Hypoallergenic Bedding: Dust Mite and Allergy Free Bedding Guide
By Mercia Tapping
- It is best to be clear whether you have dust mite allergies and you do this by going to an allergist for allergy tests.
- Do I have dust mites in my home? You can find out whether you have dust mites in your home by using a home dust mite test kit. You are more likely to have dust mites in your home if you live in warm southern climates or where there is a high level of humidity.
- You can give yourself a break by cleaning your bedroom. See article on dust mite control.
- Where do I focus first? Pillows, they can collect up to 2 pounds of dust mite feces [the stuff you are allergic to] over a 2 year period per pillow. Start with dust mite encasing if you do not want to bury your nose into dust mites every night. If your pillow is old and needs to be replaced, consider buying a pillow made out of a textile which is dust mite resistant. I suggest latex pillow because latex is inhospitable to dust mites. Wool or silk pillows would be a second choice as they are naturally resistant to dust mites.
- My favorite dust mite covers are Solus Organic dust mite covers, they are simply worth the money. Apart from the added benefit that they are made from certified organic cotton, they are also one of the softest. Think about it for a moment, the softest and most supple dust mite cover underneath your pillowcase means that your pillow retains its soft and supple feel. Important for those of us who like to scrunch up our pillows and mash them underneath our heads.
- What is your BEST and most effective dust mite encasing or cover? The quick answer is, every brand we sell has been tested and certified as a dust mite barrier. However, for the ultimate protection against microscopic dust mite allergens, opt for a dust mite cover with an impenetrable barrier layer. For excellent protection, all of our woven fabrics are tightly constructed so dust mites simply cannot wiggle their way through the fabric. All our brands have a pore size of less than 10 microns, the size of an average dust mite. The ‘best’ dust mite cover is in reality a comfort choice, and I prefer ones which are made out of cotton because they ‘breath better’.
- Looking for a cheap dust mite cover? Then encase your mattress with a plastic or garbage bag. A little facetious? Well perhaps, but plastic does a great job blocking dust mites because it cuts the dust mites off from their food source which is you and your skin flakes. Trouble is you would find it sweaty and the noise of the plastic would drive your crazy. Some of the dust mite encasing on the market are only a small step away from a garbage bag-with a crinkly noise designed to keep you up all night.
- Do you need a dust mite cover on your box spring? To my mind, unless you are super allergic, this can be overkill and you can do without one. However, dust mites do travel and crawl where they are not wanted. Since you do not sleep on your box spring, you can settle for a less expensive fabric such as a polyester dust mite cover for this job.
- How about your mattress? It is well worth using a dust mite encasing on your mattress, but remember if you have a latex mattress you probably do not need an encasing at all, as latex is inhospitable to dust mites. Royal Pedic makes a phenomenal latex mattress which is a customer favorite for its unbelievably comfort and support to aching joints.
- How often do you need to wash your dust mite covers? This is a matter of hygiene and does not have anything to do with the effectiveness of the dust mite covering. Personally, I like to wash them as little as possible because of the risk of damaging a mattress encasing as you get it on and off. [see our article on instructions for putting on a dust mite encasing onto your mattress]. Washing dust mite covers do not increase their dust mite prevention properties. Pillow encasings can be washed regularly. With mattresses I recommend that you also use a mattress pad that is machine washable to maintain a clean bed. If you need to clean your mattress encasings without taking them off the mattress, then try using a vapor steam cleaner, which kills any surface dust mite matter and cleans all dirt and stains. Let’s face it, people drool onto their pillows, sweat and do other things at night that make it necessary to freshen pillow encasings by washing them. Wash them at a high temperature of 130Â°F to kill any dust mite matter on the inside of the encasing.
- How about dust-mite covers for your comforter or duvet? In a perfect world you would have a comforter which was comprise of a textile inhospitable to dust mites. Comforters are made out of silk or wool are perfect for minimizing the breeding of dust mite colonies. Hypoallergenic down comforters [which reduce the chance of a reaction to feathers] can still be a breeding ground for dust mites. If you need a dust mite cover for your comforter, we think Cottonfresh wins out as it is the lightest and most supple covering. Why bother with a dust mite cover if your regular duvet cover is very high thread count? Good question. Unless your duvet cover has zippered tight closures and has an extremely tight weave, those adolescent dust mites will muscle their way through any opening. Adolescent dust mites for the uninitiated, as we found out from a man who breeds them for researchers, tend to be pushy creatures which find their way through anything and will jump around in pursuing more food. Need I say more?
- What about your child’s bed? I suggest a cheaper dust mite cover that has a barrier layer which will give the added benefit of water proof protection. A great choice would be our White Mountain Textile Stretch Knit Encasings.