Experts agree that our keeping our bedroom as free as possible from allergens makes a huge difference in the quality of life for asthma and allergy-sufferers. There are several steps one can take to reduce the allergens in the bedroom.
First, if possible, avoid carpet and rugs. This is not always possible, especially if you are renting. If you cannot remove the carpet, then vacuum daily with a hepa-filtered vacuum (change filter often), paying close attention to areas behind and under furniture, and have carpets professionally cleaned every three months.
Use only curtains that can be machine washed, and avoid mini-blinds (they can be a dust magnet). Take the curtains down and wash them every two weeks. Roller shades are also a good option if you need the privacy. A cotton/poly blend or cotton denim washes well. If you have dry clean only drapes, then take them to the cleaners regularly.
Dust mites can multiply, especially in upholstered furniture. aacuum your mattress monthly to remove dust mites. Cover your mattress with a mattress pad that is machine washed in hot water weekly, along with your sheets. Also use a pillow cover under your pillow case. Use natural materials, such as cotton for your sheets, blankets, etc. Wash or dry clean blankets or bedspreads once a month.
Dust all furniture surfaces twice weekly. Use a non-scented furniture polish on wood surfaces, or a small amount of lemon oil. Don’t forget to dust light fixtures and ceiling fans.
Avoid pillows or comforters with feathers or down. Many people are allergic to feather pillows, so it is usually best to avoid them unless you know there is not allergic reaction. Instead choose synthetic-filled pillows and comforters that are labeled allergen-reducing.
Keep your baseboards, window and door moldings, and lamps dusted weekly. Do not open your windows to air out the bedroom. This allows pollen into the room and makes an allergy sufferer miserable. If your air seems stale, invest in an air purifier. There are some really good models that are inexpensive, such as Hamilton Beach’s purifiers suitable for one room.
If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom by closing the door during the day and while you are sleeping. Even if you are not allergic to your pet, you may be sensitive to things that collect on fur, such as pollen and grasses.
If you have central air, use a filter that reduces allergens. Have your vents professional cleaned once a year. Vents can harbor mold, mildew, and pollen and continue to blow it into the air, greatly affecting the air quality in your home.
Do not burn scented candles or keep potpourri or air fresheners in your bedroom, as most allergy sufferers are sensitive to scents. Do not use scented carpet spinkle or scented laundry products.
Never keep fresh flowers in the bedroom. If you feel you need to add softness to your room, consider a non-flowering plant.
Closets can be a source of dust and dust mites since clothes can hang for a long time between wearing, so always keep the closet door closed. Rotate your clothes often, and keep clothing that is not worn often in garment bags. If your closet has carpeting, don’t neglect to vacuum it when you do the bedroom or mop if you have a mopable surface.
By improving the air quality, your allergy sufferer will have a restful, comfortable sleep and have much less problem during the waking hours. If you sleep with an allergy sufferer, chances are your sleep will also improve as they rest better.