There are plenty of benefits to using a mattress protector:
- Extend the life of your mattress
- Prevent tears and stains that may impact your warranty
- Keep critters and bugs away from your mattress
- Prevent any spills or accidents from soaking into your mattress
- Lessen allergy symptoms by keeping dust mites out
That last one might not be something you’ve thought much about, but researchers believe that at least 50 million people in the US alone are affected by nasal and seasonal allergies. That’s up to 30% of adults and 40% of children! If you suffer, you might feel like there’s nothing you can do to cure your struggles, but there are absolutely steps you can take to get ahead of your allergies and keep symptoms at bay. While there is no cure for allergies, there are a few small adjustments you can make in your home to help lessen their effects.
The biggest step you can take is to protect your mattress from one of the most common allergy irritants—dust mites. These microscopic organisms live in humid, warm places and thrive in homes. They feed off of dust particles and are often the cause of dust allergies and even asthma in children. While keeping dust out of your home isn’t exactly a possible task, frequently cleaning your bedroom, dusting shelves, and keeping ceiling fans clean can all contribute to a less-habitable environment for mites. But where else are these critters hiding?
While some foam mattresses are inherently more resistant to dust mites, they can still potentially get into your mattress. Mites like to settling in bedding, in mattresses, and on your pillows, so protecting yourself and your bed from dust mites is extremely important, even if you don’t currently suffer from allergies. The more you breathe these mites and particles in, the worse your allergies can get. Some studies have even found that kids with asthma needed less medication when they slept on protected bedding.
Hypoallergenic Mattress Covers Mattress protectors come in a range of features, but if your main concern is keeping dust mites away, a hypoallergenic mattress cover should be on the top of your list. While some mattress pads are designed to protect from spills and accidents, allergy mattress covers have a few key features that make them a smart purchase. You should also consider pillow protectors (The proximity to your face makes them more likely to irritate you!) and a box spring cover if you use one. Anywhere that dust mites may want to cling to can be protected with removable and washable protectors.
Resistant to allergens and dust mites This one is pretty much the key reason to purchase one of these covers, so make sure the one you’re looking at not only promises to protect you from these things but has the walk to match the talk. A truly hypoallergenic mattress cover will be tightly woven and is a full encasement. This means it will be a zippered mattress cover and encase every side of the mattress. Protectors that cover most of your mattress can certainly cut down on the exposure of dust and dust mites while you sleep, but they can’t completely guarantee a mite-free mattress.
Easy to wash Frequently washing your mattress protector keeps dust mites that may collect on the outside of your protector from bothering you. You should aim to wash your protector and bedding in hot water weekly, so you want something that doesn’t have too many specifics when it comes to maintenance.
Durable Because you’ll want to wash this protector pretty frequently and sleep on it night after night, something durable is a must. Some protectors come with warranties, just in case a zipper breaks or elastic snaps. Read plenty of reviews before purchasing, so you can be sure that the cover won’t fall apart after a few washes!
Other Things You Can Do To Help Outside of your bedding, there are a few things you can employ around the house to minimize the amount of dust mites hanging around. Beds with wooden or metal frames, instead of cloth headboards, for example, make less-welcoming homes for mites. Cleaning your mattress twice a year can also help make sure that if anything has broken through your protector, you can remove it.
Make sure that anything you wash is washed in hot water, cold water typically won’t kill mites. If your little ones have favored stuffed animals that they sleep with and suffer from asthma or allergies, you might want to wash them more regularly. General housekeeping can help make sure dust doesn't build up, keep an eye on those ceiling fans and air vents! Dusting weekly and vacuuming or mopping your floors can have a huge impact on your allergy symptoms.
Dust mites also thrive in humid environments. Keeping the humidity balanced in your home can help prevent them from having the perfect place to camp out in your space.
All of these tricks combined may greatly reduce those allergy symptoms throughout the day!
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