A Handy Guide to Determining and Preventing Possible Bedding Allergies

Are You Allergic to Your Bedding?

Do you feel like you’re allergic to your bedding but can’t pinpoint what the exact problem is?

Here, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about what aspect of your bedding may be giving you allergies and we give you suggestions on how to go about treating bedding allergies.

Read on to find out more!

Table of Contents

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The Basics: What Can Trigger Bedding Allergies?

hypoallergenic bedding
Bedding allergies can reduce your quality of sleep

Let’s start off with the basics. Bedding in your home usually consists of your mattress, either a fitted or a flat bed sheet that covers the entire mattress, a quilt, a duvet cover, a number of pillows and your pillowcases.

The main causes for bedding allergies include dust mites, mold, pollen, cockroaches, pet hair, fur, or feathers which are found in any of the above items of your bedding.

We’ll talk a little more about each of these elements and how they could be potential causes of allergies to your bedding.

How Pillows Can Cause Allergies

Pillows are a great breeding ground for bacteria, dust mites, viruses and mold which in turn can cause allergies such as contact dermatitis, asthma, eczema and more. These microbes can also mix into the air and when you inhale them and cause additional allergies and health complications.

Additionally, there are certain elements within pillows that can also trigger allergies for sensitive people. Some examples include:

Read our guide on pillow allergies and hypoallergenic pillows if you suspect your pillow is causing your allergies.

How Mattresses Can Cause Allergies

If you’re allergic to your mattress, you’re most likely experiencing an allergic reaction to dust mites. These microscopic bugs may not be visible to the naked eye but they often live in sheets, mattresses and even pillow cases.

If you live in a humid or damp environment, it’s also possible that your mattress is a breeding ground for mold. While you can air out your mattress and let it soak up some good ol’ sunshine, in many cases, this is not enough to reach the deep layers in the middle.

If you suspect either a dust mite or mold infestation in your mattress, it’s best to invest in a new mattress altogether!

Allergies to Your Sheets and Bed Covers

Unlike the bulkier items in your bedding, sheets and bed covers don’t tend to trap as many allergens simply due to the fact that they are easier to wash. However, if you are feeling itchy when you come into contact with your sheets, there are two possibilities worth exploring.

The first is the material the sheets are made of. Usually, unbleached natural fibres such as cotton, silk, bamboo, linen, hemp and wool are safe for allergy sufferers. However, if they have been bleached, coloured artificially, mixed or treated with other chemicals, this could be what’s causing your allergic reaction.

The other alternative is that something in your laundry process may be linked to your allergic reaction instead. We have a section dedicated to this further below, so do keep reading if you suspect this might be the case.

How To Manage Dust Mites

With dust mites, the best way to deal with them is to get a hypoallergenic waterproof mattress protector. Just try to avoid purchasing waterproof mattress protectors that have the following materials:

bedding for allergy sufferers

Other ways that you can deal with dust mites include removing carpets, curtains and drapes in the bedroom. Keeping any pets that you have out of the bedroom, minimising household humidity, wearing a mask when you’re cleaning and washing your bed linens frequently in hot water.

You can also consider investing in a top quality air purifier for allergies, along with a HEPA filter for your bedroom.

Detergent, Bedding & Allergies

While it’s normal to focus on the bedding as the source of your allergies, the detergent you use to wash your sheets and pillowcases could be the culprit in some cases. Some of the ingredients and main components of washing detergent such as potassium hydroxide, fragrances, preservatives and dyes can be harmful.

Another elements that you should be in wary of include:

Fabric Softeners May Also Cause Allergic Reactions

Other than detergent, some ingredients within fabric softeners can also cause skin irritation or allergies. Some ingredients that you should avoid when it comes to fabric softeners include:

Check out our guide to hypoallergenic fabric softeners if you want to be on the safe side. If you prefer dryer sheets, we also have a guide on hypoallergenic dryer sheets, so be sure to check that out as well.

Diagnosing & Treating Allergies to Bedding

If you think that you’re allergic to any one of the above, you’d want to see an allergist to figure out what’s causing your allergic reaction. While you’re there, your allergist will conduct a skin test by testing extracts from common allergens to observe how your skin reacts.

If you start to have a raised welt with redness surrounding your skin, it may indicate that you’re allergic to the substance. Your allergist may also order a blood and skin test to confirm the allergy.

After your allergy has been identified, your allergist can then recommend a suitable treatment that can range from medications to allergy shots and tablets.

We hope that this article gives you a comprehensive overview of what may be causing your bedding allergies. By heading to an allergist, you’ll be able to figure out the exact cause and make the necessary adjustments to alleviate your symptoms and sleep soundly at night.

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