We get calls all the time from people who want to know if you need a special cover to protect against dust mites. They may already have a cover or pad on the mattress or pillow and want to know if it will do the trick. I don’t blame them for asking. I wouldn’t want to buy a new mattress cover if the mattress cover I already owned would do the trick.
The problem is most regular mattress covers aren’t made of barrier cloth. Barrier cloth is the common name we give to microweave fabrics. The idea of a mattress cover made of a microweave is that the fibers have been woven so tightly that the allergens cannot escape through as air flows.
The most tightly woven microweave mattress covers are made from polyester fibers. That is because polyester is a strong yarn that can be woven very tightly without breaking. To get allergen protection, you want a mean (average) pore size of at least 8 microns.
The good microweave mattress covers are made with fabrics that have a 5-micron pore size and the really really good ones have a pore size of 4 microns. Of course, if you don’t like the idea of a mattress cover made from polyester and want the coolness of cotton, then you will have to sacrifice some pore size.
So, if the mattress cover you currently own totally encases the mattress, zips closed, and is made from a fabric with a mean pore size of under 8 microns, then you do not need to buy a special cover. Chances are, your cover does not meet these requirements and the money invested in a new mattress cover will well be worth the relief you get from sleeping allergy-free
I am always interested to find people using allergy control products in unusual ways. We had a customer that was extremely allergic to mango pollen and she lived in an area of Jamaica that was loaded with mango trees. The pollen gave her fits.
She absolutely swore that mopping the floors with De-Mite did more to control the pollen in her house that mopping with any other solution. As long as she lived in Jamaica, she mopped with De-Mite. I just learned a great new use for an old dust mite pillow cover.
Dust Mite Pillow Cover New Use #1
This past Easter Sunday, I found someone in my church using a zippered dust mite pillow cover as a cover for her dish at the potluck breakfast. I had to laugh and asked her what on earth she was doing.
She told me that several years prior to her becoming knowledgeable about what makes a good zippered dust mite cover, she purchased some very inexpensive covers made of SMS material.
As you can imagine, she quickly discovered that SMS is not a great fabric for any piece of bedding upon which you directly sleep. She found it to be loud and hot. I told her that we love SMS box spring covers, but we do not even sell a dust mite pillow cover made from SMS because it just is not comfortable
She told me how much happier she was with the all-cotton dust mite pillow covers that she purchased from The Allergy Store but she hated to get rid of the old covers. So, she started using them to carry hot or cold dishes to potluck meals.
She said they are great because whether your dish is hot or cold, it will not hurt the seat of your car. In addition, even if the contents escape the plastic wrap or aluminum foil covers it will not splash in the car and create a mess.
Dust Mite Pillow Cover New Use #2
She also shared that she uses the old SMS dust mite pillow covers to store some of her serving dishes. Instead of buying special protective covers for her special serving dishes and nice dinnerware, she put the zippered covers she was not using to a new use.
The covers keep her dishes protected from chipping and keep them dust-free. This is important if you have a dish you don’t use very often and want to protect,
I have to admit this was one weird use for a zippered pillow encasement! So if you have some zippered dust mite pillow covers that you don’t think are very comfortable, you might want to consider replacing them with some of our AllergyCare 100% Cotton covers and don’t throw away those uncomfortable covers, use them for dish carriers.
In an earlier post, we looked at bed bugs (the real vampires) and discovered that I wasn’t the only person that is afraid of dust mites. Continuing our creepy crawly theme, this post is going to look at dust mites, dust mite allergy, and dust mite allergy control.
Dust Mites are the Unseen Enemy
If you are afraid of bed bugs, then you can face a fear you can actually see. Bed bugs are visible. Dust mites are so incredibly small that you can’t see them without a microscope. But photos of the buggers are enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies.
There isn’t a medical term for fear of dust mites. Doctors lump the fear of dust mites into amathophobia, which is a fear of dust.
Some people get so creeped out by the thought of millions of these microscopic creatures crawling in the bed and pillow they actually imagine the feeling of insects crawling on their bodies. Just the thought makes my skin crawl. But I know that you can’t see dust mites and you can’t feel them. That’s only slightly reassuring.
Dust Mites Aren’t Vampires
At least dust mites don’t suck your blood like bed bugs. Of course, that is little comfort when you can’t sleep because of sneezing, wheezing, coughing, or a stuffy or runny nose.
Dust mites and their feces (now how gross is that) contain proteins that cause an allergic reaction in people that are sensitive. That dust that you may fear is loaded with tiny particles of dead dust mites and their poop. When you breathe these particles in, your immune system gets grossed out right along with you. Not really.
What really happens is that your immune system doesn’t identify the proteins found in those dust mite particles properly. It sees them as germs and initiates full-scale germ warfare. That is why the symptoms of allergies and colds are similar. Your body thinks it is sick, but it is not. It is just having an attack of dust mite allergy.
Never Fear – Dust Mite Allergy Control is Near
You can try hypnotism, meditation, and therapy to get over your fear of dust. Controlling dust mite allergy is much easier. It’s all about controlling your environment. You may find that when your environment is under control and your allergy symptoms are manageable your fear of dust mites just naturally goes away. Here’s what you can do to get started:
Dust Mite Covers. The number one thing you can do to control dust mite allergies is to cover your mattress, box spring, and pillows with dust mite covers. Just like bed bug covers; dust mite-proof covers are zippered and made of special fabrics. These cover all sides, zip up, and but an effective barrier between you and those nasty dust mites in your bed.
Vacuum. It’s best to have hard surface floors. Carpets and rugs collect more than dirt; they collect dust mites as well. Frequently vacuum with a sealed HEPA vacuum and damp mop hard surface floors.
Wash Frequently. Even though you zip everything up in dust mite covers, allergens will collect on your sheets, pillowcases, and blankets. An effective part of your dust mite allergy control program is stripping sheets, pillowcases, and blankets off the bed every 7 days and washing them in 140°F water. If you can’t get your water this hot at home (and most people can’t) just add some De-Mite Laundry Additive to your detergent and wash in cold water. Those creepy dust mites will be washed away.
Let the Sun Shine. I know your mother told you to make your bed as soon as you arise, but leaving the bed unmade for a few hours may actually help your allergies. By exposing sheets and blankets to air and sunshine, moisture will evaporate. Dust mites don’t like dry environments and leaving your bed sheets exposed will help keep things dry. Just remember to make the bed before your Mom comes over.
Are you afraid of dust mites, bed bugs, or other insects (like spiders?). Leave a comment, we’d love to know what creeps you out.