Waking Up Sneezing? Here's How to Banish Allergens From Your Bedroom

Allergens in your bedroom might be costing you a good night's sleep

If you wake up sneezing and coughing, or spend the night tossing and turning with a case of the sniffles, the allergens in your bedroom might be costing you a good night's sleep. Safeguard against dust, dander, and all the other sneeze-inducing culprits with these three tips.

Clear the Air

An air purifier with a small-particle or HEPA filter will clean the air in your bedroom of particles, fumes, and other airborne irritants that can contribute to allergy symptoms. Try adjusting your air filter to direct clean air toward your head while you sleep. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to keep humidity between 30 and 50 percent. And keep the bedroom chilly. Dust mites can't breed as well when the temperature drops below 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tuck In Your Bed and Bedding

Every day, we shed skin that ends up in our sheets and blankets. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that love to crawl into bed with you and chow down on this skin. Encasing your pillows, mattress, and box spring in dust-mite-proof covers keeps them out. One study found that some kids with asthma needed less asthma medication when they used mattress and pillow covers, WebMD reported.

Choose Allergen-Free Bedding

Make your bed cozy with cotton and cotton-alternative pillows, sheets, and duvet covers. Go for hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers. With comforters and blankets, opt for hypoallergenic down, silk, and washable wool are excellent choices. Why? You want to choose machine washable fabrics and fibers; dust mites can't survive a 130 degree hot water bath or a tumble in the dryer. In addition, get rid of old bedding. If you've had the same pillow for four years, it's time to get a new one!

Decorate Sparsely

Festooning a room with knick-knacks and upholstery just gives dust and dust mites more places to call home. Channel a minimalist vibe in your bedroom for easy breathing and sleeping. Bonus points: simple decor creates a relaxing atmosphere. Swap out dusty blinds and heavy draperies for airy panels and keep floors bare.

Keep It Clean

Run a vacuum with a HEPA filter through the bedroom regularly, and don't forget to vacuum furniture. When you strip the bed to wash pillowcases and sheets once a week, run the vacuum attachment over the mattress. Prevent mold and mildew by wiping down window frames and glass.

Banish Fido

Your pooch or kitty is a great snuggler, but pets usher extra dander into bedroom, and their saliva can carry allergens, too. Make your pet a bed in another room, or at the very least, don't let them sleep on your bed. You can reduce dander by vacuuming your bedroom and bathing pets once a week.

The Takeaway

A little investment in the right bedding and regular attention to keeping the boudoir clean will go a long way to a goodnight's sleep.