Menu

7 Tips for an Allergy-Proof Bedroom

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on June 13, 2021

If your allergies act up when you’re at home, your bedroom is probably one of your problem areas.

It’s key to make the room less cozy to mold, dust mites, and other allergens that make you sneeze and sniffle.

1. Kick Dust Mites Out of Bed

These microscopic bugs can trigger allergies and asthma. They can often be found living in your bedding.

You can take some steps to 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 a popular place for dust mites. Consider replacing it in your bedroom with hardwood floors or linoleum and washable area rugs.

If you must have carpet in your bedroom:

  • Choose the low-nap or low-pile kind, which holds fewer allergens.
  • Clean it using a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a double bag every week. Wear a dust mask while you vacuum so you don’t inhale dust that floats up into the air.
  • Do housework during the day, not the evening, so dust has a couple of hours to settle before you go to sleep. 

3. Use Light and Breezy Window Treatments

Say goodbye to dust catchers like blinds and heavy, dry-clean-only drapes. Try washable curtains and roller shades, instead.

Wipe window frames and glass regularly to prevent mold and mildew. Both can trigger upper respiratory symptoms if you have allergies or asthma.

4. Declutter Your Bedroom

Keep things simple to breathe better. 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, and don’t leave dirty clothes on the floor.

5. Protect Bedroom Air

Dust mites and mold like a warm, damp room, 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 sweaty-weather 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.
  • Check carpeting for signs of mold or mildew, especially near windows. If you notice condensation on windows or window frames, try to find the cause. Find out how to deal with it so it doesn't lead to mold.
  • Don't leave damp or sweaty clothes in the hamper. That's a perfect breeding ground for mold. Empty the hamper every day.

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 AC units.

6. Make Your Bedroom a Pet-Free Zone

Your pets may love to snuggle with you. But dander, saliva, and pee from furry animals can carry allergens. Plus, they can track in mold and pollen from outside. Ideally, your dog or cat should sleep somewhere else. If not, do your best to reduce dander. For example, vacuum more often.

7. Ban Roaches

These scurrying insects might make an appearance no matter where you live -- and they leave behind tiny droppings that can bring on symptoms for people with asthma, especially children.

To keep roaches outside of your home:

  • Seal cracks and crevices.
  • Fix leaks in pipes and faucets.
  • Try not to leave wet towels on the floor. Roaches thrive on water.
  • Crumbs are a lure for cockroaches. Make bedrooms no-food zones.
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers.
  • Keep your dishes clean.
  • Hire an exterminator if you need to.
WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI.org): "Tips to Remember: Indoor Allergens," "Humidifiers and Indoor Allergies," "Allergy Statistics," "How to Help Your Allergies and Asthma."

CDC: "Facts About Mold and Dampness."

MedlinePlus: "Indoor Allergies Common in Winter."

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research: "Allergy-Proof Your House."

American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology: “Dust Mite Allergy: Tips for Reducing House Dust Allergies.”

Allergy & Asthma Network: “Sleep Matters: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep with Asthma and Allergies.”

Harvard Medical School, Women’s Health Watch: “What To Do About Sinusitis.”

Tammemagi, C. Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, 2010.

Nemours Foundation: “Sinusitis.”

Arroyave, W. Annals of Allergies, Asthma & Immunology, March 2014.

KidsHealth.org: "All about allergies."

Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics: "Indoor AIRepair at Home."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. "Dust Mite Allergy."

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.