High thread count sheets – what does it actually mean?

If you’re shopping for new bed sheets, then you will have no doubt come across ‘thread count’ as a measure of quality. Recently CHOICE expert @PeterZaluzny (who also looks after our mattress testing) has looked at what thread counts really mean, why they have been increasing over the years and whether it’s an indicator of quality. He also checks out the different materials available:

Is a higher thread count better? Sheets with a thread count of 400 may use single ply material. The ‘higher quality’ 800-thread sheets from the same company likely use two-ply thread to bump up the count. Why is this a problem? Multi-ply threads don’t tend to be as durable due to their smaller size, so your sheets won’t last as long. Also, you’re not really getting any extra threads, just extra ply and that has little to no impact on comfort.

… in terms of thread count alone, anything around 200–400 will be good quality and comfortable, broadly speaking. But thread count is just one piece of the puzzle. The material, its quality, the type of yarn and the weave type are just as (if not more) important.

What do you look for when buying bed sheets?

Check out the full article here:


I never understood when i have purchased sheets and, some tend to get rough unless it is, poor quality material. It surely a battle when looking around so many types of material and, price. Maybe some tests need to be done unless already has been done.

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If one is near a Sheridan shop or major store that has a Sheridan section they might have a demo rack available with samples of their range, roughly pillowcase size swatches. I saw one at DJ’s as well as the Sheridan shop in the same centre.

I have not seen a similar display from other manufacturers and the ‘Sheridan products experience’ will not translate to any other brand’s product line, but being able to feel the different thread counts and weaves on what is a large bit of fabric is educational of what one may want to look for when sheet shopping.


Very interesting article, and explains why my son put his foot through not one, but two, 1000-threadcount sheets :smile:
We recently invested in some linen sheets, which if you prefer a “crisp” sheet will not be for you, however we are really liking them. Linen is supposed to be a robust natural fibre, so I am hoping they will last for several years. Maybe next time Choice tests sheets, linen could be included?


Probably off the topic a bit but what I really dislike about buying a set of sheets is that the elastic in the fitted sheet stretches out of shape and loose long before the material in the sheets becomes unusable!
I did try once to put new elastic in but it was very cumbersome to do so.