The doctor tells you to use allergy proof bedding because it protects you from allergens that are too small to be seen. Dust mites, dust mite feces, bits of pollen and animal allergens collect in and on fiber surfaces. Your mattress, pillows, duvet or comforter are all places for allergens to collect.
Allergy proof bedding puts a barrier between you and the allergens. If you can’t breathe the allergen, it won’t make you sick.
As long as you wash your sheets every 7 days in 140ºF water, allergens won’t build up on top of your allergy covers. The special zippered covers and the hot water washing keep the allergens at bay.
So, now we understand why we need allergy-proof bedding, but what is it that makes bedding allergy proof?
There are two ways to approach making a fabric allergy-proof: laminate it or weave it tightly.
Laminated fabrics are just a traditional bed linen fabric that has been bonded to a material that makes the fabric impenetrable to allergens. These fabrics can be cotton, synthetic, or a blend of the two. It’s not the fabric that is allergy-proof, it’s the laminated backing. The laminate is some form of plastic. Heats bonds the plastic to the fabric. Laminated fabrics don’t depend on the fabric to provide protection; they rely on the laminate. Laminates don’t have a pore size.
Microweave fabrics provide a barrier that allergens can’t get through. That’s because they have a very tight weave. The space between the fibers used to weave the fabric is the pore size. The larger the pore size, the more allergens that can get through. The smaller the pore size, the more particles the fabric can stop.
Effective Pore Sizes
The pore size is determined by how tightly the fabric is woven. Natural fibers like cotton are not very strong. You can’t weave cotton tightly. Polyester is a very strong fiber. It’s perfect for tight microweaves.
Allergy proof bedding with the smallest pore size will be all polyester. All cotton allergy proof bedding will have a larger pore size. Cotton/polyester blends are in the middle when it comes to pore sizes.
Dust mite fecal matter and/or body parts (we don’t actually breathe in whole dust mites) are as large as 10 microns. Pet allergen and mold spores are about 3 microns. In order for a microweave mattress encasing to be effective against dust mites it needs a pore size of 10 microns or less and 3 microns or less to be effective against mold and dander.
With that being said, all laminated mattress encasings are effective against dust mite, animal dander and mold allergens because they are a total barrier. They are water-proof too.
Differences in Allergy Proof Bedding
Microweaves and laminates are both effective in protecting against allergens. Which one you choose boils down to personal preference and budget.
Laminates are waterproof, microweaves are not.
Microweaves are generally cooler than laminated fabrics.
Laminated fabrics usually cost less.
Both fabrics require special care when washing. You can’t use high temperatures or chlorine bleach on laminates. Microweaves need gentle agitation to protect the weave.
Hope this clears up the pore size question. Have other questions about bedding? Just enter your question in the comments below.
Wishing you the best of health
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