For some people, every season is allergy season. It doesn’t matter what the weather is outside because it’s not the change in seasons.
Instead, it’s their beds causing the sneezing, sniffling, coughing, dry eyes, itchy throats, and even skin rashes and hives. And most people don’t even know it. They'll lie down on their mattress, and, the next morning, wake up with breathing problems and a distinct feeling that they haven't slept well.
That's not surprising because the percentage of indoor pollutants in homes in the U.S are two to five times higher than anything we breathe outdoors. 90% of all U.S. households have detectable levels of cat and dog allergens. So you can see why allergy sufferers have got it bad all year long.
In this article, you’ll learn why your mattress is the prime suspect for your allergy symptoms and which materials make the best mattresses for allergy sufferers.
Four Common Causes of Mattress Allergies
Indoor allergens can cause quite a few issues to your waking life as well as your sleeping hours. It's much worse than seasonal allergies because you’re there at least six to eight hours every night. During this time, your resting body is vulnerable to prolonged exposure to a variety of microscopic allergens.
Common allergens are silent perpetrators. They set up shop, multiply in your mattress, make a home in your bedding, and even get lodged in the air. As you continuously breathe them in, these irritants can trigger allergies and asthma or worsen the experience for people with allergies
Allergy sufferers should know about these four common triggers.
1) Dust Mite Allergies
Dust mites occupy the top spot on this list of common allergens driving allergy sufferers mad. A dust mite is a microscopic creature that thrives in warm areas, especially those with high humidity levels.
What better place than a mattress, warmed by your body heat and, potentially, humid because of night sweats?
Because a dust mite is invisible to the naked eye, it's easy to forget that they're even there. These quiet creatures will feed off human skin cells and use your bedding's fibrous and hollow components to make their homes. When they excrete feces, their droppings can trigger allergy symptoms in many people.
Just like bed bugs and roaches, dust mites are absolutely a kind of pest! They can lay anywhere from 40-80 eggs — at this rate, it only takes about a month for them to multiply in your bed, your couch, and other fibrous home decors like drapes and cushions.
Signs of dust mite allergies in your mattress includes symptoms like:
- - Itchy, runny nose
- - Congestion
- - Sinus pressure
- - Dry cough
- - Watery or red eyes on waking
- - Scratchy throat
- - Post-nasal drip
- - Trouble sleeping because of these consistent symptoms
The fact is that unless you rid your bedroom of fibers and sleeping elements that dust mites like to nest in, you can never completely rid yourself of these little critters.
2) Pet Dander
Like dust mites, allergens like pet dander contribute to bedroom- and mattress-related allergies. That's especially true if you allow your fluffy friend to hop up and take a nap on your bedding. You don't have to be allergic to pets to experience this kind of allergy because you're not reacting to the animal's hair.
Instead, you're sensitive to dander, which, like proteins from dust mite droppings, is a skin particle protein from animals.
Pet dander can trigger symptoms like:
- - Tightness in your chest
- - Red, itchy eyes
- - Trouble breathing
- - Wheezing, coughing, and sneezing
As you can see, pet dander is more likely to look and feel like asthma symptoms than those of seasonal allergies like pollen or ragweed.
Of all the "silent" triggers for allergy sufferers, nothing creeps up slower than mold. Often, you only notice the spread when it's too late. However, your body is likely registering the presence of mold sooner with symptoms like:
- - Itchy, irritated eyes
- - Ragged breathing with a dry cough
- - Sinus congestion
- - Wheezing and sneezing
- - Trouble breathing, sometimes with sharp chest pains
Mold is essentially a fungus that grows on moist and natural surfaces such as carpet, paper, insulation, and wood. It can also fester in drywall.
Mold spores take 24-48 hours to develop in warm, wet, unventilated conditions. From here, it spreads by forming a multicellular filament network, which allows it to feed and grow.
Like dust mites and pet dander, latex allergies come from a kind of protein that can trigger skin-based allergies in addition to the common symptoms like breathing issues, congestion, and runny noses.
You may experience immediate itching in the area that came into contact with the latex, along with redness, rashes, and even hives.
You can find latex in very common, household items like rubber gloves, balloons, and even condoms. Even though it's a natural substance, it's a notable condition in about 5-10% of the general population.
What's even more interesting is that, even if you don't start with a latex allergy, prolonged exposure can trigger dermatitis. This is true of up to 17% of health care workers and 10% of rubber industry workers, whose bodies develop an allergic response after a period.
How Do You Remove Allergens from a Mattress?
There are two ways to remove allergens from a mattress altogether. One of these methods is temporary, while the other can provide more long-lasting results.
The first strategy is to entirely wash your bedding, vacuum up your mattress's surface, and implement an air filter for your bedroom. You may also have to wrap your mattress, box spring, if you have one, and pillows in covers designed to resist dust mites.
Keep in mind that if you choose this route, you're committing to making this cleaning overhaul a consistent practice, as that's to rid yourself of allergens completely.
The second route you could take is to opt for a mattress for allergies. This type of mattress is resistant to dust mites, mold, and mildew. It's essentially an "anti-allergy" mattress. It resists dust mites, doesn't trap pet dander, and keeps your body cool with its materials and construction.
What is the Best Mattress for Allergy Sufferers?
If you're not prone to seasonal allergies, your criteria for the best mattress doesn't usually include thinking about dust mites, mold, and mildew.
Instead, these are the factors that count when you choose a mattress:
- - Mattress size
- - Softness and firmness level
- - Support, especially for back pain and pressure points (medium-firm is best)
- - Temperature, if you tend to run hot during the night
It's only allergy sufferers that will look at a new mattress from an entirely different perspective. People with allergies need to watch out for coil or spring mattresses. The innerspring system creates little pockets of space where dust mites, their feces, and your dead skill cells collect to form a cloud of allergens.
You may also find mold and mildew actively developing in the cavity of a coil or spring mattress because your body transfers heat through the night.
Over time, innerspring mattresses lose their support, firmness, and bounce. Instead of buying a new mattress, people may choose to use pillow-tops or quilted tops. However, these additions are ideal because of their soft, airy fibers, which create open entryways for dust mites.
Why Natural Latex Foam Makes the Best Mattresses for Allergies
The density and materials that form natural organic latex and natural memory foam mattresses make it the best mattress for allergies. This type of mattress is naturally dust mite-resistant, so you don't need to use a mattress cover for allergies. High-quality memory foam mattresses are also comfortable and supportive, so they also don't need quilted pillow tops.
It's important to note that not all memory foam mattresses are equal. A natural latex mattress may not be the right mattress for allergy sufferers if they also have contact dermatitis because of this material.
If that's you, the best mattress for allergies would be those that use natural latex, along with other design elements intended to combat allergens.
Essentia's natural latex mattresses are allergy-friendly because:
- - Our memory foam mattress design is impervious to dust mites.
- - We source latex from Hevea sap, which does not contain proteins that could trigger an allergy.
- - We do not use wool or fiber batting that could create an additional nesting space for mites.
- - Our mattresses sleep between three and seven degrees cooler.
Natural latex-based memory foam also works well in hybrid mattresses. If you currently prefer sleeping on a spring system, hybrid mattresses might work better. They blend the familiarity of the innerspring coil with natural latex memory foam's resistance to dust mites.
Almost every natural memory foam mattress across Essentia's four collections boasts natural materials and features of a true "hypoallergenic mattress." They also provide pressure relief, supportive contouring, and posture alignment.
We spent three years refining the production and processing technique to create a natural latex-based memory foam that is unparalleled in its comfort, durability, and therapeutic features. Browse Essentia's Lifestyle, Wholebody, Performance, Hybrid, and custom collections today to discover the right fit for your family.