How to allergy-proof your bedroom

Keep your sleeping area clean and clutter-free to help reduce allergies, advises Oliver Heath.

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Question: 'I want to create a tranquil summer bedroom for my husband and I, but we're both allergy sufferers. How do we make a cool, healthy room?'

Sustainable design expert, Oliver Heath, says: A 2011 survey suggested that at least 12 million Britons suffer from allergies, three-quarters caused by exposure to allergens such as dust mites, chemicals, pets, pollen and mould. Worse still, 59 per cent of those surveyed suggested that symptoms were worse in the bedroom. However, there is much you can do to alleviate these issues.

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One of the primary causes of allergies is dust and, to be more precise, the faeces of dust mites – rather unpleasant really! First of all, you need to reduce the number of places that dust can be trapped, so get rid of clutter, unnecessary shelves and items stored under your bed. Use solid floor surfaces such as timber without rugs and vacuum them regularly. When cleaning surfaces choose natural fluids.

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Fabrics are a source of trapped dust, so use a protective allergy cover on pillows, duvets and mattresses, and wash them at least once a week at 60 degrees centigrade to remove dust mites. Instead of large fabric drapes, opt for shutters or washable cotton curtains and blackout blinds – they'll also help you get a good night's sleep.

If your bedroom gets hot at night, don't open the window – instead use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) fan to clean and move air around the room. Lastly, if your allergies are pollen related remove the clothes and shoes you've been wearing outside before entering the bedroom, and bathe or shower before you go to bed.

From: House Beautiful magazine

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