Anti-Allergy Bedding Buying Guide

Anti-Allergy Bedding Buying Guide

Why do I need Anti-Allergy bedding?

Your bed could be home to over 10 million dust mites; potent triggers of conditions such as asthma, eczema and other respiratory conditions. These unwelcome guests can bring on allergy symptoms making for a very unpleasant, and often disturbed, night’s sleep. Household insecticides have no effect on dust mites, your best course of action is to make your bed inhospitable to them. You can do this by purchasing anti-allergy bedding, or by encasing your existing bedding in specialist anti-allergy encasements. You could also consider purchasing an anti-allergy mattress.

What am I allergic to?

Although we use the term “dust mite allergy”, the mite itself is not what you are allergic to. Instead it is the faeces that the dust mite leaves behind. Their faeces contain proteins which can produce negative reactions in people, including sneezing, coughing, itching, wheezing and streaming eyes. Dust mites do not bite, cannot spread diseases, and do not live on people. They are only harmful to those who develop an allergy to them. Dustmites are microscopic in size so it is easy to assume your bed is mite-free.

What’s the difference between non-allergenic, hypoallergenic and anti-allergy?

  • Non-allergenic means that the item itself shouldn’t cause an allergic reaction, but triggers such as dust mites may still be present.
  • Hypoallergenic means that there is a decreased chance of allergic reaction
  • Anti-allergy means the item is intended to prevent or minimise an allergic reaction.

Do I need new bedding?

To fight dust mites, your best option is to replace your bedding with specialist anti-allergy bedding. Anti-allergy bedding can either contain an active ingredient to denature dust mites, or have a special casing that dust mites cannot penetrate. If your existing bedding isn’t anti-allergy and you’re reluctant to replace it, you can improve its allergy protection by using anti-allergy encasements. These encasements fit over your existing pillow, duvet and mattress and trap allergens inside.

What do I need to make my bed allergy friendly?

It’s important to make your whole bed an allergy friendly haven. This may involve replacing your pillows, duvet, sheets and mattress or purchasing specialist encasements to improve the anti-allergy effectiveness of your existing bedding.

Pillows & Duvets for allergy sufferers

Anti-allergy pillows and duvets can be split into two groups, those that contain an active ingredient to denature dust mites and those made with a casing impenetrable to dust mites. Both options will offer a good level of protection and will stop the growth of dust mites in your pillow and duvet. Furthermore, some pillow and duvet fillings, such as wool and silk, are naturally resistant to dust mites. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to keep your existing pillow and duvet, you can purchase anti-allergy encasements; these will fully encase your pillow and duvet trapping allergens inside.

Bed Linen for allergy sufferers

When purchasing bed sheets it’s best to choose something that offers specialist anti-allergy protection, these sheets will contain an active ingredient to denature dust mites or will be made from something naturally resistant to dust mites such as silk. Alternatively choose sheets that can be washed regularly at 60oC, this is the temperature needed to kill dust mites, or use a laundry additive such as Fabri-Cleanse to remove allergens at lower temperatures.

Mattress Protection for allergy sufferers

You can protect yourself from the allergens in your mattress by using an anti-allergy mattress protector or mattress encasement. An anti-allergy mattress protector will contain an anti-allergy agent to protect you from dust mites in the top layer of your mattress. For better protection an anti-allergy mattress encasement will fully encase your mattress, stopping allergens from exiting or entering any part of your mattress. The majority of mattress encasements are made from a fabric impenetrable to dust mites and other allergens. Anti-Allergy Pillow Protectors and Pillow Encasements are also available.

Mattresses for allergy sufferers

Brands including Sealy and Healthbeds have started to produce hypo-allergenic mattresses. Similarly to anti-allergy bedding, your new mattress will have been treated with an agent to denature dust mites. If you’re considering purchasing a new mattress, choosing an anti-allergy option will stop the growth of dust mites in the first place.

Can Anti-Allergy bedding make my bed more eczema friendly?

When choosing bedding for eczema sufferers, it is very important that it is highly breathable bedding. Bedding that creates a cleaner, drier and smoother environment, will ease irritation on your skin, creating a better night’s sleep. For example our DermaTherapy bedding is made from a tightly woven fabric which creates a smoother layer that will pull less and cause less friction on skin. It is also highly breathable and will draw moisture from the skin.

Sleep like a queen or king

Sleep like a queen or king

In life, we often find ourselves opening up our homes to house guests.

May it be those that we love deeply, good friends or those that are welcomed in because they just need a place to stay. Whatever your reason for finding yourself with house guests, making them feel welcomed should be a fundamental principle of any home.

A guest bed should be one that demonstrates both comfort and support. What is more welcoming than a bed that throws out an invitation from the moment you set eyes on it.

Most guests that come into your home are taking a break from the ordinary of their everyday life – so no doubt they are looking for a place to relax and embrace the freedom of being away from the normal. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to show off and lavish your guests with the effort that they deserve.

Guest Beds

Guest beds are a practical solution with so many options, inflatable, folding, pull out and of course a good old trust worthy divan. Whatever type of guest bed, they are all designed with one purpose in mind, to take up as little space as possible when it is not in use.

Alas, choosing your guest bed is an important decision with many factors that you have to take in to account. What type of bed are you interested in? What is your price range? How often do you have guests?

There are many different choices to make to ensure that your guest is able to get the best night’s sleep possible.

Mattress

If you are looking for a proper mattress as opposed to an inflatable bed, shop for the best value not the lowest price. The better the construction, the better the support and comfort offered and the longer the bed will last. This is key for both normal mattresses and for folding guest beds. The quality that is available for folding beds is simply stunning and definitely worth investing in.

Allergies

Another thing to be aware of when choosing the perfect bed for your beloved house guests is if they have allergies. There are mattresses specifically designed with anti-allergy properties. If you have pets make sure their hair is kept away from the guest’s room or bedding. This is something worth giving thought to, you never know who may pop in for an overnight stay.

If you have opted for a very comfortable inflatable bed, you can also purchase specific anti-allergy bedding for your guests.

Special touches

Ensuring that your guests have the most pleasant stay does not just stop at how comfortable their mattress is, it is all about the full package. Headboards provide a nice homely touch to any guest bed, not only is it a practical way to keep your pillows under control, but very pleasing to the eye. Even now, some inflatable beds are available with a headboard!

To conclude, do not compromise on quality when it comes to providing the best comfort for your guests. Ensure that a visit to your home is one worth telling their friends about.

How to choose the right pillow

How to choose the right pillow

A good pillow is just as important as a comfortable bed for getting a restful night’s sleep. Buying the right pillow and positioning it correctly could be one of the most important parts of achieving a good night’s sleep. In addition to providing comfort, the right pillows can also give the necessary support for the neck and spine, alleviating or preventing back and neck pain.

In addition to aggravating and even causing neck and back pain, incorrect pillows can also trigger allergic reactions. After two years of use, one-third of a pillow’s weight comprises of dirt, dead skin, dust mites and their droppings.

Pillows for Different Sleeping Positions

For correct sleeping posture, only your head and neck should be placed over your pillow. Do not place your shoulders on the pillow because this will elevate your upper body much higher than your lower body. Depending on your sleeping position, certain pillows might be better for you than others. Whether you’re a side sleeper, a back sleeper or a front sleeper, discover how to find your perfect pillow here.

How often should you replace a pillow?

There is often confusion about when you should buy new pillows. The life expectancy of a pillow varies depending on the type of material it is made from.

If you are unsure whether it’s time to replace your pillow, find out how to test your pillow here.

What pillow filling is best for me?

Feather and down pillows, such as down or feather pillows, give you comfort and adjustability. They can support your head, eliminate pressure points and increase facial circulation to decrease face squashing. Down is also not an option if you suffer from asthma or have allergies.

Wool pillows provide outstanding neck and head support whilst retaining a soft wool feel that resists flattening and bounces back easily after use. Wool is a great sleep aid, it draws moisture away from the skin and helps the body to maintain a steady temperature, meaning it’s never too hot or cold; and it’s also antibacterial and hypoallergenic as well as being naturally dust mite free.

Memory foam pillows are made of a dense, temperature-sensitive sponge-like material that can easily support your back and neck by conforming to your individual body shape. The memory foam moulds to your neck and head, creating a comfortable cradle for your head while you sleep. This can help relieve pain in your neck while you are sleeping.

Latex pillows are made from a rubber polymer that returns to shape time after time and offers you unrivalled comfort and support. The latex sponge is very reactive to pressure, but unlike memory foam it has instant bounce-back. Latex pillows also have the added benefit of being hypoallergenic.

Synthetic pillows are man-made, usually polyester. They are hypoallergenic making them ideal for allergy sufferers. However, they have a shorter life span and do not conform to the head and neck as well as most other pillows.

Orthopaedic pillows exist in several different shapes and materials and are most commonly used to relieve neck and back pain. Some promise to keep their shape or mould and adjust to your head and shoulders. They should always keep spine alignment as the number one focus.

Cover Fabric

  • Natural cover fabrics, such as cotton will have far better breathability than polyester and other man-made fibres.

Pillows for different sleep issues

Choosing the right pillow can help alleviate common sleep problems such as allergies, snoring and neck and back pains.

Snoring

When your head and neck are not properly supported your airways can be restricted, which can cause snoring. If your nasal passages are being obstructed, then your snoring may also be caused by an allergy.

The SlumberSlumber Contour Memory Foam Pillow with Silver is ideal for helping keep your airways open and offering superb comfort.

Allergies

Anti-allergy bedding, such as Allersafe is blended with Amicor Pure Acrylic Fibre, an intelligent fibre with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal additives inside, creating an environment that is unsuitable for dust mites to survive. The Allersafe range of bedding can prevent the allergic reaction and reduce snoring.

Neck and back pain

If you suffer from back or neck pain, it’s important to look at your pillows. A change of pillow could help alleviate your back or neck pain.

Support pillows such as the Mediflow Pillow is designed to fit you perfectly. Simply fill with water, adjusting the amount of water to the degree of support you prefer. This flexibility allows you to choose from soft, medium or firm support. This will offer the correct firmness and cervical spine and head support while responding to changing sleep positions.

View our full selection of pillows here

What are allergies and how can they be treated?

What are allergies and how can they be treated?

What are allergies?

An allergy develops when the body’s immune system reacts to a substance (allergen), such as pollen, food and dust mites as though it is a threat, like an infection. In order to fight off the allergen, your body produces antibodies, in a reaction called the “immune response”.

The body “remembers” the previous exposure of the allergen, and produces more of the antibodies every time your body comes into contact with it. This causes the release of chemicals in the body that lead to an allergic reaction.

Although many individuals outgrow allergies over time, allergies can also develop at any age, including during adulthood.

While environment plays a role in allergy development, there is a greater risk of developing allergic conditions if a person has a family history of allergy, especially in parents or siblings.

Common allergies

Allergies are very common. According to Allergy UK, one in four people in the UK suffer from an allergy at some point in their lives , with numbers increasing year on year.

Some of the most common allergens include:

  • grass and tree pollen (hay fever)
  • dust mites
  • animal dander (tiny flakes of skin or hair)
  • food allergy (particularly fruits, shellfish and nuts)

Are you allergic to your own home?

According to the NHS it’s estimated that 10-20% of the population has indoor allergy. Dust mites are the main cause for household allergies, other allergens include, moulds, cleaning products and pets.

Symptoms

If you’re allergic to your home, the symptoms that you will experience are similar to that of hay fever. The most common symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy rashes
  • Swelling

Dust mite allergy

Dust mites are the main cause for household allergies, and are found in areas of the home that are used frequently such as bedrooms and kitchens. They survive well in warm damp conditions, making pillows and bedding the ideal environment, as they can feed on the skin cells we shed, obtain warmth from our bodies and collect water from our sweat. Find out more about what dust mites look like and where they can be found here.

Dust mites are not known to transmit any human diseases but they can cause skin reactions. Dust mites do not bite, but the faeces and secretions they leave behind can cause a number of allergic reactions including:

  • eczema and skin rashes
  • asthma
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • itchy, red or watery eyes

Bed bug allergy

Bed bug bites can often be mistaken for allergic rashes, due to them appearing as itchy bumps on the skin. Typically, the reaction is an irritant effect to the insect bite and not an allergy.

If you suspect there are bed bugs in your home, visit our sleep clinic to find out more information about what they are and how you can eliminate them.

Do I have a feather allergy?

You shouldn’t automatically assume that you have an allergy to feathers, as feather allergy is actually very rare. This allergy has been identified only as reaction to quill mites in live feather, protein in pigeon droppings, or to Pigeon bloom, a waxy powder that coats the feathers of racing pigeons. Find out how to choose the perfect pillow here.

So-called ‘feather allergy’ is more often than not, an allergic reaction to the dust mite allergen that is hidden in an unwashed pillow or duvet, no matter the filling. Find out how to choose the perfect pillow here.

Is your snoring caused by an allergy?

If you feel as though breathing through your nose isn’t smooth or that your nasal passages are being obstructed, then your snoring may be caused by an allergy.

The most common allergy to cause this behaviour is dust. Dust gathers in our homes as a result of flaking skin, which in turn encourages dust mites (see above).

If you are allergic to dust mites, breathing through your nose may become difficult, which may result in snoring. To find out more about whether your snoring is caused by an allergy read here.

How can I ease my allergies?

It is recommended that you use the below tips to manage your symptoms and reduce the number of allergens in your home.

  • Use allergen-proof barrier covers on mattresses, duvets and pillows
  • Dust regularly. Always use a damp duster, followed by a dry cloth, otherwise you’ll just be moving the dust around
  • Wash bedding at 60 degrees to help eliminate dust mites. Allergens produced by dust mites will dissolve in water, but the mites will survive if washed in lower temperatures
  • Vacuum all carpet and surfaces of upholstered furniture at least twice a week
  • Replace your mattress every 8-10 years
  • Replace pillows every year
  • Use a high-temperature steam cleaner to remove dust mites from carpets
  • All washable stuffed toys should be washed at the same temperature as your bedding. However, if this is not possible, place the toy in a plastic bag in the freezer for 12 hours and continue washing at recommended temperature
  • Use extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchens to reduce humidity and increase ventilation
  • To ensure indoor humidity stays between 30-50% use a dehumidifier. In addition, an air purifier can be used to trap large airborne allergens such as pollen, house dust mite debris and mould spores.

Anti-allergy bedding

The best way to combat indoor allergens is to make your bedroom inhospitable to them. You can do this by purchasing anti-allergy products, such as, bedding, encasements and even a mattress. We’ve compiled a list of our top anti-allergy products here .

When should I visit my GP?

It’s recommended that you always consult your GP if you suspect you have an allergy. Depending on your symptoms, the condition of your skin and any medication you are taking, you may be offered further tests to identify the allergen. Click here if you’re unsure whether you should seek medical attention.

For more information and advice about allergies and other sleep issues, visit the SlumberSlumber sleep clinic.

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