Target Class Action Alleges False Advertising of Sheet Thread Counts

target bed sheets class action

Shopper Sues, Alleges Target's High Thread Count Claims Are False Advertising

Target is facing a class action lawsuit alleging it has deceived consumers about the thread count of its bed sheets.

Plaintiff Alexander Panelli filed the lawsuit in a California court on May 8, claiming Target's Threshold, California Design Den, and Blue Nile Mills brands are advertised as having a higher thread count than they actually do.

The lawsuit alleges Target's practices violate state and federal consumer laws. Consumers often rely on thread count as an indicator of quality when purchasing bed sheets.

What is Thread Count and Why Does It Matter for Your Sheets?

Thread count is a very specific term used worldwide as it relates to the actual thread count of a particular textile, the lawsuit states. 

There is a globally accepted measurement test for thread count, and high thread counts have come to mean “high quality sheets” — more supple, more soft and more durable. 

“‘Thread count’ is not an advertising term or mere puffery but is one of the key elements in the marketing (and ultimately the pricing) of bedsheets,” the Target lawsuit says. “In fact, the price of a given bed set is proportionally tied to the thread count of that given bedsheet.”  

Panelli points out that “thread count” is not a subjective term that Target could play with in its marketing, rather it is a specific measurement that typically determines the value of a sheet.

Target Sheets: Are You Paying More for Less?

Panelli, seeking a high thread count for his new bed sheets, extensively researched both in-store and online options before deciding on Target's Threshold Signature sheets. He was drawn to the higher price, believing it reflected the advertised 800 thread count, a key indicator of quality.

However, independent testing conducted under international standards revealed a stark discrepancy. The actual thread count was a mere 288, a staggering 64% lower than advertised, significantly undermining the perceived value of the purchase.

Panelli's lawsuit extends beyond his personal experience, alleging that Target routinely advertises inflated thread counts for its bed sheets. Notably, Target currently offers a 100% cotton sheet set claiming a 1200 thread count, a figure Panelli asserts is physically impossible. He argues that a 100% cotton fabric cannot realistically achieve a thread count exceeding 600 due to the limitations of cotton thread thickness.

The lawsuit cites textile expert Pat Slaven of Consumer Reports, who explains the misleading practice of inflating thread counts by twisting multiple strands of fabric together and counting them as individual threads. Slaven concludes that such tactics do not necessarily correlate with higher quality and recommends a thread count of 400 as the "sweet spot" for consumers.

Target's Legal Troubles Extend Beyond Bed Sheets

Target is currently embroiled in multiple consumer class action lawsuits. In Illinois, the retail giant faces allegations of illegally collecting customers' facial scans using high-tech cameras. Meanwhile, several class action lawsuits challenge the quality and advertising of various Target products:

  • Up & Up Diaper Pail Refills: Parents accuse Target of misleading marketing, claiming the diaper pail refill bags advertised to last a year actually last only a few months.

  • Good & Gather Pasta Sauces: This lawsuit alleges false advertising, claiming the sauces labeled as "natural" and free of artificial preservatives actually contain citric acid, a synthetic preservative.

  • Up & Up Bandages: Consumers are suing Target over allegations that their bandages contain PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals," which are linked to health concerns and could be absorbed through open wounds.

In the Target bed sheet thread count class action lawsuit, Panelli seeks to represent all California consumers who purchased Target bed sheets or pillowcases with potentially misleading thread count claims. He is pursuing damages, fees, and a jury trial.

Case Details

  • Lawsuit: Panelli v. Target Corporation
  • Case Number: 3:24-cv-02748-SK
  • Court: Superior Court of California, San Francisco Division

Plaintiffs' Attorneys

  • Mark Redmond (Law Offices of Mark A. Redmond)
  • Lawrence J. Salisbury (Salisbury Legal Corp)



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