Do you hate waking up with a stuffy nose and watery eyes? Environmental control of allergens can help — and it’s not as hard as it sounds. Your bed is heaven for dust mites, who thrive in warm, humid environments with a steady supply of shed skin cells. Sound like where you sleep? Yeah. To get rid of dust mites, and therefore allergens, in your bed, follow our handy guide:
Sanitize and Cover Your Pillows.
- Toss your pillows in a dryer for 15 minutes, making sure the dryer reaches 130 degrees F (most dryers do).
- Cover the pillows with allergy relief bedding, special covers that will keep dust mites from getting back into the pillow again.
Vacuum, Cover, and/or Replace Your Mattress.
- Vacuuming your mattress can remove a significant amount of dust mite allergens. Use small, slow strokes, and preferably a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Encase your mattress in an allergy proof cover that will keep any remaining dust mite allergens from reaching your breathing zone. The mattress cover will also keep food (your shed skin) from getting to the dust mites, so any remaining critters will starve (take that you yucky little sneeze-makers).
- If you’re in the market for a new mattress, or if you’re really serious about reducing allergens in the bedroom, get a latex or foam mattress — dust mites cannot live in either material.
Wash Wash Wash.
- Wash all your bedding it hot water once a week to kill dust mites that may still make their home among your sheets and blankets.
Taking these simple steps will not only give you a fresher, cleaner bed, but will give you restful, allergy-free nights and mornings where you wake up refreshed, the golden sunshine seeping through your window as you stretch your arms while birds chirp at just the right decibel and the warm aroma of percolating coffee... well, let’s not get carried away, but at least you won’t be blowing your nose!
(Image credits: Alexis Buryk)