Dust mite allergens are one of the most common triggers of asthma and other bedroom allergies, especially among children and the elderly. But it's not the dust mites themselves that trigger allergic reactions. The culprit is actually a protein found in their droppings that causes humans to produce antibodies.
Dust mites are often associated with nighttime allergies because mattresses and bedding are the ideal dust mite habitat. They thrive in moist, warm environments with a plentiful food supply of dead skin cells. Our beds provide every amenity dust mites need to reproduce and flourish. Because we all perspire during the night, our beds become a warm, humid environment. If your mattress and/or bedding is made of synthetic materials or down feathers that aren't breathable, it can make matters worse by trapping moisture. The same goes for your pillow. The heat and moisture from your head and breath are absorbed by your pillow. Synthetic foams, polyester fibers, and down feathers are commom fills for pillows and become breeding grounds for dust mites.
Dust mites are not seasonal. They thrive year round. However, dust mites are especially fond of damp houses. Larger populations have been found in homes situated in fog belts. Poor ventilation and high humidity combined with high temperatures also significantly aggravate dust mite allergies. If you have dust mite allergies, you will want to find ways to keep the dust mite levels in check. The best formula for success is to keep your bed dry and, when possible, washable.
Tips for Dust Mite Prevention
- Regularly run your bedding through the dryer
- Keep your bedroom dry and clean
- Avoid carpets
- Turn down your bedding to air out rather than making your bed
- Keep the master bathroom ventilated
- Don’t sleep with wet hair
- Don’t sit on your bed wearing a wet towel
- Air out your bedroom regularly
- Keep a fan running in the summer to disperse humidity
A Word About Dust Mite Covers
A dust mite cover for a mattress—though widely touted as the definitive way to prevent infestations—isn’t necessarily the answer. The only thing a cover does is seal allergens in; it doesn’t prevent more allergens or allergen agents from colonizing the surface of the mattress. And dust mite covers can restrict the flow of moisture, increasing mattress humidity when the goal is to lessen it. Dust mites are dependent on moisture because it makes our dead skin cells soft enough to chew. They also require certain molds and bacteria in order to digest our skin. That means dust mite covers may do as much harm as they do good.
The European Sleep Works Solution
Designing a mattress with breathable, natural materials is a critical aspect of sleep quality and good health. Breathability means better temperature regulation and fewer allergens. That includes dust mites. Anti-microbial natural latex foam, organic cotton, and Merino wool—combined with coil foundations and our slat system—maximize air circulation in and around your mattress. This allows your body's moisture to be processed efficiently and your mattress to stay drier. We offer natual latex pillows and wool-fill pillows along with a washable organic cotton pillow cover. You can finally do away with that old feather pillow the dust mites just love.
Instead of using dust mite covers, European Sleep Works manufactures organic stretch-knit cotton mattress pads that are removable and washable. Additionally, both our mattress cover and pillow top cover have zippers and are removable. While you cannot wash these covers due to shrinkage, they may be aired out by tumble-drying on the ‘no heat’ setting or hung outside in the sun. Lastly, vigilance against dust mites means regularly washing and thoroughly drying your sheets, blankets, comforter, and mattress pad.