Buying bedding can sometimes be a frustrating and misleading experience, from which brand uses the best cotton to what thread count is worth the splurge. You spend a third of your life in bed, though, so your sleep experience matters! If you’re in need of some answers – or overdue for a bedding upgrade – look no further than Parachute, an online bedding essentials brand based in Venice Beach. Designed in LA, made in Italy and delivered directly to customers, Parachute simplifies the purchasing process to make premium quality bedding accessibly priced.
We asked Parachute to share their bedding expertise – and to clear up some confusion – on what’s most important to consider when buying bedding. Here’s what they had to say…
Thread Count Doesn’t Matter
We’ve been trained to equate large numbers with luxury. So the higher the thread count, the better the quality, right? Wrong. A sheet’s thread count is determined by the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. But there are only so many threads that can fit into a square-inch – and that’s usually somewhere around 400. To get any number higher than that, manufactures have to use some creative counting or dubious manufacturing techniques.
One common trick is to factor in a fabric’s ply, which is the number of strands that comprise each thread. So fabric that is 400 thread count suddenly becomes 800 because it’s made from two-ply fabric – or three-ply becomes 1,200. Other manufacturers might just use thinner threads, which can shorten a sheet’s lifespan. Techniques like these let retailers up the price without increasing comfort or quality, and because there’s no FTC mandate on thread count, manufacturers aren’t forced to comply. In fact, some of these practices actually do the opposite, resulting in sheets that don’t breathe well or are too stiff.
Don’t just take our word for it: As Consumer Reports states, “Our latest tests again confirmed that higher thread count doesn’t guarantee better sheets.” Therefore, be wary anytime you see a thread count above 400. Most experts would recommend not even worrying about thread count at all.
But Material Makes a Difference
Cotton is lauded as one of the most durable and breathable materials for bedding. All Parachute bedding is made from the finest long-staple Egyptian cotton, combed with precision to remove all impurities and dyed naturally in a process that surpasses the highest safety and environmental protection standards.
The Difference Between Percale and Sateen
It’s not just the material you have to consider — how it’s woven makes a difference, too. Our favorite varieties are percale and sateen.
A percale weave is most easily comparable to the perfect white button-down: crisp, clean and gets better with time. It’s stonewashed for ultimate comfort and will only become softer as it’s laundered. Percale’s tightly woven weave – accomplished in a one-thread-over-one-under fashion – gives the fabric a matte finish. It’s ultra-breathable, too, making percale especially forgiving throughout balmy summer nights.
If you’re looking for a more lustrous experience, sateen is the best choice. Its unique weave of four-over-one-under yields a luxurious sheen and drape, coupled with the classic comfort and durability of high quality cotton. Sateen is silky to the touch and smooth against your skin, ideally suited for year round use.
Mind The Environment — And Your Health — With Oeko-Tex Certification
It’s important to make sure your bedding is made with the environment’s – and your own – best interests at mind. One way to do this is to look for Oeko-Tex certification.
Oeko-Tex is a certification system for textile producers operated by a global network of laboratories. Certification is only granted when the fabrics pass strict tests for substances that are prohibited or regulated by law, chemicals that are known to be harmful to health, and other parameters to safeguard health. It’s part of the REACH protocol (which stands for “Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals”), a testing framework in the European Union that helps protect humans and the environment from risks of dangerous chemicals.
All Parachute bedding is Oeko-Tex certified and manufactured in Tuscany by true artisans who have been weaving world class bedding for over 60 years. Their passion for linens is demonstrated in their attention to detail and impeccable workmanship – you’ll feel the difference – and Mother Nature will thank you, too.