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Dust Mites

Dust Mite Mattress Protectors and Covers

What is a dust mite allergy?

In the UK there are more than 13 million people who suffer from a variety of allergies including asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema. Asthma as most people know can be dangerous and affects the airways and passages to the lungs causing a shortage of breath and a gasping sensation. Eczema is another allergic reaction in the form of an irritable skin condition, One in Six of the European population suffers from Allergic rhinitis. It is an inflammation of the nasal passages causing sneezing and a blocked or runny nose. Dust Mites are responsible for a large number of these allergic reactions.

The Dust Mite `Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus` is present in virtually all households in the UK. This is not a sign of a dirty home but merely a fact of life. This creature is so tiny that it cannot easily seen by the human eye. It measures no more than 0.3mm in length. It is a related to spiders and is prevalent in carpet fibres, sofas, mattresses and even cuddly toys. A normal bed mattress can contain up to 10 million of these beasties in just the upper 10cm! Modern homes in the UK are perfect breeding grounds with their carpets and soft furnishing combined with tightly sealed double glazing units and carefully controlled and monitored central heating systems. It would be best to remove all textiles, carpets and mattresses to create an allergy and dust mite free environment.

The Dust Mite feeds on tiny particles of skin. We humans shed skin every day of the week. When you see dust particles floating in a shaft of sunlight the majority of this is tiny flakes of our own skin. Take a look at your pillow on your bed. How old is it? 10% of the weight of a 6 year old pillow is made up of mites (dead and alive) and their droppings. Not a pleasant thought but a fact never the less.

We probably spend 30% of our lives in bed with these creatures so even if you don't suffer from allergies yourself it would seem to be a good idea to separate yourself from the mites. In fact the allergy is not to the mite itself but to certain enzymes in the droppings that it produces. A single mattress contains several kilograms of mite droppings, every movement you make sends a cloud of droppings in to the air ready to breathe in. This is why mattress protection is so important. Depending on the manufacturer, mattress protection can be described as mattress protectors, mattress covers, allergy bed sheets, allergy bed cover, anti allergy protectors, anti allergy bedding or allergenic bedding but all serve a very similar purpose.

A further point to bear in mind is that the flakes of skin that the mite eats have to be broken down by a mould-like fungus before being eaten. The bed is the perfect place for this to happen. Like all moulds, moisture is required to create it. Perspiration and other liquids penetrate the top layer of your mattress (remember there are up to 10 million mites waiting in the top 10cm of your matress) producing the mould to break down the skin to feed the mite.

Don't forget about cots either. It is believed that exposure to dust mites in the first months of life can trigger asthma in families with a strong history of the condition. It is also widely believed that it is the build up of bacteria and fungus that produces the toxic gases that are a contributory factor in cot deaths. So we have established that a Waterproof Anti Allergy Mattress Cover is a good idea. Why then the Snugnights dust mite cover?

To see our full range of anti allergy covers and dust mite mattress protector click here

What makes the ideal mattress cover for sufferers?

The anti allergy bed covers need to be waterproof, yet not give the impression of sleeping on a plastic sheet. This would lead to a sweaty unpleasant nights sleep.

It needs to have an absorbent non irritable upper surface to act like a wick to take perspiration away from the body to allow it to evaporate, yet should not be quilted as this provides an ideal breeding area for the mites.

It needs to be a barrier that the mite and its droppings cannot penetrate

It needs to cover the upper surface of the mattress. Some covers are available that completely enclose the mattress. We do not recommend these for allergy sufferers for two reasons. One is that the very act of turning and lifting the mattress to fit it releases thousands of particles into the air this renders the room useless for at least 36 hours whilst these particles settle once again. Secondly any moisture inside the mattress cannot escape it is trapped inside slowly rotting the mattress from within.

It needs to be able to withstand a very hot wash cycle that destroys any mites present.

How does the SnugNights 'Allergon' mattress cover range compare to this ideal?

The cover has a very light (only 36g per metre²) polyurethane laminated backing. Unlike PVC, Polyurethane is virtually undetectable in use. It is light, slightly elastic and silent in use. Water and liquids cannot pass through. Unlike PVC it is inert and does not release any chemical compounds and does not smell. Unlike PVC it does not increase perspiration in the user. Because the mites require moisture to produce the mould that breaks down the skin particles, they are effectively starved out of the mattress.

The upper layer is made from 100% Cotton, a natural fibre that is non irritable. It has a weight of 140g per metre² with a thick towelling loop that absorbs and spreads perspiration and moisture.

The Polyurethane layer is impenetrable to house mites and their allergen.

The cover is fitted to the upper surface of the mattress without the need to lift it. This minimises disturbance of any existing mites. It is secured by an elasticated jersey skirt. It also allows the mattress to breathe.

The SnugNights Mattress Cover is designed to withstand a very hot (90°c) wash, this will destroy any mites present. Additionally we also have an anti allergy duvet cover and anti allergy pillow cover available in the same range.

•Dust Mite Proof
•Anti Allergy
•Machine washable to 90c to destroy dust mites and bacteria
•Helps with a good nights sleep
•Designed to help allergy, asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis sufferers
•The most comfortable waterproof mattress cover available
•Keeps your mattress looking like new
•Cool in summer, warm in winter.
•100% cotton terry with polyurethane waterproof membrane
•Complete Anti allergy bedding protection.

To see our full range of anti allergy/dust mite proof products click here