If you have allergies, then you've probably also had many sleepless nights wrestling in your bed, wishing you could find relief and rest. Unfortunately, crawling into your bed for some allergy downtime may be the wrong move. That is, if you don't have hypoallergenic bedding. Unlike ordinary bedding, allergy bedding is specially designed (generally with a tighter fabric weave) to be allergen-resistant, particularly to dust mites. Dust mites rank at the top of the list for allergen triggers in bedrooms.
The Low Down on Dust Mites
For those who do not know about dust mites, here is the simple breakdown. Dust mites are tiny cream-colored microorganisms that enjoy a warm, moist climate and make their homes in fibrous materials in our homes, such as rugs, carpets, drapes, mattresses, and upholstered furniture. These minuscule animals live off of dead skin cells, saliva, and dust.
Dust mites, which can number in the millions, cause allergic reactions because of the proteins in their excretions. When dust mites secrete waste products, it dries out and becomes airborne quickly and easily. Because the waste products, like the organisms, are so small, they can be easily inhaled. If you are allergic, the results are immediate.
Dust mites are particularly harmful for individuals who have allergies or who suffer from respiratory conditions, such as asthma. It is estimated that about 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites.
Are You Allergic to Dust Mites?
At-home testing kits are available to test if dust mites are present in your home, although this doesn't necessarily mean you are allergic to them. Many people who have multiple allergies find themselves allergic to dust mites as well. An estimated 40% of people who have one or more allergies are also allergic to dust mites. For positive confirmation of an allergy to dust mites, an allergist should be your first resource. However, under the common sense approach, if you find yourself unable to sleep restfully in your own bed because you wake up during the night with a stuffy or runny nose, chances are that dust mites are behind it. The most common symptoms of dust mite allergies are:
The Benefits of Allergy Bedding
People who are allergic to dust mites will greatly benefit from hypoallergenic bedding because it promotes an environment free of dust mites. Allergy bedding, which encompasses sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers, mattress covers and pads, mattresses, and box springs, can help to control the dust mites that already exist in your home and to create a healthier environment that won't allow them to hide away or multiply exponentially.
Additionally, hypoallergenic bedding offers multiple benefits for allergy-suffers. Although the material is tightly woven to eliminate dust mites specifically, it also offers benefits from other allergy triggers. It is rare that allergies come as a single unit, with most people suffering from two or more allergies at a time. So regardless of whether you know you have dust mites, or if you simply know you have allergies, investing in high-quality bedding provides overall improved bedtime hygiene, as it is resistant to saliva and perspiration. It is also made of natural fibers, is chemical-free, and can be washed at high temperatures.
The Choices in Hypoallergenic Bedding
Allergy bedding is made of a variety of fabrics so there are many options to fit your needs.
Silk: The most luxurious in this line is silk. Many people do not know the benefits of silk for allergy-sufferers. Silk is completely dust mite-resistant, while offering the softest of materials to sleep in.
Wool: Blends of alpaca and sheep wool create unparalleled bedding that is both warm and dust mite repellant.
Cotton: Specialized cotton blends are another alternative in hypoallergenic bedding. This bedding is created from 100% cotton and is tested for effectiveness. These cotton fabrics are as nice to the touch as silk and equally as effective.
Controlling Dust Mites
The key to controlling dust mites lies in eliminating their ability to live in your home and particularly in your bed. Therefore, if you suffer from allergies and are concerned about the long-term effects of dust mite exposure (for example, if a family member has asthma or there is an elderly person with respiratory issues present), then it is crucial to tackle your bedding needs with products that are proven to produce results.
Additionally, dehumidifiers and steam cleaners are excellent defenses against dust mites and allergens in general. For more information on dust mites, read our articles Dust Mites 101 and Dust Mites and Allergies.
Still Have Questions?
For more information on our allergy bedding products and other ways to improve your indoor environment, shop our products and visit our Learning Center. Not sure what's best for you? We can take the guess work out of decision-making. Contact our product experts toll free at 1 (800) 934-9194 for a detailed consultation. Our goal is to make your indoor environment healthy and comfortable.