Q: What is the difference between dust and dust mites?
Answer: Dust is the accumulation of very fine particulates, the kind that you can sometimes see floating around the air when the light streams through the windows late afternoon. It is not healthy to breathe in dirt. Dust mites are live microscopic creatures which inhabit our bedding, carpets and upholstery. Mites feed on human and animal dander, pollen, fungi and bacteria. The food consumption and development of the mites increases with higher relative humidity (70 to 80%) and common indoor temperatures (75 to 80 degrees fahrenheit). Since you spend up to 1/3 of your life in the bedroom and need a good night's sleep it is essential to take care of the dust mite problem there first! To keep it simple, dust mite proof covers on your bedding cut off their food source. Encase mattresses, boxsprings, pillows and comforters in non-allergenic tightly woven zippered dust mite encasings. Keep your room at a low humidity level and eliminate any dust harboring articles in the room.
Q: How do I really know that I have a problem?
Answer: Here are some of the signs of dust mite allergy: persistently stuffy nose and ears, repeated sneezing on awakening, itchy watery eyes, worsening of symptoms when beds are made, improving symptoms outside the house.
To check for the dust mite level in your rooms before you begin a plan of attack you can use a simple home dust mite test kit to see how bad the problem is.
To check your humidity level you can purchase a low cost hygrometer from AllergyBuyersClub.
Q: Will I know the encasings are there when I am in bed?
Answer: Our encasing offerings are comfortable, noiseless and cool. The fabric has a gentle, light-weight finish which provides an effective yet luxurious feel. We offer three cotton choices with high thread counts which makes the fabrics tightly woven yet have exceptional breathability that allows air and perspiration to flow through but not the mites or their allergens. The fabric is not hot or sweaty to sleep on! We have evaluated other dust mite protection barrier products and found these to be the most comfortable, effective protection you can buy. You won't even know that they are there!
Q: How do I use dust mite encasings?
Answer: The dust mite encasings are used over your pillows, mattress, mattress pad, boxspring and comforter and underneath your pillowcases, sheets and duvet covers. Here are the best products that we could find. Note all off our products are cotton based which makes them better than most other products do not have any cotton in them. If you are comparing these to other products on the market please check their cotton content first!
Note: Some of our customers buy one of the encasing sets and a set of Cottonfresh encasings as well. They put the Cottonfresh on the most allergic person's bed and use the Pristine or Natural Allergen barrier cotton pillow encasings for other beds in the home.
Q: How do I know what size to buy?
Answer: You buy the size that matches the bed that you want to cover (twin,queen, etc.) However, we sell the encasings in two different depths within these sizes. We sell the mattress covers in three depths: 9 inch (standard) 12 inch (deep - These will fit standard beds as well) and extra deep 15 inch mattress encasing sets. See the previous question's links to go directly to the link that you need. We suggest that you measure your mattress height (without sheets) from at least 3 different sides of the mattress including any pillowtop or foam mattress pads if you have them. Buy the encasing set that best fits the mattress size plus topper depth.
Q: Can I put them on by myself?
Answer: We suggest that you get someone to help you since putting them on requires that you remove the mattress and boxspring from the frame. Put the mattress or boxspring up on its end and gently pull the encasing evenly over the width of the mattress. If you try to pull too much on one side it could tear. When you have the encasing over the entire mattress or boxspring - zip it up and return it to the bed. Click here for further detailed instructions.
Q: Do I have to take them off when I wash my sheets and pillowcases?
Answer: We recommend that you wash your regular bed linens and pillow encasings in hot water once a week (130°F/54.4°C). A cooler temperature will not kill the mites. You do not have to remove the mattress and boxspring encasings and wash them every week. You can remove the bed linens and vacuum the encasing with a HEPA vacuum or use a vapor steam cleaner over the surface of the mattress.
Q: Are these cotton based encasings washable?
Answer: These encasings are completely hot water machine washable and can be tumbled dry. Do not use chlorine bleach on the encasings.
Q: What should be on my checklist to reduce best allergens in my bedroom?
Answer: Encase your mattress, boxspring, pillows and comforter in dust mite encasings. Keep humidity below 50%, ideally between 30-40%.Keep your closet door closed. Clothes can harbor dust if the door is left open. Avoid upholstered furniture when possible. Use plastic, leather or wood furniture instead. Remove carpeting when possible or use a low pile carpet or throw rugs on bare floors. Wash throw rugs frequently.Use a "Swiffer" or "Grab It" for dusting instead of regular mops or cloths. Use light washable curtains, valances and shades or vertical blinds on your windows. Use a high quality HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) air filter to filter out airborne allergens. Find one that will do the job at low frequency so that you do not have to live with noise of a filter at high speed. Dust and vacuum twice a week using a HEPA vacuum cleaner or central vacuum cleaner that vents particles to the outside of the house. This will reduce the small particle dust in the room. Fry them: Use a vapor steam cleaner on your bedding and/or scatter rugs to assist in killing dust mites between washes. Freeze dust mites: Take advantage of the freezing weather. Put pillows, cloth or stuffed toys, any thing that could host dust mites into plastic bags and put them outside in the deep freeze. Yes, the frost kills the mites. Change your air conditioners filters before the season starts.
Discourage pets from bedrooms. Mites feed on pet dander as well. (We know this is a tough one but it will make a big difference!)
If you need a solution for dust mites that hasn't been addressed in this article see our dust mite solution guide and our dust mite encasing comparison chart.