Do you always wake up sneezing heavily, with your sinuses clogged and eyes watery? Has this happened for so long that it has become a normal part of your life? Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. Many people suffer from various allergic reactions, and the biggest cause is usually the mattresses they sleep in. you could blame it on pollen, dust, or other factors. But, if your allergies always occur when you wake up, your mattress is most likely the cause.
Allergies may not seem like a big deal, but they can escalate to more serious health issues if they are not addressed. This is why we have come up with an article that will help you identify if your mattress is the cause of your allergies.
What is the Relationship Between Your Mattress and Allergies?
Did you know that a dirty mattress can be a breeding ground for thousands of allergy-causing bacteria? Most of these bacteria may be harmless, but the likes of dust mites and other microbes can trigger allergic reactions. A dirty mattress can also house fungi and mold. It gets even worse. Older mattresses tend to accumulate more bacteria. Therefore, if you have been sleeping on that mattress for many years, there could be colonies of tiny bacteria inside the bed.
Generally, human beings should avoid close contact with harmful bacteria. When you sleep on a bed with the microbes mentioned above, you can experience allergic reactions.
How Does Bacteria Get to Our Mattresses?
It’s very simple. Mattresses are designed to be absorbent. When we sleep on them, they absorb sweat and dead skin cells. There is nothing that microbes love more than these two types of human waste. Also, other factors that contribute to bacteria’s growth are high humidity and warm temperature levels.
Let’s take mold, for example. It will most likely thrive in a warm and sweaty mattress. Mold is known to trigger coughing and asthma. While we are still on sweat, it can also lead to eczema. Sweating is most likely going to occur on a memory foam mattress since they usually aren’t breathable.
Mold isn’t the only thing you should be worried about when you find it on your mattress. Dust mites can also make you have sleepless nights. Dust mites are tiny insects that feed on dead human skin cells. On their own, dust mites do not affect human beings. However, their waste causes us to have allergic reactions such as sneezing and coughing. If you have a dust mite colony on your bed, you shouldn’t be surprised when you wake up with watery eyes and a clogged sinus. Even though a dust mite allergy often clears on its own when you move away from the trigger, it can lead to the development of asthma in the long run.
Can Mattress Materials Cause Allergies?
Some people are very sensitive to synthetic latex. When their skin makes direct contact with a latex bed, they can start itching, and rashes can appear. A latex allergy can show symptoms that are similar to those of asthma. You should consult your doctor for a more professional diagnosis. If you have a latex allergy, you should completely avoid mattresses made using this material.
How to Prevent Mattress Allergies?
There are no cures for allergies. However, the symptoms of allergies can be treated. One of the most effective treatment measures is by avoiding the triggers. So, does that mean you should stop sleeping on mattresses forever? Not really. Here are some ways you can prevent mattress allergies.
- Replace Your Old Bed
A mattress should last for seven to ten years with quality care and maintenance. This is the goal of most of us since we all want to see a return on our investment. However, the older the mattress, the more bacteria, dust mites, and mold we are likely to find inside it. These are all triggers for allergic reactions. If you have owned a mattress for a considerable period, it may be time to get a new one. If it shows signs of wear, that should signal it’s time for a new bed. If the main reason why you are replacing your bed is because of allergic reactions, you should shop for anti-allergy mattresses. These beds may be more suitable for you.
- Opt for a Bed with Cooling Technologies
A breathable mattress isn’t only great at preventing night sweats. It also keeps allergy-causing bacteria at bay. Memory foam beds tend to have the highest amount of allergy-causing bacteria because they don’t dissipate heat. This causes sleepers to sweat a lot. When you combine that and high heat, it becomes a breeding ground for dust mites and mold. A mattress that features cooling technologies will promote airflow, ensuring the environment isn’t ideal for bacteria to thrive.
- Clean Your Mattress Regularly
It’s alarming how many people forget to clean their mattresses frequently. Most people wash the beddings and forget about the bed. You should always clean the mattress cover as frequently as you can. Before removing a cover, always confirm if it’s safe to do so. Some beds contain fiberglass, and if you remove the cover, you can contaminate your entire home.
Vacuuming the bed can allow you to suck out tiny little creatures such as dust mites and their waste. It can also eliminate pollen, which is another popular allergy trigger. Heat treatment is also an excellent method of killing bacteria. Temperatures of around 130 degrees Fahrenheit will kill any allergy-causing organisms in your mattress.
- Give Natural Antimicrobial Agents a Try
Replacing your bed with a new one that has got antimicrobial properties is the best way to beat mattress allergies. This, however, is a big investment. If, at the moment, you do not have the funds to buy a new mattress, you can always give antimicrobial agents a try. Examples include eucalyptus and tea tree oil. These will kill any bacteria on your bed and also provide a fresh and natural scent.
- Buy a Microfiber Hypoallergenic Cover
This is another excellent alternative to buying an anti-allergy bed. A hypoallergenic cover will prevent sweat and bacteria from getting inside the mattress. By eliminating the key ingredients, mold, fungi, and dust mites won’t thrive on your bed. As a result, you will wake up feeling healthy and well-rested.
- Practice Proper Bed Hygiene
Poor bed hygiene attracts bacteria which then leads to allergic reactions. Do you often drink and eat on your mattress? Chances are, food remains will drop on the bed, and it will attract dust mites. Practicing proper bed hygiene ensures no food or drinks soil your mattress. This ensures its clean at all times. If you happen to do so by mistake, always clean the stains with a dry cloth. The goal here is to prevent moisture from soaking into the mattress.
More Tips on Reducing Mattress-Related Allergies
- Learn to replace mattress beddings as regularly as possible. You shouldn’t be sleeping on the same bed sheets for an entire week. That goes for pillowcases as well. Replace bed sheets at least twice a week.
- Be very keen when shopping for a mattress. Always go for beds with antimicrobial properties or those labeled as allergy-proof. Don’t buy such a bed if you are allergic to latex or any other material.
- Ensure your bedroom is always clean. The truth is that dust mites don’t often come on their own, they are invited by dead skin cells and food remains, amongst other things.
- Try always to keep the humidity levels in your bedroom low. We have already seen that high humidity is a recipe for mattress allergies.
- If you can’t heat treat your mattress, take it out to the sun for a few hours. That should kill any organisms hiding inside there.
- Keep flowers out of your room. These tend to increase humidity levels.
- As much as you love your pets, avoid spending time with them on your bed.
What are Some Other Ways that Your Mattress Can Affect Your Health?
Your mattress could be the source of your allergies. But, that’s not the only way a mattress can impact your health. Here are some other ways;
- A mattress that doesn’t offer enough support can cause back pain.
- A saggy bed can lead to neck pain.
- If your mattress is super firm, you will wake up with achy joints.
- An unbreathable bed can also lead to night sweats, which can keep you up all night.
The Bottom Line
Allergies can be very irritating, especially when they occur in the morning. If your mattress is the cause of your allergies, you should replace it as soon as possible. The thought of getting a new fiberglass free mattress can seem overwhelming, but it is the best solution in this scenario. Hopefully, the article above has cleared up any confusion about mattresses and allergies. We have also shared tips on how you can prevent mattress allergies. If the symptoms of an allergic reaction become severe, it is advisable to consult your doctor. Don’t forget to tell them about your mattress.