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Can someone explain how thread count for sheets works?

I’m in the market for new sheets. I like my sheets on the heavy side. What I don’t like is when they are really slippery and satiny. I prefer them more crisp.

So, am I looking for a really high or low thread count? Or does that not make a difference?

I know to get 100% cotton obviously.

If you don’t like the slippery sheets, then you do not want 100% cotton sateen. I have recently [as you can imagine] spent a small fortune on sheets and have been extremely happy with these:


Good thread count. Washes very well. The amount of lint in the dryer is almost nill. Have that lovely Egyptian cotton feel which seems luxurious. And, there is something about Egyptian cotton that feels crisp and cool, even in the summer.

We were so impressed with the AirBNB sheets that I bought that we ended up buying a set for ourselves. And, I am darn frugal so that is actually saying something.

EDITED to ADD: And the bottom sheet has plenty of depth to deal with today’s oversized mattresses.


Marketing says the higher the threads the better the quality. It’s mostly a marketing gimmick in my humble opinion and a thread count from 200 to 400 is good enough. Most thread counts over 600 are somewhat biased (several threads are spun and weaved together).

Apart from the thread count, the weave is important, if you like a crisp feel, look for percale, and if you prefer a softer feel, look for sateen.

The length of cotton fibers is also important, Egyptian cotton is supposed to be the best with the longest fibers, followed by Pima/Supima.

Linen is also an option :).


Thanks for this info! I had no idea what percale was. Now I know that is what I prefer!

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