If your allergies act up when you’re at home, there's a good chance your bedroom is one of your problem areas. That means it's time to take action.
To create a cozier space for yourself, you need to make your bedroom less cozy to mold, dust mites, and other allergens that make you sneeze and sniffle.
1. Kick Dust Mites Out of Bed
Dust mites are a common trigger of allergies and asthma. They can often be found living in your bedding. Here are a couple of steps that will help you get rid of them:
- Put dust mite-proof covers on pillows, comforters, mattresses, and box springs.
- Wash your blankets, sheets, and pillowcases every week in water that is at least 130 F. Dry everything in a hot dryer.
2. Vacuum Regularly
Carpet is another popular place for dust mites. Replace bedroom carpet with hardwood floors or linoleum and washable area rugs.
If you must have carpet in your bedroom:
- Choose low-nap over high-nap carpet, which holds more allergens.
- Every week, clean the carpet using a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a double bag. Wear a dust mask while you vacuum so you don’t inhale dust that floats up into the air.
3. Use Light and Breezy Window Treatments
Say good-bye to dust catchers like blinds and heavy, dry clean-only drapes. Instead, try washable curtains and roller shades.
Wipe window frames and glass regularly to prevent mold and mildew, a cause of upper respiratory symptoms if you have allergies or asthma.
4. Declutter Your Bedroom
To breathe better, keep things simple. Cut back on knickknacks and fabric. The less upholstery in the room, the better.
Move books, magazines, and decorative items to another room, so you can dust less often. Don’t store things under your bed.
5. Protect Bedroom Air
Dust mites and mold like a warm, damp bedroom, but you probably don't.
- When it's warm, use your air conditioner, even if you’re tempted by the outdoor breeze.
- If you live in a humid climate, use a dehumidifier to keep humidity at 30% to 50%.
- Turn down the heat or turn up the AC. Dust mites can’t breed as well at temperatures below 77 F.
You may want to try an air-filtration system that uses a small-particle or HEPA filter to keep the air in your bedroom cleaner. These filters work in central air conditioning and heating systems and in portable air conditioner units.