Thread count refers to the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch. Generally, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet, and the more likely it will wear well — or even soften — over time. Good sheets range anywhere from 250 to 800, although you’ll occasionally see numbers over 1,000.

Astronomical thread counts don’t necessarily mean the sheet is better — there are even tricks to inflating the thread count (such as using multiple yarns twisted together) that don’t actually improve the hand of the fabric and may even detract from its quality.

The highest-quality, softest sheets use cotton with extra-long fibers (called long-staple fibers) that can be spun into fine, strong yarns. Certified long-staple cotton includes Egyptian Cotton™, Pima, and Supima®.

Sateen is a cotton cloth made with a satin weave, a weave that produces a very soft, lustrous feel but can be somewhat less durable than a tighter weave.

Percale is the crisp, durable plain weave fabric typically used for sheets; it has a thread count of at least 180.

Combed cotton has been combed to remove the short fibers and leave the long ones, which makes for a strong, soft fabric.

Egyptian Cotton™

Egyptian cotton bath towels are very durable. The fibers are extra-long and absorbent, which is why they’re considered the creme de la creme of linens. Egyptian Cotton™ is somewhat similar to Turkish cotton in that the unique growing conditions of Egypt allow for a superior quality cotton to be produced, which features longer fibers. Because of the extreme heat and humidity of the Egyptian region where cotton is grown, these kinds of cottons are able to develop long, durable fibers – which in turn result in the super soft and durable linens that Egyptian cotton is known for. Generally, Egyptian Cotton™ has even longer and stronger fibers than Turkish cotton.

Egyptian Cotton™ towels are great at holding moisture in once they become wet. That means that Egyptian Cotton™ towels are great for times when you need a highly absorbent towel, and you can provide it a resting place to dry out quickly.


Supima® Cotton

This material makes a high-quality bath towel. Supima® cotton has long fibers that make a soft, durable, and absorbent towel.


Turkish Cotton

Turkish Cotton simply refers to a variety of cotton that is grown and harvested in Turkey. Because of the specifics of Turkey’s unique climate, this cotton grows differently from cotton in other regions of the world. In general, the fibers of Turkish cotton are longer and stronger than those of most other types of cotton. The fibers of Turkish cotton are quite smooth with very little ‘fuzz’. Because they are long, they are quite absorbent. But their smoothness does detract somewhat from how absorbent they are. In general, the key point to understand about Turkish cotton is that the fibers are long, strong, and sleek.



This self-explanatory method of constructing garments from cotton involves combing the fibers before weaving them into the final product. This method effectively removes shorter (less strong, less absorbent) fibers and leaves only the longest, strongest, most absorbent fibers.



Ringspun cottons combine both the long and the shorter fibers, tightly twisting the two together. This production method creates a fabric that is stronger and has a more luxurious feel. Usually, ringspun towels are heavier than combed towels.


Pima Cotton

Pima cotton is a superior blend of cotton also known as extra-long-staple (ELS) cotton. Due to its long-staple, Pima cotton is durable and highly absorbent. Pima cotton is the actual luxury cotton. It is named after the Pima people of Arizona. Basically, Pima cotton is a plant that is also scientifically called Gossypium barbadense. The main quality of Pima cotton is Extra-Long-Staple (ELS) that makes its fabric durable and superior. Pima cotton fiber measures between 1 ¼ to 2-inch in length, which is 50% longer than regular cotton.



Less common, though gaining popularity, Modal is made of cellulose from beech trees. It’s about 50-percent more absorbent than cotton and won’t fade over time, making it an excellent choice for bath towels.



In twist-constructed cotton fabrics, the cotton fibers have been twisted together. Different rates of twist produce different results. For example, a low-twist yarn, which is an ideal method for fabrics like Turkish and Egyptian Cotton™ that have longer fibers, creates a smooth and soft feel. Higher-twist yarns, on the other hand, result in stronger, more durable towels – but sacrifice that luxuriously soft feel to achieve this durability.

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