The bedroom typically has more allergens than any other room in the house, and most of us spend about a third of our lives in our bedrooms. Obviously, this is not good news for allergy sufferers. If you've ever found yourself struggling to breathe as you tried to drift off to sleep, there's a pretty good chance you have an allergy problem on your hands.
There are 5 types of allergens most commonly found in bedrooms:
2. pet dander
4. insect droppings
5. dust mites
While all of these can trigger sinus headaches and wheezing, mites and pet dander tend to cause the most irritation upon contact. By simply modifying your cleaning habits and reorganizing your bedroom, you can reduce the overall amount of allergens living there. You may even sleep easier!
Hard Surface Flooring is Ideal
One of the best ways to cut the amount of allergens in your bedroom in half is by installing allergy-friendly flooring, such as bamboo, hardwood, cork or tile. Although these options aren't necessarily as comfortable underfoot as carpet, they don't trap allergens like carpet does and they are easier to clean. Consequently, hard flooring can dramatically lower the amount of airborne waste that you breathe in while you sleep. If you must have padding of some sort in your bedroom, consider a rug with relatively few or no loops that can be easily washed or dry cleaned. Keep in mind that dry cleaning involves the use of chemicals and carcinogens which may aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms.
How To Keep Carpet Clean
Are you a carpet lover who simply prefers not to have hard flooring in your bedroom? You can reduce the amount of allergens present by cleaning your carpet every day. Unless you have a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtered vacuum (see our section "Ways to Minimize Allergy Triggers"), you may want to consider having your carpets professionally steam-cleaned every other month. Shampooing is not as effective as steam cleaning as it can lead to mold growth in and under your carpet. The shampoo residue that is left behind can also aggravate allergies. Mold has a tendency to grow and thrive in moist areas. If you live in a humid climate, it is a good idea to at least check out hard-surface flooring options before investing too much time and money in carpet maintenance. Use our Find It Locally search directory to find a carpet cleaner in your area.
Minimize Bed Bug and Dust Mite Allergies
Make sure that you dust all above-surface items before cleaning the floors. Bear in mind that the more throw pillows, picture frames and tables you have, the more places allergens will have to hide. You can protect your entire bed with allergen-resistant covers, which can be found in most department stores. Set the water temperature to at least 130 degrees when washing covers, sheets, and comforters; cool water will not kill mites.
Reduce Cat and Dog Allergies
If you're like many pet owners, your dog or cat has full reign over your bedroom. Even if you're not allergic to your pet now, over time you may develop sensitivity to the hair, skin, urine and saliva they leave behind in their wake. Animal dander can remain in the air for hours and can adhere to many different surfaces. This can be easily swept up from hard surface flooring such as tile and hardwood, or must be vacuumed from your carpet regularly in order to reduce the presence of allergens. Minimizing the amount of time your pet spends lounging on or near your bed will also help keep those animal allergens at bay. Also, try bathing your pet at least once a week to keep dander levels from getting out of hand.