Facts About Dust Mite Allergies

Dust Mite Covers

An effective method of treating dust mites and preventing reinfestations that is often overlooked is the use of dust mite encasements. Dust mite encasements are protective covers for your bedding, including your mattresses, box springs, pillows and duvets. These protective covers are impermeable to dust mites and the allergens they produce, creating a barrier between you and what is already inside your bedding and between the mattress and any other dust mites trying to get in.

Why Use Dust Mite Covers

Beds, pillows and blankets are the perfect home for dust mites, so they naturally gather and breed inside. While you sleep, your body creates moisture in the form of sweat, and your body heat warms the surrounding area. At the same time, as your body rubs against the sheets and pillows, you shed dead skin cells. This not only creates a warm, humid an environment that dust mites find ideal, but it provides them a virtually unlimited supply of food.

Just like most other animals, dust mites feed and create waste in the form fecal matter. However, the fecal matter of dust mites contains a chemical to which many people are allergic. Because allergic reactions are caused by the fecal matter and dead body parts of dust mites, getting rid of dust mites is not a sufficient treatment solution. The allergens remain long after the dust mites are gone and continue to cause problems.

Mattresses and box springs are also notoriously difficult to clean. To rid a mattress completely of allergens would require you to cut through the fabric and work around each spring. Even such painstaking labor is often in vain because allergens become deeply embedded in the padding. The use of dust mite covers prevents contact with the allergens and keeps dust mites from reinfesting your bed. The covers also prevent your dead skin cells from becoming embedded in the mattress, continuing to provide food for dust mites.

How Dust Mite Covers Work

Dust mite covers are made of one of several materials that are impermeable to dust mites and the allergens they produce. This type of allergy bedding creates a barrier that is engineered and tested to prevent even microscopic particles from passing through. Quality dust mite covers create a sealed encasement by using a zipper closure. Some dust mite covers are only of a fitted style that slips over your mattress or box spring. These do very little to control dust mites and prevent exposure to allergens. Only dust mite covers that totally encase your mattress, box spring, pillows and duvet provide an effective means of stopping your dust mite allergy symptoms.

Dust mite covers can be made out of several different materials, but all come in two basic types: membrane and non-membrane. Membrane dust mite covers are primarily made of fabric, but the inside has been treated with a vinyl or polyurethane coating. This makes the cover somewhat comfortable to sleep on while still providing protection. The coating is nonporous, so nothing can get through it or escape from it.

Non-membrane dust mite covers are made from specially woven fabrics that do not require a coating on the inside. These covers are porous, but the pores are less than 9 microns in diameter, which is the width of typical dust mite waste particles. Most non-membrane dust covers have pores much smaller, typically around 5 to 6 microns in diameter. This makes them effective against most other allergens besides those created by dust mites.