Where do dust mites live? Everywhere. And what do dust mites do? Not much, honestly. Mostly just eat dead skin and poop out allergens.
These microscopic creatures aren’t welcome guests in anyone’s home, but like with most pests, that doesn’t stop them coming in.
Thanks to their tiny size and extraordinary reproductive rate, dust mites are very tricky pests to get rid of.
How do you kill something you can’t even see? It isn’t easy.
Realistically, you may never entirely rid your house of dust mites completely. However, you can definitely reduce the population. And if you suffer from allergies caused by dust mites, getting the numbers down will have an immediate effect on your quality of life.
So when it comes to the fight against mites, dust mite covers are one of the most effective tools you can use. Why? Let’s take a look.
Do Dust Mite Covers Work?
They sure do. And it isn’t hard to see why. These covers are essentially giant fabric bags that you use to cover your mattress and pillows. The idea is that it will keep dust mites inside.
More importantly, it will also keep the allergens they create inside, where they can’t be breathed in by you and your family. Separated from their food source, the skin cells that we all shed each day, any dust mites trapped inside the encasement will eventually die off.
Your Bed is Dust Mite Ground Zero
Dust mites can hide just about anywhere in the home. But they prefer areas of high humidity. Even more ideal is locations where people tend to shed a lot of skin.
Effectively, that means areas where people spend a lot of time, and for most of us, that’s the bed. As a result, your bed is usually a dust mite’s favorite place.
As a result, a single mattress can contain as many as 10 million of these tiny creatures. So it’s easy to see why a dust mite cover can be an effective way to protect yourself from these allergy-causing creepers.
But it’s important to get the right kind of dust mite cover. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the main things to look for when choosing a dust mite cover.
How to Choose the Best Dust Mite Cover
The idea is simple: zip the dust mites and breathe easier. But there are so many mattress covers on the market. How do you know which ones are going to be most effective against dust mites?
Easy. Here are 3 crucial things to look for – just make sure any dust mite cover you choose checks these boxes!
Size of fabric weave
Dust mites are very, very small – around 1/64 of an inch in size. And the allergens they produce are mostly in their shed skins and droppings, which are even smaller than the mites themselves.
So you want to make sure that any dust mite cover you choose is tightly woven enough to keep all the allergens inside.
Type of fabric
Do you want your bed to crackle like a campfire every time you or your partner moves at night? Of course you don’t.
So you want to avoid dust mite covers made of plastic material. A better choice is a fabric cover that will mimic the feel of a sheet, but still keep those pesky dust mites inside.
This doesn’t mean the feeling you get when you know the mites are gone, as delightful as that may be. We’re talking about the zipper closure of the dust mite cover.
You need a cover that closes very tightly to ensure no allergens can escape. Some mattress protectors have fancy zippers that seal shut to make sure nothing gets in or out. This is exactly what you want to beat the dust mites.
What are the Best Dust Mite Covers?
Now we’re getting to the good stuff – if you want to make sure you’re protected from dust mites every night, the below 3 picks are the best dust mite covers to choose from!
AllerSoft Dust Mite Covers
This mattress cover doesn’t come cheap. But sometimes in life, you get what you pay for. This is a premium product specially designed to deal with dust mites. And it does it well.
The Allersoft encases your entire mattress and seals shut with a locking zipper. And the 100% cotton fabric, while soft to the touch, is tightly woven to ensure nothing can escape.
This cover seals in particles down to 3.44 microns in size. For those who don’t speak scientist, that’s really, really tiny. Small enough to be sure that no allergens will pass through the fabric and into the air you breathe.
If you’re unlucky enough to have bed bugs and dust mites, this mattress cover can help with that too. Any bed bugs trapped inside won’t be able to bite through the fabric and will eventually starve to death, along with the unlucky dust mites trapped underneath the cover as well.
Overall, this is an excellent quality dust mite cover, and it’s difficult to find anything bad to say about it besides the price.
With the zipper mostly on the short end of the cover, it’s best to have two people fit the cover on your mattress. The tighter the fit, the more comfortable it will be, but it can make it tricky to get on in the first place. You may need to stand your mattress up against the wall and pull the cover over the top. However, this is an issue common to most dust mite covers.
Also, this does mite cover isn’t waterproof. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Dust mites thrive in humid conditions, and waterproof mattress covers can keep moisture in as well as out. But it’s something you should know if you also want a waterproof cover.
Note: Dust mites can also happily live inside pillows, so it’s nice to know that this manufacturer also offers pillow protectors that are superb.
If you’re suffering from dust mite allergies, it’s wise to get these.
Sleep Defense Dust Mite Covers
If you are in the market for a waterproof dust mite cover, this could be the one for you. By necessity, waterproof covers tend to have a more plasticky feel than more breathable options.
But the Sleep Defense manages not to sacrifice comfort for waterproofing and doesn’t increase the heat of your mattress the way many waterproof covers do.
The zipper is protected by a Velcro patch to ensure it stays tightly closed once the cover has been put on. Also, unlike some other waterproof covers, the Sleep Defense is waterproof on all sides, so you can flip your mattress without having to take off the cover and expose yourself to the allergens it may contain.
The thick fabric this product is made from means it’s less likely to rip or tear, which is essential in a mattress cover. If even a small hole develops in the fabric, allergens can escape and render the cover useless. So it’s good to get a durable product that can last for a long time.
This product is also significantly cheaper than competitors such as Allersoft. But keep in mind that a lower price doesn’t always mean greater value. While this is overall a solid dust mite cover, there have occasionally been quality control issues such as the covers arriving with holes or other flaws.
You can always return them, of course, but if you’re suffering from dust mite allergies, time is of the essence.
Also, although the Sleep Defense does a good job of not holding onto heat as much as other waterproof mattress covers, it can still be an issue. Especially if you’re someone who likes a cool environment when they sleep. In that case, a waterproof cover may not be the best solution for you.
Last but not least, like the AllerSoft, these dust mite covers can also be purchased with a pillow protector for maximum protection.
Plush Deluxe Dust Mite Covers
This is another waterproof dust mite cover that captures dust mites and the allergens they produce. It also comes with a 10-year warranty, which is great for peace of mind.
Although the cover is waterproof, it has a terrycloth top to avoid the plasticky feel you sometimes get with other waterproof covers. This also helps to reduce the crackling sound of plastic every time you move. In fact, this mattress cover is more or less silent when installed properly.
The cover has some stretch to it, which helps during installation and also ensures a tight fit. Mattress covers that sag and bunch are more prone to developing holes over time as they rub against your bedframe. It’s usually better to get a cover that fits tightly to your mattress to prevent this from happening. This definitely fits the bill.
This dust mite cover also has the advantage of being relatively affordable. Another huge plus is that it’s got a very secure zipper to protect against potential escape of both dust mites and bed bugs.
Overall, this one is a great dust mite cover but ultimately, how you feel about this product may come down to how you feel about terrycloth.
If heat can be an issue for you while sleeping, this product can make matters worse. The terrycloth combined with the polyurethane waterproof lining can generate a lot of heat, especially in summer.
On the other hand, it can make for a warmer winter or cozy nights if you live in an area with a cooler climate. Your call to make on the terrycloth.
What About Dust Mite Pillow Covers?
We’ve already mentioned some dust mite pillow covers but what if you want the best of the best? Here are our favorite pillow protectors to keep heads sleeping snug and shielded from dust mites!
Comfortable, affordable and with impenetrable protection from dust mites, you can’t do much better than Allerease when it comes to pillow covers.
The zippered covers are 100% cotton, so they stay soft and breathable and don’t hold onto heat. At the same time, the weave of the fabric is tight enough to keep any mites and allergens inside. Win win.
But our favorite quality is that these pillow protectors wash very, very well, coming out of the wash in near-new condition each time.
There is one downside to this product, however. The covers can be a little on the short side, especially if you have large king size pillows. While they will still fit, it can lead to the pillows seeming overstuffed.
But if you can live with that – or you have reasonably sized pillows, these are a great product to protect you from dust mite allergens.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a waterproof pillow cover, give the ComfiLife a try. This product offers extreme waterproofing that can keep a pillow dry even through hours of exposure to liquid.
Also, the cover is noiseless, which is especially important in a pillow. Another plus – if you use down pillows, these covers are thick enough to prevent feathers from poking through.
Of course, with any dust mite cover, there’s a balance to be struck between waterproofing and breathability. If you’re a hot sleeper, you may find these ultra waterproof pillows are little too toasty for your liking.
How to Use a Dust Mite Cover
The best dust mite cover in the world isn’t going to work if you don’t use it correctly. For instance, pulling it over your head and running around the house pretending to be a ghost in an attempt to scare dust mites away has not been proven to have any noticeable effect on these creatures.
But there are some more practical steps you can take to enhance the efficiency of your mattress cover. Follow along to give your new dust mite cover superpowers!
DeMite Laundry Additive
No prizes for guessing what this stuff does. The clue is in the name. This product contains Benzyl Benzoate and Tea Tree Oil, which have both been proven to kill dust mites on exposure.
But surely washing your bedding kills dust mites anyway? Well, yes and no.
Washing in hot water will both kill dust mites and remove the allergens they produce. But you’ll need to make sure that water is very hot – around 140°F, in fact.
Water at this temperature can be harmful to certain delicate fabrics, so a laundry additive like DeMite allows you to wash your fabrics at a cooler temperature and still achieve effective dust mite control.
Whether you use a laundry additive or not, regular washing of both your bedding and other fabrics like curtains or drapes will help to kill the mites and reduce the allergens.
Try to wash everything at least once a week in water hotter than 130°F to make sure you kill everything that is living inside.
Buy new bedding
If you’re suffering from dust mite allergies, you may want to consider investing in hypoallergenic bedding. The tightly woven fabric of this bedding makes it extremely difficult for mites to get through the material and hide inside.
The fewer places these bugs have to hide, feed, and breed, the smaller their population will be.
Choose natural materials
Synthetic fibers are more attractive to dust mites than natural materials. For instance, silk sheets are naturally hypoallergenic and hold less dust than synthetic versions.
And just think how fancy you’ll be, lying back on your silk sheets like the Doge of Venice.
By the same token, down pillows are less attractive to dust mites than ones with a synthetic fill. The feathers are more difficult for these tiny creatures to hide in. That’s probably why you’re unlikely to find any ducks reading this article.