Q: Do hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers actually help you?
A: Yes. Hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers serve as a physical barrier if you’re allergic to dust mites. Evidence shows the covers provide a measurable, significant decrease in dust mite allergen on pillows and mattresses.
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However, the hypoallergenic covers alone will probably not make much of a difference unless you take other steps to reduce your exposure to dust mite and related allergens. Covering pillows and mattresses is not effective unless you do the following:
- Regularly wash bed linens in hot water to remove new dust mite allergens.
- Take steps to reduce dust mites in carpeting, upholstery, drapes and other furniture.
- Vacuum regularly with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.
- Take measures to reduce exposure to other things you’re allergic to.
Allergist Fred Hsieh, MD