Did you know that mattresses and pillows can be magnets for dust mites? Eek! It’s not a nice statistic, but you should know that a used mattress can have 100,000 to 10 million dust mites inside and that 10 percent of a two-year old pillow can be comprised of dead mites. Feeling grossed out yet?
We didn’t make this stuff up; the numbers came from the American College of Asthma, Allergies and Immunology, according to an article by EHSO, Environmental Health and Safety Online.
Allergy symptoms look a lot like hay fever, with a runny nose and sneezing. You might also have an itchy throat, post-nasal drip or cough, says the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. And all of these symptoms could be an indication that it’s time to consider new bedding.
EHSO reports that 10 percent of the population shows an allergic reaction to dust mite waste. While the American Lung Association tells us dust mites aren’t harmful to the general population–they don’t bite, sting or burrow– would you want to put your face in that, even if you didn’t have symptoms?
What Is A Dust Mite and Why Does Your Mattress Care?
Dust mites, as the name implies, are associated with dust. They’re microscopic organisms–you can’t see them–and they feed on shredded human skin. They love humidity and thrive in 68 to 77-degree Fahrenheit temperatures.
They feed on dead skin cells and then leave behind waste where it can wreak havoc on health.
“Scientists are speculating that our beds may be the cause of allergies and after just one night, your bed can accumulate a horrifying amount of bacteria, fungus, dead skin and mites,” explained Martin Regueiro of PangeaBed.
Here’s why dust mites are so attracted to mattresses and pillows:
- Your mattress is riddled with dead skin cells, which the average person sheds each night as part of the biological process. Once they feed and leave that waste behind, you’ll continuously breathe it in throughout the night as you sleep.
- Certain mattress materials can increase your body heat, which causes you to become overheated while you rest. As you sleep, this heat is released from your body and becomes trapped in your bed where it can cause heat retention.
In turn, that causes your body to sweat thereby causing moisture to build up in your mattress, which also attracts dust mites.
Dust mites thrive in warm, moist places with high humidity levels. This trapped moisture, along with plenty of food, can transform your mattress into the perfect breeding ground for these microscopic bugs.
- Certain mattress materials can also trap perfumes, soaps, and other airborne chemicals that come in contact with your apparel throughout the day.
These elements may be fine for your clothing but once they become trapped in your mattress, they can trigger allergy symptoms which can also interrupt your sleep.
- Some mattress materials naturally attract dust mites due to their deep cracks and crevices, which provides an ideal place for them to hide. Likewise, some pillows also contain dust-mite friendly materials, which provides a double dose of dust mites.
Protecting Your Mattress and Pillow from Dust Mites
There are some simple things you can do to protect your mattress and pillow but, like anything, prevention is better than treatment.
The best prevention is to replace your mattress and pillow with copper-infused ones that are antimicrobial and hypoallergenic. PangeaBed is one of the more popular copper infused mattress options on the market right now.
Copper is an essential trace mineral that has long been associated with survival and health. It encourages red cell formation and connective tissue growth. It’s been recognized for regulating the heart and thyroid, reduce arthritis symptoms and decrease cholesterol.
Copper is so effective for promoting healthy tissue growth, that the peptides are often used in skin-care products for anti-aging.
For treatment, try:
- Wooden or metal bed frames.
- Washing bedding in hot water.
- Changing sheets and pillowcases at least once a week.
- Washing stuffed animals often–or, better yet, keep them off the bed.
- Using electric blankets when possible to keep humidity down. Obviously, you’re not going to use these blankets in the summer, but they can be good for chilly, rainy days.
- Use pillow and mattress covers; also consider putting some duct tape over the zippers so it can keep dust mites from entering
- Minimize the use of scented lotions or creams before bed.
In the end, the right mattress material can help keep your mattress cleaner and cooler for years to come, which can improve your sleep as well as your overall health, so you wake up to brighter mornings.