People loooove stats. The Slashdot crowd has gigahertz and frame rates to discuss. Motorheads have torque and horsepower. Chocolate connoisseurs discuss cocoa content. And those of us obsessed with home decor? Thread count*. Like computational power, horsepower or cocoa content, thread count is one of those things people become obsessive about. The higher the better, at least in theory.
I recently noticed that Target is selling 800 thread count bedding...a big change from the days when 300 was the upper echelon of their selection. But I've personally found thread count is a poor guide to comfort as megapixels are to image quality when buying a digital camera. Some 300 thread count sheets are as comfortable as 600 thread count versions, all for half the price, illustrating how important origin of cotton is in regard to quality (e.g. Egyptian or Pima). But like bellybuttons, everyone has an opinion about this one. Some people are fine with the near-burlap feel of a 180 thread count sheet, while others are horrified by the idea of sleeping upon something less than 600 threads per square inch. Opinions?
*Thread count refers to the number thread woven vertically and horizontally in a one square inch of fabric. The quality is further designated by the ply and thickness of the thread itself; single ply thread is just that, a single thread, while the thicker double ply thread is composed of intertwined pieces of thread that creates a thicker, heavier and more tight weave. The best bedding uses finer threads, resulting in the soft and smooth feel most people pine for.