So if you want to sleep comfortably, one of the ways to get a better sleep is by looking at your sheets.

The factor we all know about is thread count – how many threads per square inch of fabric. Nowadays manufacturers are coming out with 1000 / 1600 thread count materials. This is not the whole of the story though. You need to also look at

– ply
– yarn size
– type of cotton
– how it’s woven

If it’s 2 ply, then it becomes heavier and is kind of cheating, as they up the thread count by first interweaving two threads and then weaving the fabric.

Large yarn is better.

Sea Island, Egyptian (Ashmouni) or Pima (US) cotton is best as the cotton strands (the “staple”) themselves are longest. Some people prefer sateen, which has polyester in it, making it slightly less ‘slippery’ or silky than pure cotton.

There are four main types of ELS (Extra Long Staple) cotton:- American upland , Egyptian, Sea Island and Asiatic.

(1) American upland is a plant with green coloured flowers. It gives a large yield with white fibres 7/8”-1-1/4 inches in length.
(2) The Egyptian cotton has lemon coloured flowers and produces long silky light tan fibres
1-1/2” in length. The American variant of this strain is Pima Cotton which yields fibre of 1-3/8” & above in length.
(3) Sea island cotton is grown in the West Indies . It has yellow flower and is a slow grower and the white fibres are 1-3/4” in length used for high quality textile.
(4) The Asiatic strain produces a low yield of short, coarse, harsh fibre.

Egyptian cotton seems to be grown in Karnak.

For more information:

Soleilmavis on thread count

The ebay guide to terms and differences for cotton linens

Best in Bedding FAQ

about Pima cotton and how it was bred

The four types of cotton