RUGS FOR ALLERGY SUFFERS: IS THERE SUCH A THING?
Do you have an allergy to house dust mites and therefore largely refrain from using any rugs in your home at all? This does not have to be the case! In this article, you will learn which type of rug is suitable for allergy sufferers, and what you should bear in mind when cleaning a rug as an allergy sufferer.
About ten percent of the world's population suffer from a dust mite allergy. The dust mite contained in house dust is chiefly responsible for unpleasant allergic reactions. Mites are tiny, unrecognisable arachnids that are found in every home. In just one gram of house dust, for example, up to 4,000 mites can be present.
When mites secrete faeces, it breaks down into even smaller particles, which also mix with the house dust. If a person inhales this mixture, it can lead to allergic reactions such as itching, sneezing and respiratory distress in a hypersensitive immune system. To reduce the symptoms, allergy sufferers should ensure that they are in a mite-free and dust-free environment with the lowest possible amount of indoor air pollution.
The use of rugs is supposedly contrary to this concept of living, because rugs are commonly regarded as dust collectors. Therefore, at first glance, they appear to be unsuitable for allergy sufferers. In the past, people with hypersensitivity to house dust were even advised to do without rugs completely.
Today it has been proven by studies that such advice does not make sense, because rugs - in contrast to a laminated floor or floor boards - bind dust, which in turn keeps the dust concentration in the room air low. As a person with an allergy, you do not have to do without rugs. Nevertheless, there is much to consider when buying a rug. We have summarised what you should consider when looking for a rug which is suitable for allergy sufferers.
What you should consider when buying rugs
In a study conducted in 2005, the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB) found that higher levels of dust were present in rooms with a smooth floor than in apartments with rugs. But why is that?
Dust collects on smooth surfaces after a short time. It is whirled up with every little breeze and spread in the air. It quickly reaches the respiratory tract of humans. A rug can be particularly helpful with dust allergies because it binds dust and thus the allergy-causing mite faeces in its weave. This can then be removed quickly and easily with a vacuum cleaner, while smooth floors should ideally be wiped wet every day to minimise the concentration of dust in the breathing air.
A well-kept rug is also completely unsuitable as a nesting place for mites, as it is usually not particularly damp, or particularly warm. Mites prefer a climate of at least 15°C and a humidity level of at least 55%.
Nevertheless, not every rug is suitable for allergy sufferers. In general, it is important to avoid rugs with very long fibres. For allergy sufferers who are sensitive to house dust or mites, a fluffy shaggy rug is not ideal. A short-pile rug, however, with regular cleaning, is a perfect choice.
Tips for cleaning your rug
If you are looking for a suitable rug for allergy sufferers and decide to buy a short-pile rug, we recommend a synthetic fibre rug for easy cleaning. You will learn about the specific aspects to consider when cleaning synthetic fibre rugs in our blog post on rug cleaning.
Generally, allergy sufferers should avoid conventional vacuum cleaner models in the first instance, as they release some of the intake air - and with it the finest dust particles - via the filter and the casing back to the room air. It is therefore recommended to only use modern vacuum cleaners with allergy filters.
This so-called HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter) filters allergens from the air consumed by the vacuum cleaner and thus binds even the finest dust particles. Depending on the performance capability, the built-in fine dust filters are divided into different classes. The most effective are Class 13 filters, which according to the manufacturer, reliably retain 99.95 percent of the dust particles. A vacuum cleaner recommended for allergy sufferers should additionally have a mechanical brush head and thus be able to remove even the finest dust particles from the rug pile.
Even changing the vacuum bag can be very unpleasant for allergy sufferers, because it causes a lot of dust to be whirled up. To make sure that this is no longer a problem, when purchasing vacuum bags, you should ensure that there is an antibacterial coating inside the bag. This prevents the proliferation of mould, mites and bacteria.
A vacuum cleaner with a water filter can also prove helpful. Instead of a bag, the vacuumed air is led into a water bath and thereby cleaned of dust particles. In addition, dust and mites are bound in the water and then simply disposed of with the dirty water, without getting into the breathing air.
Small rugs which are easy to carry should also be solely cleaned in the fresh air, so as not to burden the indoor air in your living area.
A tip to finish off: If you are looking for a rug for allergy sufferers, pay attention that it contains no harmful substances. Among other things, you can rely on the so-called Oeko-Tex® Standard 100. Find out more about our quality standards.
Since its establishment in 1992, this has been a globally uniform, independent certification system for raw textile materials, intermediate and end products of all processing stages as well as accessory materials. These are examined for harmful substances by means of a strictly regulated and extensive catalogue of measures. If the examined textiles meet all requirements, Oeko-Tex awards them the Oeko-Tex seal. Many of our rugs are also certified.
There is a wide range of rugs for allergy sufferers!
Finally, let's conclude: If you observe our tips, you are guaranteed to find a rug that not only meets your wishes, but also optimally integrates into your life as someone who suffers from a house dust allergy.
In addition, when buying a vacuum cleaner, look for a model that is recommended for allergy sufferers, so that, despite your house dust allergy, nothing stands in your way when buying a rug. Take a look at our short-pile rugs in many beautiful designs.