7 Ways to Manage A Dust Mite Allergy

Dust mite allergy in the home is commonplace and can result in allergy symptoms like eczema, asthma and rhinitis. Reducing the number of mites will also reduce these symptoms.

The info below will answer a number of questions and help you find a solution to minimizing the dust mite numbers in your home.

What Are House Dust Mites?

House dust mites are very small creatures that are not visible with the naked eye. All homes have them and they eat the dead skin we shed. They are usually found in warm, moist spots that collect skin scales like carpets, pillows, mattresses, soft toys, clothing, soft furniture etc.

The mites are usually harmless but some people develop allergic symptoms to them. The symptoms are a result in inhaling allergens that are found in the waste of the mites. The waste is so tiny that they circulate in the air where they can be inhaled. Besides house dust mites, there are other allergens in the home that could trigger allergic symptoms such as cats, moulds, dogs, tree and grass pollen.

Why House Dust Mites Have to Be Managed?

The adverse allergic symptoms like eczema, rhinitis and asthma are treatable with medication but are not cured.

Minimizing the number of dust mites is the best way to reduce the medication needed to control the allergic reactions.

How to Control to House Dust Mites in the Home – a Step-by-Step Guide

Did you have a blood test or a positive skin test to house dust mites? Do you think your symptoms might be a result of house dust mites? Below are a few tips you can use to minimise house dust mites. Try them and see if the allergic reactions are reduced.

Carry out the steps over the entire house for the best results. If this isn’t possible or practical, focus on the area where the person who has the allergic reactions spend most of their time like the sitting room or bedroom.

The first tips discussed are the easiest and least expensive, the later tips are more costly. Keep in mind that even though the number of mites might be reduced, the symptoms themselves might not stop altogether.

How many steps required to see results will vary from one person to another and it will take at least 2 months before you see any lasting results.

Dust Mite Allergy


Home dust mites thrive in warm, moist conditions. Dampness increases mold growth, which can also result in more reactions that are allergic. Here are a few ways to reduce moisture:

  • After cooking, bathing or washing, open windows or vents in bathrooms and kitchens. To prevent moisture spreading to other areas of the house, close these room doors.
  • Try not to dry clothes inside the house, particularly in living rooms and bedrooms, with the exception of driers that are vented to the outside.
  • In instances where you are drying clothes indoors, in the room where the damp clothes are drying, close the door and open the windows
  • Prior to remaking beds, air bedding
  • In the bedroom, open doors and vents
  • Operate central heating at a few degrees below normal (particularly in the bedroom)


If you suffer from allergies, minimising dust in the home is vital. To minimize the build-up of dust in the home:

  • Minimise how many items collect dust, particularly the ones that are hard to clean like cabinets with ornamental displays, putting books in closed book cases and placing clothes and other items in drawers or cupboards.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean surfaces/items that collect dust often. (Dry clots do not collect all the dust and some of it will escape back into the atmosphere)
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe off window blinds on a regular basis
  • Clean curtains, soft furniture, carpets/floors with a vacuum. Change the vacuum bag or air filter often.
  • Vacuum mattresses twice a month.


Dust mites are killed in fabrics when the temperature is over 60°C:

  • Make sure your pillowcases, sheets and duvet covers can withstand a 60°C washing and clean them twice a month
  • Apply the above method to curtains and also wash them regularly at 60°C


House dust mites thrive in pillows and mattresses where there is an abundance of skin scales. Minimise the number of dust mites in these areas and to do this:

  • Change pillows twice a year (unless they have special covers)
  • Use natural materials for blankets and duvets
  • Use micro-porous covers on mattresses, pillows and duvets in the bedroom of the sufferer
  • Every time the bedding is cleaned, these micro covers should be wiped clean using a damp cloth.
  • Allergy suffers should avoid stuffed soft toys because house dust mites thrive in these areas Avoid putting stuffed toys on the bed. Place these toys in the freezer for 6 hours at least once a month to kill the dust mites.


Dust mites also thrive in carpets. Changing carpets can be costly, but if you will be changing the carpet anyhow. Here are a few tips to minimise the number of dust mites:

  • Instead of carpets, use vinyl or linoleum flooring or natural sealed flooring like tiles, cork or wood. The new floors should be free of cracks that might allow dust to build up.
  • Go with synthetic carpets that have very short piles since they hold fewer mites compared to wool carpets with long piles
  • Choose cotton rugs that can withstand regular washings at 60°C


Some vacuums are great at collecting dust, therefore:

  •  Think about buying a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency filter and regularly vacuum carpets, floors, soft furniture and soft toys
  • In addition, consider using attachments on your vacuum to get into tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas where dust may accumulate. Remember to replace the filter and vacuum bags regularly to ensure that your vacuum is working at its best. By following these simple steps, you can effectively reduce the dust in your home and improve your indoor air quality. Not only will this make your home a cleaner and healthier place to live, but it can also help alleviate any allergies or respiratory issues you may have.


Think about the following when buying new furnishings:

Change sofas and chairs with woven fabrics to furniture with canvas, cane, leather or leather-like coverings that are simple to clean and don’t attract dust mites

Invest in a high-quality mattress with a hypoallergenic cover to reduce the amount of dust mites in your bedroom. If possible, choose a mattress made of natural materials such as latex, wool, or cotton. Synthetic materials tend to trap more heat and moisture, which can create an ideal environment for dust mites to thrive.

When choosing curtains or blinds, opt for those made of washable fabrics such as cotton or polyester. Avoid heavy drapes or curtains made of velvet or other textured fabrics that can trap dust and allergens.

Consider adding an air purifier to your living space, particularly in areas where people spend the most time, such as the bedroom and living room. Air purifiers can help remove particles and allergens from the air, making it easier for allergy sufferers to breathe.

Finally, don’t forget to regularly clean and dust your new furnishings to keep them free of dust and allergens. Vacuum carpets and rugs at least once a week, use a damp cloth to wipe down surfaces, and wash bedding and curtains regularly to keep dust mites at bay. With a little extra effort, you can create an allergy-friendly home that is comfortable and inviting for everyone.


Other tools to reduce dust mites include dehumidifiers, air filters, ionisers and mechanical ventilation devices that recover heat. Although these tools might minimize allergic reactions, their effectiveness has not been fully proven.

Best Allergy Test for Under £10

Home Allergy Test Kits

Allergies can make you feel bad and can even limit what you can do. Sneezing, itching, and trouble breathing can all be symptoms of allergies. Luckily, there are ways to find out what you are allergic to and how to manage it. One way is by using a home allergy test kit. These kits can help you figure out what might be bothering you, whether it’s certain foods or things in the environment. Using a kit is easy – you just take the test and read the results. Knowing what you’re allergic to can be a big relief and help you feel better. If you have symptoms like a rash, redness, or sneezing a lot, it might be a good idea to try a kit like the Prima Home Allergy Test Kit or one that is specifically for cats or airborne allergens. For more information, you can also read our Allergy Testing FAQs.

Main Photo: Anthony Cunningham for Zoom Health

Inset Photo Credit: “House dust mite” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gilles San Martin

Zoom Health is a leading UK supplier of Home Health Tests and Earplugs

This post was originally published in November 2017. It was last update in June 2023.

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