Need hypoallergenic bedding advice
November 28, 2009 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have good (or bad) experience with hypoallergenic bedding?

One of the kids is allergic to dust, and since he spends almost half each day in bed, it seems like a good place to start fixing his environment. So we'd like to find some hypoallergenic bedding: a pillow case and mattress wrap seem to be the way to go.

Does anyone have any good or bad experiences with specific brands or non-specific types (I read something about buckwheat?)? Have you tried it and found it useful, or a waste? Does it make a lot of noise?

He has hardwood floors in his room, we dust weekly, and we're open to other suggestions (e.g., air filters), too. Thanks for any advice: he sounds like Young Darth Vader. :7(
posted by wenestvedt to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My son and I have both developed allergies to dust mites, and we've bought several covers from National Allergy and they have really helped. I bought the better quality for our bed and cheaper ones for the futon that we use as a sofa and the various decorative pillows. I slipped the mattress cover over the mattress pads (after washing them.) These have really helped, and they would be the first thing I'd recommend. I'm not sure if the better quality ones are more effective. I actually like the cheaper ones as our pillow cases slip off the good ones. Both the cheaper ones and better ones from this company are generously sized, by the way. They're surprisingly easy to put on.

I don't think an HVAC filter will filter out dust mite particles. The only thing I've seen that promised this cost several thousand dollars. (If there is an effective filter I'd love to hear about it!) What I've found to be most effective is:

1. Mattress and pillow covers
2. Washing sheets and pillowcases 2x a week in hot water
3. Washing comforters, etc 2x a month in hot water
4. Getting rid of the carpet in the bedroom (I know this one isn't easy)
5. Vacuuming frequently with a HEPA vacuum
6. Dusting with a washable chamois (not a feather duster that just stirs it around.)

Dust mites love humidity and carpet. Also, I've discovered that dust on higher shelves isn't the problem that dust close to the floor is.
posted by zinfandel at 7:56 PM on November 28, 2009

Best answer: I have dust mite allergies as well and have had excellent results using a Hamilton Beach HEPA air filter in my room at night. I don't use hypo-allergenic bedding because using the air filter and replacing all of our carpets with hardwood floors seems to have done the trick. We've also moved all books from the bedroom to a spare room/office, vacuum and dust about once every two or three weeks, and don't wear shoes in the house.

Also, I can't recommend Miele vacuums highly enough.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 8:48 PM on November 28, 2009

When I was little I sneezed a lot around the house and got tested for allergies. Turned out that I was super allergic to dust mites. My mother got me a hypoallergenic mattress cover that went under the sheets and pillow covers that went between the pillows and pillow cases. It seemed to do the trick, and you can't even really tell that they are there (no noise etc.). So anecdotally I'd say definitely give them a shot!
posted by 12%juicepulp at 8:57 PM on November 28, 2009

Latex is inhospitable to dust mites. Other 'hypoallergenic' stuffings, like polyester or cotton, don't trigger allergies themselves, but they still harbor dust mites. I use covers on my latex pillows; I have no idea if it makes a difference. I guess I'm superstitious :-)

By the way, the walls in my bedroom collect dust. You can't really see it, except on the (dry) microfiber mop I wipe the walls with. Worth checking out.

And "miracle" cloths really do hold onto dust.
posted by wryly at 4:34 PM on November 29, 2009

From personal experience, you might need to invest a pretty penny to get a good quality mattress cover and/or pillow cover. Many of the cheap ones I've considered crinkle so loudly in your ear that you want to rip them off in the middle of the night just to get to sleep! I'd definitely feel them before buying (or alternatively, if you've ordered online, feel them before you completely take them out of their packaging to make sure you won't want to return it.)
posted by asranixon at 4:46 PM on November 29, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the advice, everyone.

The room already has hardwood floors and gets vacuumed & dusted with a cloth each week. I'll look at a filter, and start washing his bedding more often.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:47 AM on December 3, 2009

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