Your pillow isn’t only cosy for you, but also for the millions of dust mites it hosts.
If you sleep for the recommended eight hours a night, then you’re spending 2920 hours with your face pressed into your pillow each year. So, for both the hygiene focused and health-minded there are many benefits to washing your pillow regularly.
Pillowcases can hold dirt and oil, regular contact with which can cause breakouts and skin problems. If you suspect your pillow is taking its toll on your skin it is important to maintain your skincare routine, use pillowcases made of natural materials and wash them as frequently as once a week, according to HuffPost.
Dust mites are tiny members of the spider family that eat dust, which is mostly comprised of dead skin cells. They live in upholstery, mattresses and bedding, and are linked to a number of dermatological and respiratory allergies.
Symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction to dust mites and their waste include coughing, wheezing, runny nose, itchy eyes or nose, skin rashes or a tightness in the chest. If you experience these symptoms early in the morning, it may be because of the mites in your pillow.
According to one study, approximately 18 to 30 per cent of people have an allergic sensitivity to dust mites. People with other allergies are more likely to react to mites as well.
If you suspect you are experiencing symptoms of a dust mite allergy, there are steps you can take to reduce their presence in your home.
Huffpost suggests washing your pillowcase on a hot cycle every three weeks and washing the pillow itself every three to six months. There are also dust mite proof covers you can buy for your pillow, if you are particularly susceptible.
While buckwheat pillows cannot be machine washed, feather, down, synthetic, polyester and memory foam pillows can be. It’s best to air-dry down or feather pillows as they are prone to heat damage. Both synthetic and polyester pillows can be machine dried on a low to moderate heat, drying on a lower heat for a longer time is safest. You may also opt to ignore smart-dryer settings as they measure surface moisture levels, and the inside of your pillow is likely to remain damp.
How often do you wash your pillow and bedding?
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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.
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