What are dust mites?

They may look like tiny insects, but these eight-legged arachnids are actually related to spiders. Dust mites are too small to be seen with the human eye. They flourish in warm, humid environments like your bed and survive by feeding off dead human skin cells and animal dander. Dust mite populations increase rapidly; each egg-laying female can increase the population by 25 or 30 mites a week, and depending on its age, your bed may house between one and ten million dust mites. At least 10% of humans are allergic to dust mite proteins that are found in their waste particles and decomposed body parts. During its 80-day lifespan, the average dust mite produces around 1,000 allergenic waste particles. Dust mite allergen is the number one cause of year-round allergic rhinitis.

How do I know if I have a dust mite problem?

Dust mite allergens can cause sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, nasal stuffiness, runny nose, stuffy ears, respiratory problems, atopic dermatitis, and asthma. If you think you may have a dust mite problem, you should consult with an allergist.

What is allergy bedding?

Allergy bedding (also referred to as dust mite bedding or dust mite covers) is specifically designed to prevent dust mites and other allergens from infesting your bed. The only way to eliminate dust mites is to cut off their source of food (your dead skin cells) by setting up a barrier between yourself and the dust mites. Allergy bedding encases your entire bed and provides that necessary physical barrier.

How does allergy bedding eliminate dust mites?

Dust mites and other common household allergens are so tiny that they can easily slip through the pores between the thread of normal bedding fabrics. Allergy bedding, on the other hand, is woven tightly so that the pores are too small for dust mites to penetrate. Once their food supply is cut off, the dust mites will soon die. Best of all, you can continue to use all your favorite decorative sheets and pillow cases; simply wash them on a weekly basis to keep them free of dust mites.

How big is dust mite allergen?

Dust mite allergen averages around 10 microns in diameter. One micron is 1/25,000 of an inch. To give you an idea of how small this is, dust mites are around 300 microns, and a grain of sand can be over 800 microns! Therefore, in order to effectively block dust mite allergens, the pore size of allergy bedding must be smaller than 10 microns. Allergy Armor Ultra has the smallest average pore size in the industry at 2.8 microns. This fabric offers the absolute best protection against allergens while retaining a very comfortable feel. Allergy Armor Cotton has an average pore size of 3.9 microns. Allergy Armor Advanced, a luxurious microfiber fabric, and Allergy Armor Organic have an average pore size of 6 microns each. All of these fabrics offer effective protection against dust mites. Allergy Armor Classic and Allergy Armor Bed Bug offer excellent protection as well; instead of small pores, they have a poly/cotton shell with a urethane lining that makes them impervious to dust mites and waterproof.

Does allergy bedding block out other allergens besides dust mites?

Yes, allergy relief bedding also blocks out other allergens like mold and pollen, and with an average pore size of 2.8 microns, Allergy Armor Ultra blocks out even the smallest allergens like cat dander. While dust mite allergen averages around 10 microns, pet dander is often smaller than 5 microns. Allergy Armor Ultra also has a special antimicrobial finish that provides long-term protection against mold, mildew, soiling agents, stains, and deterioration.

What are the advantages of allergy bedding?

Over 50 million people in the United States alone suffer from allergies, and of those 50 million people, 80% are allergic to dust mites. Allergy relief bedding is the first line of defense against allergies. A Johns Hopkins University study showed that "mite population and allergen levels decreased by 90% or more within a month of placing mattress and pillow covers and treating bedding." If you decrease your exposure to allergens, then you will breathe easier, sleep more soundly, and feel better. It's that simple! Even if you don't have allergies, you'll rest easier knowing that you're not living in a miniature ecosystem of microorganisms. Furthermore, a recent medical study suggests that decreased exposure to allergens in infancy may prevent the development of allergic disease. So if you're not allergic to dust mites now, you could develop an allergy if you continue allowing them to live in your bed. Allergy bedding will also protect your mattress and add years to its lifespan.

What type of fabric is allergy bedding?

The type of fabric depends on the type of Allergy Armor bedding that you need. Our highest quality choices for allergy bedding, Allergy Armor Ultra and Allergy Armor Advanced, are both made from microfiber fabric; it is the softest, coolest, and most breathable type of fabric. Allergy Armor Cotton fabric is a breathable membrane-free cotton/polyester blend. Allergy Armor Classic fabric is a cotton/poly blend with an inner urethane membrane which makes the fabric too noisy and warm for some sleepers, but the waterproof membrane makes it a good option for young children. We also offer an organic allergy bedding in Allergy Armor Organic. The pore size is slightly larger because this wholly organic cotton is untreated and un-dyed, but it still offers excellent protection when dealing with dust mites, pollen and some pet dander. Our Allergy Armor Vinyl box spring encasings are also a waterproof membrane fabric, but they lacks the outer cotton/poly blend and are only recommended for encasing box springs. Our most recent addition to the Allergy Armor line of bedding covers is Allergy Armor Bed Bug. Similar to Classic, Allergy Armor Bed Bug has a special sew pattern that prevents bed bugs from nesting in your mattress. With it you have dual protection against allergens and bed bugs. Refer to our Allergy Bedding Buying Guide for a more detailed explanation of the different fabric types.

Is allergy bedding hot?

Allergy bedding has improved drastically over the past few years. Fifteen years ago, all allergy bedding was hot, noisy, and uncomfortable. Today, thanks to technological advances, you can buy allergy bedding that feels just as cool and comfortable as regular sheets. You still may find that cheap allergy bedding, like that found in big box stores is hot and noisy. This type, often mass produced overseas, is many times not even a genuine fabric but instead a rubber/plastic substance that can be warm, slippery, or noisy to sleep on.

How do I clean my allergy bedding?

Caring for allergy relief mattress and pillow covers is simple. Most encasings can be machine washed on warm or hot and gently tumble dried. Others can be wiped with a wet wash cloth. Never use bleach. Pillow covers can be washed every couple of weeks. Mattress covers need to be washed only 3 or 4 times per year. Other bedding should be washed in hot water every one to two weeks. Visit our bedding care instructions page for specific details on how to care for you particular brand of Allergy Armor bedding.

How do I know what size to buy?

It is very important to measure the depth of your mattress when ordering allergy bedding. Simply measure your mattress from the bottom to top, seam to seam. Don't worry if your mattress is thicker in the middle, as our fabrics are cut to accommodate center bulges. In most fabrics, the sizes we have available are 9" deep, 12" deep, 15" deep, and 18" deep. For mattresses 9" deep and smaller, order 9" encasings. If there is extra fabric left over, it can be easily tucked between the mattress and box spring.

Should I encase my box spring?

Box springs should be encased to keep dust mite allergens from penetrating your mattress. These encasings work synergistically with mattress encasings to provide maximum protection. Box spring covers are effective and inexpensive. They are easy to clean and are made of thick vinyl that does not rip easily.

Should I encase my comforter?

Allergy relief comforter and duvet covers are woven so tightly that no allergens can penetrate. You do not have to throw out your old comforter and purchase a new one. Simply shield your old comforter with an encasing, and if you like, you can cover the encasing with a decorative duvet cover.

Do I need a hypoallergenic mattress pad?

Hypoallergenic mattress pads are great for allergy sufferers who are allergic to regular down mattress pads. They replicate the dreamy softness and warmth of down  without the allergens. Wake up feeling completely rested and allergy-free on a hypoallergenic mattress pad.

When should I replace my mattress?

We recommended that you replace your mattress every 10 years-at the very least. When you replace your mattress, we recommend that you switch to a hypoallergenic mattress, but in the meantime, you can increase the lifespan of your mattress by using an encasing. Since you spend about a third of your life sleeping, shouldn't you choose a bed that lets you to sleep comfortably and allergy-free?

Why doesn't everybody have allergy bedding?

Most people, even asthmatics and allergy sufferers who are the most severely effected groups, are unaware of the proliferation of allergens in their bedrooms. They do not realize that they shed 2-3 pounds of skin per year, while spending about a third of that year in bed; therefore, they deposit about a pound of skin directly into their mattress. All of that dead skin feeds the growing dust mite population living in their bed. After 10 years, the weight of the average mattress doubles due to dust mite infestation. Most people don't realize that 80% of allergy sufferers are allergic to dust mites, nor do they realize that exposure to allergens can actually cause allergic disease. Finally, most people have no idea that modern allergy bedding is just as cool and comfortable as regular bedding. When dust mite covers first appeared several years ago, they were comparable to big trash bags that went over your mattress-hot, noisy, and uncomfortable. But thanks to scientific advances, today's allergy relief bedding is nothing like a trash bag. Modern allergy bedding provides more protection from allergens, and it is so comfortable that most people can't even tell that it has been installed on their mattress.

Where can I buy allergy bedding?

AchooAllergy.com specializes in allergy bedding! You can purchase dust mite covers right here on our website.

What else can I do to protect my bed from dust mites and other allergens?

The air inside your house can be 5 to 100 times dirtier than the air outside! You can remove allergens from your home's air with a HEPA air purifier. Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters can remove allergens from your carpet and upholstery, and dehumidifiers also play an important role in making your home allergen-free. AchooAllergy.com also sells a wide variety of cleaning products specifically designed to eliminate dust mites and other allergens.