.
Ah thread count (or TC), the piece de resistance of quality bedding. High counts means better comfort, better quality, better durability. Is 1000TC good enough? No! How about 1600TC? Of course not! Let’s buy a bedding set of minimum 2000TC. Does a higher thread count always mean better sheets? Let’s find out.
What is thread count? It is a measure of the total number of vertical and horizontal threads in a square inch. Why is this important? When more threads are packed tightly together, the resulting fabric is softer and smoother.
Well that’s not the end of the story. In fact, what matters more is the quality of the fibres and threads used to create the fitted sheet or duvet cover.
- Firstly, long fibre lengths yield more comfortable, stronger sheets. Try to find cotton sheets made from extra-long staple cotton, or long staple cotton fibres.
- Secondly, look for finer threads with a higher yarn count. These are woven into sheets with a higher thread count number, and are more comfortable. 60 to 80 yarn count is not bad, 100 is great.
- Lastly, go for single ply cotton threads. With two or more ply, weaker fibres are twisted together to form a single thread. This results in weaker, less comfortable sheets.
There are two main ways thread count is inflated. Some brands use the “metric” system, counting the number of threads in a 10cm square area. This increases thread count by 50% without improving the sheets.
The second is the use of two or more ply yarn. For example, some brands use three ply yarns and count each ply as a separate thread, which is actually not an accurate way of counting thread count.
So where does thread count come in then? If you’ve got single ply, 100 extra-long staple cotton sheets, generally speaking the maximum thread count is around 600. Look for something with a minimum of 400TC.
Myth busted: The quality of the fibre and yarn is more important, go for single ply, 100 yarns made out of extra-long staple cotton. Thread count above 400 will be good, above 500 will be excellent.
Myth #2: Always go for Egyptian Cotton, it's the best type of cotton.
If cotton is the old royalty across the types of bed linen, then Egyptian cotton is the Grand Dame. What makes Egyptian cotton so good?
Egyptian cotton is famous for producing very fine threads that are spun into luxurious sheets. The fibres are classified as extra-long staple cotton. However these come only from a particular Egyptian cotton plant, the Gossypium Barbadense, not all types of cotton from Egypt. This plant produces cotton fibres longer than 34mm.
Weavve Only Sources the Highest Quality Cotton Fibres
The Gossypium Barbadense is not just grown in Egypt. In fact, there are other sources like Pima cotton from Peru, West Indian Sea Island cotton, and Xinjiang cotton from China.
In assessing your various options for quality bedding, rather than just looking for Egyptian cotton, go for extra-long staple fibres, or in its absence, long staple fibres.
Extra-long staple cotton has these advantages
- Comfort - few, longer fibres are required to form threads. These threads are finer and smoother as they have fewer interruptions.
- Durability - extra-long staple cotton fibres are strong, and the few interruptions there are in the yarn the stronger the sheet is. These fibres also pill less and retain their colour longer.
Also, look for labels and information that what’re you’re buying is 100% extra-long staple, as different qualities of fibres can be mixed together to make a single sheet.
Myth busted: Go for extra-long staple cotton, of which one variety is extra long staple Egyptian cotton. These make the most comfortable and durable bedsheets and quilt covers.
Myth #3: Expensive, branded luxury sheets are the best.
Quality Sheets Made from Great Materials Triumphs a Strong Brand Any Day
High-end departmental stores do it so well. Beautifully manicured rooms, with fine products from the most luxurious brands. Calm music plays and the air-conditioning is set to a perfect level of comfort. In such a setting, it’s almost easy to believe that we should pay these prices for the products because they are the best.
Again, the key is to know what you want. Some luxury brand bedsheets are made with great materials, you just need to confirm that by checking the box, with the sales person or the website. If online, try and ready the company and product information pages, and look for free, no questions asked returns or a physical venue where you can try the sheets risk free.
Branded sheet sets may look good on your bed if you like having their logo there, or if you like their style and design elements. Just remember that part of what you’re paying for goes to the marketing or endorsement costs these brands have incurred.
At the end of the day, it's your sheets and duvet cover, your bedroom, and your sleep. Know the markers of quality and choose accordingly. Price and well known brands do not always equate to good quality. Look here to find out how to choose a great set of linen!
Myth busted: Luxury brands and expensive price tags don’t always equate to quality. When buying a bed sheet, know what you’re going after, and if it’s quality, which aspects to look out for.
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