The bedroom should be a cosy and relaxing space to unwind, but for the millions of people living with a dust mite allergy, the bedroom can be a hotbed of allergens and irritants that impede sleep. We look at simple changes you can make to create an eczema and dust mite allergy-free nest.
Why is anti-allergy bed linen important?
House dust mite (HDM) allergies are common. 1 in 5 adults in the UK are allergic to their droppings, with symptoms often ranging from sneezing to a scratchy throat. Allergies to house dust mites can also trigger respiratory or dermatological conditions such as eczema and asthma.
The good news is that reducing dust in the bedroom and investing in hypoallergenic bedding or anti-allergy bed linen can help you create an allergy and eczema friendly bedding environment that helps you get a good night’s sleep.
What is the difference between hypoallergenic and anti-allergy bedding?
While the phrases hypoallergenic and anti-allergy are often used interchangeably, they mean two slightly different things.
Hypoallergenic means the bedding isn’t made from a known allergen. Unlike materials such as polyester, which can cause an itchy rash in some people, cotton is safe even on the most sensitive skin. Tielle’s Nomite certified down and feather bedding goes one step further to reduce allergens with a tightly-woven 100% Nomite cotton cover that acts as a barrier to keep dust mites out.
Anti-allergy duvets and pillows have a filling and case that have been treated to eliminate allergens. Our Dacron Comforel Allerban anti-allergy toddler bed pillow and duvet actively prevent the build-up of dust mites, fungi and bacteria for a healthier night’s sleep. Read our guide to choosing the right anti-allergy bedding for you.
What materials are best for sensitive skin and allergies?
100% cotton is soft, cool, breathable and moisture wicking. This makes it especially suitable for those with eczema and house dust mite allergies as it allows the skin to ‘breathe’. According to The National Eczema Society, the body’s temperature control mechanism is often flawed in eczematous skin, and overheating is common. To prevent overheating, which can lead to a frenzy of scratching, use a lightweight anti-allergy or hypoallergenic duvet and top with a wool blanket – wool is also temperature-regulating and house dust-mite resistant – on cooler nights.
You can read more about tog ratings in our buyers guide.
Are synthetic fills best for a mite-free sleep?
In short, not always. House dust mites like damp, humid conditions and down- and feather-filled duvets and pillows offer excellent temperature control. This means those allergic to house dust mites can enjoy the natural comfort of down and feather bedding – especially if the bedding carries the Nomite mark. These pillows combine natural fills with a tightly woven down- and feather-proof fabric that prevents house dust mites passing through.
If you prefer an easy-to-wash synthetic fill, hypoallergenic options include our Suprelle Tencel Eco Fresh Pillow and duvet. This bedding is made from recycled plastic bottles and certified by The Vegan Society, making it just as good for the environment as your bed. Our luxury microfibre duvet is also hypoallergenic and available in a 10.5 or 4.5 tog for summer sleeping and avoiding the overheating that can trigger eczema flare-ups. See our full anti-allergy pillow and duvet range.
How often should I wash my linen?
The bedroom is a major site for exposure to house dust mites but using barrier covers, and washing bed linen regularly will go a long way to keeping these microscopic pests at bay. Using a zipped cotton pillow protector and fully fitted mattress protector will also protect your anti-allergy mattress topper and other bedding from sweat and spills. Wash all bed linen once or twice weekly in a detergent that’s formulated for sensitive skin. Pillows and duvets will also benefit from a regular clean at 60°C. Read our guide on caring for your bedlinen to keep it looking and feeling as good as new.
What mattresses are best for allergy prone individuals?
Mattresses are a big investment, but the right one can positively impact your sleep. During a mattress’s 7-10 year lifespan, you’ll spend an average of 1034 days resting on it. Choosing the one that helps you sleep - we’re all different - will add a lot of value to the quality of your life.
Mattresses are anything but a one-size-fits all purchase, and your body weight, height and sleep position can affect which mattress is best for you. Additionally, some mattresses are better for those with eczema or house dust mite allergies. The inner cavity of innerspring mattresses can create an incubator for house dust mites, and memory foam mattresses can lead to overheating which can increase skin dryness and irritation. Natural latex mattresses are resilient and resistant to house dust mites, mould and mildew, making them a better choice for those with eczema and house dust mite allergies. For more bed advice, read the National Bed Federation’s guide to buying a new bed.
Whichever mattress you choose, protecting it with a mattress protector and an anti-allergy mattress topper and adding allergy and eczema friendly bedding will help to keep allergens at bay. Read our guide to choosing the right anti-allergy bedding for you.