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Luxury Linens: Why Thread Counts Don’t Add Up

Anyone who has purchased sheets has likely come across thread count. Truly rejuvenating rests require the right sheets–the kind that feels sublime on the skin and wears well over time. For a lot of us, thread count (TC) is the standard for measuring the quality of fine bedding, but sometimes the numbers don’t add up.

As makers of luxurious linens, we at Sömn have made it our mission to be better in bed. It was back in 2017 that our brand of sustainably made household textiles first came to market, and we have been working to do even better ever since. Part of that has been enabling our discerning clients to make more informed choices about the products coming into their homes and lives, especially when it comes to sourcing sustainable, luxuriously soft linen bedding that’s lovingly made.

What is thread count?

Thread count refers to the total number of yarns per square inch of fabric. High thread counts indicate finer yarns, which typically yield a softer, more durable fabric. Of course, not all fibres are equal. Flax linen yarns, for example, are almost twice the width of cotton, so the count is inherently low. Qualities like fabric strength, pilling resistance, and shrinkage cannot be communicated by a simple number. When it comes to lightweight sheets that breathe well and deliver coziness, fabric and weave are what’s truly important

A numbers game

For single-ply cotton sheets, a 350 thread count will generally deliver the smooth heavy drape and breathable silkiness conducive to a more restful sleep. However, evolving textile technologies mean a 270 thread count can feel like 350 without increasing fabric weight.

Products boasting a thread count in thousands will not be significantly better–and could even be worse. Unusually high numbers may indicate a manufacturer has artificially inflated thread count by twisting the yarns to make them thinner and weaving them tighter. The result is heavy, coarse bedding prone to rips, snags, and tears. Additionally, the super tight weave restricts airflow, which means sleepers can overheat, leading to wakeful fits–not what any of us wants.

GSM vs thread count for linen sheets

For determining sheet quality, weight tends to be the most reliable method. We generally measure fabric weight in grams per square metre—or GSM. However, linen is measured in g/m2 (or GSM), that is, the weight of the material in grams per square meter. Lightweight textiles sit between 30-150gsm, medium around 150-350gsm, and 350+gsm indicates a heavyweight fabric. While heavy fabrics offer remarkable strength and durability, their weighty, coarse quality generally works better for upholstery and interior applications. Clothing and sheets need to feel good on the skin, which means light and mid-range fabrics.

The Sömn Difference

To combine the best of both worlds, we engineered our linen sheets to sit at an ideal weight of 175gsm (+/- 5gsm). A stonewash finish completes our process for a delicate balance of softness and strength. Sömn sheets are crisp, breathable, and comfortable—and get even better and more beautiful over time.

Luxurious linen bedding, sustainably made

For wellness-obsessed home textiles that are sustainably sourced, understanding how sheet quality measures up can lead to better, more informed decisions for our bodies and the planet. At Sömn, our luxurious linen sheets are breathably soft yet cozy with a relaxed texture you'll love sleeping on night after night. Crafted from 100% pure flax linen and OEKO-TEX or REACH certified, these sheets are made with pride and planet-friendly practices for a brighter, more sustainable future--so we can all rest easier.

We invite you to experience Sömn's light-as-air flax linen sheets in dreamy colours like lemon, wisteria, or a sophisticated off-white. Remember, when it comes to fine linens, quality always trumps quantity. Anyone who says otherwise is just pulling at threads.

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