Do you suffer from daily sneezing, watery eyes, clogged sinuses, or sniffling? Have your allergies become a simple fact of life for you? While millions of people will answer "yes," what they might not know is that one of the biggest causes behind their allergies might be their own mattress.
For mattresses that are still reasonably new and performing well, airing the bed each morning and regularly cleaning mattresses, protectors, pillows and blankets will help to eliminate the conditions under which house dust mites thrive.
Regularly washing your bedding helps decrease the spread of bacteria. Not only do we sweat into our sheets but they absorb food, cosmetics, creams and general dirt build up! Wash on a high temperature to kill mites and removes mite faces.
While you should always consult your doctor about full treatment options for your allergies, there are a few things you can do on your own to relieve your allergy symptoms—particularly at home.
While there are always exceptions and caveats regarding timing, here are some general rules of thumb:
If you're unsure how old your mattress is, you should be able to check the tag for the sale date. Anything more than eight years old, and you're likely sleeping on piles of impacted dust, sweat, and dead skin, a size of which won't be capable of being readily removed.
Allergy and asthma sufferers should look for a synthetic material like memory foam that has been proven to be easier to clean and collects overall significantly less dust than traditional materials. Moving forward, consider choosing an 'allergy-proof' slipcover that goes over your mattress and prevents dust mites from traveling from your sheets to your mattress.
As we indicated above, sheets and pillowcases should be frequently washed (at least once a week) in hot water to remove dust and feeding dust mites. While most people have this step in place, many are unaware that in addition to vacuuming their floors regularly, they should also vacuum their mattresses!
This is a simple but important step to keeping down mites. Every time you strip your bed to wash your sheets, give your mattress a thorough vacuuming.
It is also vitally important to ensure the bedroom is well ventilated: in an age of central heating and double glazing, they rarely are, but a good cool breeze through the room at night will help combat the problem as well as aid more restful sleep.
For those worried that open windows will allow in airborne pollen, it’s worth bearing in mind that the allergy created by the house dust mite is far worse than any allergy created by pollen. Asthma kills people, hay fever doesn’t, so ventilation is very important.