Is your mattress making you sick? - Institute for Respiratory Health

Is your mattress making you sick?

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 | News

A lung expert has warned that the condition of your mattress could have a bad impact on your breathing.

“Mattresses can harbour all sorts of bacteria and bed bugs, which can lead to breathing and health issues,” Professor Yuben Moodley from the Institute for Respiratory Health said.

“Dust mites are tiny insects that feed on flaking skin. Once a meal arrives, they start to feast on it, pooping out waste pellets that you later breathe in – this is what can make you sick.

“Allergies, asthma and bronchitis can all be triggered by their droppings. 100,000 to 10 million of them could be hanging out in your mattress,” Professor Moodley said.

“Another issue is mould, which grows in humid environments – sweat, stains and moisture can be contributing factors.”

Professor Moodley advises that it’s best to replace your mattress at least every eight to 10 years but realises this isn’t possible for most people and probably not the best solution for the environment if the bed is still in good condition.

“Mattress protectors can help you reduce dust mites, if you remove them and wash in hot water on a regular basis. This also applies to all bedding and pillows.

“You can also vacuum your mattress on a weekly basis, or get a professional carpet dry cleaner in to sanitise your mattress (but make sure no harmful chemicals are used, these can also be a trigger for breathing issues).

“Finally think about the moisture in your home. If high humidity is a problem, then you can use a dehumidifier. By eliminating the moisture, you can keep your mattress free of mould”.

Professor Moodley advises if you are experiencing breathing issues to consult your doctor.