Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Can You Believe the Thread Count?

Thread Count

Ten years ago, who knew thread counts for sheets? (Thread count is the number of threads in a square inch of advertisement fabric.) Now there's thread-count inflation: 300 threads per inch used to be sheer indulgence, but today brands are boasting numbers as high as 800 at prices as low as $169.99 for a set of sheets. Don't believe it. The Good Housekeeping Institute tested nine brands of sheets sold at national linen chains and discovered that several -- including Synergy and Rainbow Linens -- don't have anywhere near the 400, 600, even 800 counts listed on their labels. They inflate the numbers by counting individual plies within a thread rather than the threads themselves. How can you spot the imposters? Beware of high numbers coupled with low prices. Sheets with true 500 counts (like Frette and Pratesi) cost about $175 each. The other name brands tested -- Wamsutta, Charisma and Waverly by Divatex -- also lived up to their claims, give or take a thread.

If you do buy a faux luxury sheet, you'll realize it soon enough. Some of the sketchy sheets felt lush in the store but all too ordinary after they were washed five times. A sheet with a true high thread count should increase in softness while maintaining luster after a few trips through the laundry.

Have a Good Nights Sleep

Luxury Linens