Do You Need a New Mattress if You Have Allergies?

One of the greatest customer service challenges we face regularly is making sure that a new dust mite proof zippered cover arrives on the same day as a customer’s new mattress.  Everyone wants the guys delivering the mattress to put the new dust mite mattress cover on their new mattress.  Great idea and we are always happy to accommodate.  But it did get me thinking, “Why are so many people with dust mite allergies buying a new mattress?”  After doing a little research, it turns out that there is some misunderstanding going around about mattresses, pillows, and dust mites.
 
It is true that a sizable amount of an old mattress’s weight is due to the collection of dead skin particles, dust mites (living and dead), and dust mite feces.  However, if you get a new mattress, within 6 months you will have already started a new collection of these particles.  I am sure that the mattress salesmen of the world would like you to buy a new mattress every 6 months, but that really isn’t practical now is it?
 
The truth is whether you have allergies or not, you should follow the advice of Consumer Reports and only replace a mattress when it no longer provides the comfort or support you need to get a good night’s rest.  If you have dust mite allergies, the most important thing you can do for your mattress is encase it in a zippered mattress dust mite proof encasing.  This is true of a mattress that is 10 years old and it is true of a mattress that is 10 days old.
 
Don’t fall for claims made by manufacturers of latex, foam, and wool mattresses that their products do not need a dust mite mattress cover.  It is true that the lanolin in wool repels dust mites, but it is also true that the very same wool will capture and hold all the allergens to which it is exposed.  Latex and memory foam are dense, but not so dense that they don’t harbor mites and other allergens.
 
Also, every so often you really should clean your mattress (yes, even if you have a cover on it). Your mattress influences your health beyond just comfort and support.
 
If you’re not familiar with the ways on how to clean and maintain your mattress, then you’ll love this infographic from ASleepyWolf.Com.  It is an informative guide on mattress care!
 
Mattress Care 101: The Ultimate Guide For An Ageing Mattress 2019
(Layla Parker, the founder and chief editor of ASleepyWolf. ” I decided to start taking my blog about sleep seriously to help people find what they needed to experience better sleep and maintain their health.” Please check out her website ASleepyWolf.com to learn more about improving your sleep.)
 
I slept on an old soft-sided waterbed for many years. You might think that dust mites can’t live in a waterbed.  Wrong! The padded foam that encapsulates the water cells is a perfect place to capture dust mite allergens.  So even though I could not put a zippered dust mite cover on my bed, I had a fitted style cover.
 
The people that sell pillows would like you to buy new pillows every 2 years.  I sell pillows and I would love to sell you new pillows all the time as well.  However, I will be honest and tell you that you should buy a new pillow when your old one is no longer comfortable.  If you have dust mite allergies, just make sure you have a dust mite proof cover on the pillow.
 

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Fall Bedding…Time to Get Your Bed Ready for Snuggle Season

 

Snuggle Time

Fall is in full force now.  It’s a great time to start thinking about changing out your summer bedding.  Even if you don’t live in an area with significant changes in temperature, it is still a good time to freshen up your bedding, especially if you have dust or dust mite allergies.

Your first line of defense is your zippered dust mite covers that you have on your pillows, mattress and boxs prings.  If you didn’t take the cover off your mattress in the Spring and wash it, now is a great time to do that chore.  A great snuggle season starts with bedding that is freshly laundered. Be sure to wash in either hot water or add some De-Mite if you are washing in cold.  Wash with the zippers in the open position and be sure the cover is totally dry before you put it back on the bed.  If you didn’t wash your mattress cover last Spring and haven’t done it recently, there is no time like this weekend to get that done!

You are probably washing your dust mite pillow covers every 2 months or so.  If you haven’t washed them in the last two months, throw them in the load with your mattress cover.  Also, try to make it a habit to wash those pillow covers at least every 6 to 8 weeks.  The oil from your hair and head can come through your pillowcase case and make the zippered cover look really dingy.

It’s also time to start thinking about warmer blankets and quilts.  If your Fall bedding includes a blanket or quilt that was not stored in a closed container, then before you put it on your bed, toss the item in your dryer and set to the fluff setting for 20 minutes.  Do not use any heat!  The tumble action of the dryer will help shake loose any dust that might have collected while it was in storage.

If your quilt/comforter isn’t protected with a dust mite proof zippered duvet cover, then you should think about using one.  The zippered cover will provide complete protection against any allergens embedded in the comforter and also help to keep the duvet/comforter itself clean. If you don’t use a zippered cover, then you can always spray your duvet, quilt or comforter or other bedding with ADMS Anti-Allergen Dust Mite Spray.  Just give it a light mist on both sides and make sure it is dry before you put it back on the bed.

If you change to jersey or flannel sheets in the fall months, make sure that your Spring/Summer sheets are washed in De-Mite or Allergen Wash before you store them.  If you didn’t wash your sheets in either of these solutions, then make sure you do wash them before you put them on the bed.  You want to start fresh.

Now if you are going to take your summer quilt/blanket/comforter and get it ready for storage, make sure it is clean first.  If it is washable, wash it and make sure it is completely dry.  If it wool or silk that is not washable, take advantage of these last sunny days and expose your wool or silk to the sunshine.  The ultraviolet light will freshen the silk and reactivate the lanolin in the wool.

If you have large plastic storage bags or tubs, they are great for protecting your summer bedding until you need it again next year.  If bugs are a problem, I recommend the use of cedar chips and cedar oil versus toxic mothballs to repel pests.

If you have allergies and are thinking about adding a new quilt or comforter to your Fall bedding collection, then I recommend wool over down or synthetic fibers.  The lanolin in wool naturally repels dust mites and also provides some antibacterial protection.

I have used both wool and silk comforters on my bed.  I prefer the wool over the silk, my hubby likes the silk better.  The compromise is silk in the warmer months and wool in the cooler months (yes we do have what we think are “cool” nights here in South Florida during the winter).

I know people really like down but it causes problems.  Not only is it a dust mite heaven, but even if you cover your down quilt with a dust mite proof cover, the protection won’t last forever.  Eventually, the quills on the down will penetrate the microweave and your cover will loose its effectiveness.

Some people like to vacuum their mattresses a few times a year.  It really isn’t necessary, but if it makes you feel more protected, then by all means, use this time of year as an excuse to do it.

Till next time

Cheryl

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7 Dust Mite Myths Busted

WOW have the phones been ringing like crazy this week! Seems like everyone has a question or two about dust mites.  We noticed that there are lots of misconceptions about things that dust mites do. We want to set the record straight.

7 Dust Mite Myths Busted
7 Dust Mite Myths Busted – Click to enlarge

Dust mites are biting me! – No, dust mites aren’t biting you. They can’t bite you. They don’t have a mouth with teeth.  Instead, they have an opening that scoops up shed bits of  skin. Instead of chewing their food the way we do, they secrete an enzyme that breaks the food down and begins digestion. Dust mites don’t have a  mouth, they don’t have teeth, they don’t chew, and they don’t bite !

If your skin itches, it is more likely  an allergic reaction to the proteins that are found in the waste products of the dust mites.

I feel the dust mites crawling on me! – A dust mite is too small to see with the naked eye. You certainly can’t feel them walking around on your skin. They may hitch a ride on your clothing, but dust mites don’t live on people. If you even want to see a dust mite, you will need at least a 10X magnification microscope.

Dust mites are escaping from my vacuum! – No they are not. Dust mites aren’t mobile enough to crawl out of your vacuum cleaner. Dust mites (dead or alive) and their fragmented body parts, shed skins and feces only escape  your vacuum cleaner if it leaks through the exhaust.

Always vacuum with a HEPA-filtered vacuum to reduce dust mite allergens in homes.

Dust mites are flying around my house!–  Dust mites don’t have wings. They can’t fly.

I feel them under my skin!  – Those aren’t dust mites. Scabies  burrow into the skin, not dust mites.

They are chewing through my mattress cover! – Dust mites don’t chew. If something is biting you it could be bed bugs.  Dust mite covers trap allergens and prevent them from becoming airborne. A high quality dust mite proof cover on your mattress and pillows will protect you.

Got Questions?

Still have questions about allergies or dust mites? Give us a call at (800) 771-2246 or drop us a line allergy@allergystore.com.

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