Sleep Better This Spring: The Best Mattresses and Bedding for Allergies and Asthma

How to Find Hypoallergenic Mattresses and Bedding

In This Article
Why Beds Attract Bacteria and Other Allergens
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
The Best Mattresses for People with Allergies
The Best Hypoallergenic Bedding
Additional Tips for Allergy-Free Sleep

Especially in the spring, allergies and asthma can stand in the way of a good night’s sleep. Whether you have a runny nose or a sore throat, allergy symptoms can keep you from getting the rest you need. 


To give yourself the best chance of symptom-free sleep, you should surround yourself with hypoallergenic materials unlikely to cause irritation or host the most common allergens. In this guide, we'll explore hypoallergenic bedding options and the best mattresses for allergies

Why Beds Attract Bacteria and Other Allergens 

Your bed should be a clean, comfortable place to relax and rest at the end of the day. But unfortunately, bacteria and other allergens also find bed conditions favorable. Without proper maintenance, beds make the perfect home for microbes that cause allergy symptoms and asthma attacks. 

People shed approximately 15 million skin cells every night—but that’s not the problem. The problem is the dust mites that feast on these cells and the droppings they leave behind. About one in four people have allergic rhinitis (allergies), and a protein produced by dust mites is among the most common triggers. 

Depending on how well your mattress and bedding dissipate heat, you may also sweat a lot in your sleep. Heat-trapping materials with poor ventilation lock in sweat and humidity, creating the ideal conditions for fungus and bacteria. 

You may not want to think about it, but studies show that bedsheets and pillowcases often have more bacteria than toilet seats, including Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Mold and mildew also thrive in moist environments, making the perfect storm for people with allergies. 

If you aren’t careful, allergens that cling to you, your clothes, or pets can also follow you into bed. Pollen and pet dander are also common allergy triggers that can settle between your sheets, causing allergy symptoms that make it hard to sleep.  

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean? 

Even if you don’t have allergies, knowing what can live inside your bed likely has your skin crawling. Fortunately, proper sleep hygiene and investing in a hypoallergenic mattress and bedding can drastically reduce bacteria build-up and allergen exposure. You just have to know what to look for.

When shopping for a new mattress or bedding, you’ll encounter a few different terms referring to hypoallergenic properties. While these terms sound similar, they signify varying degrees of protection against allergy-triggering substances. 

To ensure you get exactly what you need for allergy symptom-free sleep, you should know what these terms mean and how they differ from one another. 

  • Hypoallergenic– By definition, hypoallergenic describes anything that’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction or contains few allergy-producing substances (allergens).

  • Antibacterial– Antibacterial substances actively kill bacteria or prevent its growth. 

  • Antimicrobial– Antimicrobial substances kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungus, viruses, mold, mildew, dust mites, and more. By nature, antimicrobial materials are both hypoallergenic and antibacterial. 

  • Shoppers should also note that some materials naturally have these properties, while others undergo chemical treatment to achieve them. If you’re looking for a mattress or bedding that’s gentle on your skin and safe for the environment, opt for naturally hypoallergenic, antibacterial, or antimicrobial materials. 

    The Best Mattresses for People with Allergies  

    What mattress qualities should people with allergies or asthma look for? You need a cooling, breathable mattress well-protected from outside allergens with a moisture-wicking cover. This combination of characteristics will keep your bed cool and dry, dissipating the humidity that allows bacteria to thrive in other mattresses. 

    Natural Latex: The Ultimate Allergy-Friendly Mattress Material 

    Among all mattress types, latex stands out as the best mattress material for sleepers with allergies, asthma, and other sensitivities. 

    Latex mattress foam uses only raw, natural materials: water, air, and latex tapped from rubber trees. Once whipped and set, latex foam has a highly breathable structure. Steady airflow through the mattress keeps your bed nice and fresh, preventing heat and bacteria build-up. Plus, many latex mattresses use punctured foam for even more circulation. 

    Natural latex is also 100 percent temperature neutral. While materials like memory foam contain heat-trapping viscoelastic chemicals, latex naturally sleeps cool, making you less likely to sweat in your sleep. 

    Our hybrid latex mattress, the Nolah Natural, also comes wrapped in a breathable organic cotton cover. The cover protects the bed without restricting airflow and wicks away moisture, quickly drying any perspiration that makes its way to the mattress. 

    Last but not least, natural latex has inherent antimicrobial properties. It resists mold, mildew, and other common allergens without the assistance of harsh chemicals, making it the perfect mattress material for sensitive sleepers. That’s why Nolah uses natural Talalay latex in our Nolah Nurture kids’ mattress.

    The Best Hypoallergenic Bedding 

    Because you make direct contact with your bedding, it gathers even more dead skin cells, sweat, and grime than your mattress. In between washes, pillowcases, sheets, blankets, and comforter can trap dust, gather dirt and dander, and dampen from perspiration. 

    We recommend washing or changing your bedsheets once a week to keep your bed crisp and clean. Using temperature-regulating, hypoallergenic bedding can prevent humidity and allergens from building up between washes, reducing allergy symptoms. You can learn more about our top picks for allergy-friendly bedding materials below.

  • Bamboo– Bamboo sheets are natural, sustainable, durable, breathable, moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating, and silky-smooth in texture. Plus, bamboo has natural antibacterial properties, making it easy to maintain an allergen-free bed. While luxuriously soft, bamboo bedding costs less than other premium materials like silk and is often machine washable. You can learn more about bamboo bedding’s many benefits here

  • Eucalyptus– Eucalyptus fabrics, such as Tencel™, have similar properties to bamboo. Also cooling and antimicrobial, eucalyptus sheets are an excellent choice for people with allergies. However, they aren’t quite as durable and tend to cost more than bamboo sheets. 

  • Silk– Known for its smooth texture and attractive sheen, silk makes a premium bedding material. It’s naturally hypoallergenic, cooling, and durable. Shoppers should keep in mind that silk bedding comes at a high sticker price and often requires hand washing. 

  • Linen– Linen is naturally hypoallergenic, lightweight, cooling, and comfortable. However, quality linen costs more than most bedding materials, and cheaper products tend to have a scratchy feel that irritates sensitive skin.

  • Cotton– Cotton products widely range in quality, but high-end organic cotton makes for natural, durable, temperature-regulating, hypoallergenic, and comfortable bedding. 

  • Additional Tips for Allergy-Free Sleep

    Aside from buying the right mattress and bedding, you can take everyday action to reduce allergens in your bed and bedroom. In an irritant-free environment, you can drift off to sleep without coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose keeping you from getting comfortable. To maintain your sleep sanctuary, we recommend these healthy habits. 

    1. Practice Proper Sleep Hygiene 

    Sleep hygiene is a critical part of keeping your bed and bedroom fresh and clean. Ideally, you should wash your sheets about once a week to get rid of dead skin cells, dust mites, and other microbes. And, as tempting as it may be, don’t let your furry friends into your bed if dander sets off your sensitivities. 

    If you have severe allergies or asthma, you may need to take further action to keep your sleep space irritant-free. Showering and changing into a clean set of pajamas right before bed will prevent any outside allergens from crawling into bed along with you. 

    2. Run a Humidifier 

    People with allergies can also benefit from running a humidifier while they sleep.

    According to
    Healthline, “Breathing higher humidity air is one way to relieve the discomfort and symptoms of allergies. Allergic rhinitis, for example, often includes nasal congestion, irritation, and inflammation of the delicate, moist tissues of the nasal mucosa. Reducing inflammation of these tissues can provide quick relief. This then allows your moistened nasal tissues to blow out irritants and allergens from your nasal cavity, reducing your allergy symptoms.” 

    3. Invest in a Mattress Protector 

    If your mattress has a high-quality, built-in mattress cover, you can rest assured that it keeps out critters and bacteria and helps keep your mattress cool and dry. However, not all mattresses have a protective outer layer. 

    If that’s the case, purchasing a mattress protector will go a long way to keep your mattress clean; plus, it can extend its lifespan by preventing stains and rips. 



    Relief for Sensitive Sleepers

    With precaution and the right hypoallergenic sleep products, you can prevent allergy symptoms from keeping you up at night. On top of a breathable, cooling mattress and tucked in beneath clean, antimicrobial sheets, you can get the sleep and respite you need for happier, healthier days, even during the height of springtime allergies.