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Silk bedsheets, pillow case anyone tried these for allergies-Dust mite Rhinitis

(9 Posts)
mumznet Sun 01-Feb-15 19:54:13

Ds has rhiniits (nose inflammation) all year round. I have heard about silk bed sheets and also silk filled bedding.
They are quite expensive so I wanted to know if I should buy them or if they dont make a huge difference.
I wash his bedding weekly at 60 degrees and tumble dry and he has a microfibre duvet. The sheets he uses are ordinanry cotton/polyester mix. The bedding has antidust mite covers from approved company.
Anyone tried silk?
Cheers xxx

tjn3788 Mon 02-Feb-15 13:17:43

Hi. I suffer with dustmite allergies quite badly (rhinitis; swollen watering eyes; eczema) and have done since I was a child - its a family thing (both my siblings and both my children also have it). I've only heard of silk sheets etc helping when the allergy also causes eczema as the silk is gentler on the skin. Personally I think if you're already using antidustmite covers on mattress, pillow duvet etc then silk bedding won't help any more. These are the things we do (some of which you mention):

1. Antidustmite pillows and duvets, mattress protectors, pillow and duvet
covers (we all always suffer when we go on holiday/stay anywhere else!)

2. 60 degree wash with NON BIOLOGICAL LIQUID - biological liquids, and wash powders that are biological or nonbiological, all irritate our allergies. It is the heat that kills the dustmites not the biological bit.

3. Hoover mattress at least once a month (I do weekly in summer cos of pollen being a problem too)

4. Hoover curtains at least once a month (or you could also wash them but I'm not a big curtain washer...)

5. DON'T 'make the bed' - leave the duvet folded back (this was a tip we were given that I've always done, but my brother never did, and when he started, noticed a big difference). I can't remember why now as have been doing it so long, but something to do with dark and warmth under duvet attracting dustmites I think...

6. If possible don't have carpets, but use rugs that can be washed. In our cold house this isn't possible in every room, so we ensure the carpets are steam cleaned every three months (we hire carpet cleaner from DIY store or supermarket)

7. Absolutely no teddies/soft toys etc in bed at any time :-( (seems mean but our children are just used to it). Make sure soft toys that are bought are washable and wash them regularly. If they aren't washable, put them in food bag and freeze then overnight regularly!

8. Never ever dust! (Hooray!). Unfortunately you have to 'wet' dust instead (Boo!). We 'dust' using either damp cloths or we use those disposable polishing cloths /cleaning cloths.

9. Always consider other allergens - although we have dustmite allergy diagnosis, some things definitely act as 'triggers' even though they aren't tested. Good examples for me and the children are plug-in air fresheners, and ones that 'squirt' air freshener automatically in the house, and even some of the air fresheners you hang up in cars. Feathers in pillows around the house etc are also a big no-no in our experience.

10. At home we generally manage well with these precautions, but when we stay elsewhere we use Vaseline around the bottom of our noses (or even sudocream when we've forgotten the Vaseline) which acts to soothe nose and also as a barrier for dust to get trapped on. It does seem to help to a degree (and certainly doesn't do any harm....).

11. Obviously depending on age of your child, but when I have a flare up I find putting my head over bowl of hot water with couple of drops of lavender oil, and inhaling steam through nose really soothing. My daughter (9 years) enjoys this too now, but when she was younger, and with my son, I just put a couple of drops of lavender oil in their bath (mix in well with water or a carrier oil - musn't go directly on skin). Its very soothing on the nose. (Also helps them sleep with a couple of drops on their pillow). Also, just in case you may be using Olbas oil to ease breathing because of blocked nose stopping sleep - usually my children like this if they have a cold, but not when inflamed nose is allergy related - they say it 'stings' though I'm not sure why it reacts differently......

Sorry if all this seems obvious/is what you're already doing. I realise question was just about silk sheets but think there are lots of things to try first before expense of silk sheets that may not work. There's also a website - allergyuk - that I have found useful (though not looked at it for probably couple of years now). I have just looked it up, and on the 'contact us' section you could phone or email them to ask if there is any evidence to suggest silk sheets would help? They're very up-to-date with research etc...

12. - Just thought of another one (we do all this so automatically I keep forgetting things) - my husband hoovers when I and children are out of house whenever possible, and never while we're in same room. Ideally hoover and clean bedrooms in morning so everything has 'settled' before going to bed.

Hope this helps!

mumznet Mon 02-Feb-15 13:40:37

Really nice tips tjn3788
I agree with you on the silk sheets.

Do you also wash the duvets and pillows? if yes, how often?

I ave recently purchased a tumble drier that also helps with killing the dust mites and no more wet laundry smile

I've put roller blinds in Ds room. Ds is 13. His dad has the same problem.

Recently started him on black seed oil (nigella seed oil capsules) some studies showed it helps with rhinitis. Because of all the changes I made to his bedding and floor in bedroom he doesn't need antihistamine or his nose spray. Nose spray wasn't helping anyway,

But I have still noticed 1-2 'snotty' tissues in his bin but the number of times he has to blow his nose has been greatly reduced. Also at school he doesn't blow it anymore. Do you think the snotty tissue will get better, its only been a month since I sorted his bedding out.

Cheers x

mumznet Mon 02-Feb-15 13:43:18

I have never vacuumed his mattress, should I get a handheld one for that like dyson mattress?
I have a dyson one but no mattress attachment or is the ordinary head fine, for upholstery?

mumznet Mon 02-Feb-15 13:47:15

Yeah I know why you don't make the bed, its because the moisture from our sweat all gets trapped under it and that is exactly what dust mites need to survive. when you air the bed it allows the sweat to dry.

I also open windows and make sure humidity inside is never over 50, i have a humidity gauge in the corridor. open all windows in the morning once kid has gone to school.

tjn3788 Tue 03-Feb-15 20:53:11

I just use the nozzle attachment on our hoover to hoover the mattress (seems stronger than when I use the upholstery attachment) and I think it just helps when changing sheets etc. I wash duvets and pillows six monthly - but the pillows tend not to last really so usually get replaced in January sales or at TKMax ;-) about once a year. I think this is a habit I've just picked up from my mum though as in theory if the pillows and duvet are encased in dustmite proof covers all the time they shouldn't need this (whereas the bottom of mattresses is usually exposed..) - though have never checked advice about this tbh.

I'd give it a while with snotty tissues to see if it eases - not least because it's winter so may be to do with that. I think nose spray helps me temporarily if nose feels blocked, but doesn't help itching/soreness or get rid of problem. Also, bedroom is important but unfortunately it's the whole house that's a problem - is there anywhere else in the house (living room etc) that he spends a lot of time/close proximity to soft furnishings etc that may need addressing?

I was also thinking last night if you've had a diagnosis for dustmite allergy? If not, it may be worth asking for tests as there may be other triggers you aren't aware of? Also - and this is probably very obvious - but any pets? People always think of cats/dogs, but actually for us its hamsters/guinea pigs/rabbits that are a problem because of their bedding.

If the roller blinds in his room are material I'd hoover those! (Also light shade?). If vinyl/plastic/wood I'd wet 'dust' them.

Over the years I've tried so many different remedies (as have my siblings) and none of us have found anything that's made any significant difference tbh. We have often thought something was helping, but then realised that overall it hasnt really - just us being optimistic! But I'd really like to know if the Nigella seed oil does help as haven't tried that one. I and my daughter have to take anti-histamines when we're going to stay anywhere which she hates (I'm used to it) but a more natural alternative would be great!

Other thing that occurred to me is about your son's clothing. I wonder if it's worth washing and tumble drying all his clothes and keeping the clean ones separate from the ones that you haven't done yet to stop any mites transferring in wardrobe/drawers. The backs/bottoms of wardrobes (inside) and drawers (inside, usually back corners) are real dust gatherers that because they are inside people often don't think about. It may be worth taking everything out, wet dusting, and replacing washed and dried clothes. I wet dust our children's wardrobes and drawers each month (when I do mattresses/curtains) to keep on top of it - I just take everything out, wipe round and put things back in - but if it's the first time you've done it, it may be worth cleaning all the clothes too. Big job initially though...I'm not so stringent with my own wardrobe/drawers I must admit, but still do this a few times a year - and I do start to react to the dust when it needs doing!

I'll watch the thread to see if you update in a while about whether things ease for your son, and whether the nigella works!

mumznet Tue 03-Feb-15 22:21:05


Thanks lovely nice tips in your messages. It helps to talk to other people because even though his father has this problem, I haven't known much about this condition untill I saw the ENT specialist.

Yes, he had a skin prick test, to pollen, slightly to grass/birch, nuts, dust mites.

I will write to you about the nigella results or please remind me if I forget, its been about two weeks and I am trying to find out from a herbal doctor if it ok to consume long term, I haven't read about any side effects. It will take about a month to see effects fully.

The seeds can also be crushed but it does taste a bit strong. I brought capsules for my son, he found it hard to swallow, so he chews them and the oil bursts out then he drinks some water.

I have the full mattress encasements (pristine) which also have to be washed every six weeks.

I think I might just use the tumble dryer to finish off the clothes like 10-20 minutes after hanging outside to help with energy bills. Is that something you do as well?

Glad to know I can just use the nozzle on the hoover, I am getting into routine now and keeping weekends to do all these things. its nice to see things clean though.

Take care x

mumznet Tue 03-Feb-15 22:24:24

its a little difficult with my DS but you can also use topical application of nigella oil (put nose drops about six in each nostril-- it has been effective in some studies)

mumznet Tue 03-Feb-15 22:31:52

Also his father lived in a warmer climate so the allergy was controlled there. For some people who can, one option might be moving to a warmer place with less humidity.

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