How to Get Rid of Dust Mites in the Bedroom
Dust mites can be a serious threat to the quality of sleep for you, your family, and guests as they can cause or exacerbate multiple health problems. While they don’t bite, and you don’t even feel them on your skin, dust mites are known to cause irritation, autoimmune reactions, and allergic reactions in the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.
These microscopic insects are an unwanted pest in the home, and they are notorious for thriving in bedrooms. Dust mites proliferate in warm, humid environments. When you take bedding and add human body heat and perspiration, you create a welcoming environment for dust mites.
So, how do we get rid of dust mites in the bedroom? Well, it takes a combination of prevention and cleaning; much more than a duster and a vacuum.
Protecting Your Bedding
First, to get rid of dust mites in the bedroom, you need to protect your bedding. That means investing in high-performance encasements that will serve as a barrier to protect your pillows, mattresses, and comforters from dust mite entry and proliferation.
High-performance pillow, mattress, and comforter encasements are designed to prevent dust mites from attacking your bedding while allowing moisture and heat generated by your body to escape. Manufacturers accomplish this duality by designing the encasements with microscopic pores that are smaller than dust mites but will still wick your heat and sweat away from the bedding.
Properly engineered fabrics, such as polyester, as well as fabrics made of all-natural cotton, can both do the job well. Look for encasements with high-performance fabrics featuring single-needle stitching and sealed openings that will completely eliminate pathways for dust mites to penetrate your pillows, mattresses, and comforters.
These encasements do require periodic washing to maintain their effectiveness, but they should last during the entire lifetime of the bedding itself.
Washing Your Sheets and Pillow Cases
While encasements prevent dust mite penetration of the actual mattress, pillows, and comforters, you still need to pay attention to your actual sheets and pillowcases, too. Weekly washing at hot temperatures goes a long way to getting rid of dust mites in the bedroom.
Don’t forget to also wash uncovered, decorative throw pillows common to beds. While you may not use these as you use your actual pillow, they can still accumulate dust mites just by their presence in the bedroom. This recommendation is also true for items like bed skirts (dust ruffles), as they can accumulate dust mites as well.
Keeping Those Hard Surfaces Clean
While dust mites are primarily attracted to warm, humid environments, especially fiber environments, they also accumulate on smooth surfaces.
Take a look at your surfaces, such as dressers, night stands, and even picture frames and other fixtures and accessories in your bedroom. To effectively rid your bedroom of dust mites, be sure to wipe down all of these surfaces with a damp cloth, ensuring you get rid of the accumulated dust and dust mites.
Dealing with Carpet
Carpet creates a huge problem with regard to dust mites, as it gives them a welcome home in a tough to keep clean environment. To get rid of dust mites in the bedroom, it’s best to get rid of carpet--especially wall-to-wall carpet--and even area rugs that will serve the same purpose.
If ridding your home of carpet is prohibitive, then you need to be extra diligent in vacuuming regularly, every few days. This goes for other flooring--even though hardwoods, laminates, and tile don’t allow as much accumulation of dust mites--and especially upholstered furniture. And don’t forget those pet beds--when you vacuum the places where your dogs and cats sleep, you can take care of dust mites and pet dander, another known allergen in the home.
Be sure to use vacuum cleaners that are certified asthma and allergy friendly, as these certified products are designed specifically to clean to the microscopic thoroughness required to get rid of dust mites in the bedroom.
Addressing Window Treatments and Upholstered Furniture
Fiber is not your friend when trying to get rid of dust mites in the bedroom. Just as carpet and area rugs can create havens for dust mites, so, too, can window treatments like curtains, drapes, and Roman shades.
If you really want to get rid of dust mites in your bedroom--and in other rooms, for that matter--you may want to replace these fiber/fabric-based treatments with blinds made from wood or the “faux wood” variety. As an alternative to fabric treatments, blinds have smooth surfaces that are more easily cleaned.
For those of you with larger bedrooms that feature furniture like chairs, sofas, or a bed bench, it’s important to remember that upholstered furniture in the bedroom--due to its warmer, more humid environment--can be a
Purifying Your Air
Using an air purifier can be helpful with regard to getting rid of dust mites in the bedroom. The key is to make sure you select a purification system that’s made for the size of your room. If you master bedroom is average in size, around 200 square feet, you may need a medium-sized purifier, while you’re child’s room may need a smaller one.
Purifiers are also certified for asthma and allergy friendliness. Make sure that when you select a purifier that you look for the appropriate certifications, so you’ll know the device will get the job done right.
Most people find that taking all of the above measures is the appropriate course of action for getting rid of dust mites in the bedroom. In some situations, with more extreme infestations, people may resort to pesticides. There are several natural and chemical options on the market. Those who don’t want to use harsh chemicals in the home may find that all-natural options featuring a combination of deep cleaning, allergy bedding, and essential oils may better serve your goal of killing dust mites.
As you can see, there are many tactics you can employ to get rid of dust mites in the bedroom. As long as we seek the warmth of our beds and naturally generate body heat and perspiration, the proliferation of dust mites in our bedrooms will be an ongoing problem. And ongoing problems require ongoing treatment and prevention.
Getting rid of dust mites in the bedroom requires consistency and diligence, a willingness to take both long-term measures and investing in quality encasement bedding, non-fabric surfaces and flooring, and frequent vacuuming.