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Do mattresses for people who have a dust mite allergy, really exist?

25 Jan, 2024
Jürgen Swinnen

Are there mattresses for people with dust mite allergies?

Yes indeed, a lot of materials used to make mattresses are suitable for repelling dust mites. Here will look at what products can help, whilst taking a closer look at an anti dust mite allergy mattress – and how a mattress protector can also perfectly transform your existing mattress into an anti-allergy mattress.

What is a dust mite and can it hurt?

A dust mite is a microscopic animal that lives in the dust. The invisible mite feeds on human and animal dander. The critter is totally harmless to humans – although it is the droppings of dust mites that lead to an allergic reaction in a lot of people. A house dust mite allergic reaction can range from wheezing, coughing up mucus, itching in the nose and eyes over a stuffy nose and frequent sniffling and sneezing.

You can, through your doctor, do an allergy test. The results will be useful to know, as if you are allergic to the allergens produced by dust mites, you could be prescribed antihistamines to suppress the allergic reaction..

What can I do about dust mites in my home?

Mites have a wonderful life in a moist, nutrient-rich and preferably comfortably warm environment – the ideal place to stay and raise a large family! Dust mites love living in carpet, furniture, curtains, pillows and mattresses. So ventilate regularly, especially your bedroom!

To avoid dust mite allergy, pull back the covers on your bed each morning; as this will allow moisture to evaporate. If the room temperature is cold, heat your bedroom to about 18°C. The moisture will then be absorbed into the warmer air.

Wash bedding such as: sheets, fitted sheets, pillowcases and comforter covers at least once every two weeks at 60°C. Choose washable pillows and duvets, and if you are highly allergic it is recommended to wash them every 6 to 8 days.

Which mattress to choose when you suffer from house dust mite allergy?

A mattress consists of a mattress core and a mattress cover. Together, these parts make up your mattress. Some covers are attached to the core and can not be removed. While others come with removable covers, so you can also maintain or replace them separately if needed. They are made of supple knitted yarns, tightly woven mattress fabrics or upholstery fabrics in the case of a co-upholstered mattress.

The mattress core

Mattresses with a full core, such as (natural) latex, (memory) foam or composite cores with gel or elastic polymers, for example, are anti-allergic. The properties of these specific materials make these cores very suitable to use for people with house dust mite allergies.

However, a 100% guarantee does not exist, because the longer a mattress is in use, the higher the chance that dust mites will still nestle. Full cores, as opposed to mattress cores with (pocket) springs, can often get a bit warmer. Add moisture to the mix and a good breeding ground of dander, for example, and suddenly an ideal habitat for dust mites is created – despite the, basically, allergy-resistant materials.

Although some specialists claim that (pocket) spring mattresses would be less suitable, this is questionable. The air in the springs is constantly moving, providing active ventilation. The cover materials placed on the springs are the same as those described above as full core. Properties do not suddenly change.

Personally, I think the mattress core only plays a relatively limited role when it comes to the impact on allergies. American research also shows that all pillows and mattresses contain allergens after 6 months of use.

sleeping while having dust mite allergy

The mattress cover

This brings us to the mattress cover. This cover literally forms a shell around the core and is ideally suited to stop or inhibit the development of mites.

HeiQ (UK headquarters), BekaertDeslee (Belgium headquarters) or Devan (Belgium headquarters) are industry leaders for mattress covers. For example, they integrated probiotics into the yarns and fabrics used to make the mattress fabrics. Whereas until recently these probiotics were stored in microplastics and applied to the yarns, the latest technology is 100% biodegradable or bio-based.

How it works that probiotics?

Essentially, rapidly developing probiotics form colonies in the fabric which eliminate the breeding ground of dust mites. While this is happening, probiotics will also consume moisture, making your mattress feel drier. The ideal conditions for the mites disappear, causing them to depart from your mattress and seek other places.

An additional coating and elimination of microorganisms

Several technological innovations are now available – such as Devan who introduced Bi-Ome as an alternative. This is applied to the fabric like a coating, which attracts microorganisms. Once in contact, their cell membrane is punctured, stopping fouling and eliminating bacteria and fungi that may develop. Aegis also works in a similar way – fabrics treated also smell fresher.

Beware of toxic coatings!

There are, of course, biocide or toxic coatings that can provide relief from dust mites. However there is concern about its use as our skin is also exposed to this toxin. Whilst the reaction would generally be mild – if you suffer from a chronic skin disease such as psoriasis or eczema, our advice is to avoid mattress covers treated with biocides. Or check through the European Chemicals Agency to see if the product is authorised. Better safe than sorry!

Extra help for allergic symptoms! 4 tips!

  1. Choose a removable mattress cover that you can wash at least 60°C. But beware – if your cover has probiotics then it is best to wash this cover at a lower temperature. This is because you will also kill the active probiotics.
  2. Buy a good mattress protector right away and wash it regularly!
  3. Choose washable pillows and bedding. Make sure they are at least washable at 60°C.
  4. Avoid dust by closing closets tightly, avoiding piles of stuffed animals or pillows on your bed, cleaning regularly and airing well daily.

Frequently asked questions: Mattresses for dust mite allergy

You can clean your mattress against dust mites with a steam cleaner or with a combination of baking soda and essential oil. By mixing 50 grams of baking soda and 10 drops of essential oil and applying it to the mattress. Wait an hour, after which you can remove the mixture.

It depends on your degree and allergy, which is different for everyone. It is best to change your bed once a week and wash bedding at 60 degrees to prevent the spread of dust mites.

You can get an allergic reaction from a certain type of mattress, like latex, however, mostly it has to do with a house dust mite allergy. Clean your mattress to determine if your allergic reaction is coming from the mattress or other bedding.