Collection: How to get rid of dust mites in a mattress

Practical tips and best rated products that will help you get rid of dust mites in your mattress.

Do you suspect you are sharing your bed with dust mites?

Are dust mites in all mattresses?

Dust mites are extremely common, particularly in mattresses, due to the ideal conditions they provide: warmth, moisture, and a constant supply of food from human skin cells.

Studies, such as those reported on PubMed, have shown varying levels of dust mite presence in different types of mattresses, with foam mattresses being more susceptible than spring mattresses​​.

Although it's challenging to completely eliminate dust mites from mattresses, especially in humid conditions, measures like regular cleaning, using allergen-proof mattress covers, and controlling indoor humidity can help in reducing their numbers.

How do I know if there are dust mites in my mattress

Dust mites are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye, so you won't be able to see them without a microscope. However, there are several indicators to confirm their presence:

  1. Allergy Symptoms: One of the most telling signs of dust mite presence is allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to dust mite allergens. These reactions can include sneezing, runny or itchy nose, red or itchy eyes, and asthma symptoms like wheezing or difficulty breathing. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) notes that these symptoms are particularly telling if they worsen while in bed or right after waking up.
  2. Environmental Conditions: Dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), dust mites prefer temperatures of 20 - 25 C and humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent. If your bedroom conditions align with this, it’s more likely that dust mites are present.
  3. Mattress Age and Type: Older mattresses are more likely to house dust mites due to the accumulation of dust over time.
  4. Household Dust: Regular household dust can also be a sign, as it often contains dead skin cells, which are the primary food source for dust mites.

To confirm the presence of dust mites, consider a combination of these signs and factors. If you suspect a dust mite infestation, taking steps to reduce their numbers and limit exposure to allergens, such as using allergen-proof mattress covers and maintaining a low-humidity environment, will help. Check out our tips to reduce dust mites in all rooms in your house.

Do dust mites bite?

Dust mites do not bite humans. House mites feed primarily on dead skin cells and do not need to bite humans or animals for sustenance. Unlike some other mites or insects that bite, dust mites are primarily a concern because of the allergens they produce, which can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.

Better Health Victoria explains that the primary issue with dust mites is their role in allergic reactions, not skin irritation from bites. The allergens from dust mites come from their body fragments and fecal matter, not from bites.

Therefore, if you are experiencing bites or skin irritation, it's more likely to be caused by other insects such as bed bugs or fleas, rather than dust mites.

Dust mites in mattresses - facts

  1. Ideal Habitat: Mattresses offer an ideal habitat for dust mites because they provide warmth, humidity, and an abundant supply of food in the form of human skin flakes.
  2. Invisible to the Naked Eye: Dust mites are microscopic and cannot be seen without magnification. A single dust mite is about a quarter to a third of a millimeter long.
  3. Allergen Production: Dust mites produce allergens from their fecal matter and body fragments. These allergens can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in sensitive individuals.
  4. Prevalence: Most homes have dust mites, and it's estimated that a significant portion of mattresses harbor these mites. The actual presence and number can vary based on factors like humidity, temperature, and cleanliness.
  5. Temperature and Humidity Preference: Dust mites thrive in temperatures of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit) and prefer humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent.
  6. Mattress Type Matters: Studies have shown that the type of mattress can affect dust mite populations. Foam mattresses, especially older ones, are more likely to have higher concentrations of dust mites compared to spring mattresses​​.
  7. Allergy Symptom Trigger: People allergic to dust mites may experience symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and asthma when exposed to mite allergens, especially in the bedroom environment.
  8. Control Measures: To reduce dust mite populations, it's recommended to use allergen-proof mattress covers, wash bedding in hot water regularly, maintain low indoor humidity, and vacuum the mattress and bedroom regularly.
  9. Not Parasitic: Unlike some other mites, dust mites do not bite or live on humans; they feed on dead skin cells.
  10. Lifespan and Reproduction: Dust mites have a relatively short lifespan (around a month) but can reproduce quickly in suitable conditions, leading to rapid population growth in mattresses.

1. Strip the bed

Remove all bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and mattress covers. These should be laundered in hot water (at least 60°C or 130°F) to kill dust mites.

How to get rid of dust mites in a mattress - Step by step guide and effective products - Dust Mite Allergy Solutions Australia


Cleaning products to get rid of dust mites Dust mites, microscopic creatures thriving... 

2. Vacuum the mattress

Use a vacuum cleaner designed to vacuum dust mites in mattress. Pay extra attention to seams and crevices where dust mites tend to accumulate.

100% Cotton Dust Mite Mattress Protector

Dust Mite Vacuums

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3. Steam clean to kill dust mites

If possible, use a steam cleaner on the mattress, cushions and curtains in the room, all of these can harbour dust mites. The high temperature of the steam can kill dust mites and remove allergens more effectively.

Saphira C8 Dry Steam Cleaner I Dust Mite Allergy Solutions Australia

Dust Mite Steamers

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4. Use dust mite spray

Apply an allergen neutralising dust mite spray. Follow the instructions carefully for safe and effective use.

If weather permits, place the mattress outside in direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can help kill dust mites.

Dust Mite Spray for Carpet and Mattress

Dust Mite Spray

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5. Use dust mite protectors

Once the mattress is dry, encase it in a quality dust mite protector. These covers are made with tightly woven fabric that prevents dust mites from entering or exiting.

100% Cotton Dust Mite Mattress Protector

Dust Mite Protectors & Encasements

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6. Maintain low humidity

Dust mites thrive in high humidity. Keep indoor humidity below 50% by using a dehumidifier or air conditioner.

How to get rid of dust mites in a mattress - Step by step guide and effective products - Dust Mite Allergy Solutions Australia

Dehumidifiers for Allergies

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7. Consider an air purifier

Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your bedroom can help capture airborne dust mite particles.

Air Purifiers for Allergies

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8. Declutter and remove soft furnishings

Decluttering your bedroom and minimizing soft furnishings can be a game-changer in the fight against dust mites, creating a cleaner, more streamlined space and significantly reducing the habitats where these allergens thrive.

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