Dust mites are microscopic organisms that are commonly found in homes and can cause allergic reactions in those who are constantly exposed. Unfortunately, dust mites love certain types of comforters, so choosing one that naturally repels dust mites will help relieve uncomfortable allergy symptoms.
Dust Mites Defined
Dust mites reside in common house dust, which is already a combination of fibers such as lint and feathers, bacteria and food particles, plus pet dander if you have a dog or cat, mold spores and even plant and insect particles from houseplants. Dust mites enjoy warm surroundings and tend to settle into bedding, carpet and even upholstered furniture. Although dust mites die in the winter from the cold, they will survive it if your home is warm and humid, resulting in allergens year-round.
If you're allergic to dust mites, you'll experience symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis, which is similar to pollen allergies. Itchy, red and watery eyes as well as a runny nose or clogged sinuses are all symptoms of a dust mite allergy. Also, dust mites can trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, in those with asthma.
Cotton and Wool Comforters
Natural wool and cotton comforters are good choices for combating dust mite allergies. Wool comforters are warm, fire retardant and naturally repel dust mites. Cotton, especially organic cotton, which doesn't contain bleach or chemicals, is also a good choice because cotton won't harbor dust mites.
Hypoallergenic Synthetic Comforters
Synthetic hypoallergenic comforters were developed to prevent dust mites from taking over your bed. Synthetic microfibers mimic clusters of down and will keep you warm without promoting dust mite allergies. They are also easy to maintain and are usually machine washable. Cotton comforters are easier to maintain than wool, although wool is a lightweight comforter that will keep you warm like a down comforter but usually isn't machine-washable.
Purified Down Comforters
If you love the feel of a genuine down comforter but suffer from dust mite allergies, choose a comforter that contains purified down, no chemicals or bleach, and quality stitching--such as the box stitch--that will prevent down from escaping. Dust mites often already reside in down, which is why it's not usually a good fit for those with dust mite allergies. But, if the down is cleaned several times (care instructions will be noted on the label), then dust mites will be eliminated and the box stitching will keep the down where it belongs--inside the comforter.
To help keep dust mites from taking over your home, it helps to keep the temperature set between 68 and 72 degrees, to have good ventilation and low humidity, between 40 and 50 percent. A dehumidifier can do wonders for keeping dust mites at bay. Also, avoid comforters made from fuzzy fabrics, such as chenille, because these are ideal places for dust mites to live.
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