Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Allergies Health Center

Select An Article

Dust Mite Mattress and Pillow Covers for Allergies

Font Size
A
A
A

Each adult person sheds about one and a half grams of skin every day. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that can live in your bedding and carpets and feed on this skin.

Sound icky? It does explain why dust mite-proof pillow and mattress covers are your first line of defense against dust allergies!

Recommended Related to Allergies

Are Allergies Cramping Your Sex Life?

Here's a wild guess: When an allergy attack hits and leaves you sneezing and itching, with teary eyes and a nose that is runny and stuffed, you probably aren't much in the mood for romance. It may sound obvious that drippy noses don't bring out the sex kitten in people. But for the first time, a study has looked at the impact allergies have on our sex lives and found that many people with chronic allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, often put the kibosh on sex when symptoms are flaring. This new piece...

Read the Are Allergies Cramping Your Sex Life? article > >

Facts About Dust Mites

Dust mites are everywhere -- anywhere there are people or animals, warm temperatures, and high humidity. They like to be indoors, where they can get plenty of food like mold spores and dead skin cells from people and pets.

If you are sensitive or allergic to them, you may have:

  1. Watery, red eyes
  2. Runny or itchy nose and sneezing
  3. Sore throat or hoarse voice
  4. Coughing and other breathing problems
  5. Skin rash and itching
  6. Worsening of your asthma

Dust mites settle down in carpet, draperies, stuffed animals, and upholstered furniture. Mattresses, pillows, and soft bedding are favorite hangouts.

Dust Mite-Proof Covers

Dust mite covers really work. One study found that some kids with asthma need less asthma medicine when they used mattress and pillow covers. Tests of their mattresses showed that dust mites colonies there dwindled. But never decrease your asthma medicine unless instructed by your doctor.

You can find dust mite covers for mattresses, pillows, and box springs at mattress and allergy supply stores and in a variety of materials.

  • Plastic or vinyl covers with zippers help seal in allergens so you don't inhale them when sleeping.
  • Plastic or vinyl covers are easier to keep clean than covers made of natural fibers.
  • Many plastic covers have an outer layer of material like nylon to make them more comfortable.
  • If possible, cover your mattress and pillows when they are new.
  • Put duct tape or electrical tape over cover zippers to double-block dust-mites from coming and going.

More Ways to Minimize Dust Mites

  • Use a bed with a wooden or metal frame.
  • Wash bedding in hot water. Cold water does not kill dust mites.
  • Wash sheets and pillowcases at least once a week. Wash comforters and bedspreads every one to two months.
  • Consider using an electric blanket, which can reduce humidity on bed surfaces.
  • Wash and dry stuffed animals often and keep them off beds.
  • Clean mattresses in late winter and early spring. That will kill any dust mites that survived the winter and reduce their numbers in the summer months.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on December 01, 2014
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

blowing nose
Article
woman with sore throat
Article
 
lone star tick
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

cat lying on shelf
Article
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Assessment
Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching
Quiz