A hypoallergenic mattress is a specially designed mattress which is supposed to prevent allergies. Usually this type of mattress is tightly sealed to prevent dead skin and body oils from penetrating the mattress and attracting dust mites, along with other microscopic organisms that can cause allergic reactions. A less costly alternative to a hypoallergenic mattress is a mattress wrap, which seals the mattress in a layer of protective material.
A hypoallergenic mattress works just like a regular mattress, using a series of materials to create a comfortable sleeping surface. Many hospitals use basic hypoallergenic mattresses to keep their patients healthy. These mattresses may have filling identical to an ordinary mattress, but a thick layer of plastic, latex, or vinyl on the outside prevents materials outside the mattress from seeping in. More expensive mattresses are fully hypoallergenic, using neutral materials which will not aggravate allergies.
Animal products such as down and hair are avoided in a hypoallergenic mattress, and some mattress companies also specialize in organic materials to minimize reactions to chemical compounds. Fibers such as cotton, flax, and linen are often used for the outside of the mattress as they are usually allergy neutral and soft to the touch. Artificial fibers derived from polymers are used to fill the mattress, because they do not attract microorganisms and they will remain clean for the life of the mattress. Many companies also specialize in deluxe hypoallergenic mattresses with comfort of the sleeper in mind, and include lines of hypoallergenic mattress pads and pillows in addition to their mattresses.
Individuals with allergy concerns should not ignore the role of their bedding. In addition to the mattress, pillows can also harbor dust mites. Furthermore, many comforters use down or other fibers that can aggravate allergies and attract organisms such as dust mites. Many companies manufacture hypoallergenic bedding that is soft, comfortable, and easy to care for. Comforters filled with allergy neutral batting combined with hypoallergenic sheets could make a big difference.
For people who suffer from severe allergies, a clean mattress can reduce symptoms, especially if the bedding is changed regularly and properly cared for. People who have difficulty sleeping or experience breathing problems in bed should consult a medical professional to make sure that these are not symptoms of a larger problem. If medical evaluation suggests allergies, the situation could be greatly improved with the use of products such as a hypoallergenic mattress designed with allergy sufferers in mind.