Your bed can be a dirty place. Between the bed bugs, dust mites, dead skin cells, and other things, it's a wonder any of us can get a good night's sleep. Dust mites are just one of the things that can bother you while you're trying to rest, but they don't have to be. Here we'll talk about dust mites and how they exist in relation to memory foam mattresses and pillows.
What Are Dust Mites?
Dust mites are tiny bugs that live in the dust inside your home that can cause hives, sneezing, allergic reactions, and asthma attacks. If you have a dust allergy, what you're likely allergic to is the fecal matter and shed skins of these bugs. They're not parasites like bed bugs, though; they don't want your blood. They want to eat the dead skin cells that your own body sheds at night while you're sleeping.
And unless you're a total clean freak, there will always be some level of detectable dust mite remains in your home. Humidity is a also a big factor in whether your home is a prime target for a dust mite infestation, though. They're not like other bugs or animals; they don't drink water, they absorb it from the air. The drier it is, the more they hate it.
Do They Live In Memory Foam?
This is similar to our answer about whether bed bugs can live in memory foam. They have less places to hide and dig in with memory foam than they do with traditional style mattresses. Traditional mattresses have too many seams, tufts, and crevices that memory foam mattresses just don't have. It's also harder for dust mites to burrow into memory foam than fiber fill mattresses.
They inhabit the covers of memory foam mattresses, however, if they're soft fabric. The best way to prevent this from happening is to get a mattress protector that stops them from getting to your mattress at all. It should be waterproof, dust mite-proof, and bedbug proof.
How Do I Get Rid Of Them?
Getting rid of dust mites is harder than it sounds and you can never get rid of them completely. What you can do, however, is reduce their presence in your home to the point that they're unnoticeable.
First, you want to reduce the humidity in your home. They love humid places, so getting your home's humidity below 50% or so will help a lot. You can remove humidity with either dehumidifiers or by opening the windows and letting the house air out.
Next, replace old carpet. Carpet should generally be completely replaced every 5 to 15 years depending on how much foot traffic it gets on a daily basis. If your carpet is fairly new and you don't want to replace it, steam cleaning it can be a great way to kill dust mites so they don't produce more allergens. This won't get rid of their droppings, however, and that's a problem.
You can also invest in a new UV vacuum cleaner. It uses UV rays to kill dust mites, bed bugs, other insects, and other microorganisms like bacteria and fungi.
If you're not interested in a UV vacuum, at least get a vacuum cleaner with a great HEPA filter. Some upright vacuums even include a UV light on them.
As far as bedding is concerned, you want to wash everything in very hot water once every two weeks at least. You want to wash these items in at least 130°F water. Check your water heater's temperature setting if you're not sure that the water is hot enough. Cold water won't kill dust mites or bed bugs.
Notice: If you have high end bedding such as Egyptian cotton or rare silks, be very careful about using hot water. You should also check our post about how to properly clean memory foam pillows before you accidentally ruin them.
Vacuum and where necessary, mop weekly.
Pillow protectors exist to keep mites from getting into your pillows, as well.
A quality household air filter will work wonders, also; just make sure you buy one that's specifically rated for dust mites.