The Best Thread Count For Your Sheets

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
February 10, 2023
min read

You may be shopping for sheets and wondering what is thread count and does it matter?

Thread count is a measurement of how many vertical threads (warp) and horizontal threads (weft) are within one square inch of fabric. For example, if a piece of fabric has 150 threads in the warp and 150 threads in the weft within one square inch of fabric, the thread count is 300.

But, why is thread count important when you're trying to decide what bed sheets to buy? Keep reading to learn all about thread count and why it may or may not matter.

What Does Thread Count Mean?

showing what thread count means

Thread count measures how many warp threads (vertical) and weft threads (horizontal) are contained in each square inch of fabric. A higher thread count means more individual threads physically occupy an area, so quality high-thread count sheets use thinner and finer threads that are often softer and smoother. That said, this isn’t always the case.

Many manufacturers use thread count as a marketing ploy, equating a high thread count with high-quality sheets. Thus, to attract more customers, they artificially inflate or manipulate the thread count without actually increasing the sheet’s quality. Don’t fall for the thread count myth – higher is not always better. 

When Does Thread Count Really Matter?

A higher thread count is one indicator of a higher quality sheet. Although there are other factors you should consider:

Material: Each material varies in thread count. For example one material can have a higher thread count but not be as quality. For example a silk material will naturally feel softer vs a cotton thread.

Weave types: The types of weaves play a role in how a sheet feels and how long it lasts. 

Is A Higher Thread Count Better?

steps to determine bed sheet quality


Higher thread count is often thought of as a softer sheet. It is important to also consider material and durability. Businesses can artificially inflate thread count. Which is why making a decision only on thread count can be tricky.

To summarize higher thread count isnt always better. Consider the thread count as well as the material and weave.

What Is The Best Thread Count For Sheets?

Consider the material when deciding the best thread count for sheets. For example, cotton sheets have a different ideal range for thread count compared to linen sheets. This is because some materials are naturally softer compared to others.  Here is a table of material types with best thread counts:



Thread Count


250-500 (often not measured by thread count)







Percale Weave


Sateen weave



Choosing the Best Thread Count for Sheets

The best bed sheets are those that fit your specific needs. Are you a hot sleeper? Do you need something for sensitive skin? What materials fit your budget? 

Purple-designed sheets that move to adapt to your body and mattress, unlike normal sheets. Allowing you to experience the full comfort of your mattress. Purple bed sheets are largely made of Rayon from bamboo viscose. Which is soft, light, and stretchy.

Still unsure? See our article on how to choose bed sheets.

Key Takeaways

Thread count is a useful measurement, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of bed sheets. consider the sheet material, weave, and thread count to determine how good it is for you.  

Thread Count FAQs

What Is The Best Thread Count For Sheets To Stay Cool?

More threads per inch of a piece of fabric may mean more material and weight, which tends to mean less breathability.

However, sheet thread count is not the only factor in play. Ultimately, it’s a question of breathability, which is more about the fabric itself than the thread count. Natural fabrics like cotton or bamboo tend to be breathable. 

How Does The Ply Affect Thread Count?

The ply affects thread count because it can be deceiving in calculating the actual thread count.

Manufacturers can deliberately use multi-ply threads to inflate thread count. A sheet made with single-ply thread and a thread count of 400 has 400 threads per inch – but a 400-thread-count sheet with two-ply yarn can be advertised as an 800-thread-count sheet.

What thread count is best?

The best cotton thread count for high-quality sheets is in the range of 200-600 threads per inch. However, this is only a loose guideline at best. 

Don’t fall for the thread count myth because higher is not always better. Remember to check the sheet’s other qualities as well, such as material, weave, price, and sheet size.

Are 1200 thread count sheets hot?

Yes, 1200-thread count sheets will be hotter than sheets of a lower thread count. More threads occupying a given area means there’s more material to block airflow. 

However, sheet material also plays a part, as some fabrics breathe better than others. For example, a 1200-thread-count cotton sheet will be cooler than a 1200-thread-count polyester sheet.