Achoo! Are you one of the many South Africans who wakes up every morning with a stuffy nose, tight chest and itchy throat? Then you might be suffering from dust mite allergies.

Microscopic dust mites are the primary cause of night-time allergies and even asthma. These critters thrive in your bed and pillows, where they feast off your dead skin flakes and pet dander.

Don’t let dust mite allergies interfere with a good night’s sleep. Take action with these tips to create an allergy-free sleeping environment.

  1. Protect your bed
    Ensure your mattress is covered with a dust-mite-proof mattress protector. Don’t forget to encase all pillows with a dust-mite-proof pillow protector Mattress and pillow protectors will prevent dust mite colonies from building up in your bed and pillows.
  2. Wash your bedding regularly
    Bed linen needs to be washed regularly on a hot wash. Ensure you wash your mattress and pillow protectors every six weeks to remove the build-up of dead skin cells.
  3. Vacuum carpets frequently
    Dust mites love to live in carpets, so you need to vacuum rugs and carpets often. Or better yet, replace carpets with hard floors. Sufferers of serious allergies should invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  4. Get rid of curtains
    Heavy, dry-clean-only curtains are a haven for dust mites. Replace these with lightweight curtains that can be washed more frequently, or blinds that can be wiped down.
  5. Declutter your bedroom
    Remove unnecessary knick-knacks and clutter that gathers dust.
  6. Make your bedroom a pet-free zone
    This is a controversial tip, since many people love the comfort and closeness of sharing their beds with their fur babies. But for those with serious allergies, sharing a room all night with a pet can significantly exacerbate allergy symptoms. For the sake of your health, you may need to keep furry friends out of your room, or at least off your bed. Dust mites also feed off pet dander, so it is best to keep pets out of the bedroom altogether if possible.