If you have trouble sleeping with allergies, you're not alone. 42% of people with allergies have difficulty falling asleep, and a staggering 63% of those individuals report they don't get enough sleep altogether. Many allergy sufferers cite dust mites as the primary trigger for their allergic reactions, but there are loads of different irritants that can trigger your allergies.
Allergies are a general term referring to an oversensitive immune response from the body. They come from a whole host of other sources like pollen, dander, and other microscopic irritants.
For many people, these allergens will cause an allergic reaction such as hay fever or eczema. These reactions can be mild in some cases but more severe in others.
That's why we've put together this guide to help you learn how to identify and address the many possible causes of your allergies. This will help you get a better night's sleep for an improved quality of life.
The Most Common Bedroom Allergens
Allergy sufferers know that the spring and summer months are the worst times of the year for symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and congestion.
Furthermore, living near a wooded area or having pets around means that you’re even more vulnerable to the most common bedroom allergens that can then disrupt your sleep.
Pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and animal dander are among the most abundant irritants that find their way into your bedroom. If you find yourself experiencing these issues year-round, it’s a sure sign that you have bedroom allergens in your home.
Here are some of the most common allergens you’re likely to encounter, particularly if you don’t have the right kind of protective bedding.
1) Dust Mites
Dust mites are microscopic dust particles that feed on dead skin cells. These allergens are so small they can penetrate right through the protective barriers of your mattress and bedding, making it easy to inhale them as you sleep.
2) Pollen Dust From Trees, Weeds, and Grasses
Pollen is an essential part of the life cycle for trees, weeds, and grasses. The problem is, pollen can also trigger a wide range of allergic reactions, from mild to severe.
3) Mold Dust and Spores
Molds need moisture to grow, so they are commonly found indoors, during the summer months when it's humid outside. Molds lead to respiratory problems such as asthma or nasal congestion. Significant mold growth can lead to even more severe health concerns like numbness, nerve pain, or tremors.
4) Outdoor Fungal Spores Such as Aspergillus Species
Outdoor fungal spores usually enter into the home on people's clothes or shoes. Aspergillus is a common cause of sinus infections and allergic reactions, including asthma symptoms in some individuals.
5) Animal Dander
Animal dander is a common allergen found in dust and on animal fur. It can trigger hay fever or asthma symptoms in those who are allergic to these substances.
Most people with animal dander allergies will experience sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, a runny or stuffy nose. More intense reactions may include skin redness on hands and feet, constant coughing or wheezing, and itching.
How to Protect the Air Quality In Your Home From Allergens
Allergens hang in the air we breathe so they can pass into your body through the nose, mouth, and eyes. The dirtier the air in your home, the more you'll suffer from microscopic irritants like pet dander and dust mites.
Luckily, you can quickly reduce or eliminate allergens in your home to improve air quality. Simple steps like controlling your humidity or installing HEPA filters help you purify the air in your bedroom and throughout your home.
Other allergen control methods are more challenging, like installing hard floors. This won’t be an option for all homeowners, but the more steps you can take, the fewer allergens you’ll have floating around your home.
Here are some quick and easy steps to purifying your home.
Step #1: Vacuum Regularly
Vacuuming every week is essential for removing dust mite allergens and other particles, such as hair or animal dander, from your carpets.
Step #2: Launder Your Bedding
Your bedding gets dirty when dust mites and animal dander accumulate. You can help keep dust mite allergens at bay by washing your sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and comforter regularly.
Step #3: Ditch the Feather-Stuffed Bedding
If you're allergic to dust and pollen, consider replacing your feather bedding with a hypoallergenic alternative. Even if you are not allergic to feathers themselves, feather fibers act as traps for dust mites and dander in your bedding.
Step #4: Tear Up the Old Carpet
If you're still using conventional carpeting in your bedroom, consider tearing it up and replacing it with a hypoallergenic floor covering like hardwood or laminate. Carpeting is an ideal hiding spot for dust mites and their tiny allergens.
Use hardwood instead of carpet in your bedroom. Wash throw rugs just as you do the bedding.
Step #5: Wet Mop At Least Once a Week
Mop your floors with a mixture of hot water and vinegar. The solution can kill dust mites, dust, and other allergens on your floors.
Step #6: Run the Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier
Mold thrives in wetter conditions, so low humidity helps deter fungi from your sleeping areas. Keep your humidifier set for 50% or lower.
Run an air conditioner or dehumidifier to lower the temperature and humidity in your bedroom. If you don’t have one, open windows for cross-ventilation when it's stuffy.
Step #7: Clean Your Clothes and Linens
If your laundry is piling up, allergens can enter your dust-free bedroom from dust accumulating on clothes and linens. Keep your laundry clean by washing your sheets and clothes weekly.
Step #8: Install HEPA Filters
Swap the filters on your furnace, air conditioning unit, or cooling system with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to reduce exhaust from escaping into the air. This will also help remove dust mites and other allergens from the air in your home.
If you live in an apartment and don’t have permission to change your furnace filters, a standalone air purifier with a HEPA filter can effectively reduce dust mite populations to help you sleep better, breathe easier, and live healthier.
Step #6: Use Damp Cloths When Dusting
Dry dusting simply propels allergens back into the air. Always use a damp cloth to dust furniture, shelves, and other surfaces. Certain furniture polishes may also have dust-repellent properties, so choose these cleaning aids instead.
How to Protect Your Bedding From Allergens Using Organic Mattress Covers
Organic bedding is a growing trend in the US, with people looking for healthier and more eco-friendly products. This includes organic mattress covers, which are designed to protect against dust mites and other allergens.
These hypoallergenic covers are made of natural materials that work by repelling allergens away from the fabric. This allows you to keep your mattress protected while still enjoying an organic cotton sheet set or a duvet insert.
1) Encase Your Mattress With Organic Dust Mite Covers
Begin by encasing your mattress with organic dust mite covers. This helps to reduce allergen levels in the air.
The Essentia Body Guard Mattress Cover is an indispensable addition to any bed. They're made from natural cotton and polyurethane. These materials repel dust mites and have a smaller carbon footprint than synthetics, making them the perfect cover for allergen relief.
This waterproof mattress protector from Essentia offers surface coverage and peace-of-mind protection from spills, spots, and stains.
With a waterproof backing, this fitted sheet is machine washable for easy care and quick cleanup.
Our dust mite covers are made from certified organic materials that were sourced with sustainability in mind. All Essentia products meet or exceed all US and EU standards for safety, protection, and quality.
The Essentia Body Guard Mattress Cover is made from 100% GOTS, GOLS, and Beyond Organic certified EuroLatex. The mattress cover has been designed with independent safety testing and undergoes regular inspections to ensure that it exceeds stringent standards for quality and performance in design.
These features, along with the fit-to-size elastic closure system, provide a snug fit while also making this mattress cover easier to put on than most other ones on the market.
2) Use Only Pillows and Bedding That Are Made with Natural Materials
Natural fill pillows typically use hypoallergenic materials, which do not accumulate dust and mites. Using a pillow made from natural material can reduce allergies and provide a better night sleep.
Essentia's loose-fill Comfort Pillow is the perfect dust mite deterrent because the cover is removable and washable.
This patented memory foam pillow is designed to ensure that you have a great night's sleep. The high-density foams used in our proprietary Memory Foam blend are based on the same technology found in our mattresses. Every loose-fill Comfort Pill can support your neck without bottoming out as you shift positions through the night.
3) Use a Hypoallergenic Mattress
Your mattress is one of the dust mite's favorite places to live. Dust mites thrive in dirt and debris that gets trapped in your mattress. They also thrive in a warm, humid environment with plenty of loose threads to cling onto.
Other allergens also like to settle in your mattress. These include pet dander, mold spores, pollen grains, and dust mite excrement. These allergens can clog your airway, interrupt your sleep, and interfere with your breathing.
Essentia's hypoallergenic mattresses are dust mite and allergen resistant. The mattresses are made with a breathable, hypoallergenic fiberfill to which dust mites cannot attach. The inner layer of the mattress features natural, organic memory foam, which is too dense for dust mites to hide.
The Stratami mattress is an example of a hypoallergenic mattress. It also happens to be our top-seller because it's 100% natural and offers the perfect blend of comfort and protection.
The Stratami is a latex mattress with an innovative dome-shaped surface design and natural contouring to cradle your body for the best sleep of your life.
At the same time, its molded memory foam layers offer support where you need it most. The innovative construction provides excellent airflow for a cool and restful sleep environment while keeping allergens away.
4) Use a Hypoallergenic Mattress Topper
Mattress toppers do more than just add comfort — the right mattress topper will help dust mites stay away from your bed. You must choose a hypoallergenic dust mite cover or mattress protector so it won't cause any irritation for the person who sleeps on it every night.
A dust-mite-resistant mattress will prevent allergens from infiltrating your bed when you don't have the luxury of replacing your mattress itself. But if your mattress topper isn’t hypoallergenic as well, then you’re still sleeping on a surface that will be a prime attractor for allergens from dust mites and dander.
The patented natural memory foam DormIQ mattress topper offers both protection and comfort. First off, its 1-inch or 2-inch thickness is ideal for any sleeping surface and provides superior pressure relief. However, it’s also hypoallergenic and dust mite-resistant.
Many things in your bedroom could be hiding an allergen that is causing respiratory symptoms — your carpets, your sheets, or even the air itself. It's important to know what these common allergens are and how they affect people with allergies or asthma so you can take steps to protect yourself at night.
We recommend investing in hypoallergenic bedding from Essentia because it will help keep the bedroom allergen-free. Not only do we offer dust mite covers for your mattress, but we also have hypoallergenic pillows and mattresses that will cut down on dust mite exposure and other allergens.