If you've ever wondered why you regularly wake up sneezing, with watered eyes or feeling congratulated, you may have dust mite allergies. Over a million dust mites can live in a single bed, and all night, you can be breathing in dust mite allergens while you sleep that cause allergy symptoms. Dust mites are microscopic, and unlike bed bugs, they can not be seen by the naked eye. Dust mites thrive in warm, dark and humid environments such as your pillow, mattress, blanket, carpet and upholstered furniture. Allergies are not caused by the mite being inhaled.
Instead, you are reacting to allergens created by dust mite waste particles and their dead body fragments. The large number of dust mites in the bed create a high concentration of dust mite allergens, which in turn cause symptoms for allergy sufferers. Allergy encasings act as a barrier to trap allergens within the bed and keep you from inhaling these problematic allergens while you sleep.
Step 1: How are Allergy Bed Encasings Designed to Help You?
If you're an allergy sufferer, you may be one of many people that do not start the morning off right, after having inhaled allergens all night long from your bed. A stuffy nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion are a few of the allergy symptoms that can occur regularly as allergens are inhaled from the bed. Zipping an allergy bed encasing completely around the pillow, mattress, box spring or any other stuffed bedding can protect you from these allergens as the encasing traps allergens within the bedding.
Allergens can not become airborne, creating a healthy sleeping environment. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) outlines "Guidelines for Allergy & Asthma Prevention," and these guidelines recommend encasing your pillow and mattress as one of the most important steps for allergen avoidance.
Step 2: Understanding the Basics of Allergy Bed Encasings
Encasings are simple to use on your bed, although many people may not understand the basics of how allergy bed encasings work. Today's encasings are no longer the plastic or vinyl encasings that many people may think of. Quality encasings are made from highly effective and comfortable materials that can result in no loss of sleeping comfort.
Membrane or Membrane-Free Encasings: Choices in allergy bed encasings include membrane encasings, which feature a urethane membrane lining and an upper layer of fabric, or membrane-free encasings that are made from special, high-performance fabrics that are tightly woven to block allergen particles.
Pore Size: The pore size of an allergy encasing is important, as it reflects the size of the space between the tightly woven fabric threads. A higher pore size means that the encasing can only block larger allergen particles, while a smaller pore size provides more effective protection than much smaller allergen particles. Dust mite allergens can be approximately 10 microns in size, and therefore, an encasing should have a pore size lower than 10 microns for effective relief. Pet dander is a much smaller allergen particle, and a pore size below approximately 5-6 microns is essential for effective allergen protection of pet dander and dust mite allergens.
Membrane encasings with a full urethane lining do not have pores as the membrane is "monolithic" or uniform across each surface. Although membrane encasings are highly effective at blocking allergens, they lack the breathability, superior comfort and easy care of membrane-free encasings. High performance, Allergy Control membrane-free encasings are made from very tightly woven fabrics with small pore sizes to keep allergen particles contained within the bed.
Durable Construction: All encasings are not made the same way. Many are mass-produced and are poorly made. Encasings made with superior quality features include high quality zippers for extra durability and the prevention of allergen leakage. Flaps at the zipper trap allergen particles, and bound seams re-enforce edges for long-term durability.
Comfort and Easy Care: Allergen encasings made from special cotton or polyester fabrics offer superior comfort and often have the feel of fine linens. With no loss in sleeping comfort, these allergy bed encasings are simple to include on the bed and offer powerful allergy protection. To add to the convenience, allergy encasings only need to be washed once a year or when soiled and these fabric encasings can easily be washed and washed.
Allergy bed encasings offer one of the most effective steps for allergy relief and a healthier night's sleep. Understanding the aspects of allergy encasings can help you make an informed choice as to the encasing selection that is right for you.