Causing skin issues, sniffly noses, red eyes and worse symptoms besides, allergies can be uncomfortable, inconvenient and, in some cases, downright distressing, especially for younger sufferers. With around 40% of the UK’s kids diagnosed with an allergy of some kind (1), childhood allergies are a serious problem that needs some serious solutions.
With so many children affected by a wide variety of allergies, you may be keen to do everything you can to keep your home as free of pesky allergens as possible. And because kids sleep between eight and fifteen hours a day, depending on their age, their bedroom is a pretty obvious place to start. So the question has to be asked – does your child need a hypoallergenic mattress? And if so, what’s the best bed to choose to keep them safe, healthy and comfortable?
Mattress Dust Mites and More: Common Household Allergens
Many of the allergens that our kids come into contact with can be found around the home. Even the cleanest and most well cared for houses can harbour a surprising number of hazards. Most common are:
Miniscule insects barely a quarter of a millimetre in length, house dust mites may be small but they can wreak havoc wherever they’re found. An allergy to dust mites is very common, resulting in symptoms such as itchy eyes and a runny nose. Mites can also cause asthmatic and eczema symptoms (2). Although dust mites are present in every home, there are ways to minimise their presence and, in turn, their effects on a child’s health.
Thriving in cold and damp climates, mould is a real problem here in wet and windy Britain. Often found in poorly ventilated or badly insulated homes, mould is a particular problem in the winter months. Allergies are caused by mould spores and can be characterised by itchy eyes, a runny nose and skin rashes (3). Mould can also exacerbate the symptoms of asthma.
We all love our pets but unfortunately dogs, cats, rabbits and the other cuddly critters we might invite into our homes – including birds – can cause serious allergic reactions (4) in children and adults alike. Caused by proteins found in the skin cells, saliva or urine of animals, a pet allergy can trigger hives and hay fever-like symptoms. Wheezing can also occur as a result of some pet allergies, especially if triggered by your feathered friends (5).
Protecting Your Child From Allergens
With so many allergens on the loose, you might despair that there’s nothing you can do to protect your child. However, though there’s no way to create a completely allergen-free home, there are things you can do to make a home more comfortable for kids with allergies (6):
- Regular cleaning: vacuum carpets and soft furnishings twice a week using a vacuum cleaner fitted with a high efficiency air filter. Additionally, wash bedding weekly at 60C and curtains every three months
- Swapping out carpets: carpets can harbour all sorts of dust and dirt so if allergies pose a real risk in your home, you may wish to swap them for vinyl or wood. Likewise curtains can be exchanged for shutters or blinds
- Improving ventilation: to reduce mould open windows and close internal doors when cooking, showering or bathing, don’t dry damp clothing on radiators and keep bathroom and kitchen surfaces dry and windows free of condensation. If mould is a real problem, consider using a dehumidifier
- Keeping pollen out: if hay fever is an issue for your child keep windows closed, especially on high pollen count days. Severe hay fever sufferers may benefit from family members changing and washing clothes as soon as they enter the house
- Clean and protect beds: in addition to regularly cleaning your child’s mattress and bedding, it’s smart to protect their bed too. A waterproof mattress covercan protect your child from nasties in the bed while protecting the mattress from accidents and spills. And, just using a good quality mattress protector, that can be washed regularly can help significantly too, even if not waterproof.
Does Your Child Need a Hypoallergenic Mattress?
Mattresses can harbour more allergens than you’d probably like to think about. Not only do dust mites love making a warm and cosy home among the springs of a bed where they feed on the dust that inevitably builds up over time, but pet hair and skin can gather there too. In addition mould and mildew can thrive in the warm environment of a mattress, especially after a spillage that hasn’t been adequately dried out - a particular risk for kids’ beds.
This is why a waterproof dust mite mattress protector is a must. A good mattress cover that fits well will repel liquid, meaning that spilt drinks, nocturnal accidents and sweat don’t make a mark. Using and regularly cleaning this protector can help extend a mattress’s lifespan as well as minimising the risk of common household allergens.
While the addition of a mattress protector may be enough to keep most children breathing easy, for some, a hypoallergenic mattress is a must. Free from materials that can cause allergic symptoms in some, most hypoallergenic beds are made using synthetic materials that naturally repel mites and other allergens. The great news is that more and more children’s mattresses, at all price points, are now designed to be hypoallergenic, making opting for allergy-free a no-brainer whether your little one has allergies and asthma or not.
The Best Hypoallergenic Mattress Choices for Kids
Looking for a hypoallergenic mattress for your child? These are just a few of our favourites:
A revolutionary design that grows with your child, the Slumberland Flip is intended to last right through from pre-teen to adult. While one side of the mattress provides softer support for lighter bodies, the second side is firmer for larger teens of 14 and up. Made of high resilience foam with an open cell structure, the Flip is treated with Pro-bio to combat harmful pathogens, bad smells and allergens.
The range of 4 Dual Support Mattresses are specifically designed for Children's Growing Needs - with a double layer of springs in all, the first layer providing most of the comfort and support when they are younger and lighter. Then as the child develops and grow the two layers of springs work in harmony to product dual support and comfort, adapting as your child's height, weight and shape adapts too. This comfortable mattress has an open cell structure and breathable comfort layers for an environment where mould, mildew and mites aren’t welcome. Designed with Jay-Be’s own e-Fibre instead of foam, this mattress won’t release potentially harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Flipping seasonally to provide a warmer sleeping surface in winter and a cooler bed for summer nights, this simple mattress has a Pro-bio coating to help keep allergens and other harmful nasties away. Breathability is improved thanks to the Eco Solution’s Truecomfort Supreme filling layer.
A hypoallergenic solution that won’t break the bank, this anti-allergy mattress cover, available in sizes to suit most beds, simply slips over your child’s mattress for reliably clean protection. Soft to the touch and machine washable, this protector is treated to stop the build-up of dust mites and bed bugs.
Hypoallergenic Mattresses at Bensons for Beds
Choosing a mattress for the youngest member of the family can be challenging. Here at Bensons for Beds we have all the expertise and knowledge to help you make a confident decision when investing in an all new bed.
From finding the ideal comfort level for you using smartsleeppro technology to setting updelivery that suits your schedule and organising interest-free credit where it’s needed, we make shopping for a new bed simple.
Drop into your nearest showroom or call us on 0808 144 6160 to place an order or to find out more.