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Hypoallergenic Living: How to Create an Allergy-Free Home
Hypoallergenic Living: How to Create an Allergy-Free Home
Is that a sound you hear in your house often?
As much as 33% of SA’s population experience an allergic disease at some time in their lives. Unfortunately, around 40% of those suffering from allergies are kids.
Can you help them or yourself to sneeze, cough or itch less?
The tips below clearly show how to create a more hypoallergenic living environment. And you’ll see many of these strategies for allergy-free living are easy to implement and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Floors and Ceiling: Review Your Home’s Basic Structure
You can’t prevent allergic reactions completely, because you don’t know what allergens there may be at work, school or the corner store. However, if you reduce the extent of exposure to allergens, you can improve someone’s quality of life. In these cases, it can be valuable to make structural changes to your home.
For example, remove carpets that easily trap allergens and rather install laminated floors or wood. Also have experts check your roof for any signs of mildew because of bad ventilation. You may need fans to improve ventilation overall or install a roof vent so there’s no moisture buildup.
Upgrade Room Furniture and Features
Even by making small changes inside rooms you can reduce the frequency of allergic reactions.
Use Less Fabric
Your type of furniture can be the reason why you start sneezing the moment you get home. Fabric on upholstered chairs and sofas traps dust and other allergens like dead skin cells. You can reduce their impact by deep cleaning regularly but replacing them with leather or wood pieces make for a low maintenance alternative.
Also, rather take down outdated curtains and install modern blinds. Blinds can also make it easier to manage the interior temperature of rooms and if you can prevent hot, humid conditions, you’ll prevent excessive mould growth inside your home.
Your bedroom is supposed to be your safe haven, but perhaps you start sneezing the moment you get into bed? The reason could be the fabrics and inners you chose for your bedding.
Luckily, today’s market caters for all types of shoppers and you simply need to replace current items with hypoallergenic home bedding alternatives.
For example, while down duvets and pillows create an ultra-luxurious sleep experience, the down feathers can cause a reaction in some sleepers. The solution is to try out innovative products like down alternative inners. Inside these pillows and duvets you’ll find synthetic fibres that are less likely to spark an irritation.
Don’t worry! You don’t have to compromise on luxury just because of allergies. A quality down alternative duvet inner or pillow can still be uber-soft, cosy and comfortable. The fibres mimic the feel of down inners, so you’ll still love getting into bed at night—and now you won’t start sneezing or itching!
You can also invest in quality covers for bedroom items, so allergens :
- Mattress covers, even if it’s a mattress protector, and box spring covers, so there’s less chance of allergens settling inside
- Duvet covers with a tight weave to limit allergens from duvets that aren’t entirely allergy-friendly from affecting you
- Cotton pillow cases, also with a tight weave, to prevent feather or down pillows from sparking an allergic reaction
Be Smart About Plants
There are many benefits of having plants in the house, but unfortunately, they’re not good news for anyone with allergies. Apart from spreading pollen, they can also accumulate allergens such as dust on their leaves.
It’s best to remove indoor potted plants but if you do want some greenery, at least place gravel over the soil. This will minimise the effect of the soil’s natural spores and mould on the household. Also, if the plant has large leaves, wipe the dust from them regularly.
Handy Gadgets that Really Work
In some scenarios—especially if you have extreme allergies—you will need to invest in some technology.
Thanks to innovative technology, an air filter can now remove allergens from the air in your home. Make sure you invest in a quality unit though, by looking for mention of a ‘HEPA filter’ in the specs list.
Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers
Too much or too little moisture can be a trigger for allergies.
Humid conditions—especially in parts of South Africa known for humid climates—can quickly lead to mould and mildew thriving in bathrooms, laundry rooms and attics. That’s when you need a dehumidifier that can turn damp air into dry air.
In contrast, a humidifier will help add some moisture to the air. This helps by preventing your nasal passages from drying out and allowing even more allergens into your lungs.
Change a Few Habits
Even just by changing your lifestyle you can gain more control, so you’re less likely to experience an allergic reaction. It’s especially effective to implement the following guidelines at home, so your personal space becomes less likely to spark a reaction.
Mats and Shoes at the Front Door
Dirt trapping mats aren’t just a trend or a money-making scheme. These innovative mats can capture dirt more effectively than a standard rug you place at your front door. When anyone enters after walking over a dirt trapping surface, there will be remarkably less dirt inside your home, which means fewer allergens.
For even better results, ask everyone—or at least family members—to remove their shoes when entering your home. A LOT of allergens adhere to the soles of shoes, so you’ll eliminate a large percentage of the dust and allergens that usually affect you and your family.
Close Windows During Pollen Season
Managing the amount of pollen you’re exposed to can make a huge difference in how you experience the warmer seasons. One strategy is to keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. Yes, in South Africa it can get hot and stuffy inside, but you can solve this by running your air-conditioning. Budget for this summer expense ahead of time, so your allergies don’t ruin your cash flow.
Reduce and Prevent Clutter
A number one goal for anyone trying to create a more hypoallergenic home must be to limit the amount of dust in the house. This becomes more attainable if there are fewer places where dust can accumulate, such as settling where it’s difficult to clean properly. This is a good reason not to allow general clutter around the house.
A few helpful clutter-prevention hints:
- Don’t keep excess items like toys, winter clothing or craft supplies loose in cupboards. Place them in sealable containers you can quickly wipe clean when doing house chores.
- Keep surfaces clear of clutter, so they’re easy to clean. From desks to kitchen counters to bookshelves, throw or pack away unnecessary items. For example, instead of putting ornaments on display and having papers and magazines pile up, rather have a minimalist look.
- Make decluttering a standard task every few months. All family members should go through clothing, toys and other personal items and put aside anything they haven’t used during the past 6 months. You can then donate, sell or throw away.
Bath the Pets
You probably know your pets play a big role in how much allergens are inside your home, right?
No, we’re not asking you to give your dogs and cats away. However, proper pet care can help reduce allergens, such as dust and pet dander, so increase their bath frequency to at least once a week.
You can keep on playing with them as always but try and avoid them licking your hands and face.
What does Hypoallergenic Mean Exactly?
Many people erroneously assume the word ‘hypoallergenic’ means ‘entirely without allergens’. However, ‘hypo’ refers to ‘under’ or ‘less than normal’. Therefore, it suggests that something has a less than normal likelihood of causing an allergic reaction.
Is Cotton Bedding Allergy-friendly?
Each person is different, but for many individuals struggling with allergies, natural fibres like cotton are beneficial. Because they have antimicrobial properties and moisture wicking abilities, there’s less chance of mildew on home bedding. Also, a quality cotton sheet with a tight weave means there are fewer gaps in the fabric, so less space for allergens to accumulate.
What is Hypoallergenic Bedding?
When creating hypoallergenic bedding, a manufacturer finds ways to minimise the possibility that home bedding will spark an allergic reaction in the user. They try to make the bedding an area where allergens can’t thrive or even easily survive in.
Why are my Allergies Worse at Night?
Many people experience more allergic reactions at night when it gets cooler. During the day, warmer temperatures result in allergens such as pollen rising with warmer air. Once the air cools down, the allergens settle on surfaces below, such as tables and bedding, where they can easily start affecting you.
How Comfy Helps Clients Manage Allergies Better
Browse Comfy’s wide range of home bedding and you’ll find multiple helpful products that will limit the risk of allergic reactions ruining your day. Which of the following do you need at the moment?
- Hypoallergenic, down alternative duvet inners
- Down alternative pillows for hypoallergenic bedrooms
- Cotton rich and pure cotton duvet covers and pillow cases with high thread count to prevent feather pillows and duvets’ feathers from coming out
- Allergy-friendly, tightly woven cotton bed sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases