Looking for allergy relief? You may be tempted to buy allergy-free bed covers to reduce your exposure to dust. The manufacturers of these bed covers claim they reduce sneezing and watery eyes by trapping dust mites and other small particles.They’re more expensive than regular bed covers, but do they reduce allergy symptoms?
Allergy-Relief Bed Covers Deliver, but They Aren’t Good Enough
According to a new study, allergy-free bed covers fall short of the mark when it comes to allergy relief. When British researchers looked at 1,122 adults with asthma who used these bed covers for a year, they found they had little effect on their allergy symptoms. This was confirmed by another study involving asthma sufferers carried out in the Netherlands. Asthma sufferers who used allergy-relief bed covers fared no better than those who used regular bedding – and they still required the same amount of asthma medication.
In one sense, allergy-free bed covers do what they claim. They do reduce exposure to dust mites and their by-products that cause allergy and asthma symptoms, but they don’t improve allergy or asthma symptoms. This may be because dust mites are still scattered around other parts of the house, meaning there’s still too much exposure to dust mite products in spite of the allergy-free bedding.
Allergy-Free Bed Covers May Still Be Helpful for Some Allergy Sufferers
Allergy-relief bed covers aren’t necessarily worthless; they do reduce exposure to dust mites, but they need to be part of a more comprehensive allergy relief program targeted at combating dust mites in other areas of the house.
Allergy control measures should include washing bedding in hot water weekly, reducing home humidity, lowering the thermostat, dusting with a wet cloth weekly and removing carpeting where dust mites can hide. Allergy-relief bed covering won’t much of a difference if dust mite allergens are hiding elsewhere in the house. I
It’s also important to target other allergens you may be reacting too, which can be determined by allergy testing.
The Bottom Line?
Don’t expect allergy-free bed covers to bring instant allergy relief – or you may be disappointed. Make them a part of an overall program to remove dust mites and their by-products from your home through other means – so you can breathe a little easier year round.
Medical News Today. “Anti-Allergy Bedding Pretty Useless”
Merck Manual. Eighteenth edition. 2006.