I care about sheets. One lifestyle mantra I live by is this: The closer something is to your body – and what’s closer than sheets? — the better it should be. This argues for good underwear and cheap drapes. I’m even more passionate about sheets since I recently learned about – and I hate to be the one to shock you — thread inflation. Apparently, we are in the midst of an epidemic of thread inflation! Some companies, knowing that consumers think higher thread counts equal better sheets, have misrepresented their thread counts. Gasp! There have been lawsuits. I haven’t been this appalled since I heard that when Monica Lewinsky first met President I-never-had-sex-with-that-woman Clinton she showed him her thong. I still have a hard time picturing that exchange. “An honor to meet you, Mr. President, would you like to see my …?” Anyway, I don’t know about you, but thread inflation is enough to make me toss and turn all night on my 300 thread-count (or maybe not?) Percale sheets. If you can’t rely on thread count, what can you count on?
Understand the numbers. Thread count — the number of threads both up and across in one square inch of fabric – does affect quality, but higher is not always better. Typically, sheets under 200 threads per inch feel coarse, whereas sheets over 300 feel softer. The confusion comes with two-ply cotton. Some sneaky companies twist two threads into one thread and still count that as two threads. They bill a sheet that really has a 200 thread count as having a 400 count, which just makes me want to crawl in bed with a pint of Haagen Dazs. Read the label. When you see two-ply, cut the thread count in half, and always feel them first. You will get a wonderful sheet set if you find all cotton with a 400 to 600 thread count, made of single yarn.