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Achieving a dust mite free couch may seem like an impossible feat. Today I’ll share how to get rid of dust mites in a couch. It all comes down to the type of couch you have.
Is your couch covered in cloth, microfiber, or leather?
If your couch isn’t leather you’ll need to come up with a plan to regularly clean your couch, both inside and out. You might be wondering about couch covers for dust mite, but guess what, unless you make your own you’re out of luck.
I’ve struggled with dust mite allergy for years and I’ve taken steps to remove most dust from my house. But dust is a constant – it keeps on coming!
Hopefully this guide puts you on the right path to a cleaner couch and fewer allergy symptoms!
Getting Rid Of Dust Mites In A Couch: Fabric Matters
The first thing to know about dust mites and couches is the style of couch matters. In other words, is it covered with fabric, with leather, or a synthetic? Let’s take a look at the type of couch you might have.
A cloth covered couch is the most common in America. They are comfy and warm and the cloth is soft on the skin.
But cloth is a major problem when it comes to dust and dust mites. Similar to carpets, cloth-covered couches have a tendency to catch and hold onto dust.
Have you ever sat down on a couch and seen dust erupt from the cushion? Yep, there’s a lot of dust in cloth-covered couches.
The other problem with cloth is it’s porous. There are tiny holes in the weave (so small we can’t see without a microscope) that allow dust to penetrate from the cover into the cushion. The pore space also allows dust mites to freely move between the cloth cover and the cushion. This means there are more hiding places!
Leather (or synthetic leather)
A leather couch is a perfect option for people who have dust mite allergy. Leather or synthetic-covered couches do not catch dust and are really easy to clean. Just wipe them down with a damp towel.
Leather couches don’t have pore space so dust mites can’t enter and exit the cushions. People with dust mite allergy won’t have to worry about sitting on a dust mite infested couch.
Dust can’t penetrate the covers and get into the cushions so you don’t even have to clean the couch cushions!
You might have heard that microfiber couches don’t have dust mites. The term “microfiber” is broad and most of the microfiber-covered couches can become quite dusty.
They tend to catch dust and their pore space provides more than enough space for dust mites to pass through into couch cushions.
There is a specific type of microfiber that is widely used for mattresses and pillows but those are allergy-grade with tested pore space (usually 3-4 microns).
Although I’ve heard of microfiber couches, I’ve never heard of a “dust mite proof microfiber couch”. There’s a big difference.
If you have a microfiber couch I’d recommend cleaning it a similar way you’d clean a cloth couch (of course check the washing instructions first).
Cleaning Dust Mites In A Couch: For Cloth and Microfiber
If you have dust mite allergy and you’re unable to switch out your couch for a leather couch you’ll want to wash your cushion covers regularly. Steaming the cushions and drying them in a dry, ventilated place is also wise. Let’s discuss in more detail below.
Remove Couch Covers and Wash
Most cushion covers can be removed and washed. This should be done routinely (1-2 per month) for people with dust mite allergy.
To eliminate dust mites and larvae you’ll want to wash them properly (high temperatures or essential oils).
Steam Cleaning Or Washing Cushions
Once the cushion covers are off, you can use a steam cleaner to sanitize the cushions. Unfortunately, cushions are usually too big to put in the washing machine. A steam cleaner washes the surface of cushions and uses high temperatures to kill dust mites and larvae.
Allow Cushions To Dry Or Air Out In The Sun
If you steam clean the cushions it’s a good idea to put the cushions in the sun to dry them out and discourage dust mites (dust mites like dark, moist hiding places and although sunlight won’t kill them, warm dry temperatures will).
Couch Mites: Protect Yourself
Consider taking steps to protect yourself from dust mites living in your couch. If you don’t have a leather or synthetic couch you can try the following tips:
- Keep a freshly washed blanket near the couch and put over the couch before sitting down (my niece does this at her house and washes the blanket a few times a week – no more allergy symptoms)
- Choose to sit on a nearby chair rather than the couch
- Upgrade! Now you have an excuse to buy a nice leather couch
Is There A Couch Cover For Dust Mites
Couches are made in all sizes and shapes, therefore, it’s impossible to find a dust mite cover for your couch. Your best bet is to use a clean blanket and place it over the couch. Here is an option for a dust mite proof blanket.
Getting rid of dust mites in a couch can be an easy fix with a leather couch, but it can also be a tedious process (cleaning cushion covers). I grew up with cloth couches and experienced itchy skin, fatigue, and chronic cough.
I always sat on our couch and noticed the dust but didn’t realize it was causing my symptoms.
I found out I was allergic to dust mites and one of the first things I did was make an investment in leather couches. They are simple to clean and I don’t have to worry about couch mites.
Sure it cost some money up front but I won’t be buying new couches for another decade.