Dust mite allergy affects an estimated 10 percent of all people in the U.S. The symptoms include a congested and/or runny nose, watery itchy eyes, and sometimes even skin rashes and eczema. If you are allergic to these pests, you certainly wonder what you can do to make your sleeping environment allergen free: Allergy specialists recommend a range of measures to control dust mites, including washing of sheets and blankets weekly in hot water with a temperature greater 130 °F and encasing of pillows and mattresses with anti dust mite covers.
These covers effectively prevent mites and their droppings from getting out of your pillow or mattress. That way you are not exposed to the allergen and the dust mites die because they are removed from their main food source – shed human skin cells.
What should you protect with dust mite covers?
Encase at least your pillow, mattress, and box spring. If you are using a blanket or comforter you cannot wash, encase that as well.
Make sure you purchase a cover which completely encases your mattress, pillow, or box spring. Although some fitted sheets and pads are also advertised as anti dust mite or anti allergen, they cannot completely prevent mites from getting out, so I don’t recommend them.
What type of encasing should you use for what purpose?
Covers come in very different qualities and with different price tags.
For your mattress and pillow, I recommend you get a cover made out of specially woven cotton or microfiber. These woven anti dust fabrics have pores so small that mites and their droppings cannot pass through. At the same time, the material is still breathable and feels comfortable like a normal sheet or cover. Encasings made out of this kind of material also tend to be the most expensive
Water-proof encasings made out of terry cotton with a membrane bound to the fabric are also available. Quite a few people however find this kind of material too hot to sleep on, so unless you need your covers to be water proof I would go for the woven fabric without a membrane.
Since you don’t come in direct contact with your box spring, you can encase them with a cheaper cover made out of a non-woven synthetic material. If you want your box spring absolutely maintenance free, a vinyl cover can also be used.
Many people report that they sleep and breathe much better after protecting their bed with anti dust mite covers. I wish you a most comfortable sleep.