What is thread count in sheets and pillowcases? Does it matter?

Advertisements for sheets and pillowcases display either a “T” in front a number or a “TC” following a number. This stands for thread count. For example, T300, 300TC, etc…The thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch of fabric. Generally, the higher the thread count the softer the pillowcase will feel. However, a January 2008 Consumer Reports article said,

“Thread counts between 200 and 400 are fine. Within that range, a higher number may provide a softer feel. With counts over 400, the main difference is price.”

When you make a buying decision for pillowcases keep in mind your intended purpose for the pillowcases. If you are planning to use the pillowcases on a bed that is used regularly a higher thread count should be used. Lower thread counts such as 130TC are great for summer camps, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, craft projects or virtually any low cost pillowcase needs. A 130TC pillowcase is usually made of a Muslin blended material. This is a blend of fabric that may have slight fiber colors other then white. It will often look grey when the fabric is examined closely.

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