What is Allergy Bedding

When compiling our Top 5 list of “Must Have” allergy control products, we knew that the list would not be complete without including allergy control bedding.

Specifically, we are talking about especially designed zippered covers for the mattress, pillow, box spring and duvet. If you have dust mite allergy, these covers can be the difference between waking up feeling well or waking up knowing it is going to be one of those “allergy” days.

What is allergy beddingThese zippered encasements cover all sides of the mattress, pillow or box spring; zip up; and put a complete barrier between you and the allergens trapped inside. Here is additional information that explains the different materials used in our mattress covers.

These covers are sewn from several types of material.

Coated Fabrics. These covers are made from a regular fabric that has been coated with an allergy-proof material. The covers we sell are made by taking either a polyester stretch knit fabric or a cotton polyester blend fabric and fusing it with heat to a 1 mil thick urethane membrane. It is not the fabric that gives you allergy protection. The urethane membrane provides the protection. When you move on the bed, you create a cloud of particles. With these covers on the bed, the particle rises, hits the membrane on the fabric and then falls back down. Because you do not breathe the allergens, they cannot make you sick. Coated fabrics are inexpensive and water resistant. However, special care must be taken when laundering these covers to keep from damaging the membrane. The membrane backing can be damaged by heat or strong bleach or detergent.

Microweave Fabrics. These covers are made from fabrics that have been specially woven to act as a barrier cloth. The weave of the fibers used to weave the fabric is so small that allergy causing particles cannot pass though when movement on the bed causes them to become airborne. As with a coated fabric, the dislodged particles are repelled and fall back inside the cover. Because they do not get in the air, you do not inhale them. If you do not inhale them, they cannot make you sick! Microweave fabrics can be made from all natural fibers, synthetic fibers, or a blend of natural and synthetic fibers. The most common synthetic fiber used is polyester. It is much stronger than cotton fiber and can be woven much tighter. Keep in mind, the higher the polyester content the tighter the fabric can be woven. The tightness of the weave is expressed as a “Mean Pore Size”. This term refers to the average size of the space between the fibers in the weave. If you have dust mite allergies, you want to look for a Mean Pore Size of 8 microns or less. Every fabric sold by the Allergy Store is well under 8 microns. Because microweave fabrics are not coated with urethane, they are not water resistant. However, they do not need any special care when laundering and can be much cooler to hot sleepers.

Vinyl/Plastic. These covers are made from different grades of plastic or vinyl. The seams can be sewn or they can be heat fused. All vinyl and plastic covers trap body heat making the sleeper warm. In addition, the plastic can make crinkling noises while you sleep. Because even heavy-duty vinyl covers can be easily torn, they are not terribly durable. The most common vinyl covers are either 4-gauge or 6-gauge vinyl. This refers to the thickness of the vinyl. Do not waste your money on 4-gauge as it is not effective for allergy control. While vinyl is an inexpensive choice for allergy control bedding, it has more negatives than positives. If you are looking to save money, you can use vinyl for the box spring cover but use fabric covers for the pillows.

Non-Woven Fabric. These covers are made from a material the textile industry refers to as “non-woven”. This means that the fibers are fused with a heat or chemical process. The fibers are not knitted or woven as with most fabrics. They are most commonly referred to by the method used to fuse the fabrics. For example, the most commonly used non-woven fabric for allergy control bedding is SMS. SMS stands for Spundown, Meltdown, Spundown; and this refers to how the fibers were manipulated. Non-woven fabrics are generally lightweight and inexpensive. They are not durable and most are not hot water washable. Like vinyl, they can be an inexpensive alternative for the box spring.

No matter what type of material you choose for your zippered allergy control bedding, be sure to wash it several times a year. If you are diligent about washing sheets, blankets and pillowcases weekly your zippered covers will only need occasional washing. With each wash, take a moment to inspect zippers and seams to make sure they are intact and the item does not need replacing.


Wishing you the best of health



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