Carpeted floors have a lot going for them. They’re stylish, comfortable, and great insulators.
Yet, many people are concerned that carpets will worsen their allergy symptoms, which begs a common question: are carpets bad for people with allergies?
The quick answer is: it depends.
Several factors go into account here, like the type of carpet, where it’s located, and how often you clean it.
You might be surprised to know that some allergy sufferers can benefit from carpeting, whereas others are better off without it. So, to help us better understand the link between carpets and allergies, we went searching for some answers.
Let’s get started.
Are Carpets Bad for People with Allergies?
Carpets are made of tight-woven fibres that trap allergens. This leads some to believe that since carpets hold in these minuscule particles, this ensures that they’re protected against airborne asthma triggers.
It’s true that, compared with hard-surface floors, carpets hold onto dust particles and prevent them from floating into your breathing space. Yet, carpet-free floors are also easier to clean and disinfect, thus lowering your risk of breathing in allergens.
That said, carpets pose a completely different type of problem for allergy sufferers.
For starters, carpeted floors tend to have an adverse effect on air quality. It’s especially true for rooms that don’t have ideal circulation or airflow, which can make your allergy symptoms worse.
Another reason is that most carpets serve as a breeding ground for dust mites. These tiny creatures feed off dead skin cells that we regularly shed off as we walk around our homes.
Plus, carpet fibres offer a dark, warm space where they can enjoy the warm, humid environment within the carpet fibres.
The Best Types of Carpets for People with Allergies
Deciding on the type of flooring you pick out for your home mainly depends on whether or not you suffer from allergies. People will often advise you to stay away from carpeted flooring.
In fact, there seems to be a widespread belief that carpets are complicit in setting off allergic reactions.
The good news is that certain materials and carpet thicknesses are specifically designed for allergy sufferers in mind. This way, you can style your home precisely the way you want while ensuring your and your family’s wellbeing.
Take a look.
Synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester, are great at repelling allergens. However, they don’t offer the same warm, inviting environment that natural fibres provide. Hence, dust mites can’t breed or thrive in them.
Another benefit of synthetic materials is that they’re not organic. This means that they’re much easier to clean compared with natural fibres.
Plus, pollen and dust can’t attach themselves to the carpet’s synthetic fibres and quickly dry out.
This also ensures that the carpet is safe from mould and mildew. These two fungi won’t grow on synthetic, inorganic carpets because they feed only on natural fibres, such as cotton, linen, and rayon.
Wool is another durable and long-lasting carpet choice for allergy sufferers. The best thing about wool carpets is that they act as natural air filters.
They trap in allergens and small particles so they don’t become airborne. Not only that, but they also do a good job of absorbing indoor air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and nitrogen dioxide.
Who doesn’t love to sink their feet in a thick, well-padded carpet? It’s soft, lush, and looks amazing in any room!
The problem with thick carpets with high fibre strands is that they trap in a lot more dust, pollen, and mites. So, while they may look and feel heavenly, they’re not the best choice for reducing allergens.
Therefore, look for short strands. The shorter, the better because then the allergy-inducing particles have fewer places to go.
The underlay is the layer typically installed beneath the carpet. It acts as a buffer between the floor and the carpet itself.
The best type of underlay for allergy sufferers is made from synthetic materials. Some can also be treated with an antimicrobial agent that helps reduce pollen, dust, and mites from accumulating.
Try to avoid any underlay made with natural materials. They quickly absorb moisture and dampness, resulting in an outspread of mould and mildew.
How to Reduce Allergens in Carpets
No matter what type of carpet you choose, it’ll still contain tiny allergen particles. So, there’s no getting rid of them completely. However, there are ways that can help you reduce them as much as possible.
Check out these tips to keep your carpets clean and free of irritants.
- Daily deep-cleaning vacuum
- Steam clean carpets once every 1 – 2 months
- Invest in a vacuum and air-filtration system with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
- Hire professional carpet cleaners to do a thorough carpet cleaning 1 – 2 times a year
- If you have a pet, find a vacuum designed to pick up pet hair and dander
- Keep windows closed on days when the pollen count is high
Which Rooms Should Never Be Carpeted
Carpets can be a wonderful addition to your home. They’re stylish and comfortable. In addition, they’re great insulators against cold floors and noise.
They also trap the little particles that cause allergy flare-ups and prevent them from circulating in the air.
Nevertheless, there are places where covering your floors with wall-to-wall carpeting isn’t always such a good idea.
One example is the bedroom, where people spend a considerable amount of their time. The problem is that there isn’t adequate ventilation in the bedroom, especially at night. As a result, it makes you more vulnerable to all sorts of allergens, intensifying allergy symptoms.
Kitchens and bathrooms are also not the best places for carpeting. The floors in these spaces are almost always damp, making it harder to effectively remove allergens from carpet fibres.
Let’s face it. Allergens are everywhere, no matter what type of flooring you have.
The difference between hard floors and carpeting is that the allergens settle into the carpet fibres and stay there. This led people to believe that carpets are making their allergies worse.
Yet, there’s another side to this coin. With the right type of material and regular maintenance, you can help reduce carpet allergens. Follow the recommendations listed here, and you can enjoy carpeted flooring without worrying about any of your allergy symptoms.