You probably don’t want to think of your home being covered in bugs. But it is. Lots of them.
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that live in our soft furnishings, and they’re often the trigger for respiratory issues. This is why we clean our clothes and bedding, to remove stains but also kill off any dust mites lurking in the fabric.
Our pillows are one thing that tend to fall by the wayside, though, with research from Dreams showing that
A TikTok by Dr Karan Raj has highlighted the importance of replacing our pillows and giving them regular cleans, and it’s pretty disgusting to think about.
In the video, which has now been viewed millions of times, he says: ‘You need to change your pillows at least every two years.
‘The average person sheds about 4kg of skin every year. Most of that ends up on your bed or pillow – a feast for microscopic dust mites.
‘A single dust mite has about 20 droppings each day, multiply that by the hundreds of mites living on your pillow. A build up of dust mite faeces can cause breathing and allergy-type symptoms.’
He goes on to talk about stains on our pillows, which are caused by oil and sweat our skin produces in the night. This can breed mould and bacteria, furthering his point that we should be replacing our pillows.
Dr Raj advises folding your pillow in half. If it fails to spring back, you should get yourself a new one. This isn’t totally foolproof, as some pillows are designed not to be springy (such as the thick memory foam options) but is a good place to start.
Change your pillows! #wonderwaterwhip #learnontiktok #schoolwithdrkaran #sleep
We spoke to Martin Seeley, CEO of MattressNextDay, to see whether it’s really necessary to change pillows even if you ‘feel’ like they’re fine.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘The average person sheds eight pounds of dead skin each year. Combining this with the fact that we spend almost a third (29%) of our lives in bed, it’s only natural that a lot of this dead skin ends up on our bed and pillows.
‘Unfortunately, dust mites love to eat dead skin, and are even more tantalised by warm areas – such as your pillow after you’ve spent a night asleep on it – as Dr Karan Raj states.’
Martin advises airing pillows every morning to remove dust and help them keep their shape. He also recommends hanging pillows on a clothesline every month or so on a bright day, as the sunlight can help disinfect and the breeze should dislodge some dust.
He adds: ‘If this is not an option, look at the care tag of your pillow to see if it can be placed through the washing machine on a no-heat cycle.
‘Also should your pillow have a yellow stain on it, as Dr Karan Raj has raised, immediately spot treat the pillow with a stain cleaner remover, to increase your chances of removing it affectively.’
End of Tenancy Cleaning London also echo Martin’s statements, but add that you should be washing your pillows at least twice a year.
If you want to keep your pillows at their best for longer, check out their tips.
End of Tenancy Cleaning London’s dust mite reduction tips
- Keep the humidity in your home at 50% or less to avoid creating an environment that dust mites can thrive in
- Keep clutter in the bedroom to a minimum to reduce the accumulation of dust. If carpet removal is not a possible option, try to vacuum at least once a week and invest in regular steam-cleaning to kill mites
- Use mattress and pillow covers with zips to prevent dust mites from entering your bedding. Try to use bedding material made of tightly woven fabric, rather than plastic covers, as plastic doesn’t breathe and could lead to sweating in bed which creates the perfect conditions for dust mites.
- In addition to protecting your bed, mattress, and box spring, you can also test your home for dust mites with a dust mite test kit. These tests can help you determine if you have dust mites thriving in your home, allowing you to take the appropriate steps to eliminate them from your home”.
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