Do you remember when your mom or grandmother hung freshly washed sheets on a clothesline? Back then there wasn't much concern about thread count. Today, thread count is the buzz word when purchasing sheets. Thread count is the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch. According to Consumer Reports (September 13, 2013) the best thread count for your money is between 300 and 600 thread count. They make 1,000 thread count sheets but you aren’t getting a “better” sheet, you are just paying more. Sheets with exorbitant counts are actually made by spinning thinner threads together to make one thread. Then the manufacturer doubles or triples the count to make it more attractive to the consumer.
It is best to focus on the fabric of your sheets. Combed Cotton, Egyptian Cotton or Pima Cotton. If you like a super soft sheet select a sateen, if you like crisp sheets try percale. Most stores will allow you to touch the sheet fabric but buyer beware, manufacturers treat new sheets with a softening agent that washes out. Consumer Reports recommends keep your receipt in case you don’t like the feel after they are washed.
Like most people – sheets are considered an extravagance which is why we give them as wedding gifts and not to ourselves. Throw caution to the wind and replace those tired, shrinking sheets with crisp, clean white sheets. You may not have a clothesline to hang them on but you’ll get many nights of restful, luxurious sleep. You're worth it.