For most of us, jumping into bed at the end of the day is what we look forward to the most, but for allergy sufferers, this time of day can mark the beginning of an evening of sneezing and wheezing. This can be uncomfortable and unpleasant and can prevent you from getting enough restful sleep each night. Luckily, the right choice of bedding can be the difference for many between a night of slumber or a night of allergies.
How can your bed affect allergies and asthma?
Bedtime allergies are more common than you may think. 20-50% of the population of Australia experience hay fever (allergic rhinitis), and it’s not just pollen that triggers it. Many sufferers are affected by dust mites, mold, pet dander. These allergens can inflame the nasal passages, and cause sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses, or trigger asthma in sufferers.
Dust mites are microscopic pests which are basically invisible to us as humans, however, you may have millions of them in your bed. These creatures are drawn to beds because they feed off our dead skin cells, and beds are full of them. Up to 10% of the weight of a 2-year-old pillow can be made up of dead dust mites and their droppings. While the dust mites themselves don’t really pose a threat, the droppings can set off allergies.
What can I do to avoid bedtime allergies?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent allergies at night. These include:
- Showering before you go to bed
- Changing and washing your sheets regularly in hot water
- Using hypoallergenic, dust-proof bedding and bed casings, including pillows, pillowcases, pillow protectors, mattress protectors and even quilt protectors.
What is the best bedding for allergy sufferers?
One of the most common questions we are asked by those who suffer from asthma or allergies is what fabric is best for allergies. We advise that you look for tightly woven fabric with a pore size of fewer than 10 microns so that allergens can’t penetrate through. Fabrics like linens are the worst for dust mites, whereas tightly woven fabrics like silk can provide a great barrier. Silk bedding is great for allergies because it is tightly woven yet because it is a natural fibre it is still breathable. Silk pillowcases also have the benefit of being great for your hair and skin, whether you have allergies or not.
Our best products for allergy-free nights
We stock a range of the best bedding for allergies that are designed especially for allergy sufferers and asthmatics. Here are some of our top choices to help you sleep and breathe easy.
The Herington Gusset pillow range offers the best pillows for asthma sufferers. There are four pillows available in this range: High & Soft, Low & Soft, High & Firm, and Low & Firm. There is also the Grow pillow, specifically designed for children. Each of those pillows is tailored to a different type of sleeper (side sleeper, back sleeper etc). They are filled with low allergy Excel fibre, combined with a treated polyurethane foam core to add firmness and support. These pillows have an anti-allergy treatment and are approved by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
Best pillow protector
The Bambury Mite Guard pillow protector range. These pillow protectors close totally around your pillow and zip shut, as an ideal barrier between you and dust mites. Mite Guard pillow protectors feature a micron dust filter membrane that is sandwiched between two layers of inner fabric, offering premium protection for your pillows. They are made from soft and lightweight, durable and air permeable fabric, allowing body moisture and heat to pass through the fabric. This keeps you comfortable all night long.
Bambury pillow protectors can also overcome the need for regular hot washing of your pillows. This allows you to select and use natural fibre fillings such as feathers which are not washable.
Best quilt protector
The Bambury Mite Guard quilt protector range. Quilt protectors are a specialist product that not a lot of people know about, but they are a great idea for anyone with allergies or asthma. You can put your whole quilt or doona inside the protector and zip it closed, and put that inside your quilt cover, completely protecting your doona from dust mites.
Best pillowcases and sheets
The Linen House Lifestyle Hotel Augusta 500 THC Cotton Sateen range. This range comes in six colourways and is available as pillowcases, fitted sheets, flat sheets, sheet sets, U-shaped pillowcases, king-sized pillowcases, body pillowcases and European pillowcases. The fitted sheets also come in mega sizes (50cm depth in the wall of the sheet to suit most pillow top and bottom mattresses). All sizes and shapes of pillowcases and sheets in this range are made from high-quality cotton sateen fabric for a silky smooth and luxurious feel and are easy to care for.
Best mattress protectors
The Bambury Mite Guard mattress protector range. This is an envelope style mattress protector, meaning the whole mattress is encased in the protector which is then closed with a zipper at the end. The entire Bambury Mite Guard collection is among the best bedding for dust-mite allergies.
The best waterproof mattress protector for allergy sufferers is the Hilton Deluxe waterproof fitted mattress protector range. It offers dust mite control and heavy-duty protection, thanks to its waterproof PVC backing and heavy-duty construction. Despite being waterproof, it is whisper-quiet, with no crinkling or crackling.
Best lightweight quilt
The Hilton Deluxe Bamboo Breathe Easy 350GSM Quilt range. This bamboo quilt is the best quilt for allergy sufferers, as it features a premium cotton cover with a bamboo cotton fill. These are hypoallergenic natural fibres which are antibacterial and odour resistant, the ideal quilt material for avoiding allergens. The bamboo doona also wicks away moisture from the body to regulate your body temperature and keep you cool and comfortable while you sleep.
Best all year round quilt
The Jaspa Infinity quilt range. This quilt features a 350GSM Micropol blend of microfibre and polyester. These are man-made, synthetic fibres, which offer superior loft and support for a sumptuous feel. The quilt is encased in a soft cotton Japara cover and finished with stylish silver braid piping. It has been treated with an Ultrafresh treatment and endorsed and approved by the Sensible Choice program of the National Asthma Council in Australia, certifying that it is free from any harmful substances and poses no health risks.
Best doona cover or quilt cover
The Linen House Lifestyle Vaucluse 1000THC cotton quilt cover set. This quilt cover set comes in three colourways: silver, white and charcoal. It is super luxurious, with a superb lustre and sateen soft feel. It features classic tailored edges to complement the elegant and timeless look. Cotton is a natural, breathable fibre that is ideal for people with allergies.
The MM Linen Meeka comforter set range. If you’re looking for an all-in-one comforter or coverlet, this is the ideal choice. It is made from lush quilted faux velvet with heavily detailed stitching in a geometric block design. It is available in eight different colours with matching pillowcases, so is sure to complement any aesthetic.
Best blanket for winter warmth
The Ardor Boudoir Ultra Soft Velvet Fleece blanket range. This blanket is 350GSM, 100% polyester velvet. It is machine washable, easy-care, with stitching on all four sides. It is available in four colours.
Does anti-allergy bedding work?
Anti-allergy bedding does work for many people, by minimising allergens in your bed. How well it works for you will depend on the nature of your allergies.
What does hypoallergenic bedding mean?
‘Hypoallergenic’ means it is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Hypoallergenic bedding is typically made from materials that rarely cause allergies and are resistant to common allergens like dust mites and mould.
Simply making the right choice of bedding can make all the difference for allergy sufferers, so use this guide and you can make your bed a comfortable and relaxing sanctuary rather than a trigger for your symptoms.