If you suffer from a house dust mite allergy or asthma, you can still enjoy sleeping with natural down and feather bedding. Just make sure it comes with the NOMITE mark!
Find out what the Nomite anti-allergen accreditation means in our guide. Plus 7 top tips for keeping those pesky dust mites out of your bedding:
- What is Nomite?
- Dust mite allergies
- 7 top tips for keeping dust mites out of your bedding
According to Nomite, ‘Long-term studies have found only extremely small concentrations of mites and allergens inside down and feather bedding. Down and feather beds achieve, therefore, extremely positive results when compared with synthetic bedding. They are completely safe from an allergological point of view. Bedding articles filled with down and feathers neither host house dust mites nor do they provide a source of food for them.’
Dust mite allergies
So what is a house dust mite? It's a tiny creature, related to the spider and tick that's not visible to the human eye as it measures around a third of a millimetre. Apparently, there are 47 different species! The most common house dust mite – Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus – likes to live in the humid and warm places in your house like bedding, carpets and soft furnishings.
People can be allergic to the dust mite droppings which become airborne and are inhaled causing an allergic reaction in sensitive people. Often this results in perennial allergic rhinitis, producing sneezing and a blocked or runny nose. According to Associate Professor Jonathan Peter from Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town Lung Institute approximately 25% of people suffer from allergic rhinitis.
Scientific research has demonstrated that even if you suffer from house dust mite allergies or asthma you can enjoy sleeping with natural down and feather bedding for three key reasons: humidity, fabric and feeding.
The house dust mite needs high humidity to thrive, which it can’t find in down and feather bedding because of its thermal and climatic abilities. Down and feather duvets and pillows quickly warm up while you sleep, continuously dissipate moisture absorbed from the body and quickly decrease in humidity when aired.
Down and feather proof fabric will have a very tight weave to stop the down and feather leaking through the fabric which also stops mites from passing through, adding extra protection. The thread count of the duvet or pillow casing should be at least 246 to prevent dust mites penetrating. NOMITE® certified down and feather bedding also use down and feather proof fabric ticking, which also acts as a ‘barrier’ to the dust mite.
House dust mites mostly eat the scales of both human and pet skin. Apparently, a single human produces around 0.5 to 1 gram of skin scales every day. Several thousand mites can live off 0.25 grams for months! So down and feathers on not on the menu for the house dust mite!
7 top tips for keeping those pesky dust mites out of your bedding!
- Look for the Nomite mark!
- Buy washable down and feather duvet and pillows. scooms duvets and pillows are both washable at 40°C.
- Wash your duvets and pillows once every 6 to 12 months.
- Discourage humidity by airing your bedroom and bedding every morning by opening the windows and pulling the covers back.
- Air your bedding outside in the fresh air regularly if you can.
- Sleep in a room with a temperature of around 18 °C.
- Replace your duvet every 5 years and your pillow every one to two years.