I never knew much about allergies as I have been so lucky not to have experienced them – food, environmental, nothing. Never even really had swelling with a bug bite. Daniel, on the other hand, has had allergy issues ever since he was a kiddo. He and his siblings all dealt with food and/or environmental allergies from a young age, and at one point his brother was down to only about 5 foods that he could tolerate. Luckily Dan only has environmental allergies as an adult – he grew out of any food ones he used to have. It does mean, however, that he pops allergy meds pretty regularly during spring and fall, can’t handle being in houses with too many pets, and we generally need to keep our house pretty dust-free as a result of his dust allergy.
5 Tips For A Dust-Free House
I don’t know about you guys, but I hate dusting. Well, let’s be honest, I’m really not a big fan of cleaning in general. I’m a good tidy-upper’er, but actual scrubbing and cleaning? Not my bag. I look forward to the day when we might be able to hire some professional help in that department!
Anyway, these are some things that we do to create a more allergy-friendly space, particularly for the bedrooms in our pad…
1 / Hardwood floors.
I realize that this isn’t a choice for everyone, but since we were building/renovating our house ourselves, we opted to go with hardwood floors throughout. Carpet can be insanely cozy in a bedroom, but it’s just impossible to keep it dust-free. So we are hardwood floors + throw rugs kind of people.
We were handed down an amazing old persian rug from Dan’s uncle a few months ago that I was super psyched about having in our bedroom. It was huge and long and I thought it was going to be amazing. Literally the night we rolled it out Dan had such an intense reaction that we needed to roll it back up and get it outta there stat. It’s not that we can’t do ANY rugs, but that one in particular was old and had been sitting in a barn for a while – not a good combo for the whole dust allergen thing.
I now have a much smaller flatweave rug on the way for our bedroom, which should be totally fine allergy-wise.
2 / Keep those sheets clean.
Stripping the bed and washing all of your bedding isn’t my idea of a fun Sunday afternoon activity, but definitely keeping all of your bedding clean is one of your best bets for keeping things dust-free. You want to wash all of your bedding frequently and at high temps. Lower temperatures don’t kill dust mites as well as washing in hot water does. You can even wash pillows in some of the newer laundry machines.
3 / Vacuum the mattress.
Your bed is the most attractive place for dust mites to settle in, as they like warm cozy environments. Cleaning a mattress has typically been a pretty hard thing to do, until vacuums meant for mattresses hit the market. We recently were gifted a Dyson V6 vacuum that is specifically meant for mattresses and upholstery. It’s hand-held, cordless, easy to empty, and it looks like a super fancy dust buster. I hate getting out the big vacuum, so this little guy has become a major go-to thing in our home. [sneak peak of gallery wall coming together in our bedroom – more on that soon!]
In terms of doing the mattresses, it’s super easy.
You strip the bed and then simply go over the mattress with the vacuum. You want to have the Dyson on max mode, and do slow forward passes across the mattress. It doesn’t take much time at all – if anything it’s just a little awkward to have to bend down to do it. If you’re 6 months + pregnant with sciatica, the bending is a bit of a challenge, so thankfully Dan got up and did the rest of our mattress.
And you guys, it’s pretty damn GROSS what comes off your perfect-looking mattress. Avert your eyes if you want, but this next lovely little collage shows you the “after” of vacuuming our mattress for about 5 minutes (clean on the left, full on the right!). Re-to-the-volting.
We have also been doing Maya’s mattress. We haven’t seen any signs of dust allergies with her yet, but you never know and it’s obvious just good practice to keep her space nice and clean, too.
If you have really intense allergies, you can get zippered dust-proof covers for your mattress and box spring if you want to take it one step further. Luckily we don’t have to do that and find that vacuuming is enough.
3 / Type of bedding matters.
They recommend that you go with synthetic materials for your bedding and pillows – ie. no wool or feathers. There is a pretty wide selection out there these days for faux down duvets and pillows. Has anyone tried any of those foam pillows that are supposed to be amazing for your neck? I’ve been thinking about getting those for a while but haven’t pulled the trigger.
4 / Air filters.
To keep your indoor air in your house nice and clean, you want to be checking your filter furnace regularly. We have read that you should check once a month and will probably need to change it once every 3. We use the ‘Filtrete’ brand of filters and they have ones that are specifically geared toward allergen reduction.
I have also read about using air purifiers and dehumidifiers. We haven’t had to go that route, but it’s something to look into if it makes sense for you and your home.
5 / Textiles.
I LOVE some layered textiles in a space, but I do try to keep the whole dust issue in mind. Keeping upholstered furniture to a minimum is recommended. Obviously I love a good upholstered couch and chairs, and luckily Dan isn’t SO sensitive that that is fine for us, but we have kept other things – like our dining room chairs – non upholstered. If you are sensitive, going with something like leather is better than upholstery. Oh and we stay away from crazy thick curtains that build up dust, too. Luckily for me I generally like the look of light, breezy curtains, so it’s no biggie.
Do any of you guys live with allergies? Is this something you ever think about when designing and decorating your space?
Disclaimer: We were gifted our vacuum from Dyson, but were not paid to write this post or required to give a positive review in any way. We really do love the product and use it in our home regularly.