How do know if a bed set is high-quality? Most people think you just look at the thread count – the higher the thread count, the better the bedding is, right?
It’s actually a little more complicated than that. While thread count is a good rule of thumb, it’s not the only question you should ask.
In fact, only looking at the thread count can be very misleading at times. For example, sheets made from premium materials don’t need to cram as many threads into a square inch as a cheaper material would to achieve the same level of softness and durability.
If you only looked at the thread count, you might think that the cheap cotton/polyester sheets you have in one hand are better than the beautiful bamboo sheets you have in the other, which is just plain wrong.
So, what questions should you ask so you look like a bedding connoisseur instead of a bedding fool?
Well, to find the best bedding for you and your family, you only need to ask two simple questions:
1) What is it made from?
2) How is it made?
What is the bedding made from?
First, you need to know what the bedding is made from. As you saw above, the material matters. Different fabrics act differently and you want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges. So, what are our apples in this analogy and what are our oranges?
In general, cheap fabrics include cotton, polyester, nylon, and other synthetic materials. These fabrics are our apples because they are coarser, require more threads to be packed together to increase their softness and strength, and are often made using inferior manufacturing processes (more on that later).
They also aren’t very breathable, a vital characteristic for any bed set. After all, who wants to sweat all night and wake up being smothered by damp blankets? Even cotton, a notoriously breathable fabric, doesn’t come close in to the breathability of higher quality materials and actually absorbs a lot water.
So, what are higher quality bed sets made from? The answer is Egyptian cotton, silk, and bamboo.
Egyptian cotton is the softest, strongest grade of cotton available. It’s famous for its extra fine threads, which make it softer and smoother to the touch. Additionally, it has longer fibers than other types of cotton. This makes the threads stronger and more durable, increasing the longevity of your bedding.
However, silk and bamboo bedding are our true winners, or oranges, here. They surpass even Egyptian cotton in every category. Both silk and bamboo have incredibly fine threads that are so soft and smooth to the touch. After all, there’s a reason why “as smooth as silk” is a cliché.
Moreover, the fibers of silk and bamboo are ridiculously long. Egyptian cotton can’t even compete. Since these fibers are so long and strong, they increase the lifespan of your bedding by 5-10 years whereas Egyptian cotton only stretches it out for an additional one or two years.
Finally, silk and bamboo are extraordinarily breathable. They wick moisture away at twice the rate of cotton, reducing the humidity in your bed by 50%. As a result, you stay at the perfect temperature all night long. You wake up clean and dry, ready to take on the day instead of dragging yourself out of a moist swamp like you would with traditional bedding.
How is the bedding made?
Next, you need to know how the bedding is made. In this blog, we’re going to focus on the weaving process because that gives you a very clear yes or no answer to whether or not a bed is durable.
However, if you would like to learn more about the manufacturing process itself, please read our blog, “What Is Bamboo Viscose?”
So, how can you tell if a set of sheets is only going to last a year or two vs. if it’s going to last over a decade? The secret is in how it is woven.
For instance, the predominant method of commercial weaving is the overlapping method. When manufacturers use the overlapping method, they create the illusion of one long thread by overlapping much shorter fibers. This leaves the short thread ends loose throughout the sheet.
As time goes on, these thread ends work themselves out of the fabric. Small holes start to appear, your sheets start to pill, and eventually, they become threadbare. In short, if your sheets are made using the overlapping method, they will only last a couple of years at most.
Cozy Earth, on the other hand, uses a weaving technique that stretches the bamboo fibers across the entire length of the sheet. Since the ends are securely anchored around the edges of the sheet, there are no loose ends woven throughout the fabric like there are in traditional sheet sets. As a result, Cozy Earth’s bedding will never pill or tear, ensuring that they last up to 15 years with proper care.
Now that know which questions to ask and why, which bed set are you going to invest in?