Which Bad Bacteria and Bed Bugs Could Be in Your Bed?

Posted by Pam Johnson - Head of Buying on 26th Jan 2022

Which Bad Bacteria and Bed Bugs Could Be in Your Bed?

On average each month, there are over 12,000 internet searches for “bed bug infestation”, with people desperately looking for ways to rid their beds of these creepy crawlies. Most people in the UK are already aware of bed bugs, (or Cimex lectularius to give them their official title) and the itchy bite marks they leave as they snack on human blood.

However, if the thought of these bugs being in your bed makes you feel a little queasy, wait until you discover how many other unwelcome visitors are currently making themselves comfortable in your bed.

What kind of bacteria lurks in your bed?

After just one week, clean sheets can collect up to 5 million bacteria. If this is the potential number of bacteria in regularly cleaned sheets, then just how many bacteria are in your mattress?

You’ll undoubtedly be horrified to learn that in a seven-year old mattress, there can be over 16 million bacteria. What’s more, the older the mattress, the more types of bacteria it could be harbouring.

During a study conducted in America(1), the following types of bacteria were found to be present in mattresses:

  • Bacilli(2): a group of bacteria associated with tuberculosis
  • Gram positive rods(3): these bacteria are responsible for diseases such as anthrax, tuberculosis and diphtheria, in addition to newer diseases that are potentially harmful to immunocompromised people. Staphylococcus belongs to this group of bacteria, and can cause pus formation in the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Gram negative rods(4):these bacteria are associated with E Coli and salmonella
  • Gram positive cocci(5): this group of microorganisms is responsible for strep throat, and more worryingly, MRSA which are bacterial infections that are resistant to widely used antibiotics. These bacteria, however, are extremely rare.

Signs you might have a lot of bugs and bad bacteria in your bed

Since humans can shed up to 40,000 skin cells an hour(6), it’s hardly surprising that mattresses and bedding can accumulate so many bacteria. Add to this the bacteria you may take into your bed from day-to-day activities, and you’ll understand how your bed can become a breeding ground for all sorts of germs.

Some of the signs that your bed could be harbouring a lot of bacteria and bugs:

  • Itchy or irritated skin caused by dust mites(7)
  • Bite marks from bed bugs(8)
  • Allergic reactions to dust mites such as coughing and sneezing
  • Experiencing skin infections(9)
  • Asthma triggered by dust mites, funghi, and bacteria(10)

Can I banish bed bugs and bacteria from my bed?

If you’re feeling itchy just from reading this, you’ll be relieved to know that although you may not be able to completely eradicate bed bugs from your bed, there are steps you can take to prevent the accumulation of excessive bacteria in your bed:

Change from daywear to nightwear

Days spent lounging in pyjamas are all too tempting but doing this can also increase the presence of bacteria in your bed if you don’t change before getting some shut eye. Bacteria and bed bugs can be easily transferred from other areas of the home to your clothes and then into your bed. Therefore, it is essential to change into clean night clothes before going to bed.

Wash your pyjamas regularly

Ideally, a fresh set of pyjamas should be worn each night. Sweat and oil from your skin can provide the ideal breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria will not only exist on your pyjamas but can also be transferred onto your bed.

Take a shower before bed

Germs can be transferred very easily from your skin to surfaces such as your bed. Being as clean as possible before bed can help to stop the transference of potentially harmful bacteria into your bed. Exfoliating can also help to slough away dead skin which would otherwise make its way to your pillows and sheets, attracting dust mites.

Use a mattress protector

Mattress protectors are removable covers for your mattress which can help to minimise the presence of bacteria in your bed. By creating a barrier between your mattress and bed sheets, mattress protectors can help prevent bacteria already present in your mattress from making their way onto your body.

A mattress protector can also stop dead skin, oils, and dirt from coming into contact with your mattress, which can help to prolong its use. Furthermore, most protectors are machine washable, making it easy to keep them fresh and clean. We provide many different types of mattress protectors, including anti-allergy and waterproof mattress protectors. It’s always worth having at least two mattress protectors for each bed so that when one is being washed you still have a mattress protector to go on your bed.

Sleep Healthy Collection

Choose a mattress with antimicrobial technology to keep bacteria at bay

It makes sense to want a mattress that can help minimise the nasty side-effects caused by bacteria. This is why Bensons for Beds, in partnership with Silentnight, has developed an  exciting new range of mattresses with HeiQ Viroblock technology.

Silentnight is delighted to confirm that:

“The new high performance, eco-friendly range features exclusive HeiQ Viroblock technology – ensuring the mattress is protected against microbes, germs and bacteria, to create an all-round fresher sleep surface for you and your family.”

How do Sleep Healthy mattresses protect against bacteria in bed?

The Silentnight Sleep Healthy mattress range, available exclusively from Bensons for Beds, uses unique antimicrobial silver technology which prevents the growth of bacteria microorganisms on the surface of the mattress.

It is this unique HeiQ Viroblock technology that makes the mattress resistant to germs for the most hygienic sleep available.

The Sleep Healthy Collection comes with a 5-year Silentnight Guarantee for your peace of mind and has been Allergy UK approved(11).

How eco-friendly are these mattresses?

The Eco Comfort Fibres™ featured in this high-performance range of mattresses have been created using recycled plastic. Thanks to these fibres, the equivalent of over 450 million plastic bottles is prevented from entering the oceans each year. If you’re looking for a product that utilises recycled materials, the Sleep Healthy mattress range is ideal for you.

Are Sleep Healthy mattresses good for hot sleepers?

Thanks to its Eco Comfort Fibres™, the new line from the UK’s most trusted sleep brand is also perfect for those who get hot during the night.

Research shows that because of the eco comfort fibres, heat and humidity transfer through the fibres quickly, meaning that little heat or humidity is stored in the mattress.

Katherine Collins, Senior Brand Manager at Silentnight confirms that:

“With 75 years’ expertise, we know how important cleanliness is to our customers and are thrilled to introduce our new Sleep Healthy collection exclusively at Bensons for Beds.

“Whether you’re a front, back or side sleeper, the new range consists of five different mattresses and offers something for everyone.”

Furthermore, the Sleep Healthy mattresses are available in assorted comfort ratings, ranging from medium to extra firm, allowing you to choose the perfect mattress for your needs.

Want to know more?

If you’re keen to enjoy worry-free sleep on one of our Sleep Healthy mattresses, browse our collection and contact us on 0808 144 6160 to place an order.

Should you want to find out more about our mattresses, contact our friendly team today via your preferred method.













authors profile
Pam Johnson
Head of Buying
Pam has worked within Bensons for Beds for 16 years and has a great deal of experience in both developing and sourcing new product ranges. As Head of Buying specialising in mattresses, divans and headboards, Pam is dedicated to providing solutions that help customers to get a great night’s sleep.
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