Glenn Stok is a technical writer with a Master of Science degree. He evaluates products for consumers and clearly explains their features.
I bought a set of microfiber encasings for my bed and pillows. In this article I'll explain how to find good-quality microfiber sheets that are comfortable and worked for me to avoid allergy problems caused by dust mites.
Let's begin with answers to a few common questions you might ask about dust mites.
How would I know if I have dust mites?
You can always hire a pest control service to do a microscopic evaluation. But if you're thinking of spending money on pest-control, it would be better spent buying good microfiber bedding. It keeps the mites out of the mattress and pillows where they tend to breed.
Dust mites cause symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, and a runny or stuffy nose. They may even cause sneezing. You might have allergies to other things, such as chemicals you use for cleaning, or just plain dust, or even other insect droppings.
If your nose is always stuffy at night, you might have dust mites in your sheets. Bedding is a breeding ground for dust mites, especially in humid weather.
Microfiber sheets and pillowcases are effective in avoiding dust mite allergy problems.
How do dust mites affect us?
Not all people have problems with dust mite allergies. They are harmless, but some people have an allergic reaction to them.
When exposed to dust mites, or any allergen, our body creates an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). Some people have an overproduction of IgE that can cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, coughing, or a breakout of rashes.1
Where do dust mites live?
Dust mites tend to live in mattresses, pillows, and even the box springs of your bed.
They are always there. Humans, and all animals, continually shed flakes of skin cells. The dust mites feed on these skin cells found in the bedding.
A small number of dust mites may not affect most people. However, anyone who is allergic to mites should keep it under control by encasing the mattress, box spring, and pillows with covers that can block the mites.
How to Stop Dust Mites
Microfiber bed and pillow encasings are helpful to avoid allergic reactions to dust mites that find their way into your mattress and pillows.
These specially designed linens are impervious to these microscopic insects. Dust mites should not be confused with bed bugs that are bigger and cause other problems.
Good quality microfiber sheets and pillowcases block the dust mites, and they eventually die. Therefore, successful allergy avoidance is achieved. And comfort can still be maintained with the right brand.
You need to encase all parts of the bed where dust mites might live.
Microfiber bedding and linens can be used to completely encase all parts of your bedding so that dust mites can't find their way into these areas. Or if they are already in there, they will die since they can't get any more food—your flaked off dead skin cells.
The pillows can be covered with a pillow encasing and the mattress can be completely sealed off with a fitted mattress encasing. It's also helpful to encase the boxspring. There is a microfiber product for all of that.
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If you like using a mattress pad, you can put that over the mattress encasing or get a microfiber mattress pad.
Where To Find Various Brands of Microfiber Sheets
You can buy various brands of microfiber sheets at JC Penny, Walmart, Sears, and Target. You can also buy them online from Amazon.
Various brands are:
- Pacific Coast AllerRest
- Sleep Defense System
- Mission Allergy
The Best Brand Microfiber for Dust Mite Allergy Relief
I had a stuffy nose many times when I was in bed, so my sister told me about her experience with trying various brands of microfiber sheets. She said most were either uncomfortable to sleep on or just didn't work.
She had a terrible allergy problem, but when she finally tried Mission Allergy brand mattress and pillow encasings, she had no more problems.
Since I had allergy problems too, I decided to try it. I started by ordering Mission Allergy pillow encasings from Amazon (affiliate link) to check out how well it works.
My stuffy nose stopped happening. It definitely resolved my allergy problems. And my sleep improved without waking up stuffy in the middle of the night.
The microfiber encasing blocks off any entry or exit of mites, and I put my regular pillowcase right over it.
Pillow Encasing Sizes
12" x 18"
20" x 27"
20" x 31"
20" x 38"
26" x 26"
20" x 60"
If you only have a mild case of allergies at night, you might only need to cover your pillows. Otherwise, consider encasing your mattress too.
The casings are the most important since they completely enclose the mattress, box spring, and pillows so that dust mites can't survive in that closed environment.
Most shredded skin flakes make their way into the mattress through regular bed sheets. Encasing the entire mattress is the only way to put a stop to the mites completely.
When I found out how much better I slept with the Mission Allergy pillow encasing, I ordered their mattress encasing on Amazon (affiliate link) for my entire bed.
If you prefer using your regular sheets and pillowcases, you can put them over the microfiber sheets. That's how I do it.
A quilted mattress pad (affiliate link) may be used in place of a mattress encasing. It's constructed like a fitted sheet and also blocks the mites.
Mattress Encasing Sizes
39" x 75"
39" x 80"
54" x 75"
60" x 80"
78" x 80"
72" x 84"
Box Spring Encasing
I have a platform bed as you see in the above image, but if you have your mattress over a box spring, then consider encasing that, too.
To have a total barrier, it's necessary to cover the pillows, the mattress, and the box spring for a perfect solution to avoiding allergies from dust mites.
Mission Allergy makes a box spring encasing that’s 9 inches deep, so that it will fit the latest style box springs.
Why Mission Allergy Is So Effective
If the weave isn't tight enough, mites will get through. Mission Allergy sells 100% woven polyester microfiber with a mean pore size of 2 microns. That's small enough to block dust mites.
Since it is air-permeable, it is entirely comfortable to sleep on. Fabrics made with membranes get hot and sweaty. The tightly woven fabric does not allow new dust mites to colonize on the service.2
New dust mites may colonize on non-woven fabric or terry cloth type microfiber. Mission Allergy brand linens avoid those problems.
All seams are bound with a seam binding. Zippers have an interior flap to prevent mites already in there from escaping. They will eventually die.
In Conclusion, What I Learned From My Research
I never even realized that I had dust mites until I noticed how much better I felt once I covered everything with Mission Allergy encasings.
Due to my surprising relief, I decided to do some research to understand it better. I found out that everyone has dust mites. I even read somewhere that a two-year-old pillow can be 10% full of dead dust mites and their feces.
Mission Allergy does research studies on dust mite and allergen avoidance. They will not sell anything that does not pass stringent testing.
I read in an article in Health Magazine that Dr. David Fost, MD, an allergist, recommends Mission Allergy too.3
It's incredible how we overlook the obvious when dealing with issues like allergies. I'm so glad my sister made me aware of this. I'll never go back to regular bed sheets again.
- “Allergic Reactions.” (9/28/20). American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
- Dust mite allergy - Mayo Clinic
- Aviva Patz. (July 21, 2013). "How healthy is your bedroom?" Health Magazine
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Glenn Stok