Suffering from allergies is extremely common in the UK. With a whopping 20% of us having allergies at some point in our lives. Allergens triggers can often be found in the household. And, more importantly, the bedroom.
Dust, mould and bacteria can all wreak havoc our allergy symptoms. We sleep for an average of eight hours per day and usually breathe more when sleeping. Because of this, many peoples allergy symptoms are worse when waking up.
If you find yourself waking up feeling stuffy, an anti-allergy mattress could be the right choice for you. Find out everything you need to know about hypo-allergenic mattresses and bedding in our helpful guide.
What is a hypoallergenic mattress?
If you suffer from a condition such as rhinitis, eczema, psoriasis or asthma, dust particles and allergens can make sleeping a misery. To help prevent your allergies from keeping you awake all night, hypoallergenic mattresses are specially designed to create a cleaner and allergen-free environment through the use of both naturally hypoallergenic fibres and man-made anti-allergen coatings.
The skin cells we shed every night (as well as the heat and moisture we produce through sweat) create a perfect environment for bacteria, mould and dust mites to thrive. By choosing a hypoallergenic mattress, you can prevent this from triggering your allergies, giving you a better night's sleep.
Is hypoallergenic and anti-allergy the same thing?
The two phrases are often used together to mean the same thing. They are different, though. Hypoallergenic refers to bedding or mattresses made from material that resists allergens.
They’re often made from natural materials that have inbuilt hypoallergenic properties. This can include wool, bamboo, silk and cotton. Because they’re natural, they’re kinder to your skin. They’re also incredibly effective at preventing allergens like dust mites, mould and bacteria.
Anti-allergy mattresses and bedding are chemically treated to stop allergens. The chemicals used have been tested to a very high standard and are perfectly safe – unless you’re a dust mite, that is!
Can mattresses make allergies worse?
Some mattresses can cling on to more dust than others. And not cleaning your mattress often enough can also lead to a build-up of allergens on the surface. To avoid this, making sure you regularly sweep or vacuum your mattress depending on the style.
Foam mattresses can become damaged when vacuumed so it's best to sweep once every few months. Whereas a more traditional spring style benefits more from being lightly vacuumed. However, you should always check the cleaning instructions beforehand.
It's also important to ensure your bedding is cleaned and changed at least once a fortnight to avoid a build-up of allergens. For extra protection against bedtime allergens, there are plenty of hypoallergenic duvets, pillows and mattress protectors to choose from.
What are the benefits of anti-allergy mattresses?
Anti-allergy mattresses aren't just great for people with allergies. They're also a good choice for anyone that wants to keep their sleep environment cleaner. Because many hypoallergenic styles have bacteria-fighting properties. They can prevent an excess build-up of unwanted bacteria. Bacteria and dead skin cells in the bed is a perfect feeding environment for bed bugs and other critters. Which is why it's important to keep your mattress as clean as you can.
The hypoallergenic surface prevents dust mites from being able to penetrate into the mattress itself. Dust mites can be a trigger for allergies and lead to allergic symptoms. Keeping a clean sleeping space is especially important for children.
Children tend to breathe faster than adults, meaning throughout the course of the night. They'll be breathing in more dust and allergen triggers. Using a non-allergenic style of mattress is a great way to ensure they're sleeping in a clean, dust-resistant space.
What type of anti-allergy mattress is best?
Traditionally, foam styles tend to be the most popular choice for anti-allergy mattresses. The way the materials are sThe combination of exceptional comfort, support, and anti-allergen properties makes foam mattresses the most popular.
The way the foam is constructed makes it very difficult for dust, dust mites and bacteria to find their way into the mattress filling. However, any mattress style that has been treated to be hypoallergenic will work to protect against allergens and irritants.
- Memory foam: The tight and complex structure of a memory foam mattress makes it difficult for any allergens to get established inside the mattress filling. These advanced mattresses come in a full range of sizes from singles to super king and provide good levels of support up to medium-firm, as well as a cushioned, comfortable feel that gives you a restful night’s sleep. If you’re looking for a modern anti-allergy mattress that’s easy to care for, you can easily find a memory foam mattress that suits you.
- Latex foam: Like memory foam, latex foam is excellent at repelling allergens, thanks to the structure and the natural anti-allergen properties of latex. Slightly firmer than memory foam, it's also one of the more durable mattress styles. With proper care, this anti-allergy mattress can last for many years.
- Anti-allergy mattress toppers: if you'd prefer to keep your existing mattress, an anti-allergy mattress topper could be the perfect option. Toppers sit securely on the mattress, preventing any allergens from getting to the surface. They use natural fibres like wool that have anti-allergy properties.
- Hypoallergenic bedding: adding anti-allergy pillows, duvets or mattress protectors can add extra protection. It's a simple, affordable change that you can easily add to any sleep environment.
Do hypoallergenic mattress protectors work?
Hypo-allergenic mattress protector, toppers, duvets and pillows act as a barrier between you and the mattress. They're a popular choice among people sensitive to dust or dust mites and add an extra layer of protection against allergens.
If you suffer from allergy symptoms, it's usually best to pair these products with an anti-allergy mattress for the ultimate safe and clean sleep space. It's important to remember to regularly clean your bedding, even if it is hypo-allergenic. While it will protect you from dust and bacteria. Over time it can still collect allergens on the surface. Which is why it's important to remember to clean or change it once a week.
How long do hypoallergenic mattresses last?
Hypoallergenic mattresses are designed in the same way as any other mattress. That means they last for the same amount of time. On average, a mattress lasts for around eight years. By regularly rotating single-sided or flipping and turning double-sided mattresses, you can prevent bumps and lumps from forming.
Adding a mattress topper can help prolong the life of a mattress. If you find the sides are starting to sag or those lumps and bumps simply won’t go away, it could be time to buy a new mattress.
How can I make my current mattress more allergy-friendly?
You can do a few things to make your mattress more resistant to allergens. These tips will help you get a better night's sleep if allergens trigger a reaction such as asthma, rhinitis or skin conditions.
1. Use an anti-allergy mattress protector
Rather than buying a whole new mattress, you can pop on a simple protector. These are like mattress toppers. They act as a barrier to stop allergens like dust mites from getting into the interior of the mattress. They will also protect your mattress from dirt, spills and dust.
2. Buy an anti-allergy pillow
Anti-allergy pillows may cost a little more, but they’re worth the investment. Not only can some of them be washed to keep them clean, but they're treated with anti-allergen protectors. Choose a memory foam or latex pillow, and you'll stop dust in its tracks, thanks to the dense structure. Team it up with a treated cover for even more protection.
3. Hypoallergenic duvets
A hypoallergenic duvet will cut down on the dust and allergens even further. Using a range of fillings, they can be washed regularly to keep your sleeping environment even healthier and cleaner.
4. Keep your bedroom clean
Regular hoovering and having the window open will keep the dust down and the air circulating. Try to keep pets out, so they don't shed hair or canker. Keep your sheets washed regularly at a high temperature to kill off bacteria.
And our top tip: don't make your bed in the morning! Let it air for at least an hour to let any sweat and moisture evaporate. This prevents mould and allergens from breeding in a warm, moist environment.