Allergy season is almost here. And if you can feel a sneeze coming on just thinking about it, then you might be the perfect candidate for certain sleep products, like a hypoallergenic mattress. I define hypoallergenic mattresses as those that are either constructed with materials resistant to bacteria and other microbes, or made with all organic materials, meaning they’re free of harmful chemicals that can irritate your allergies.
Depending on what materials they’re made from, a lot of mattresses out there can be prone to collecting household allergens, which can have a pretty profound impact on your sleep. And while I’m going to focus on mattresses here, it should be noted that the same can be said about pillows.
For my patients suffering from allergies, I highly recommend a latex mattress. Latex is a rubber material that’s naturally resistant to the build-up of things like pet dander, dust mites, mold, or household fragrances. While most rubber latex mattresses use all-natural latex from trees, you’re bound to come across some models that use synthetic or blended latex. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but it boils down to A) what you’re looking for in your mattress, and B) what specific allergens you’re trying to avoid. I’m launching my Spring Into Better series, and I’ve compiled a list of mattresses and products my patients have tried and found to be helpful in the ongoing struggle against allergy season.
P.S. My daughter has some serious allergy issues, and we are always hunting for better products to help her sleep! So this one hits close to home for me and many parents.
The Nectar mattress is an all-foam model known for its amazing pressure relief and responsiveness. But a not-so-well-known fact is that all Nectar mattresses use a eucalyptus-based cover and vegetable-based foam. This means the Nectar is an eco-friendly mattress that also keeps out nasty allergens.
Nectar mattresses are also CertiPUR-US® certified, meaning they’re tested to see how they will hold up over time while minimizing their carbon footprint while in the manufacturing stages. So you can rest assured that your Nectar is made without mercury, lead, heavy metals, and formaldehyde—a truly solid hypoallergenic sleep product.
Aside from the pressure-relieving properties you’ll get with the Zenhaven mattress, it boasts some impressive features that make it a great choice of allergy sufferers. It’s an all-natural latex mattress—composed of three layers total—wrapped in an organic cotton cover that promotes cooling and comfort. If you’re a side or back sleeper, I say move the Zenhaven mattress to the top of your list of hypoallergenic sleep products. This hypoallergenic mattress is dual-sided, with a luxury plush side for side sleepers and a gentle-firm option for back sleepers.
I want to put mattresses on the back burner for a second to talk about another important hypoallergenic sleep product: sheets. Like pillows, they’re just as important as mattresses are in helping to minimize allergens. After all, what good is a hypoallergenic mattress if your pillow and sheets are collecting all the things that give you the sniffles? That’s where EverSheets comes into the picture. These are a recent find of mine, and I didn’t waste any time in recommending them to my patients upon learning about them. These sheets are available in all sizes and are made from 100% bamboo, meaning they’re hypoallergenic and antibacterial. They’re also OEKO-TEX® certified, which means that this organization tests fabrics to make sure you won’t be exposed or have any skin contact with harmful chemicals. And from what some patients have told me, they’re comfortable to boot.
I think we often forget the importance of pillows, not just to keep your head and neck elevated, but making sure the air quality around your face stays clean. Since your pillow can absorb dead skin cells and germs around your face (consider this your reminder to wash your pillows) it’s key to find a hypoallergenic pillow to keep your air quality at its best. EverPillow is one of the most distinctive pillows you can find, allowing you to customize it just the way you like. First, choose your shape based on your sleep position before moving on to the hypoallergenic, customizable filling–you’ll have the option of latex, silk, plant-based fillings, or a combination of all of them. It’s one of my all time favorite sleep accessories!
The Purple mattress is pretty distinct for its purple-colored soft grid—and that same grid is used in the Purple Pillow. Both CertiPUR-US® and Interk Clean Air Gold certified this pillow does such a great job maintaining clean air quality. The pillow is non-toxic and hypoallergenic, keeping allergens out while softly bolstering your head and neck. Hypoallergenic sleep products that keep you comfortable and allergy-free is a win-win in my book!
WinkBeds Mattress Protector
For my patients currently not on the market for a new mattress but still want to stop seasonal allergies from interfering with their sleep, I recommend the BreatheCool Mattress Protector from WinkBeds. Available in twin-size all the way up to California king, this protector is 100% waterproof and completely hypoallergenic. It keeps your bed clean and cool—while keeping the allergens away. If you’re on a budget or you’re happy with the way your mattress sleeps, then I say this is the way to go to help curb future allergy issues!
Alright, it’s time to get back to hypoallergenic mattresses to round out my list—with a latex hybrid mattress I recommend for back sleepers: the Avocado mattress. Constructed out of natural latex and containing over 1,000 recycled steel coils in its core, this is a firm mattress that helps your spine stay in alignment during the night, while also helping you minimize exposure to household allergens while you sleep. I’m impressed by the amount of lumbar support this mattress provides, and I’m willing to bet back sleepers will be too. Heads up: Avocado is currently facing a shortage of some of its materials, so if this is the bed you set your sight on, expect a shipping delay.
The Awara mattress is a hybrid mattress composed of organic latex foam and coils. While the coils provide support from top to bottom, the all-natural latex form works hard to fend off allergens. Specifically, it’s made of eco-friendly Dunlop Latex humanely sourced from New Zealand wool and soft cotton. I like this mattress for my patients who need allergy relief and back pain relief. It also packs in a support system that offers incredibly precise and targeted spinal support. With the Awara mattress, you won’t wake up sneezing because your mattress is making your allergies flare and emitting dust and bacteria around you. The Awara stays allergen-free while making sure your spine won’t twist and contort through the night. Instead, you can truly enjoy supportive, clean sleep with this hypoallergenic sleep product.
If you couldn’t already tell, I love customizable mattresses. No one person’s sleep needs are the same, and Luma is a mattress match made in heaven for customizing a hypoallergenic sleep experience. Latex is a material that does a great job at naturally absorbing heat and giving a more weightless feeling for sore joints (aka, pressure relief). Most of all, latex is very hypoallergenic, repelling all nasty allergens from setting up shop where you sleep. The mattress cover is made from Tencel, which is eucalyptus-based to help cool and, you guessed it, keep dust mites and other allergens out. And let’s say you want to change the firmness level of your Luma mattress down the line–no problem, just change out the latex layer with their Hybrid Slumber System to swap out for another Luma latex pillow top layer of your liking. Say that three times fast.
Don’t resign yourself to being miserable during allergy season. You have ways to put allergies in their place and keep allergens out of your bed. Try one of these hypoallergenic options. You may just be surprised how less often you sneeze.
Michael J. Breus, PhD, DABSM
The Sleep Doctor™