Falling into a warm or cool bed at the end of the day is one of life's greatest blessings. However, for most of us, we aren't crawling into our beds alone! No I don't mean a spouse or a child who's decided to become a part of your sleeping landscape! :() I'm talking about creepy crawlers! I'm talking about Dust Mites! Yikes!!
We've all heard it before that our sleeping quarters, in particular our mattress and bedding are a hot bed :() for dust mite infestation. Let's quickly go over the basics and then the solution! What are these nasty little creatures anyway? Dust Mites are tiny arachnids who love to dine off of our skin cells, Eek! The thrive in warm moist environments and the mattress is Club Med for these tiny nasty creatures!
So these creepers chill in our mattress and wait until we are asleep because we generate enough body heat to cause a temp increase and an increase in humidity. This is when the probs begin! Peeps with asthma and allergies are especially sensitive and should avoid second hand mattresses because they're loaded with skin allergen build up! The older the mattress the more likely the contamination. [ esp if the sleeping quarters were in a basement (mold-growth!) or a warm weather state. ]
Coil and Foam mattresses are the go to hangouts for dust mites, because of all the little nooks and crannies [ and I'm not talkin' about English muffins! :() ] for them to congregate and par-tay!! Memory foam or Latex foam are much more dense materials that provide more protection and prevent miters from moving in.
[ Some of the LivingThruGrace Crew are up in arms over this mattress issue, but we all do what we can within our control. Using Allergen Free pillow and mattress covers is one budget friendly way to at least protect your sleeping area from pesky allergens. We do wash all our bedding in Hot water (regardless what the instructions say! One day we'd love to purchase a mattress more befitting our allergy & asthma but until we can this is how we roll! ]
However, there is one caveat, and that's if the mattress comes with a quilted or pillow top that's usually cotton or polyurethane foam which are both porous and that leads us right back to those dust mites! So you can end up back to square one even with one of the more effective mattresses because of the toppers! Whew life!! :()
[ Yeah, after reading this post you may feel like suiting up this guy, and sleep with heavy gear just for a good night's sleep! :() ]
There is another concern for those of us with respiratory issues and that is many mattresses contain boatloads of chemicals. Whaaa?! Chems in our bedding too? Ugh! Chemicals in these mattresses ( including the glues/solvents used to build mattresses) can infiltrate our household air, and Polyurethane Foam can release Asthma-Triggering Volatile Organic Compounds known as (VOC's). Some of these chemicals can contain fire retardants, formaldehyde, sealants and adhesives which have also been linked to Cancer and Endocrine System disruption. In fact, all of those Memory Foam products are created with Chemicals in order to give off that feel which we all love so much! The chemicals are what give these products their squishness or viscosity! Ugh!! Much of the effects from these chemicals occur over a period of time making it difficult to determine the core of illness caused by them.
[ I think this guy above accurately represents how most of us feel living in today's environment! ]
I know it's frustrating learning about how very toxic our environments have become. It seems that every time we turn around there's more news about something in our food or environment that's seriously harming our health. Remember, one of the keys is staying informed, and just making choices that are a good fit for you and your family. Some may feel that it's worth their health to sacrifice other areas of their lives to go all in for their home quarters. But, many, in fact, most of us have to begin where we can and take small steps in chosen areas of our lives to make significant changes. :)
[Don't get swept away by fast talking and 'persistent' sales people because in the end, you are the one who lives with the product. Simply make the best choices that work within your family budget! ]
Information can be scarce to the customer [ on this topic ] and that makes it hard to make better more informed choices. Most of the mattress manufacturers themselves aren't aware of what's in their own products. Don't lose hope! There are a few and growing Natural options from which to choose and the pricing has come down on these products. [ although affordable is subjective! Wink!]
Here's the scoop. Look for mattresses made with at least 95% natural materials and NOT a blend of cotton and synthetic. If you see the term Plant Based Foam they're playing you because it's a mixture of soy or castor oil (the 'natural part) and then mixed with petroleum chemicals that emit those VOC's the same as any polyurethane does!
Avoid a mattress infused with scents or Anti-Microbial agents [ and it hasn't been shown that adding in anti microbial into/onto furniture help to stop the spread of germs and infection and in the Medical community there's concern that all of this anti microbial could lead to the development of antibiotic resistant germs!] and such because they're all a part of the chemical matrix that is the mattress! Sleep tight!
Here are a few Asthma & Allergy friendly mattress options if you are in the market: :)
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