Dust mites are microscopic organisms that thrive within our houses, feeding on the dry skin that is shed from our bodies. Although dust mites live virtually everywhere in our homes, one of the places they can be most bothersome is within bed mattresses and pillows.
Many people develop allergies due to the presence of dust mites in their bedding. These allergies are not caused by the mites themselves, but are caused by their feces and skin casts that accumulate in pillows and mattresses where the mites live and breed. It is estimated that the allergens created by dust mites may be a factor in 50 to 80 percent of asthmatics, as well as in countless cases of eczema, hay fever and other allergic ailments.
Dust Mite Resistant Mattresses
The presence of dust mites in mattresses and pillows can potentially cause mild to severe allergies, including asthma. For this reason, many people are interested in purchasing mattresses that are "Dust Mite Resistant". But is there such a thing as a Dust Mite Resistant Mattress?
Unfortunately, no mattress can claim to be 100% dust mite resistant, but some mattresses and bedding are less likely to accumulate large numbers of these critters. One of the best deterrants for dust mites is organic wool. To begin with, organic wool is covered with lanolin, a natural waxy substance that provides sheep with waterproofing and a natural dust mite repellant. Also, because of wool's dry, porous nature it repels mildew and makes an unbearably dry environment for dust mites. An organic wool mattress, covered with an anti-allergen mattress protector, such as Protect-A-Bed, and organic wool bedding can greatly reduce dust mites and make for a healthier sleep environment.
Mattresses made of synthetic materials are also less inhabitable for dust mites. Memory foam mattresses and natural latex mattresses are believed to be better at reducing dust mites because their extremely dense structure makes it more difficult for dust mites to nest and feed. Also, synthetic fibers are not a secondary food source for dust mites, unlike organic materials such as cotton and down.
How to Control Dust Mites in Your Bed
The most effective way to reduce dust mites in your bed is to enclose the mattress and pillows in a plastic cover or other dust mite impervious fabric. Wool or synthetic fibers should be used instead of cotton and down, for all bedding and mattresses.