Care And Keeping of Dust Mite Encasements

Kerri and I were chatting about dust mite bed covers not too long ago. The topic came up because I mentioned I was going to wash mine since I was flipping my mattress. I also toss my pillow encasements in the washer every month or two with a load of sheets.

Off to google to settle this dispute of how one “should” take care of dust mite encasements. According to the manufacturer of my pillow encasements they should be washed on a warm cycle and tumbled dry low.1 The manufacturer label for my mattress cover either fell off or is under the mattress. I’m not worried enough about the mattress cover to move the bed again. I trust that I am safe to wash all my encasements when I remember to or as the spirit moves. I didn’t find any recommendation for frequency of wash.

Whether or not you even put a cover on your mattress or pillows is a personal choice. “No evidence was found to support the use of impermeable mattress covers in the primary prevention of allergic disease or in the tertiary prevention of allergic disease symptoms.”2 While there was no statistical difference between the groups, one study isn’t going to get me to change my bed covering habits. I am not bothered by the encasements on my bed. The ones that I have are quiet and comfortable to sleep on.

I feel like dust mite encasements help with my allergies and asthma. Perhaps this is placebo effect, but I’ll take it. I’m not bothered by taking small steps that do not harm me. I understand that this is a decision that science does not stand behind. I’m guilty of falling to marketing, peer pressure, or something.

Cleaning your bed to avoid asthma triggers

If you are like me and flip your mattress, with or without washing dust mite encasements, periodically this is a great time to dust or vacuum. One corner of my room is only reachable when the bed is off the frame. I took this opportunity to bring out the vacuum and dust rags to get it good and clean back there. Bonus! I found several pens under the bed. Unsurprisingly, I found several inhaler caps down there too. I swear they multiply when I’m not looking.

It just feels fresher and cleaner to give everything I sleep with a good hot water wash regularly. My medical team has always encouraged hot water wash of bedding to help mitigate dust mites. Like everyone I’m sure I drool and sneeze on my pillows. It seems reasonable to wash these cases and covers with regularity. I don’t need to rub my face in weeks or months old mucus every night. If this makes me a germaphobe or water waster so be it.

Intellectually I want to be the person who follows science to a T. I am following the medical advice my team has given me. I have made peace with this decision for the time being.

Are you also emotionally attached to your dust mite covers? Do you wash your encasements?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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