Sheet Thread Count Explained/If The Roman Emperor Only Knew

Sheet Thread Count Explained/If The Roman Emperor Only Knew

Dec 01, 2023

Roman Emperor

You can picture the emperors of their day laying around and having grapes fed to them.

Luxurious silks and sheets adorned their living quarters.

What would they have thought about a sheet thread count if it existed in their days…

How many slaves would they have put to walk in the factories to create the bed sheets that they would have dreamed of?

How many kingdoms would they have conquered for that thread count Explained?

If The Roman Emperor Only Knew secret?

If the Emperor of Rome only knew?

Well, at least today we have thread count and to unravel the mysteries is what we’re going to do right here without a Roman in sight!

Finding Those Bed Sheets To Improve Your Sleep

I don’t know if you know it but your skin is the largest organ of the human body, really!

And to add to that, the skin is covered in nerves and sensory receptors which make your touch and feel so important to everyday life.

It’s there for a reason, it protects you from the elements with its receptors, to tell you if something is too hot or too cold for instance.

It’s there for your survival, and it can also cause immense pleasure and help you feel relaxed.

One is by its sense of touch.

And that’s where the sense of soft and hard comes in.

Now at different times, we lean more toward hard surfaces or objects and then we react to soft surfaces and objects.

Where does this come in?

You may well ask…

As the feeling of your bed sheets are going to make you sleep better at night or not so good.

The boffins have research that shows that physical touch can directly affect just how we feel.

The softer the touch, the happier we feel.

We actually spend a third of our lives between the sheets (some more than others), so it makes perfect sense that we should choose the best sheets to help us feel comfortable and relaxed during sleep.

In Bed With The Romans From Ancient Rome

Well, one could only hope. Even better, a gladiator!

Well, that part of history is gone to us now but the luxury of laying on quality sheets has not.


What Is Sheet Thread Count?


Thread count in bed sheets is the total number of yarns per square inch of fabric.

Now when we say high thread count, this is often associated with high-quality fabric because it is actually thought to make the sheets more durable and softer.

But there is a truth factor here that none of us would have considered as there is so much hype about thread count.

And that is the plain fact that the weave and fibre quality do play a more important factor.

Though that is not to say that thread count does not matter…
Of course, it does.

So What Does The Count Of A Thread Mean?

Let’s get technical…

Just a little.

Thread measures the number of horizontal threads and vertical threads in a square inch of cotton, got that.

So in reality, it is only possible to fit a limited number of threads per square inch of fabric.

That exact number depends on the thickness of the yarns, but you could say it is normally around 300 to 400.

With retailers wanting to off their customers more products at higher prices, they took it upon themselves to ask the manufacturers to produce bedding with a higher number of threads, thus…

Boosting the perceived value of their overall bedding.

These manufacturers produced high-count bedding above the upper limit at which they would fit, in a square inch of fabric…

So what did they do?

These manufacturers began wrapping individual cotton yarns around each other!
To create plait-like threads.

In the industry world…

They call this using a multi-ply yarn.

Well, I guess they had to think of something…

A bit like fitting a round peg into a square hole if you ask me.

What Is The Highest Thread Count For Different Sheets?

Though sheets with counts over 1,000 are typically regarded as having the highest TC, they’re the most questionable.

To find a quality, high thread count sheet, choose something between the 400 to 500 TC range.

Or if you are ambitious they do manufacture thread counts right up to 10,000 thread count these days.
How far can they go?

What Is The Best Thread Count For Sheets?

Generally, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet, and the more likely it will wear well – or even soften over time.

Good sheets range anywhere from 200 to 800, although you’ll occasionally see numbers over 1,000.

What Is A Good Count Of Thread For Bed Sheets?

Thread count does matter, but you might be surprised when I tell you that the highest is not always the best.

You see, generally, the higher the count, the softer the bed sheet, and it is also more likely that it will wear well, and these bed sheets can even soften over time.

So when we consider good sheets, they can range anywhere from 200 to 800, although it is quite possible to see high thread count sheet numbers over 1,000.

What Thread Count In Linen Is The Coolest

Now we’re not talking about which linen thread count is the coolest on the block here…

No, not at all, but that would be fun…

We’re talking about those bed sheets that are soft, cool sheets that can last for many years.

Now, 180-280 count is a perfect range for keeping cool with that soft touch.
Authenticity 50’s sheet sets are 250 thread count.

Pinzon 300-Thread-Count Percale Cotton Sheet Set

Not only is a percale weave tighter to facilitate more crisp linen feel and cool for that extra comfort in the hotter or muggy weather, but a lower-thread-count cotton sheet will feel thinner than one with a higher count.

Such sheets have a thread count of 300, perfect for warmer climates or hot nights.

The Bed Sheet Thread Count Myth Explained

Yes, there is a myth connected to thread count even the Romans would gasp at!

Going beyond thread count and the hype, such popular mythology says ‘high count is good and low thread count is not so good’ – wrong!!

Who would have thought…

The truth behind this is that when it comes to the feel and softness of your sheets, don’t just select your sheets based on count alone.

Some 1000 thread count sheets up to 2000 thread count sheets might be soft but some feel like a canvas sack.

Who wants to be laying in a canvas sack, maybe a sailor in a hammock?…

So, far more important to our skin sensations is the actual feel of the fabric right, how it breathes and wicks moisture and how durable it is overall.

Do you want to get the most out of your bed sheets, don’t you?

I do know that I got a set of sheets because I really liked the print on them, they might not have been the best of quality and did not last me that long before they got thin to wear it matters and started to fade.

I was fond of these bed sheets and did not like them at all when I had to throw them away eventually after the wear and almost tear.

So sometimes your fondness for a specific print design can rule over everything like bad sheet quality.

And this is going to happen isn’t it when you find a print that you just can’t go past.

Bed Sheet Fabric Feel

This is the way fabric that is woven results in microscopic bumps on the surface, not that we can feel them as they are so small.

A traditional weave with ‘one over one under’ results in a rougher feel than a sateen weave that has ‘four over one under’ interesting…

But this smoother feel of that silk because of the longer thread runs.

Just when you think it was all to do with knitting and the different knitting styles, enter the weave and their own rules…

‘Sateen’ if you did not know what sateen meant before you do know, that the Sateen sheets have a luxurious look and feel to them.

The fabric is made in a satin weave, in which warp threads interlace with filling threads, exposing more thread surface and creating a lustrous, silky, durable fabric this weave also retains heat well and is more suitable for those colder climates.

Do you see the term ‘exposing more thread surface’ or more thread on the surface?

You can see by this term that the more threads that are aligned together in a weave are bound to give you that softer and shiny surface.

Is The Highest Count For Bed Sheets The Softest?



Research has shown that high thread count vs low thread count is not what you might have thought…

So it is important to know the range that bed sheets are made in:-

Sheet Thread Count Chart

  • 300 thread count sheets
  • 500 thread count sheets
  • 400 thread count sheets
  • 600 thread count sheets
  • 700 thread count sheets
  • 800 thread count sheets
  • 1000 thread count sheets
  • 1100 thread count sheets
  • 1200 thread count sheets
  • 1500 thread count sheets
  • 1600 thread count sheets
  • 1700 thread count sheets
  • 1800 thread count sheets
  • 2000 thread count sheets
  • 2500 thread count sheets
  • 4000 thread count sheets
  • 5000 thread count sheets
  • 10,000 thread count sheets

See also What Is A Duvet Cover And Why Should You Use It
Now, the bed sheet thread count guide, I am not sure if there are higher counts out there, but if there are I could imagine your bed sheets standing on end with such a tight weave…

Many, if not most people, have assumed that the highest count is the softest sheet.
This is actually the opposite of the truth!

When you think about it.

The higher the count on bed sheets, the more condensed the weave, in other words; the weave is tighter.

So, when you look at it that way the highest count can not be the softest.

As it is the lower weaves that would give more flexibility and a softer feel due to that alone.

The Most Comfortable Thread Count Bed Sheets

When we look at thread count and sheet quality and sheet count for comfort, you might think that they go together.

But what about those cotton sheets that you bought a while ago and as you use them more and more, they feel so much softer and with that comes comfort.
Just like a well-worn pair of shoes.

We all have them.

So a bed sheet is not that much different, but what when you go to a motel and the motel sheets are crisp and white you feel so clean and that feeling of cleanliness comes into your thoughts.

They feel good as well.

Sometimes when you go from the well-worn bed sheet and change them over to a crisper bed sheet you feel good right?

So it all depends on you and also your moods.
Yes, how you feel.

No bed sheet is going to be the right one all the time.

But the ones that you have moved around on too much near your hip area and they start to bubble, or in other words…

Get those annoying knobs that feel just horrible and make you want to throw the sheets off your bed there and then if you weren’t so tired and don’t want to go and get another pair of bedsheets from your cupboard.

More-or-less redo your bed late at night.
Now, these are about the most annoying situations I can think of and I am sure I am not alone on this.

So if you want your sheets as soft to the touch as possible and nice and cool, a lower thread count is probably the best.

And the higher the thread count for very warm sheets that are thick and durable for those cold nights.

So What Count Is The Softest For Sheets

As we have covered previously the thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch, remember.

So generally, the higher the count, the softer you’re sheets will be, and the more likely, you guessed it!

It will wear well for you.

And that is where these numbers come in.

They are a good count range but are denser and will wear softer over time, most probably to being very cosy.

But you have to be patient and it will take time as the weaves are so dense.

Good sheets can range anywhere from 200 thread count linen to 800 thread count linen, although you’ll occasionally see numbers over 1,000 as I have shown on the bed sheet thread count guide above.

The Best Sheet Count For Hot Sleepers

For hot sleepers, the best bed sheet is made of breathable materials such as natural fibres, like linen and cotton bed sheets.

Which are the best bet for hot sweaty sleepers – and materials such as crisp percale cotton are the best.

Now if you add this material with a lower count, say 300 plus thread count range you will have the best bed sheets for sleeping cooler at night.

The Best Thread Count For Cold Sleepers

Generally speaking here, the higher the thread count the hotter they will be.
So, there are thread counts as high as 1,200 thread count sheets or even up to 10,000 thread count sheets…

It is a fact that as the count rises, the fabric becomes denser, softer, and so much warmer.

So if you add this with such fibres or you could say linen such as Soft Flannel Sheets.

Most of the flannelet sheets are made from cotton and are warm, fluffy, lightweight and so soft.

Yes, I do like them if you were interested…

They are a perfect companion for a bed in wintertime and help you do feel like you’re flannelet pyjamas have taken over the whole bed.

You can wash the cotton flannel sheets in the washing machine, though the fabric does tend to pill after several items of washing, but in my experience not always.

Is A Higher Count Durable

In fact, a higher-thread count in sheets is made with finer yarns.
Now that’s interesting.

I guess that is so they can stuff enough fibres into that massive thread counts such as the 10,000 high thread count sheets for example…

The more yarns that fit into a square inch, the smoother and denser, and in fact, the more durable the fabric is.

What is the highest thread count for sheets you may ask?


As far as I know the 10,000 thread count.

So Far!

Bedding Thread Count Quality For The Money

What’s that?

The best thread count sheets for the money…

Thread count and sheet quality?

Sheets thread count durability even…

Well, you could say that in the past, thread count was used as a measure of quality – the higher the count, right…

The better the quality they said.

Well, we now know that is not a fact.

High thread counts can certainly make for better bedsheets out there, but it’s the thread, people

That matters the most in this case.

In fact, a sheet of better-quality fibre…

With YES!

A lower count will even feel softer and stand up to those times when you have to wash them and fair better than a sheet of a lower-quality fibre with a higher count.
I hope you got that!

Thread Count And Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian Woman
You often hear when it comes to bedsheets, Egyptian Cotton comes up a fair bit.
Unless you have been living under a rock or something, or have been a hermit living in a cave up in the mountains of Nepal.

You never know…

And you think WOW!

Egyptian Cotton…

Whether it be 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton, you know…

Those 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets or 800 thread count sheets, Egyptian cotton, their name precedes them and you think they are the best out on the market.

So let’s learn a bit more about these prestigious be sheets.

When it comes to how many thread count is good for Egyptian cotton.

The optimal thread count is 400-700; lower counts of thread such as 200-300 say, can also be very comfortable indeed if the yarn is of single-ply and it’s finely made.
Finely made…

I like that, it sounds like quality to me…

The big question is, is Egyptian cotton the best?

It is said that Egyptian cotton fibres are considered by many to be the best out there because of their length, softness, and strength.

A longer fibre means the stronger the fabric and that gives it the ability to create a hig count fabric.


We have been on a journey through the thread count myth, yes, the sheet thread count explained in all directions/questions, what the Romans would have thought if they knew of this thread count.

Or did they?…

Whichever way we look at it they would never have had the 10,000 thread count range then, even in their togas.

Lucky us!

I would not have thought that thread count bed sheets would have been so interesting if you had asked me this in the past.

We have gone from what thread count bed sheets are the best to thread count sheet count difference and back again.

No not sheet thread count best, what thread count sheets are best.
Well, I have found that even the counts are all over the place in places such as Amazon.

Yes, I have even seen 1000 thread count sheets on amazon…
If you don’t know what thread count is good for bed sheets by now I think you better get reading from the start of the page again.

And you do know the thread sheet count difference?
Remember all those little cross fibres.

Any way…
What an interesting subject, ‘Sheet Thread Count Explained’ much better than watching grass grow outside in your backyard.

Go forth like the Romans would if they knew so much about this subject as you do now.

Lift up your togas and rush off to go and buy those bedsheets.

Get the insider here