Jeff Flowers on October 1, 2014 1 Comment While you may think that allergens only exist outdoors, you might be surprised to find out that your home may be filled with allergy-causing substances. Your bedroom is just one of the rooms in your home where allergens can run rampant, causing a barrage of symptoms including a headache, runny or stuffy nose, scratchy throat, cough or itchy eyes. Not only are bedroom allergies annoying and uncomfortable, they can interrupt restful sleep and leave you feeling groggy and stuffy in the morning. Bedroom allergens can also present a danger to those who suffer from asthma or any other type of respiratory disorder. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can combat those allergens and reclaim your room. Know Your Bedroom Allergens Before you can get rid of the allergens, you must fully understand exactly what you are dealing with. There are five common types of allergens that may likely be invading your sleeping space that you should be aware of. These include: Mold Spores: Mold loves to grow in damp and dark places, including closets, window moldings and bathroom cabinets. This airborne allergen can bring upon a number of unpleasant symptoms if it is not dealt with properly. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent mold from growing. Dust Mites: These tiny organisms are commonly found in bedding, stuffed animals, pillows, curtains, carpets and upholstery. In other words, pretty much everything that you would commonly find in a bedroom is an ideal living environment for dust mites. The waste of these little critters is commonly what brings upon the unpleasant symptoms. Like mold, there are quite a few measures you can take to prevent dust mites from affecting you. Animal Dander: Proteins from your pet’s fur, skin, urine and saliva may adhere to the surface of your bedding, carpet or anywhere your furry friend likes to lurk. Commonly referred to as pet dander, this allergen also has a tendency to stay airborne, and can float through the air for hours before it finally finds a resting place. If you allow your furry friend in your bedroom—or sleep in your bed—then you can bet there is some dander lurking around. Cockroaches: Droppings, saliva and cast-off skins of cockroaches is believed to cause allergic reactions in some people. Because these insects are incredibly adaptable to their environment, they are able to live almost anywhere. There are many ways to get rid of cockroaches in your bedroom, but the main thing you should do is not eat in bed and clean up all crumbs quickly. Pollen: Pollen is one of the most common allergens to affect you, especially in the spring and fall. Unfortunately, it seems that many people don’t know that pollen can float into your home through doorways and the central air system. It can even be carried into the house on clothing or animal fur. 6 Ways to Reduce Allergens in Your Bedroom Now that you are more familiar with the five most common bedroom allergens, it is time plan your strategy and fight back. Reducing the amount of allergens in your bedroom is easy to do with the following six tips. 1. Use Allergy Resistant Bedding Since you spend most of your time in bed, it’s wise to change all of your bedding to hypoallergenic and organic varieties. This simple change can do wonders to help reduce the amount of allergens in your bedroom. These include: Dust Mite Covers: Bedding offers the perfect warm and moist living environment for dust mites as well as other types of allergens. Purchase a dust mite cover with a barrier no larger than six microns in size. Hypoallergenic Pillows: Some pillows may be susceptible to mold and mildew growth from sweat and moisture that accumulates over time. Choose a pillow that is filled with cotton or a cotton-alternative that is washable. Don’t forget to use a dust mite cover on your pillow as well. Hypoallergenic Bedding: Allergens can attach to bed sheets, duvet covers, shams and pillowcases, making it crucial to purchase hypoallergenic varieties of bedding. Organic cotton, cotton and bamboo are affordable choices that are easy to maintain. Remember to wash all of your bedding in hot water. The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases encourages people to wash their sheets in temperatures exceeding 130° in order to kill dust mites. Hypoallergenic Comforters and Blankets: Stay away from comforters and blankets that are filled with a material that is not machine washable. Hypoallergenic down, silk and pure wool are excellent choices. 2. Use an Air Purifier Air purifiers are designed to help to cleanse the air of irritating contaminants, particles and fumes that may contribute to your allergy symptoms, as well as many other health conditions. Not only does this help prevent these symptoms from starting, but it also improves the overall indoor air quality, making your home a healthier place to reside. There are different air purifiers available for you to purchase. However because you are purchasing one for your bedroom, we would strongly recommend one that utilizes a HEPA filter, as these are required to trap a minimum of 99.97% of particulates 0.3 microns or larger. 3. Maintain the Proper Humidity Level It’s important to maintain the humidity levels in your home. When the air in your home is too dry, it can further irritate your eyes, nose and throat, and exacerbate allergy symptoms. On the other hand, air that is too moist can lead to unwanted mold and mildew growth. A safe and healthy humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent. There are a number of appliances that can help you maintain the right levels of humidity in your bedroom. Both humidifiers and dehumidifiers are designed to alter the amount of humidity in the air. You can also take it one step further and purchase an air purifiers with the added feature of humidifying or dehumidifying. No matter how you go about it, maintaining the proper levels of relative humidity within your home will go a long way in helping keep you and your family healthy. 4. Keep it Clean Dust mites are some of the most bothersome allergens that you can find around your home. One way to keep the dust mites away is to dust often. Not only will keeping your room clean look amazing, but it will sweep out those unwanted allergens. You can breathe easier by following a few simple cleaning tips. These include the following: Vacuum often. Just be sure to use a vacuum cleaner with an attached HEPA filter that will help purify the air as you clean. Dust the furniture with an electrostatic or damp cloth that will pick up the dust rather than just brush it away. Don’t forget to vacuum furniture and have upholstery cleaned frequently. This is especially important if you have pets that lounge around on your furniture. If possible, replace carpet with tiled or hardwood flooring. This will help prevent allergens from gather in the carpet, and make it easier to clean. Only use non-toxic cleaners in your home. It’s amazing how much you can clean with a little bit of vinegar, lemon and baking soda. 5. No Pets Please Sure, they are an important part of the family, but they also bring unnecessary dander that lies on your bed and in your bedroom. In fact, pet dander may be the direct cause of your allergy symptoms. Many pet owners experience cold-like symptoms from pet dander in their home and may not be aware that they have allergies. Don’t worry; your pets will continue to love you unconditionally, even if you ban them from coming into your bedroom. Just make them a comfy bed in the living room or den and keep your bedroom free from pet hair. 6. Cut the Clutter It may be true that minimalists experience less allergy symptoms in their homes and in their bedrooms. Without all of the extra pillows, storage bins, stacks of magazines, stuffed animals and blankets, allergens have nowhere to hide. It’s important to cut down on the amount of excess clutter that is in your home. The more stuff you have laying around, the more places that allergens will live and the more difficult it will be to clean. Keep in mind, simple doesn’t mean that you can’t decorate your room and make it comfortable. Focus on using hypoallergenic items to add style to your room. Air-tight sealants used to keep your home well-insulated can trap irritants and allergens within your home. By utilizing some of these allergen-reducing tips and properly ventilating your home on a regular basis, you can create a healthy environment for your family to enjoy.