Glenn Stok is a technical writer with a Master of Science degree. He enjoys evaluating products, and can clearly explain their features.
I bought a set of microfiber encasings for my bed and pillows to avoid allergy problems caused by dust mites.
I'll give you a quick understanding of dust mite allergies, and then I'll explain how to find good-quality microfiber sheets that work and are comfortable.
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 heir 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 microfiber pillow encasing, and the mattress can be completely sealed off with a microfiber fitted mattress encasing. It's also helpful to encase the boxspring. There is a microfiber product for that, too.
If you use a mattress pad, you can put that over the mattress encasing. Or get a microfiber mattress pad for encasing the mattress.
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 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
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 for my entire bed.
A quilted mattress pad may be used in place of a mattress encasing. It's constructed like a fitted sheet and also blocks the mites.
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.
Mattress Encasing Sizes
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 microfiber 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.
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. In an article entitled "How healthy is your bedroom?" which appears in the March 9, 2011, issue of Health Magazine, Dr. Fost recommends it, too.
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.
- John Yunginger, M.D., allergist at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. (www.fda.gov)
- Dust mite allergy - Mayo Clinic
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.
Questions & Answers
Question: How would I know if I have dust mites? Would they make me itch?
Answer: 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.
There are two ways to tell if your symptoms are due to dust mites:
1. If you have these problems only while in bed, your mattress may be infested with them. Beddings are a breeding ground for dust mites, especially in humid weather.
2. It may be costly, but you can always hire a pest-control service to do a microscopic evaluation. That’s the only way to know for sure if you have them.
If you were thinking of spending money for pest-control, it would be better spent buying good microfiber bedding as I discuss in my article. It keeps the mites out of the mattress and pillows where they tend to breed.
© 2012 Glenn Stok
Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on September 19, 2013:
Hi Audrey - Having a stuffy nose might very well be an indication of dust mites. You can put your preferred sheets and pillow cases over the microfiber sheets. That's how I do it. Thanks for stopping by, commenting and sharing. Be well.
Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on September 19, 2013:
Hi Glenn - Great information about microfiber sheets. I am concerned about dust mites, and my nose is always stuffy at night. It sounds like the sheets might not always be cold like percale sheets. You have many good ideas and hubs that meet others' needs. I like to read health articles on the site, and have found that HubPages keeps us healthy. That is a good recommendation. Sharing. Take care. Audrey
Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on April 11, 2013:
Kris - You are doing the right thing. The casings are indeed the most important since they completely inclose the mattress, box spring, and pillows so that dust mites just don't have a chance. Thanks for commenting.
Kris Heeter from Indiana on April 11, 2013:
Thanks for the useful sources for sheets. I haven't used the sheets but I do swear by the mattress, box springs and pillow casings that keep dust mites out- I started using those years ago. Pricey but worth it for anyone with allergies:)
Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 03, 2013:
vespawoolf - You may only need it to cover your pillows since your allergy is mild. May not be necessary to inclose the entire mattress. Thanks for stopping by.
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on February 03, 2013:
I'm happy to know about Mission brnad microfiber covers. I do suffer from dust mite allergies, although it's mild, but I'd like to have the extra protection.Thank you!
Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on January 10, 2013:
Kasman - Microfiber sheets and pillowcases are extremely useful if you have an allergy problem. Glad you found my hub useful. Thanks for stopping by.
Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on January 09, 2013:
Wow, I knew there was a danger of uncovered mattresses and bedding but I didn't know how much. Thanks a lot for this hub, my wife and I will be buying some microfiber here at some point! Useful hub!