What Does Thread Count Mean?

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What Does Thread Count Mean?

When wondering what thread count is, and when searching for a new set of sheets, consumers want softness and durability. A key factor of the softness of sheets is thread count. Buyers need to choose which thread count they want their sheets to be. There are several thread counts to choose from, such as 200, 300, 500, and higher. Consumers should be sure to know what thread count is and how important it is to the quality of products before making a purchase. Buyers should also take into account a few more specific details before settling on a set of sheets. Some of these factors include the finishing, the fibres used, and the construction of the fibres. Another large factor is the cost of the merchandise. Once all these factors are taken into account, consumers can find sheets of all thread counts in places like department stores, linen stores, Internet retailers, and online marketplaces, such as eBay.

Thread Count Configuration

Thread counts vary based on the fibre used and the ply of the fibre. Overall softness of the fabric depends on the thickness of the fibres used and how many of them are used. Some of the more popular fibres used are cotton, Egyptian cotton, and linen.

Understanding Thread Count

With thread count being the number of fibres within a square inch of fabric, vertical and horizontal, manufacturers try to fit as many threads into the fabric as possible. The higher the thread count, the softer and more comfortable the merchandise. Many manufacturers amplify their thread counts by increasing the ply of the threads. For example, instead of a 1-ply thread of cotton, they use 2 plys. This multiplies the thread count total by two. If they state that their sheets have a thread count of 1,000, there are really only 250 threads running in each direction. With the 2-ply thread, they are doubling this to 500 running in each direction, for a total of 1,000.

Buyers should note that many consumer reports state that any thread count over 400 only has an added increase to buyers' wallets and not the comfort level of the item. While merchandise is available in thread counts over 1,000, consumers should weigh the input of the professionals regarding true thread count which they are actually getting.

100 Per Cent Cotton Fibres

Cotton is an extremely soft and durable fibre that makes for some of the most comfortable sheets, clothing, and towels available. Cotton is a versatile, breathable fabric which lasts for a long time with minimal pilling. Cotton sheets are available in thread counts ranging from 100 to 525. Cotton sheets come in several colours, sizes, and patterns for consumers to browse through, such as blues, reds, whites, seasonal patterns, twin size, and queen size. With cotton sheets, consumers are able to find the perfect items to add to their housewares collection.

Egyptian Cotton Fibres

The cotton fibres used to make Egyptian cotton items grow in tropical areas because the fibres need full sun, high humidity, and rainfall. It grows as a small, bushy tree that produces long and silky cotton fibres. Egyptian cotton fibres are extremely soft and comfortable. They are usually included in thread counts of at least 600 and range up to over 1,200. Thanks to their silky feel, Egyptian cotton sheets and towels provide users the highest level of comfort and softness. These sheets are highly durable and do not pill when washed repeatedly. Consumers can find several colours, patterns, and styles made from Egyptian cotton to complete their bedding ensembles.

Linen Fibres

Linen is made from the fibres in a flax plant. Linen is best used in warmer weather to help users stay fresh and cool. When used as a bedsheet in a hot, sticky summer, they help to keep individuals from overheating and sweating. Linen is soft, flexible, and versatile. Linen fabrics have a high lustre and their natural colours are tan, ecru, ivory, or grey. Linen is lint free and gets softer with each washing. Linen sheets come in a variety of thread counts, but usually none are higher than 500. These sheets are available in several colours or are embroidered. Consumers are able to find a range of linen fabrics to add to their bed sheet collection.

Thread Counts and Cost

Thread count is an important factor when deciding on a new sheet set, but consumers should pay close attention to the cost of the set. When shopping for the new sheet set, people should know how much they are comfortable spending, as some of the higher thread count sheets are very expensive. Buyers should not look for sheet sets that are out of the realm of their budgets, and should focus on the style of the sheets and how the sheets fit into their colour scheme.

Thread counts of 200 or lower are extremely inexpensive due to their lack of fibres and the sheets being less comfortable. These lower thread counts pill with several washings and need to be replaced more frequently. Thread counts of 400 to 600 are the perfect range to purchase. They offer several materials, including 100 per cent cotton, Egyptian cotton, and linen. Thread counts are available in much higher numbers, such as 800, 1,000, and 1,200, but these are not guaranteed to be any softer than the 400 thread count materials. Consumers should listen to the experts on this subject before buying anything.

More Than Just Thread Count

When making a purchase, consumers should also consider how the fibres are constructed and the finishing of the material. While thread count is a great gauge as to how soft consumers should expect their items to be, it should not be the only deciding factor.

Finishing of the Material

Consumers should consider the finishing of the fibres used. Each fibre goes through a two-step process after it has been woven together. This process helps to remove a layer of fuzz from the material, which helps cut down on the pilling that occurs later on. This finishing process also strengthens the product and makes it last a bit longer. This process is sometimes skipped on the lower end sheet sets to be more cost effective, but the consumers pay the price in the end due to the number of times the sheets need to be replaced.

Fibre Construction

The way in which the individual fibres are constructed affect details like the number of vertical and horizontal (or thread count) fibres there are, the number of picks in the fibres, and the ply of the yarns. All of these factors affect the softness and durability of the sheets because they change how the material is created. If a sheet is created with single ply, short fibres, it is stiffer and uncomfortable. If it is made with longer fibres, such as Egyptian cotton, it is more comfortable, silky, and luxurious.

Choosing a Thread Count to Buy on eBay

When choosing which thread count sheets to buy on eBay, consumers can search by using the categorical search or the main search option which is located on the eBay homepage. If you are starting your search from any eBay web page, simply look for the search bar. You can type in search terms such as "linen sheets" or "poly-blend sheets" and then obtain a variety of results. From there you can filter based on colour, price, geography, and more.

Customer Support Features

eBay offers its users several places to go to find answers to their questions, get help with how to list items, dispute a transaction, or learn about how to use the site. Users can get answers to their questions on the "Find an answer" tab, watch instructional videos on the "How-to videos" tab, as well as see all the ways to get in touch with customer service through the site's "Contact eBay" tab.


When choosing the perfect thread count sheet sets, consumers need to take several factors into account. First, consumers should know which material they want the sheets to be made from, such as 100 per cent cotton, Egyptian cotton, or linen. Buyers also need to decide how high of a thread count they want their sheets to have. Typically, the higher the thread count the softer the sheets. This is only true up until the 400 thread count sheets, per Consumer Reports. As a report states, anything higher than 400 adds to the cost of the sheets without actually providing a marked difference in softness.

People also need to consider the finishing and composition of the fibres. Generally, the longer fibres, such as Egyptian cotton and linen, are softer than shorter fibres, such as cotton. Once all these factors are determined, consumers can then search on eBay for a set of sheets for their bedroom. eBay offers thousands of listings to choose from, so all buyers are able to find a great set of sheets in the perfect thread count.

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