All you need to know about the house dust mite
For the Curious

Fabric that blocks house dust mites (HDM)

To search for anti allergy fabric that will act to block house dust mites (HDM) from finding a home follow the description set by a clinical study. The description is also for DIY fabric covers for cushions, duvet covers, or pillow cases, etc.

House dust mites (HDM) are small enough to sit on the tip of a pin, yet dangerous enough to cause allergic asthma, rhinitis and dermatitis

The House Dust Mite

Photograph by the late Dr Harry Morrow Brown and gifted to housedustmite.com

`Exposure to allergy causing house dust mites, also called HDM, is a major health problem worldwide. To stop mites from infesting household items such as pillows, duvets, or cushions the highest quality of anti-mite fabric is required. This fabric was clinically identified as being:

  • tightly woven
  • thread count greater than 246 per square inch
  • pore size of between 2-10m (microns)
  • allergen impenetrability >99%
  • resistance to live mite penetration
  • dust leakage of <4%
  • air permeability between 2 and 6 cubic centimetres per second, per square centimetre, also described as 'breathability'

Please note: Tightly woven fabrics are derived from twisted cotton or synthetic fibres perpendicular to each other and having either a regular, systematised bi-or tri-axial weaving pattern. To block dust mites from entering a fabric a thread count greater than 246 per square inch is advised. A pore size of 6 is recommend as satisfactory for 'breathability'. Patients with allergic dermatitis need to be aware that some anti-mite fabric may feel uncomfortably 'hot'. An extra layer of a washable cotton quilted cover over the mattress may help keep the sleeper comfortable while absorbing perspiration. Cotton quilted mattress covers must be hot washed, or washed normally then dried in a hot tumble dryer every two weeks. This will prevent any travelling mites from finding a home.

Example of tightly woven fabric

Thread count greater than 246 per square inch with a pore size of 6 microns is recommended


References

Anti-mite Covers: Potential Criteria for Materials Used Against Dust Mites. Vanna Mahakittikun , John Joseph Boitano Chulaluk Komoltri, Prapakorn Ninsanit, Teerapong Wangapai 'Textile Research Journal', 2009, 79: 436,443