If you’re on the hunt for the best vacuum for dust mites, chances are your home is feeling a little uncomfortable lately.
Dust mites are a major pest in homes, and they can happen to anyone. In fact, they do happen to almost everyone. These tiny pests are too small to be seen with the naked eye, and yet they can cause a big problem.
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The worst thing about these tiny invaders is not the fact that they’re ugly – although they most definitely are. The real trouble comes from the fact that they can cause allergies.
They can even trigger asthma attacks, so if you’re sensitive to the proteins in the droppings and shed skins of these bugs, you could suffer greatly from their presence. And even if you’re not asthmatic, no one finds a runny nose and puffy eyes attractive. When these creatures start ruining your looks, you know they’ve got to go.
So how do you get rid of them? Well, it turns out that a dust mite vacuum is one of the best weapons you can have against these – I’ll say it again – ugly little creatures.
Do Dust Mite Vacuums Work?
Dust mites thrive on dust. In fact, they live off the dead skin cells that we all shed throughout the day. And we shed a lot of dead skin cells – it’s estimated that the average adult sheds 500 million skin cells a day.
That’s the equivalent to a sumptuous steak dinner that can feed up to a million dust mites.
The dead skin cells are also a significant component of the dust you find in your home – as much as 20% to 50% of dust in homes is composed of dead skin cells. The rest? Dust is a complex mixture of many other particles like dust mites, dust mite feces, mold, bacteria and even small insects. None of which you want to be breathing in.
That brings us to the first point on why dust mite vacuums work. Simply by vacuuming, you reduce the amount of dust in your home and remove a vital food source for these creatures.
The less food, the fewer mites.
But dust mite vacuums don’t stop there. As you know, the worst thing about mites is the allergies they can cause. And simply killing dust mites doesn’t remove the allergens caused by dust mites – but vacuuming does.
Regular vacuuming removes dust mite droppings and shed skins, and it’s the proteins in these things that cause allergic reactions in some people. So vacuuming will give you immediate relief.
How to Choose the Best Vacuum for Dust Mites
Vacuums are a household essential. And ever since brands like Dyson made them trendy, the vacuum market has been exploding with sleeker, sexier models.
But no need to bother with all that. What you need is simple: a dust mite vacuum that gets the job done.
So what should you be looking for when shopping for the best vacuum for dust mites? These 3 crucial factors matter – everything else is extra.
High-efficiency particulate air doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, which is why these filters are more typically known as HEPA filters.
A HEPA filter is essentially a fine mesh that is capable of trapping tiny items down to 0.3 µm in size. That groovy little symbol in the previous sentence refers to a micron, and microns are small.
How small? There are 39 million microns to an inch. That’s how small. A human hair is around 50 microns wide. And HEPA filters trap particles significantly smaller than a single micron. This means no dust mites and none of their droppings will be able to escape the vacuum.
Regular vacuums can cause some small particles to be pushed back out into the air of the room through their exhaust. A HEPA filter prevents this for over 99% of particles.
An upright vacuum cleaner takes up less storage space, so you might prefer using them. But if you have a dust mite problem, a canister vacuum is the way to go.
Canister vacuums generally have tighter seals than the upright versions, and when you’re talking about creatures as small as dust mites, the seals matter. The last thing you want is for particles to escape the vacuum and re-enter the air of your home.
Bagged vs. Bagless
Bagless vacuums are all the rage. And no one likes to have to go on a hunt to find the exact specific type of bag that will fit their machine.
But when it comes to allergens, a bag vacuum definitely serves a purpose. This way, when you finish cleaning, you can remove the bag, seal it up, and toss it in the trash outside.
Opening a bagless vacuum inside the house will cause the dust to escape and reenter the air of your home. Get a bagged vacuum and breathe easier. If you must choose a bagless vacuum, remember to wear a mask when you’re emptying it.
Does UV Light Kill Dust Mites?
One more feature that you may want to consider when looking for the best vacuum for dust mites is a UV light.
Which brings us to the question: does UV light kill dust mites?
The research shows that ultraviolet light does indeed kill dust mites, along with lots of other tiny organisms. But not any kind of UV light will do. If you read the study, you’ll see that it’s UV-C, which is a germicidal UV with a wavelength between 200 to 280 nm, that deactivates the DNA of dust mites, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.
But even with a UV-C light, it’s not as simple as scanning surfaces to quickly get rid of dust mites. To get 100% dust mite mortality, the researchers had to maintain direct irradiation at a distance of 10 centimeters and for 60 minutes.
As you can see, that’s going to be tricky to do with a vacuum.
So are UV-light dust mite vacuums worthless? Not necessarily. A UV-C light attached to a vacuum can provide some level of protection against dust mites. Even a short exposure can damage the dust mites’ nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and even interfere with their ability to breed.
All in all, our verdict is that a UV light is not a must-have feature for a dust mite vacuum. The most important feature is a HEPA filter. But if you can find one equipped with a HEPA filter and a UV-C level light, it certainly doesn’t hurt.
What is the Best Vacuum for Dust Mites?
Okay, now you know what to look for. Let’s go over the best vacuums currently available for sending dust mites to their doom.
We’re going to go from the least expensive to the luxury option. Here are your best bets.
Housmile UV Dust Mite Vacuum
A lot of the time, when it comes to pest control, we find ourselves repurposing existing items in the battle against bugs. So it’s nice to come across products that are specifically designed for a pest control purpose. This futuristic-looking machine is definitely one of them.
The small vacuum allows you to really get into the nooks and crannies dust mites like to hide in, and the powerful motor pulls them and their droppings out of the fabric to reduce the allergens in your home.
What’s great about it?
Though small, this vacuum actually has two filters so the air coming out of it will be far cleaner than what goes in. One is a HEPA filter and the other is an activated carbon filter. These filters help to trap dust mites and other particles as small as 0.1 microns.
The combination of filters means they get sucked up for good so that you don’t need to worry about allergic reactions to these disgusting creatures.
On top of the HEPA filters, the Housmile also comes equipped with a UV sterilization lamp that has a wavelength of 253.7 nm. That places it squarely in the germicidal UV-C category.
Of course, in the case of this vacuum, the dust mites are on their way to the chamber of the vacuum itself, which will kill them anyway.
So the UV lamp may not be as critical to the killing procedure is the manufacturers would have you believe. But if you’re a belt and suspenders kind of person, you may enjoy the idea that this vacuum kills mites in more ways than one. Can they ever really be too dead?
What cons did we find?
The only downside is that this vacuum is bagless. And its small size means you’ll need to empty it frequently. That being said, the filter is very easy to clean.
Ultimately, this is a tool best used for spot treatment of small areas. If you’re planning to vacuum your entire house with a machine this small – just don’t.
Use this one to do a concentrated clean on the nooks and crannies of furniture that are most likely to harbor dust mite colonies and get one of the below dust mite vacuums for the rest of the house.
RAYCOP Allergen Vacuum
This tiny little vacuum has surprisingly strong suction given its size. It’s small and light enough to hold in one hand, and the compact size makes it great for use not only on mattresses but also on upholstered furniture such as armchairs and sofas.
The Raycop is a handheld vacuum designed to be used on beds. Don’t expect to use this thing on the carpet in your home unless you really enjoy crawling around on the floor.
But the design is ideally suited to vacuuming a mattress, and often, that’s the place you’re most likely to find the highest number of dust mites. A mattress can contain up to 10 million of these creatures, so anything you can do to get them out is a good idea.
What’s great about it?
The wide head on this machine allows you to cover a lot of the surface area of your mattress quickly. And the oversized wheels roll easily over a padded surface.
But the best thing about this vacuum is simply that it is light enough to use anywhere while being powerful enough to make a big difference.
The Raycop weighs just 4lbs, which makes it the most light-weight dust mite vacuum you’ll find. And it’s equipped with a dual filtration HEPA filter to effectively remove dust mites and the allergens they produce.
It’s also got a couple cool other features. For starters, the pulsating pads vibrate up to 3,300 times per minute to help loosen dust, dirt and dust mist particles for easy vacuuming.
And like the Housmile dust mite vacuum above, the Raycop also comes with an ultraviolet light to kill bugs. Does it work? Debatably. While ultraviolet light does indeed kill dust mites, it often takes more than a second or two to do its job. But that doesn’t really matter when the action of the vacuum itself will kill the bugs.
What cons did we find?
This vacuum has a lot to recommend it, but it’s not perfect. Our main concern is that it has two filtration systems – one is the micro HEPA filter that needs to be replaced every one to one and a half years.
But the main dust box filter is washable so you run the risk of exposing yourself to dust and pathogens when you empty the machine. Probably a good idea to do it outside if possible or get someone without a dust mite allergy to do it for you.
That being said, the vacuum’s filter is designed to be ridiculously easy to clean – even for those of us who are short on time.
Last thing to note is that since it’s designed for use on the bed, it’s not great for using throughout the house. Vacuuming your carpets with this machine is a surefire way to give yourself a bad back. But for a specialized device to use on the bed to keep your sleeping quarters free of dust mites, this one is hard to beat.
Miele Compact C2 Electro+
If you want to get serious about getting rid of dust mites throughout your entire house, the Miele Compact C2 Electro+ is your best bet. This top-of-the-line vacuum has a seriously powerful suction that can pull mites and their droppings out from deep inside fabric and carpets.
It also comes with a range of different attachments to let you treat furniture as well as carpets – it even has a carpet tool that lets you adjust height depending on the pile of the carpet. So it’ll do its dust mite-sucking job even if you have thick, plush carpeting.
But it’s not just for upholstery and carpets – this high-powered vacuum has attachments to suction up bare floors as well as variable speed control so you can adjust based on whether you’re sucking up dust mites on drapes, rugs or hardwood floors.
This makes it ideal for use throughout the whole home, since it’s equally effective on couch cushions as it is on bookshelves and laminate floors.
What’s great about it?
Of course, like any good dust mite buster, this vacuum has a HEPA filter to make sure you won’t merely be spreading the bugs and their poop around your home.
And it doesn’t stop there – this dust mite vacuum is unique in that it uses a combination of the Miele Hyclean FJM Dust Bag, Super Air Clean Filter and Sealed System Construction (SSC) to ensure that only super clean, dust mite-free air comes out of the machine.
If you’re after the deepest dust mite removal a vacuum can provide, this one fits the bill.
What cons did we find?
The only downside of this vacuum is the price. It will set you back a pretty penny, but if you’re looking for the best of the best dust mite vacuum that you can depend on for years, even decades to come – this one is it.
And the hefty price tag will even out since these machines have an average life span of 20 years.
Overall, this vacuum checks all the boxes for a great dust mite vacuum and then some. It’s seriously powerful with a great HEPA filtration system. Plus, it’s a bagged canister vacuum. And to top it all off, at only 10lbs total weight, it’s actually surprisingly lightweight and easy to maneuver.
Not to mention, it stores remarkably well.
All in all, this is the best vacuum to help reduce the number of dust mites throughout your home. Its versatility allows you to treat every area of your house with a single machine. If you can afford it – this one is your best bet.
Tips for Vacuuming Dust Mites
You know how to vacuum, right? Of course you do. But vacuuming for dust mites is a little different to the regular cleaning you do. Keep these tips in mind while vacuuming to maximize the dust mite busting!
Dust mites love dust. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Just as you should when dusting, it’s a good idea to start vacuuming high and work your way down. This way, any dust you dislodge from high surfaces such as the top of bookshelves will sink down toward the floor, where you’ll have a second chance to catch it.
The last thing you want to do is clean off a surface and then get it dirty again by vacuuming above it. And if you have ceiling fans, that would be a great place to start. These often neglected devices can harbor surprising amounts of dust, and therefore surprising amounts of dust mites.
You want to finish vacuuming at least two hours before you go to bed. That way, the dust you stir up while moving around the home will have a chance to settle.
No vacuum in the world will get rid of every trace of dust, and so you want what’s left to settle out from the air so that it doesn’t keep you awake coughing and sneezing all night.
Wear a mask
The idea here isn’t to hide your identity from the dust mites – although if that is a concern, a mask can help with that too. But a simple painters mask will help keep dust out of your nose and throat.
If you’re allergic to dust mites – and if you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you are – you want to minimize your exposure to these mites and the allergens they produce.
There’s not much point going to all the trouble of vacuuming if you’re just going to inhale a big cloud of dust mite poop and make your symptoms worse.
Open windows while vacuuming
That doesn’t mean boot up your laptop before you start cleaning. Open the windows of your home to let fresh air in and dust mite-riddled air out.
Changing the air in your home will help with your attempts to reduce the population of bugs and the allergens they create.
Does Vacuuming Get Rid of Dust Mites?
Dust mite vacuums go a long way toward removing both the food source for dust mites as well as the allergens produced by dust mites.
But does vacuuming get rid of dust mites?
Yes and no. Here’s what you need to know about what a good dust mite vacuum can and can’t do.
Will any vacuum work?
When it comes to dust mites, not any old vacuum will do. It is very important to use a vacuum cleaner that is equipped with a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor and can trap tiny particles down to down to 0.3 µm in size.
And this is not just hype. Studies and experts of dust mites all agree that when it comes to dust mites, HEPA matters.
In fact, using a vacuum that lacks this minute level of filtration can makes things worse by re-circulating the tiny allergens back into the air. Nobody wants to waste time and effort so make sure you’re using a dust mite vacuum with a HEPA filter.
What does a dust mite vacuum do?
As you already know, vacuuming removes the dust mites’ food source and also sucks up allergens such as dust mite feces and shed skin. In doing so, it reduces the amount of dust mite allergens in your home.
The vacuuming can also help to kill dust mites. These creatures have soft bodies, and their small size makes them quite fragile. They won’t survive a trip into the whirling chaos of the vacuum cleaner. So regular vacuuming can help keep the population down.
But as you’ll find out in a minute – vacuuming can only go so far when it comes to removing the dust mites themselves.
Is vacuuming for dust mites enough?
Unfortunately, vacuuming for dust mites is not enough to get rid of dust mites on its own. Why? For starters, house dust mites are experts at burrowing and clinging on. It’s been observed that dust mites can tunnel into carpeting and other fabrics within less than a minute.
To add to that, house dust mites are able to hold on to the deep fibers of carpet and fabrics with tiny sucking pads on their legs. To make things even worse, female dust mites lay eggs that are coated with a sticky substance.
That means vacuuming dust mites that have burrowed their way into the deep fibers of carpet is going to be tricky business.
So overall, removing dust mites with a vacuum goes a long way toward removing the allergens caused by dust mites. But using it as your only weapon isn’t going to get rid of dust mites on its own.
So what else can you do?
A good dust mite vacuum can be a crucial tool in your fight against dust mites. But there are several things you can do to aid your battle.
There’s no point in having even the best dust mite vacuum if you’re not using it frequently. Studies show that frequency of vacuuming matters when it comes to reducing dust mites in the home.
The vacuum is one of the most effective home remedies for dust mites so make sure to use yours frequently and regularly.
This may seem like a drastic move but if you suffer from a dust mite allergy, it may be worth the cost and effort.
Carpet is a breeding ground for dust mites and even with the best dust mite vacuum, you may not get them all.
If you simply cannot part with all carpet, consider just removing the carpet in your bedroom. Opt for low pile varieties. Choose area rugs – preferably ones you can toss in the washing machine – over wall-to-wall carpet.
Kill dust mites before you vacuum
For carpet that you can’t remove, it can be a wise strategy to kill the dust mites living in it before you vacuum up their bodies. This will help you get more dust mites with your vacuuming efforts since a dead dust mite can’t hold onto the carpet fibers.
One option to do this is to use a steam cleaner. Steam is an incredibly effective way to completely kill dust mites. A good steam cleaner also doesn’t cost too much – the McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-Duty Cleaner is a powerful workhorse that heats steam to well over 200 degree Fahrenheit for a fraction of the cost of most steamers.
Another option is to use an anti-allergen powder that you can scatter on to your carpet to break down dust mite particles before you vacuum. It’s fairly low-effort but provides big results – you can experience relief almost immediately as the dust mite allergens get destroyed.
Change the fabric
What’s true for carpet is also true for upholstered furniture. Certain fabrics fair much better than others when it comes to dust mites. If you’re willing to choose new furniture based on dust mite prevention, wood, and leather varieties are the way to go.
Hardwood is easy to wipe clean of dust mites. Leather and synthetic leather is difficult for dust mites to burrow into. So is suede.
Use an anti-allergen spray
Not everyone can replace all their furniture or strip their home of carpets. We’re not Rockefeller.
Thankfully, there is a much more affordable option. Enter anti-allergen sprays.
These sprays are often referred to as denaturing agents and they work by breaking down and thus neutralizing allergens, aka dust mites and dust mite waste.
You can treat your carpet, furniture, upholstery and pretty much everywhere else.
Cover your bed
One of the smartest, most low-cost and low-effort thing you can do to get immediate relief from dust mites is to use a dust mite mattress cover.
These dust mite covers seal the dust mites living in your mattress so that their bodies and waste can no longer irritate you.
We highly recommend also opting for dust mite pillow covers, duvet protectors and even switching to hypoallergenic bedding.
Lower the humidity
Another small action that yields great results is simply lower the humidity in your home. Dust mites thrive at higher humidity levels and have difficulty surviving when humidity falls below 50 percent.
One study found that maintaining an indoor humidity level of less than 51 percent resulted in significant reductions of dust mites and allergen levels.
These are some of the best things you can do aside from vacuuming to get rid of dust mites but it’s by no means an exhaustive list.
>>>How to Get Rid of Dust Mites: 9 Most Effective Methods
If you’re really serious about overcoming the dust mite menace, check out the above article for the full guide.