If you don't suffer from allergies now, you may not think allergy-free bedding is something you need. However, if you actually knew what lives in your bedding, you may very well change your mind about whether or not these products are a good investment for your home.
How Allergy-Free Bedding Works
Bedding products designed to reduce allergens include casings, (which can cover mattresses, box springs, pillows and comforters) pillows, mattress pads, sheets, blankets and comforters made from fabrics that effectively block allergens from passing through the material. This is usually accomplished by very tightly woven fabrics that don't allow tiny matter (such as dust mites and pet dander) to pass through or fabrics that have a vinyl or urethane based coating on the inside (called a membrane) that also prevent matter from passing through. These fabrics can be made from cotton, organic cotton, polyester and cotton-polyester blends.
Membrane vs Non-Membrane Allergy Free Fabrics
When it comes to blocking allergens, both membrane and non-membrane allergy-free fabrics are effective. The best product will depend on a person's individual needs.
Allergy-free fabrics that contain a membrane may not be the best choice for those who sleep hot or have problems with night sweats. These types of fabrics tend to hold heat in. However, if you have a problem keeping warm at night or have incontinence issues, a membrane fabric would work well because it would help you retain heat and is also waterproof.
Allergens are measured in units called microns. The tiniest allergens are usually between nine and 15 microns. Therefore, non-membrane allergy-reduction fabrics must have a pore size of six microns or less. The pore size is the space between the threads, however, keep in mind that thread count has nothing to do with pore size. High thread count sheets do not qualify as effective allergen blocking bedding. Non-membrane allergy relief fabrics use an advanced technology in the weaving process. These fabrics tend to have a longer lifespan than membrane fabrics because the membrane breaks down over time and repeated washings. If you wash your bedding often and need cooler, more breathable bedding to sleep on, non-membrane allergy-reducing fabrics would work best for you.
Just remember when buying casings to cover bedding, always buy a zippered cover because fitted casings will not effectively block dust mites.
Natural Allergen-Reducing Bedding
There is one type of fabric that dust mites can't live on. That fabric is silk, an organic material excreted from silkworms. There are no known allergies to silk, making this material the only fabric that is 100 percent allergy free, regardless of the weave. However, if you use silk sheets, pillow cases and a silk comforter, you will still need to use a casing on your mattress.
Where to Find Allergy-Free Bedding Products
Visit the following online retailers to protect yourself from respiratory irritation and get a better night's sleep:
- AllergyGuard Direct: Here you can find both allergy and bedbug protective covers. Many of the allergy free bedding products available at AllergyGuard Direct were tested by Good Housekeeping and were recommended on the top 14 best anti-allergy bedding products list. Free shipping is offered on orders of $100 or more.
- Allergy Control Products: This retailer offers special pricing on allergy free dorm room bedding. You can also find pillow and mattress covers made with silk linings. Free shipping on orders of $150 or more.
Causes of Indoor Allergies
Indoor allergies are caused by dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold and pollen. The main element in household dust is dead human skin cells, which each person sheds by hundreds of thousands every day. Small, microscopic creatures called dust mites feed on the abundance of dead human skin cells found in mattresses and bedding, which is where people spend most of their time while at home. The dust mites themselves produce even more allergens through their fecal matter, eggs, larvae and dead body parts.
None of this can be seen with the naked eye, it takes a powerful microscope to detect these undesirable elements lurking in mattresses, sheets, pillowcases, comforters and all other bedding. Washing sheets, pillowcases, comforters and blankets often can help cut down on allergens. However, mattresses cannot be washed and will transfer the allergens back to the rest of the bedding.
Take Preventative Action
Anyone can develop allergies, at any age. Symptoms for household allergies to dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold and pollen include congestion, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy or irritated eyes. Even if you don't have these symptoms yet, allergy-free bedding can be beneficial because it can help prevent allergy symptoms from developing.