In Germany, about 20 to 30 million people are affected by allergies, with the trend rising continuously. Hay fever is the most common type of allergy, but at least 5% of the population, i.e. about 4 million Germans, also suffer from a house dust allergy.
Perhaps you are also affected by this problem and have already thought about ordering Nomite bedding. In this blog entry, we will explain to you how Nomite bedding works, how you can wash Nomite bedding and whether it is really worth buying.
What is a house dust allergy?
Many people believe that people who suffer from a house dust allergy are allergic to the house dust itself. However, this is not true. The allergy is not even triggered by dust or the dust mites themselves, but rather by the mites' faeces, or more precisely by the protein components contained therein.
Dust mites are a subspecies of arachnids only 0.1 to 0.5 mm in size and cannot be seen with the naked eye. In and of themselves, mites are completely harmless, but their faeces are one of the most common indoor allergens.
House dust mites feed primarily on the skin scales we shed while we sleep at night. This is why they like to settle in mattresses, bedding, pillows, carpets and even in snuggle toys. 66% of all mites live in beds, especially in pillows, because the conditions for mites here are ideal: pillows are often warm and moist at night due to sweat and the air we breathe, and mites also find a particularly large amount of skin scales here. Humans lose up to 1.5 grams of skin scales daily and up to one litre of sweat at night.
Thousands of mites can live in one gram of house dust. On average, mites only live for one month, but some live up to 100 days. Though their life span seems relatively short, mites leave behind 200 times their body weight in excrement.
In order to keep the burden of bed mites for house dust allergy sufferers as low as possible, the choice of the right bedding and their maintenance is of particular importance.
Which symptoms can the house dust allergy trigger?
Symptoms are similar to those of a cold, but in addition there are complaints like: itchy or watery eyes, headache, scratchy throat and a stuffy nose. In the worst case, the house dust allergy can lead to bronchitis and even allergic asthma.
On the skin, the house dust allergy can cause symptoms such as itching, rashes and hives (wheals and red swellings).
How does Nomite bedding work?
Compared to conventional bedding, Nomite bedding has silver stripes sewn into it, which create an electrostatic field. This field has a partially lethal effect on mites and restricts their habitat. Silver also has an antibacterial effect and thus reduces the occurrence of bacteria in the bed.
Besides bedding with silver stripes, bedding made of microfibre is also suitable. Microfibre bed linen is made by using a very fine weave and mites, which makes it very difficult for the mites to nest in the spaces between the sheets.
In addition to the Nomite bedding, you can also buy a mite-proof mattress cover (also called an encasing). The cover will not eliminate mites 100%, but can greatly reduce their number. Again, the fabric is so dense that their food source is blocked, thereby making it very difficult for the mites to colonize the mattress cover.
When buying a cover for your mattress, make sure that it has been tested beforehand (by ÖKO-TEST for example). Many mattress covers contain additional toxins that can irritate your skin.
Buying Nomite bedding: is it worth it?
Nomite bedding can prevent direct contact with allergens. Since the fibres of Nomite bedding are much smaller and thinner than those of ordinary bedding, they prevent the mites from penetrating the bedding. This creates a barrier between the body and the allergens. It is better to avoid rubber-like covers or foils in bed, as these do not allow moisture and air to pass through. Your body’s sweat will then collect on the surface, leaving you to wake up at night covered in sweat.
Since mite bed linen has proven to be suitable and necessary for allergy sufferers, health insurance companies in Germany have to pay for it if you want to buy mite bed linen. There are no set rules in Switzerland, but many insurance companies will pay up to 500 Swiss francs for an encasing.
How do I use the mite bed linen correctly?
When putting on the mite bed linen, you should make sure that your bedding is completely covered and has no holes. Some protective covers can be used to cover your normal bedding. The zipper on Nomite bedding is usually on the inside to ensure all-round protection.
When choosing the size you should make sure that there is some air between the mite bedding and the pillow / blanket / mattress. The sheet for the mattress should not be too tight. Therefore, wide sizes are suitable if you want to buy mite bedding.
How can I wash and dry the Nomite bedding?
Intermediate covers do not need to be washed as often as normal bed linen. You should wash the Nomite bedding every two to three months, at least at 60 degrees. Some Nomite bedding can even be washed in the washing machine at up to 95 degrees. Do not use fabric softeners, brighteners or chlorinated softeners when washing in the machine, as these can cause the microfibres to stick together.
After washing, you can simply hang the Nomite bedding outside to dry. They should be dried in the dryer at a low temperature. Nomite bedding has the advantage that it does not need to be ironed.
Bed linen that you use over the mite bed linen should be changed and washed every week or at least every two weeks.
What else can I do against mites?
Besides the Nomite bedding, there are other ways to reduce the number of mites in your bed and bedding and keep your bedroom free of mites:
Restrict mite habitat:
Popular mite habitats include carpets, heavy fabric curtains, fabric sofas and cuddly toys. You can use an ecological mite spray to repel mites on these surfaces. Smooth surfaces are generally easier to clean and keep free of mites.
Improve the indoor climate in your bedroom:
Mites prefer rooms with high humidity and heat. Make sure that your bedroom has a humidity of 40 to 50% and that the temperature is ideally around 18 degrees.
Of course, this also includes ventilating the bedroom regularly.
Wipe and vacuum frequently:
You can use vacuum cleaners with a HEPA filter for vacuuming, so that any of the mites that have been sucked up by the vacuum cleaner cannot escape again.
Keep your mattress clean:
The mattress cover is relatively easy to wash, but unfortunately the mattress itself is not. You can use a mite vacuum cleaner to clean the mattress. This works with the help of vibration, UV light and microfilters.
You should also air your mattress for several hours a year. You can also clean the slatted frame at the same time. After airing the mattress, let it warm up at room temperature so that no moisture develops.
The mattress should be replaced every eight years.
What bedding should I use over the Nomite bedding?
The bed linen you put over the Nomite bedding should be breathable and moisture regulating. For this reason, we advise against synthetic fabrics, as they usually make you sweat more and are not able to absorb moisture well.
Natural fabrics such as cotton, silk or linen are considered to be particularly breathable. At Zizzz we offer bed linen made of 100% pure organic cotton, percale and satin. We also have matching fitted sheets made of the same materials for the pillows and duvet covers.
Our bed linen is not only particularly gentle on the skin, but also good for the environment. The materials we use are biodegradable and our cotton has been awarded the GOTS certificate.