Allergy Bedding Buyers Guide to Controlling Allergies

Allergy Bedding Buyers Guide

How to Effectively Block Allergens and Dust Mites in Your Bed

We are really to blame for the dust mite infestations experienced today.

That's right, it is our fault!

As we sleep, we shed millions of dead skin cells which give the mites an unlimited food source. As they multiply and release their fecal matter into the mattress, an allergen nightmare is born. These fecal particles and our own skin cells are what cause the allergies we experience.

The only logical way to separate us from this dust mite breeding ground is to create some kind of barrier. Allergy bedding is defined as "a fabric with some kind of barrier" that has been independently tested and proven to block the allergens. This can be a membrane laminated to the back of a specific fabric or a sophisticated woven piece of material so highly engineered that microscopic particles cannot pass through it.

We have all our product tested and can provide you with those results.

  • Don’t be misled with fitted mattress covers! These covers do not encase the mattress and are a waste of money for people with real allergy symptoms. Always be sure to ask if the product is zippered to be sure you are totally protected. Many products like "protectabed" and others mislead the consumer and do not clearly explain that the covers are fitted only.
  • Don't be confused by the term "hypoallergenic" or "resists dust mites". These terms are used loosely and don't guarantee that you are buying a dust mite proof product. Many products claim to be hypoallergenic. Be sure to ask for lab test results or confirmation of the dust mite barrier efficacy.

What is the difference between a membrane and non membrane cover and how do they protect us?

Allergy relief covers with membranes are defined as fabrics with a vinyl or urethane based coating on the inside. It would be similar to one taking their favorite sheet and covering the underside with Saran-Wrap.

Of course this would not be comfortable or practical but the concept is the same. The benefit of urethane over vinyl is that there is no noise and or odor (off gas). The membrane has no color or feel but it is there doing the work. These coatings have no "pores" or holes for the dust mites to escape. Thus, nothing can get in or out of your mattress.

Allergy relief covers without membranes are defined as fabrics without any coating. Without some kind of coating, the woven fabric would act like a sieve. When we are talking about non membrane fabrics we have to discuss pore size.

Pore size is the diameter of the space or hole between the threads. If the average waste particle of dust mites is approximately 9 microns then the pore size must be less than 9. Typically, any non membrane fabric with a pore size less than 6 or 7 will block all allergens including pet dander.

Remember that thread count has nothing to do with pore size. 1000 count sheets for example have more threads per square inch but the pore size is not maintained. Thus, these fabrics will do nothing to encase the allergens.

What do I need to know when choosing an allergy relief protective cover?

Which fabric is really the best? Of course the quality of the fabric and the efficacy of the barrier are important. Remember, you are sleeping on this cover every night! You also need to think about how comfortable each fabric is to sleep on. The characteristics of each fabric and the cost will help you determine which is best for you. A quick checklist:

  • Always remember to buy a zippered cover only. Fitted versions DO NOT protect you from the mite allergens since the mattress is not totally encased. If it doesn't say then it is usually fitted.
  • Are you a hot sleeper? If yes, look at membrane free cover like 100% Cotton Allersoft.
  • Is waterproof an advantage for you? Maybe there is an incontinent issue or your mattress is very expensive and you don’t want to risk spilling anything on it. If so, consider a membrane fabric since it is also stain proof and waterproof in addition to allergy proof!
  • Do you plan to wash the covers as often as your basic linens? If so you may want to consider a fabric with all polyester or more polyester than cotton.
  • Do you want a softer cover for something like a duvet? Consider Bedcare with Membrane or or Cotton Allersoft.

What are the differences between the fabric types?

A membrane is defined in Webster's as "A thin sheet of natural or synthetic material that is permeable to substances in solution." Permeable means moisture can escape. The breathablilty, however, will not be like the nice sheets on your bed. These types of covers tend to hold in heat. If you are a sleeper who tends to sweat at night then this fabric may not be for you. One key component of the membrane is that it is waterproof. This is an advantage for bed wetters or incontinence. We have Polyester Stretch Knit with membranes. 

  • Bedcare - All Polyester with a circular knit which means the weave has a soft and silky quality too it. The knit which is more elastic like a jersey sheet which can make it easier to put on the mattress.
  • Vinyl-Not a membrane cover per se though the vinyl acts like a membrane. It is totally waterproof. The vinyl tends to be very noisy and rough which is not ideal when sleeping directly on it. Economy is also a great cover for your box spring.

Non Membrane fabrics are a more advanced technology in allergy relief bedding. Since there is no membrane separating you from the allergens, the weave of the fabric must be woven in such a way that the pore size or space between the threads is less than 6 microns. This is due to the fact that the smallest allergens have been tested at 10-15 microns. Our Allersoft TM 100% Cotton has a pore size of less than <5! Because there is no membrane, this fabric tends to have longer life spans since there is no membrane to deteriorate over time in the wash. Non membrane fabrics are also much cooler to sleep with and are much less noisy. It is more like putting a thick sheet on your mattress.

  • Cotton Allersoft is 100% Cotton. Not to be confused with the older poly cotton (60/40 blend) offered at many retailers. The Cotton offers the same level of protection yet is the softest possible. In fact, the cotton Allersoft is the softest and coolest product you can purchase. 

  • Economy -This non-woven fabric is in fact membrane free. The question is why is it the least expensive? These covers are built from 3 layers of man made material which are bonded together. Unlike cotton or poly cotton yarn which is made from fibers which must be grown, the material to produce these Economy covers is readily available in the market and very inexpensive to produce. Though membrane free, the Economy covers are much lighter in weight and are best suited for traveling or dorm rooms. They tend to deteriorate more quickly and can only be washed on cold and using an air dry cycle.

How do I take care of allergy relief bedding?

Allergy relief bedding does not require any special care or cleaning agents. Other then vinyl covers which can just be wiped with a damp cloth; all allergy relief bedding can be washed with warm water and dried on a low temperature. All the fabrics can withstand temperatures of up to 250 degrees F at which point you can sterilize the product if desired.

We recommend washing your pillow covers at least once every 2-3 months while your mattress covers need only be washed every 3-4 months.

How should I measure my mattress so I can get the correct size?

Standard sizes in the mattress and box spring industry are how we determine what sizes we need to make available to you. We manufacture most of our covers in the 3 typical depths of 9", 12", and 16". There are only two things you need check:

  • Is your mattress a Twin (39x75), Extra Long Twin (39x80), Full (54x75), Queen (60x80), King (78x80) or Cal King (72x84)? If you are not sure then just measure the width and length of your mattress.
  • Measure your depth. It should be either 9-10", 12-13" or 15-16". Always hedge on the larger size! You can always be 2-3" over on your size since any excess material can be tucked underneath. Be sure to measure well since anything more the 3" of fabric will bulge out from under the mattress and also add to the cost unnecessarily.

Is there a difference in the warranties?

All of our premium allergy relief covers come with a LIFETIME warranty. Only our economically priced Economy covers come with less and we still give you 5 full years on these as well.

What if I don't like the cover I bought and think I would have wanted something else?

If you are not satisfied with your choice for any reason we will refund your money for 60 days. Trust us though, you'll be happy!

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