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Breathe Easier: Improving Indoor Air Quality in Your Bedroom


Studies show that poor outdoor air quality can worsen asthma and allergies. This news may make you think you need to stay indoors to avoid air pollution. But your indoor air may actually be worse than the outdoor air.

Proper asthma and allergy management involves more than taking your medicines. You also have to think about the quality of the air where you spend your time. You may have heard that you should reduce the allergens in your home. That’s a great start. But that’s only a part of what it takes to create healthy indoor air. 

The Truth About Indoor Air Quality

Particles or gasses that are not normally part of the air affect air quality. This is called air pollution. Air pollution can also happen indoors. Why is this?

  1. Bad outdoor air can enter your home. You bring outdoor air inside any time you open a door or window. You can also bring in pollen and smoke. Leaks around doors and windows can let polluted outdoor air in too.
  2. Indoor air also has allergens like dust, pet dander and mold.
  3. Building materials, furniture and carpets can release chemicals into the air.

Clean outdoor air needs to replace indoor air often or else the indoor air becomes more polluted. That means allergens, smells and pollutants stay in your home and recirculate.

If you have pollen allergies or allergic asthma, you’ll want to keep your windows closed when pollen is high. If you follow air quality reports, you’ll also want to stay inside in the air conditioning and keep your windows closed on days when the air quality is bad. If you don't have air conditioning and the heat is also high, consider going to places like the mall or the library to avoid the poor air quality and the heat. What can you do to improve your indoor air quality?

Improve Your Bedroom’s Environment

We spend one-third of our lives in our bedrooms. But it can have the worst air quality of any room in your home. Your bedroom may be full of allergens, asthma triggers, scents and chemicals.

Reduce Allergens and Triggers

The bedroom tends to have the highest amount of allergens. As you try to improve your indoor air quality, start with your bedroom first. Here are some ways to reduce bedroom allergens:

 If your bedroom has a connected bathroom, don’t forget about the allergens in there too.

  • Run a fan or vent for at least 15-20 minutes after showering to prevent mold.
  • Fix leaks in or near sinks, toilets, tubs and showers.
  • Allow towels and wash clothes to dry thoroughly after bathing.
  • Clean your shower, tub and sinks often with vinegar or detergent and water to keep mold from building up.
  • Clean under sinks and behind toilets often where mold and other allergens may build up.
  • If you already have mold, clean it as soon as possible with detergent and water. Wear a mask or have someone else clean it for you.

Keep the Outside From Getting In

When the outdoor air has poor quality, you’ll want to reduce it from getting inside as much as possible. It’s impossible to keep all outdoor allergens and from getting in your bedroom. But there are things you can do to reduce exposure:

  • Shower and shampoo your hair every night before going to bed to remove pollen from your hair.
  • If you work outside, change clothes outside of the bedroom.
  • Seal air leaks in windows and doors leading outside.
  • Use a Certified asthma & allergy friendly® air cleaner.

Reduce Scents and Chemicals

Scents and chemicals in your bedroom can affect your air quality. Even pleasant scents, like candles, plug-ins and potpourri, can cause asthma symptoms.

New furniture, especially mattresses, can have a strong scent. This is called offgassing. It is the release of gasses from chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

While experts don’t know if VOCs have any long-term effects, they do know VOCs can have some short-term effects. Some VOCs can cause:

  • Eye irritation
  • Breathing problems
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Allergic skin reactions1

If you have asthma, let your new bedroom furniture air out in another room or garage before you move it into your bedroom. Remove any plastic or wrappings. You could also check with the company you buy your furniture from to see if they would let your furniture air out in their warehouse before they deliver it.

Paint and new building materials can release VOCs too. So if you remodel your bedroom, make plans to use another room until the scents are gone. 

The air quality in other rooms in your home is important too. Read about how to improve the air in your living room and kitchen.

1. Volatile Organic Compounds' Impact on Indoor Air Quality. (2017, April 19). Retrieved September 14, 2017, from

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I vacuum at least once a week...kind of obsessed with it now. We have pets that work their way into our bedroom and I know they drag all kinds of stuff in. I am allergic to trees, pollen and grass so I have ben known to wash our sheets at least once a week if not twice. this is all new to me as I was diagnosed with allergies and asthma at the age of 53 - crazy as no history of asthma in our family. (I did have slight allergies after having kids but nothing major like now).

My daughter has asthma and I wash her stuffed animals monthly, and we are working on removing the carpet from areas of our home.  I am taking down her fluffy curtains to minimize dust and embracing minimalism when it comes to fabric soft surfaces in her room.  I vacuum daily with my Dyson HEPA v6 stick vacuum since the filter on it is so good.  We currently own 2 Germ Guardian HEPA air filters, one is in her bedroom and runs all night - but would love to trade them for a Dyson model!

We do not have pets that we are allergic to in our home. We have a HEPA purifier in each bedroom (although one is stsrting to kick out on me) . We do use Zippered cases on all mattresses and pillows (they are a pain to take on/off but I just have twin beds so I handle it), and I do weekly washing of sheets and everything in hot water. Also wash curtains biweekly. Hard floong, so that is good, one small washable rug in the room. Dust and vacuum, vacuum the purifier and do the ceiling fans 1-2 x weekly. Keep dirty clothes basket away from bed and with a lid (in case clothes have pollens, etc). Regularly check ac filters and pour vinegar into ac drain pipe to keep clear of molds, etgooAlso love using aroma-tgerapies eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon! ��

Right now the biggest thing I do is also vacuum, I'd love to own an air purifier!  I have not been able to invest in one yet.  I have pollen allergies and also sensitive to some local trees to my area.  This is not regarding air but I have tried to consume local honey to help with my allergies.

I would love to win a dyson filter because I have cat allergies and my cat is a service animal for my son with Austism so its more important to keep him than my allergies but this filter would really help.  I vacuum my bedroom to try to keep it under control now.

Over the past 3 years, I have become allergic to many thing including pollens and mold. I live in an environment where pollution has become a problem. Grew up in another part of the country. Stinks getting older. I have very old technology for air purifier. Can't find one that truly works. I currently vacuum4 times a week, bedding once a week, pillows once a month and replace every 6 months.

We would love to win this filter!  3 family members with asthma and allergies.  We wash bedding every week in very hot water (we wash my son's bedding 2x /wk). We vacuum & dust regularly (including ceiling fans & blinds) & keep windows closed to keep out the outdoor pollens that affect us. When my kids were younger, only washable stuffed animals on the bed (& they stayed there - could not "travel" around the house - but if they did travel, they got washed before heading back to the bed). We have a dog, but he is not allowed in the kids' bedroom & he is bathed regularly. We have the Fellows air filters in the bedrooms & clean/change the filters regularly. We do not wear shoes into the house & anyone who has been outside doing yard work must strip in the garage. NO ONE is allowed onto the beds until they have showered and washed hair. We change the filters every 3 months in the AC system; we use the Filtrete allergy filters. We often run the system even if we are not running the AC just to move the air through the system and through the filters to remove additional particles. Everyone be healthy!

 We wash all bedding x1 or x2 a week. I try and make sure all bedding is washable. Our sons mattress is plastic covering to reduce allergens. We vacuum daily and keep all clothes I  laundry room. No stuff animals in the rooms. Having the filter would help clean up whatever else is in the room. 

As someone who suffers from asthma, eczema, environmental allergies, mold allergies and food allergies, keeping a clean home is imperative for my health.  Our entire first floor is hardwood, although unfortunately, our bedrooms are still carpeted.  To counteract this allergen "trap", I hire a professional allergy & asthma certified carpet cleaner twice per year, and follow up with twice-weekly vacuums using a HEPA-Filter Dyson vacuum.  In the bedroom, where I'm spending at least 8-hours per day/night, it's important for me to wash all bedding (including sheets, blankets and mattress pad) at least weekly in the hottest washer cycle, and dried completely on the hottest dryer cycle.  In-between these washings, I always make sure to wash my hair and clothes after coming in from outside, to prevent any pollen from coming in contact with the bed!  All products used throughout our home, including cleaning products, soaps and detergents are fragrance free to limit any potential reactions - and forget about aerosol-spray products!  Since our bathrooms are attached to our bedrooms, combatting mold is very important, since mold is a huge asthma trigger for me!  I've found baking soda and vinegar to be effective for this - and it also works as a great natural fabric softener!  And of course, we're a 100% smoke free home, and that includes skipping the fireplace!  As the nights get colder and we turn on the heat, I make sure to purchase "ultra allergen reducing" furnace filters to trap the smallest possible particles in the air before they enter the home.  Having the Dyson HEPA Filter would be an amazing addition to our bedroom to keep up with the stubborn dust and allergens that will not disappear no matter how much we clean!

I make sure to wash my bedding often and vacuum weekly (at least). I have special filters that cover my floor/heating vents in my bedroom. I also have a special window screen I can pop in my window that filters the I can have my window open (during allergy flare-ups and farming season!) It's adjustable and portable - I love that window filter!

For my bedroom, I always wash my sheets in HOT and wash them weekly.  I use unscented detergent so I won't have any issues with allergies.  I have wood floors so it's easy to sweep.   I have allergy covers on my pillows for dust mites and same with the mattress.   I have roller blinds on my bedroom windows, no drapes!   I have a HEPA filter in my furnace as well!

Good graphic; I am a graphic designer, myself. :-) The article is concise and relatively thorough - even my CP specialist's secretary did not know to leave the bathroom fan on after showering! I use a 3-stage air filter in my bedroom, I wash the bedding weekly in hot water, as well as the bath towels from the en suite. I treat the tub and toilet with well-diluted apple cider vinegar or another non-toxic antibacterial frequently, running the exhaust fan (no window) and wearing a mask and rubber gloves. I press a wash cloth over the shower head after each use, it absorbs the water that would otherwise drip into the tub for a few minutes. I squeeze the cloth and lay it to dry (or put all towels straight into hot water laundry). The tub dries faster. I have removed all the carpet in my house, starting with the master bedroom. I researched and applied low-VOC concrete etching and paint materials for the concrete floors. I keep the bedroom temperature lower than before - including routing some air conditioning in favor of that room - and keep the humidity to less than 50% to lessen air particulates from dust mite activity. Also to combat dust mites, I put a waterproof and then a hypoallergenic mattress cover on, both, when the mattress was new. I wash both of those covers in hot water periodically and immediately put them back on; it is as dander-free as possible, therefore. I keep a spray bottle of eucalyptus oil and water in the bedroom, and lightly spritz the pillows with it occasionally between washings, allowing it to dry before bedtime. I sometimes use aromatherapy - a cotton ball with 3-4 drops of eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil on the nightstand to sleep. I do not store anything under the bedroom furniture so it is easier to keep those areas dust-free with a long-handled Swiffer duster. I have added whole-house filtration incl. UV light to the central air conditioning, had the ducts cleaned, and have periodic deep cleanings done by the best professional house cleaning service found. This has been esp. helpful, as is leaving shoes at front door rather than tracking allergens into the bedroom dressing area as before. There is no upholstered furniture in the bedroom, other than the bed.

kuntzmd posted:

Over the past 3 years, I have become allergic to many thing including pollens and mold. I live in an environment where pollution has become a problem. Grew up in another part of the country. Stinks getting older. I have very old technology for air purifier. Can't find one that truly works. I currently vacuum4 times a week, bedding once a week, pillows once a month and replace every 6 months.

I have good results with the Germ Guardian 3-stage air purifier, made sure to get a floor-standing one large enough for the entire room plus a little. $89-99 at Best Buy a couple of years ago. It is same size as a column-shaped room fan. A little loud on high so I leave it running on high for a few hours before bedtime (even all day while at work) with the door closed, and turn it down when I go to bed. I can tell a difference in the air when I enter the bedroom.

I have a drug allergy but I also have allergies that haven't been able to be diagnosed. I believe one of them is the Asian beetle but they don't have a test for it in my remote area of Doctors. I use a Holmes Air Purifier in my bedroom and I vacuum up the Beetles when I see them. They are already all over my windows upstairs as it is getting cooler out at night. I think this year is going to be a bad one based on my observation of their numbers thus far. I also wash sheets often and keep doors closed. It is very difficult when you don't know what is causing your problem. I have had all the tests they offer in the UP but they all come up negative. I hope I win this Dyson purifier as I'm sure it is top of the line and could really help. 


We have to be very aggressive because my asthma and allergies are so severe, I've been intubated a couple of times in the last year.  We keep air purifiershow next to my side of the bed and an additional one near the foot of the bed.   Also next to the couch in living room.   We actually have them in every room but those are the important extras. I frequently, always when outside the house and occasionally inside,  wear a mask rated n95 or better.   All of my clothes and linens are rinsed three times and we don't have scented anything in our home ever.  We use a Dyson vacuum in carpeted areas and hard floors are constantly kept clean,  we use a portable Dyson to pick up anything the consistency of dust or sand. Our furnace/air conditioning filters are changed very frequently and we also keep the ducts clean.  Windows are never opened in the bedroom and rarely anywhere else.  When they are a mask and all filters on high is a must.  Pillows are also changed out regularly,  per my allergist 6 months is their max life. 

I developed adult onset asthma in 2016. Unfortunately it is severe. I took it seriously in part because I am a nurse but because I ended up in the ED three times September 2016. I have never been more scared. I thought I was going to die the first time. I began to read up on taking control of all I could. I bought an air purifier, actually my husband did as I was couchbound. I bought a mattress cover, pillow covers and new pillows. Recently I decluttered my room and took out scarves I had hanging, hired help (grown daughter) to vacuum my room 2 x a week and have her wash my linens weekly. We started using chemical free soaps, shampoos, cleaners and detergents. 

Dyson is a well respected brand and I would love to be able to use their products in my home. 

At age 58, 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with asthma and allergies. I do my best to sweep the carpets, clean bed sheets, the mattress and dust the rooms. It is an on-going process and a air purifier would be a great help. It is scarry when I can't catch my breath enough to use the rescue inhaler. I use 2 inhalers and singular on a daily basis and any help would be great. Thanks for this offer Dyson!