About Allergies and Down Duvets

The last place where you want to worry about an allergic reaction is in bed, when you are wrapped up tightly in your down duvet. If you suffer from an allergy, then you know just how important it is to avoid your allergens.

Dust Mite Allergy

Many people believe they are allergic to down. The truth however is that down allergy is very rare. Dust mite allergy on the other hand, is much more common. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that make home in mattresses, duvets, and carpets- thriving in temperatures around 25°C. Their diet makes your bed an ideal environment.

Girl under a down duvet

Are You Allergic?

In the UK, around a quarter of the population suffers from some kind of allergy. A large percentage of these individuals do not realise they have an allergy. Symptoms can be similar to a cold or sinusitis. If you often have a runny nose, have a tendency to sneeze, or frequently find yourself with red or watery eyes in the mornings (especially in the winter), then there is a chance you have a dust mite allergy.

If you suspect an allergy, your doctor can provide you with a skin or blood test to check. Do not put-off visiting your doctor as symptoms such as blocked nose, coughing, asthma or bronchitis can worsen.

Can I still have a down duvet if I am allergic to dust mites?

The short answer is yes but you need to take some precautions. First, a lot of people who are allergic to dust mites think they are allergic to down. However, down allergy is actually quite rare. Therefore if you are unsure of what is triggering your allergy it is best to get a medical opinion first.

Second, if you are indeed allergic to dust mites it is important to pick a duvet that is built with the objective of protecting you against them. In this regard it is important to choose a duvet with fine ticking, meaning the fabric that encloses the down should be tightly woven. Designed to be tight enough to keep in the finest down, ticking with high Ne provides good protection against allergies.

The NOMITE Mark

The NOMITE Mark is an anti-allergen standard that indicates that a product is suitable for house dust mite allergy sufferers.

Nomite logo

If you value the guarantee of a quality assurance mark, choose a Dickenbergh, Kauffmann, Otto Keller, Bielefelder Verse, Dauny or Robert Arthur Stoll duvet. These brands are NOMITE certified.

Explore our full range of NOMITE certified, anti-allergy down duvets.

What else can be done to minimise the presence of dust mites in your home?

Hygiene factors

  • - Put a tight cover over your mattress, preferably an anti-allergy mattress topper
  • - Air your room and duvets regularly
  • - Wash your bedding at a minimum of 60°C
  • - Wash stuffed animals at 60°C (or put them in the freezer for two days)
  • - Dust and vacuum regularly
  • - Buy a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
  • - Use a wet cloth for cleaning smooth surfaces
  • - Change your bedding weekly

Environmental factors

  • - Keep the temperature in the house (especially the bedroom) below 22°C
  • - Limit cuddly toys in the bedrooms
  • - Remove plants from the bedrooms (dust mites feed on fungal spores)
  • - Keep your entire house well-aired
  • - Keep the kitchen ventilator running for an extra half hour after cooking
Vacuuming is especially good against dust mites

Ask Your Doctor

In order to treat allergies, we first need to understand them better. People with an allergy produce higher than average amounts of immunoglobulin and mast cells. These two come into contact with one another, causing the mast cells to breakdown and produce histamine. Histamine causes allergic reactions, such as itching.

Your doctor can suggest whether there is a medical solution to fighting your symptoms, such as immunotherapy. Immunotherapy involves intentional exposure to an allergen in order to build up immunity to it. This process can take several years.

More common medicines prescribed to fight allergy symptoms include corticosteroids, nasal decongestants, or antihistamines. Corticosteroids, or more commonly known as anti-inflammatories, are used to suppress the defence mechanisms of the body. Nasal decongestants are medications that work to alleviate a blocked nose. They suppress the swelling of the mucous membrane that lines the nose. However, they can have the opposite effect after a time and so are not often prescribed for long-term usage. Your doctor will advise you specifically. Antihistamines block the histamine that causes irritation.

We don't want your duvet to make matters worse. Please inform us about any severe allergies and ask us if you need advice on anti-allergy down duvets or pillows.

Down Duvet Buyer's Guide

Choose your duvet in 4 simple steps

  1. Duvet size: Which duvet size do I need?
  2. Tog: Choose the right tog
  3. Fill power: What is Fill Power?
  4. Ticking: Good down belongs in a good ticking

Compare all down duvets by duvet price, size, season, brand, fill power, ticking and down.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask us!
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