Starting your own hospitality business - a hotel, motel, b&b - can be very stressful. No matter how meticulously you plan every single aspect, there’s always going to be something you’ve missed, or done wrong, or something that popped up completely out of the blue. Like bed linens, for example. You’ve chosen linens with a very high thread count made from cotton that "feels like it’s Egyptian", and you thought you’ve done really well. And then you find out the truth.

First of all, linen made out of cotton that feels like Egyptian is not the same as linen made from Egyptian cotton. It’s a good thing you looked for Egyptian because it’s always been the best quality cotton. But you don’t want to buy anything that’s made to resemble it - you should either stick to real Egyptian cotton from Egypt, or cotton that’s made to the same standard in another country. And Pima cotton is very nice, as well.

Now for the thread count. If you’ve ordered bed linens with a four digit-thread count, you’ve probably been a victim of a very creative way to represent the number of threads. The thread count is the number of individual threads woven into a square inch of fabric. It usually goes from 150 to around 400. Everything above that means that the thread that was used is made out of smaller threads woven together. So, if you have a linen with a thread count of 600, it probably has 150 threads per square inch, each of them made from 4 finer threads. Also, for a hospitality business, everything above 250 isn’t practical, as it may be too fine a material to withstand the heavy use. Also, anything below 180 is not fine enough.

So, when you want to get really good quality bed linens for your hotel, remember to look for high quality cotton - Egyptian or Pima, and don’t be swayed by the very high thread count. You really want to look for something between 180 and 250 when you’re looking for hotel bed linens. Also, remember that the satin cotton finish or the crisp linen finish isn’t really a quality feature, and it all depends on what you think your customers will like more.