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CHOOSING YOUR BED LINEN

We spend roughly a third of our lives asleep so it stands to reason that the quality of your bed linens will contribute to the quality of your guests’ sleep.

Sound, refreshing sleep is a primary reason why guests stay at your accommodation establishment. Providing a comfortable and sound sleeping solution for your guests is a basic function that should not be addressed lightly.

This guide to help you select bed linen that will turn your hotel rooms into a retreat of comfort and rest.

The quality of bed linen is often determined by thread count. You have probably heard that a higher thread count is somehow better but what is thread count and why would it be better to have bed linens with a higher thread count than bed linens with a lower thread count?

Thread Count

Thread count is used as a measure of the coarseness or fineness of fabric. It is measured by counting the number of horizontal and vertical threads woven in one square inch of fabric. The higher the thread count, the finer the yarn, which creates softer more luxurious fabric.

Thread count in sheets can vary from 80 up to and beyond 1000, however the majority of bed linen sold falls within the range of 180 and 320 thread count. In general, the higher the thread count, the softer the fabric feels, but that doesn't necessarily mean the sheets will last longer and this is not the only factor you should be concerned about when buying bed linen.

Other important factors when making fabric for bed sheets are the Yarn Size, Ply & Fibres.

Yarn Size        

The fineness of each yarn is what the term yarn size refers to - the higher the yarn size, the finer the yarn. Finer yarns allow for lighter, more supple fabric. The yarn size in quality sheets is typically between 40 and 100. Higher thread counts are created with finer yarns, as more of them can be woven into a square inch. Also, super fine yarns can be twisted together, creating 2 ply yarns that can then be woven into sheeting.

Ply

Described as how many individual yarns are used as one strand. For instance, Single ply fabric will use only a single yarn, however a 2 ply fabric will have 2 single yarns twisted together and then woven. Essentially, if one was to purchase 2 ply bed sheets they would want to make sure that the yarn is of a finer quality, that is, a yarn size of 100. If it were to be a denser quality, then the sheets will feel incredibly thick and heavy.

It is important to note that extremely high thread counts (typically over 500) tend to be misleading as they usually use 'plied' yarns. i.e. one yarn that is made by twisting together multiple finer threads. For marketing purposes, a fabric with 250 yarns in both the vertical and horizontal direction could have the component threads counted to a 1000 thread count, which can be misleading to consumers.

Fibres

Fibres are the backbone of the fabric. In regards to bed linen, sheets can be made from a different variety of cottons, cotton blends, polyester, bamboo, along with other kinds of fibers.

For the home environment, the finer yarn for softer bed linen is definitely luxurious, however for a commercial hospitality environment, which is required to withstand the rigours of commercial laundering, a finer yarn is not always the best.

While higher thread count bed linens cost significantly more than lower count bed linens, there is no evidence that shows that the higher count bed linens are more durable. Bed linens that fall into the thread count range of 180 and 200, in general, provide adequate comfort and are also durable enough to be long lasting.

Standard cotton thread counts are around 150, while good quality sheets start at 180 thread count.