Protecting your sleep from allergens

Sloane Miller Health Guide
  • A few months ago the kind people at Clean Rest offered to send me their allergen-free encasement products to try.

     

    I had heard about allergen-free slipcovers for years but had never bought any. I seem to do fine at home; rather I don't notice that I'm allergic to my own stuff. I wash my sheets in hot water weekly, my duvet cover each season and my duvet and pillows annually. I have only two area rugs that are vacuumed weekly and the wood floor is vacuumed and washed weekly. However my mattress is old, over 10 years, and according to their site: "A report in the Wall Street Journal states that the average mattress will weigh twice as much after 10 years due to the build-up of dust mites." Ewww.

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    Aside from thinking about my dust-filled mattress, I know it's when I travel that I have the most problems with dust, mold, itchy blankets or dusty duvets, old mattresses, old pillows and feathers. Hotels seem to think the more expensive the down pillows the happier a consumer will be and they're probably right, except for this consumer. Give me cotton blankets, cotton pillows and scrupulously clean sheets and I'm a happy camper. No rug? Great! No smelly room deodorizer? Better.

     

    Back to my home and bed and pillows: since Protect Your Sleep offered me their products to try, I took them up on it. I washed the sheets first, thinking, "hmmm they feel a bit plastic-y, I wonder if they're going to feel weird under my pillowcases."

     

    I needn't have worried. They washed perfectly well, as they are "made to withstand regular laundering with hot water..." They were virtually undetectable under my pillowcases and really undetectable under my sheets and mattress cover. Not plastic-y or rubbery, which were my concerns.

     

    The founder, Gary Goldberg, created this new kind of allergy-free encasement calling the new fabric MicronOne: "...[the] CleanRest encasement product is just 1 micron (that's 20,000 times smaller than a raindrop). This is critical, because common allergic triggers can be as small as 2 or 3 microns in size."

    Additionally, I really like that this product has an asthma friendly certification by AAFA.org. Excellent.

     

    But here's my lingering question: Do they work?

     

    I'm glad my there's another barrier between my mattress and me, but I haven't been able to tell if there's been a significant difference. It doesn't mean there isn't one, but perhaps it's a subtle one. There's been less dust in the air from my mattress, so perhaps there's been less sneezing.

     

    It's hard to know. I put them on at the end of the summer, before the new season, and there are so many factors with environmental allergies -- old dusty bed casing being just one.

     

    So I'm wondering: do any of you use encasements on your bedding at home? Have you found that it cut down on your environmental allergies?

    Do tell!

     

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Published On: November 01, 2007