Have you been waking up with nasal itching, sneezing, difficulty breathing through your nose, congestion or watery eyes? It’s possible you actually suffer from a dust mite allergy, which affects around 10% of the population.
Why do dust mites cause issues when you’re sleeping?
Dust mites are incredibly small bugs that live in house dust and feed on dead human cells. The dust mites can have a mighty big impact despite their microscopic size. Liking nothing more than a damp, warm bed, these pesky creatures cause a range of allergy symptoms which can really mess up your sleep.
There are many ways to banish these unwanted bedfellows, from buying Nomite®-certified anti-allergy bedding to investing in high quality pillow protectors to keep your anti-allergy pillows clean and fresh. In this article we'll look at what you can do to stop sharing your pillow with up to 1,000,000 mites (that’s how many can inhabit a single bed!) so you get the dreamiest night’s sleep.
1. Focus on quality, not fill
You don’t sleep like a baby simply by buying a pillow for its fill. A good pillow can be feather, duck, goose down, microfibre or made from recycled materials. The quality of the fill and its construction along with your pillow preferences will determine whether it’s any good or not.
Many people choose synthetic pillow fills because they believe that feather will aggravate their allergic reaction. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not the filling that causes the allergen, but the mite-friendly conditions.
House dust mites like warm, dusty spots. For that reason, a high-quality pillow fill enveloped within a tightly woven, Nomite®-certified case will create an impermeable barrier that keeps it dust free. Additionally, measures such as double stitching – see our FeelGood® Eco Recycled Down Pillow – will increase a pillow’s lifespan and stop pesky feathers from poking out.
2. Choose breathable fillings for your duvet and pillows
A balanced microclimate is vital to reducing dust mites and in helping you get the best night’s sleep. While feather and down pillows naturally absorb and release moisture into the atmosphere, microfibre and recycled fills can be just as breathable. Take our Suprelle® Tencel® ECO Fresh and Comforel® pillows.
Research shows that changes in body temperature can lead to perspiration or night-sweats up to 0.5 litres per night. This provides the perfect environment for mites, and a less than desirable sleep situation for you. Suprelle® Tencel® ECO Fresh pillows are crafted from recycled materials and blended with Tencel®, an award-winning botanic fibre that improves air flow and moisture management to keep you cool and dry and night.
Our microfibre adult and cot bed pillows are equally dust mite free. Made from recycled bottles, their ball shaped fibre clusters actively prevent the build-up of dust mites, fungi and bacteria while mimicking the fluffy feel of natural down.
3. Look for anti-allergy accreditations
Nomite® accreditation is the gold standard for anti-allergy bedding. Taking its name from ‘no mite’, the tight weave of the down- and feather-proof Nomite® fabric prevents mites from passing through.
All Tielle pillows and duvets carry the Nomite® and Downafresh® certifications. Downafresh® gives assurance that your feather and down product meets European hygiene and cleanliness requirements (EN 12935). To achieve Downafresh® standards, the feather and down is washed multiple times and steam dried at a mite-quashing temperature of over 100°C for more than 30 mins.
4. Invest in a pillow protector
Zipped pillow protectors are a must-have for every allergy-free home. Firstly, they’ll keep your anti-allergy pillows clean and fresh, which means you won’t need to wash and replace your pillows as frequently. Hurrah. Secondly, they stop dust mites from getting into your pillows and spoiling your sleep. A high-quality zipped cotton pillow protector also adds another layer of cosy cushioning, improving the quality of your sleep.
5. Wash bedding frequentlyDust mites feed on dead skin cells and produce waste but regular washing at 60o C will help to keep your bedding dust mite free. Go lower and the little blighters can survive. Completely dry the bedding before reusing – dust sticks to damp surfaces, which creates a feast for mites - and iron straight after drying to give your bed that hotel-style feel. Pulling back the bed covers and opening a window before making the bed will also help to keep pillows and other bedding fresh.
Read our ultimate guide to the best pillows to find out which pillow suits you best.