The best mattress covers for allergies are usually made from a tightly woven fabric of either polyester microfiber, cotton, or a blend of the two. Others are made from a plastic material which does not breathe as well as fabric ones and may lead to uncomfortable sleeping due to noise and heat retention, but they do provide an ease of cleaning that cannot be provided by fabric. Some plastic covers will come with a nylon exterior to make them more comfortable. Polyester mattress covers have the benefit of having the smallest fabric weave since polyester fibers are stronger than cotton, and therefore do not break as easily.
A tight weave, or pore size, means that pollens, spores, dust mite feces, pet dander, and skin cells will not get through and collect on and in the mattress, something that triggers allergy and asthma symptoms. Asthma is a serious health problem, sending over 200,000 people to the hospital every year in the U.S. Pore size is often measured in microns. The best mattress covers for allergies will have a pore size of 8 microns or less. A micron is a millionth of a meter, or about .00004 inches. As an example, a human hair is about 75 microns wide.
The goal of any mattress cover is to prevent dust mites and mold and mildew spores from collecting in the mattress, triggering allergy symptoms, so the best mattress covers for allergies should completely cover both the mattress and box spring. Separate pillow covers can also be used for extra protection. By buying covers at the same time as new mattresses and pillows, they can provide allergy protection from mites and spores from the very beginning. Comforter covers, also called duvets, can be purchased that provide an additional level of allergy protection.
The best mattress covers for allergies also provide moisture repellency, as well as durability for years of use. Pre-shrunk fabrics make for better fits, thus going on the mattress easier and staying on better. Zippers on the sides will help make sure the covers stay put. To be sure nothing gets in past the zippers, tape can be used to seal the area. Fitted mattress covers are also available, but because they do not completely encase the mattress they also do not provide the same amount of allergen protection as do those that completely surround the mattress.
When shopping, look for mattress and pillow covers that have labels explaining that the manufacturer has complied with anti-allergen standards. The covers should also be big enough to cover any mattress pads on the mattress as well, so pads like the classic egg carton types will not also collect any allergens.
Bedding will still need to be washed frequently in hot water to be sure to kill and clean any allergens that collect in them.
The best mattress covers for allergies can be found at mattress stores, bedding specialty shops, and on major internet retail sites. By doing some research before going shopping, buyers can be sure to get the right mattress covers for their needs, and relieve allergy symptoms right away.