Many people fall prey to sleeplessness due to allergies and rashes caused by unclean mattresses. An unclean mattress is a breeding ground for millions of bacteria and fungi. Bed linen and pillowcases that are not washed for 4 weeks contain as much as 39 times the bacteria in your pet’s food bowl. If action is not taken in a timely manner, the issue can get aggravated and can lead to major longtime problems involving the respiratory and digestive system as well. Skin rashes like eczema may develop rapidly.
Your Mattress And Allergy Relationship
An unwashed mattress is one of the largest breeding ground for millions of allergy-causing bacteria, microbes, and dust mites. Some of them are harmless, but most could cause some kind of allergies or health hazards for us. Scientists also found the growth of 16 different types of molds and fungi on a dirty and unwashed mattress. The older the mattress, the more the number of colonies forming bacteria. It is found that the older mattresses can have up to 16 million bacteria per square inch of a mattress, that are capable of colonizing. This could, in turn, lead to a series of health problems, right from breathlessness to allergies to eczema.
Mattresses are absorbent in nature. They tend to accumulate sweat, dust and dead skin cells too, becoming a hotspot for microbes to grow and thrive. The temperature and humidity of the room too determine the rate of growth and multiplication of these microbes.
Mold, which grows in warm and damp places like a sweaty mattress, are the causative agents of asthma, cough, and conjunctivitis. Eczema is a prolonged version of a skin rash or allergy. It intensifies at night because of sweat. People with eczema have the increased sensation of itching during sleep as memory foam mattresses are conducive to humidity and sweat formation.
How many of us would ever say that we don’t love to cuddle our pets on the bed? Hair and dander shed by pets on the mattress could also cause nasal and eye infections, rashes and allergies. Food stains also attract mites, microbes, and fungi to feed on it. A stain that is not properly cleaned can hoard 10 times the normal number of microbes.
Though these allergens cannot be eliminated completely, one way to prevent the above-mentioned problems is by essentially cleaning the mattress regularly and maintaining it. This will put an end to allergies and rashes that can hamper your better sleep and comfort.
Preventing Allergies Sourced From Mattress
1. Change Your Old Mattress
As the mattress ages, it tends to inevitably accumulate dust, dust mites, mold and a hoard of bacteria. Researchers found that over a period of time, a mattress can weigh double its original weight due to these unwanted accumulations. Thus, it is recommended to change your mattress as per usage, comfort and cleanliness factor. A mattress can function at its best for around 7-8 years depending on the quality and maintenance.
2. Choose A Cooling Mattress
A traditional memory foam mattress may not be ideal because it does not help to diffuse the heat generated by our bodies. It also attracts dust mites and mold because of its porous texture.
When we sleep on a mattress, the heat of our body is transferred to it. A warm atmosphere helps the bacteria to reproduce and thrive. Thus, it is important to keep the surface temperature cool. Considering everything, the best type of mattress to use is a cooling mattress like Nuvanna, which has been created by a mattress scientist. It has a moisture wicking layer that prevents bacteria from thriving. The heat generated by our body during sleep is absorbed and transferred by gel molecules to the atmosphere.
3. Vacuum and Heat Treatment
Cleaning the bedding above 132 degrees Fahrenheit helps to eliminate dust mites and their eggs, feces, and residues, but it is important to follow the instructions specified for your mattress. Once a week cleaning and washing is recommended based on the type of mattress that you are using.
Another way to clean is to vacuum all the surfaces of the mattresses on a weekly basis. This prevents the debris like pet dander, dust, dust mites, molds, pollen, etc. from accumulating all over the mattress. Mold can be eliminated by allowing the mattress to dry in the hot sun for several hours.
4. Use Natural Antimicrobial Agents
Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil are natural antimicrobial agents with the added advantage of having a fresh aroma. It kills infective bacteria like the ones that cause acne. It can be used to prevent the growth and manifestation of mold, mildew and other fungal organisms. Store and use once or twice a week to keep your mattress fresh and clean.
5. Use A Microfiber Hypoallergenic Cover
It is also suggested that using a superficial microfiber covering helps to protect the mattress. It is easier to wash and clean the hypoallergenic cover. This layer prevents most of the disease-causing agents from penetrating and being absorbed by the mattress. All the sweat and moisture on the bed should be allowed to air and dry. This is a big step in preventing the manifestation of mold, fungi, mildew and all other microbes that thrive on moisture and sweat.
6. Clean Food Stains From A Mattress
Food stains (and drinks too), are common stains on a mattress. Food particles attract bacteria and dust mites. When food or drink soils the mattress, the best way to clean it is with a damp cloth. Also, if it is a darker stain that doesn’t seem to disappear, a mild fabric detergent is recommended. Use the diluted detergent on the area of the stain and blot dry with a cloth until the area is dry and moisture free.
For stains that are from an unknown source, the best formula is to use a citrus-based spray on it. After allowing it to penetrate the stain, blot dry with a clean cloth.
Bed cleanliness and hygiene are underrated most of the times. In many cases, it is the bacteria from the mattress that causes itches and rashes on the body. Cleaning and dusting the bed in a timely manner helps to prevent the recurring issue. Equal importance is to be given to all components of the bed like pillows, bed linens, bed sheets, rugs, and the mattress. If the mattress covering has an antibacterial layer, most organisms prefer to stay away. This significantly reduces the risks that we face due to an unclean or unhygienic bed.
When I had neck and back problems I slept on our guest bedroom mattress and loved it so much we replaced our sleepnumber bed with a Nuvanna mattress. They are amazing! I recommend them to everyone!
Published on Friday, May 4, 2018
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