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Home Care

Are Your Pillows Making You Sick?

Do you often wake up with itchy eyes and a runny nose? Your favorite fluffy must-have might be the culprit.

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Photography: Pexels

All of us look forward to a good night’s sleep. Aside from investing in a quality mattress, we make sure the pillows are up to par, too. These cuddle must-haves make the bed more inviting and to be honest, a bedroom won’t be complete without three or more pillows. Since we hug and rest on them, it’s quite inevitable to have dirty pillows and pillow covers after a week. Is it enough to wash these to keep the bedroom clean?


In an article posted by SheKnows, Dr. Deeba Masood, an allergist at Northwestern Medical Group, shared that pillows frequently harbor dust mites and that these unwanted guests cause allergies, asthma, and even skin problems. Can you imagine sharing your favorite pillow with thousands of dust mites? Dr. Masood’s statement was affirmed by Dr. Neeta Ogden in the same story. According to Dr. Ogden, an adult and pediatric allergist and immunologist, dust mites and pollen can be found inside and on top pillows as "dust mites typically burrow in mattresses and pillows because they feed off our skin cells,” she explains. Keep in mind that dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments as well.


If you don’t wash your sheets and pillows regularly, you might end up with a pillow full of bugs and mites. Save yourself from sleepless nights and unbearable allergy attacks with these must-read tips:

  • Wash your sheets, blankets, and covers weekly in hot water (130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill the mites.
  • Tumble dry the linens in a hot dryer at 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Make sure your sheets, linens, and pillow covers are completely dry before using them again.
  • Opt for dust mite-proof pillow covers. Visit Gourdo’s for options.
  • You can also vacuum your mattress using a vacuum with HEPA filter to get rid of dust mites.
  • Replace your bedding and pillow covers weekly.
  • Clean your bedroom regularly. Discard items you no longer need and dust the surfaces.
  • Do you have mix of cotton, down, and foam pillows at home? Click here for a step-by-step guide on how you can wash each type properly.

READ: How-To: Cleaning Pillows

Sources: SheKnows | Apartment Therapy | The Spruce

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