Down Duvets and Allergies

An allergy is a negative reaction of the immune system and occurs when it comes into contact with an unrecognised substance (an allergen) through the skin, the bronchial or the digestive tract.

An allergen can be airborne (e.g. pollen), or it could be something in your food (such as a certain protein). Any contact with the allergen will bring about a negative physical (allergic) reaction in the individual concerned and therefore should be avoided. Of course you do not want to sleep under a duvet that aggravates any allergies you have. Please ask us if you would like advice on hypo-allergenic products.

Duvets and allergy

Dust Mite Allergy

One of the most common allergies is sensitivity to dust mites. The dust mite is a microscopic creature, only 0.2 mm in size. Dust mites can be found in domestic settings in soft furnishings such as mattresses, duvets, pillows and carpets. The mite is capable of living in various temperatures but 25 [degrees Celsius] is ideal. Mites feed on human skin flakes which you naturally lose. Your bed is therefore an ideal environment for this mite. Dust mite allergy is an inhalation allergy, meaning that the allergens enter the body via the bronchial tract.

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 in the mornings (especially in the winter), have a tendency to sneezing or having red, watery eyes then there is a good 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 increase.

Dust Mites and Down

A lot of people who are allergic to dust mites think they are allergic to down. In fact a down allergy is rare. It is however important to choose a duvet with fine ticking. The feather and down tight tickings we provide offer good protection against allergy.

How to Keep Dust Mites to a Minimum?

There are a few ways to minimise the presence of dust mites in your home.

Hygiene factors
- Put a tight cover on your mattress
- Air your room and duvets regularly
- Wash your bedding at a minimum of 60 degrees
- Wash cuddly toys at 60 degrees (or put them in the freezer for two days)
- Dust and vacuum regularly
- Consider buying a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
- Use a wet cloth for cleaning smooth surfaces
- Change your bedding weekly

Vacuuming is especially good against dust mites

Environmental factors
- Keep the temperature in the house and especially the bedroom below 22 degrees
- Minimize cuddly toys and furnishing in the bedrooms
- No plants in 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


For consumers, the NOMITE quality assurance mark is a guarantee that the product is hypo-allergenic. Check the NOMITE website for more information about dust allergy.

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

Ask Your Doctor

In order to diminish allergies, we first need to understand it 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 for fighting your symptoms such as immunotherapy. Immunotherapy involves purposely receiving the allergen in order to build up immunity to it and can take several years.

More common medicines prescribed to fight allergy symptoms include corticosteroids, nasal decongestants or anti-histamines.

- Anti histamines block the histamine that causes irritation.

- Corticosteroids or (more commonly) anti-inflammatories are used to suppress the defense mechanisms of the body.

- Nasal decongestants are medications that work against 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.

Down Duvet Buyers 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. Duvet fabric: Good down belongs in a good fabric

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

Do you have any questions? Let us know!
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