Bamboo Sheets? Where thread count matters

1000 Thread Count Sheets vs Bamboo Sheets

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So what is all the fuss over 1000 Thread Count Sheets? For years suppliers of bed sheets have been advertising thread count as the be all and end all of buying sheets. The trouble is, it isn’t the whole story. When it comes to buying bed sheets, there is more to it than meets the eye.

After doing some research into the industry, here is what I found out. Remember back in high school when you had to do sewing class? The teacher would have mentioned something about weft and warp at the time. Weft and warp are the vertical and horizontal fibres that make up a fabric once it is woven. So 1000 Thread Count Sheets should have just under 32 weft and 32 warp threads per square inch. The trouble is that they often don’t. 500 Thread Count Sheets can be sold as 1000 Thread Count Sheets.

How can manufacturers get away with this you might ask? Isn’t it false advertising? 

Yes and no. The way they get around it is by counting a two ply fabric fibre as two separate threads. This immediately ‘doubles’ the thread count of the sheets. The trouble is there is no governing body strictly regulating the production or advertising of sheets. The disadvantage to the consumer is that there is no way of focusing on the quality of the thread, rather than the quantity. 1000 Thread Count Sheets in a poor quality or grade of thread means an inferior quality of sheet. This affects the wearing qualities, the feel of the sheet and the pilling of yournew bed sheets. Yes pilling can still occur on a high thread count fabric. And pilling is scratchy in anyone’s language!

The importance of staple length in bed sheet fabric

Staple length is the real indicator when it comes to bedding fabric. It is all about the span of the fibre of the fabric being used. A longer span of fibre in the fabric gives a longer staple length resulting in a much higher quality thread that has a silky, smooth finish. Inferior quality short staple fibres rely on chemical processes to make a bad quality, low grade fabric ‘feel’ better. This is often chemically based silicon spray that keeps the fibres together and stops it from pilling. However after a few washes, pilling starts to show on the fabric. Even if they are 1000 Thread Count Sheets.

So how do I find a quality sheet with a long staple length?

1000 Thread Count Sheets

As a rule, these type of sheets are made from cotton. And to the average person, it is almost impossible to judge the staple length of the fabric. With any addition of silicone, the choice becomes even more difficult. Because a sheet set that feels nice and soft might be high quality fibre, but it also might be sprayed with chemicals to make it feel lush.

Another flaw in the regulation of thread count is that the manufacturer isn’t required to state whether the thread count has been taken from a square inch, or a 10cm square. This can make a massive difference in the advertised count. Obviously a lot more threads can fit into a 10cm square effectively boosting the thread count by 50%. A 300 thread count sheet becomes 450 thread count.

When it comes to 1000 Thread Count Sheets, you really get what you pay for. Unless you happen to be a fabric grader, you really are looking at spending a few hundred dollars per set to ensure you are getting top quality. Many of the cheaper sheets in this category are just low thread count sheets given a bait and switch tactic to make you think they are higher quality than they are.

Bamboo Sheets

The beauty of bamboo sheets is that the quality of the original thread has an intrinsically long staple length. Bamboo is such a strong and durable, yet soft fabric, that is makes ideal bed sheets. Most 100% bamboo sheets have a thread count of around 300. But the silky smooth fibre makes for a luxurious sleep. Even better, bamboo fibre isn’t treated with harsh chemicals. In fact, most bamboo sheets are naturally organic due to the way they are processed. The best part is that bamboo sheets cost a fraction of the price of top quality 1000 Thread Count Sheets.

And since we spend around 8 hours a night in bed, why not spoil yourself to a set of bamboo sheets right now?