One of the most common phobias in people is a fear of spiders. Especially if we spot one in our bedroom at night. How exactly will you get to sleep when you might wake up to find those hairy legs crawling all over you?

Dust miteYet we go to bed every night on mattresses that can contain thousands of microscopic bugs that live off our dead skin cells. Known as dust mites, these tiny creatures enjoy the damp, dark and moist conditions of our mattresses. Our bodies can sweat up to as much as a pint of sweat a night as we move around, which all seeps into our mattress, making it the perfect breeding ground for dust mites.

Dust mites are incredibly common creatures and, most likely, your mattress will have a few. Now these bugs don’t actually bite our skin or interfere with our bodies. They wait around for the skin we shed every night and live off that instead. However, the presence of a dust mite can still cause a reaction in our bodies, in fact, they can even seriously interrupt our sleep.

People are generally highly allergic to dust mite faeces, which can cause intense itchiness on the body – especially on your legs. This allergic reaction can also give you the symptoms of a cold such as a sore throat or a runny nose, so you may be confusing your reaction with having a virus. Dust mite reactions are particularly common in people with asthma, again sufferers might find their symptoms are elevated.

Unfortunately, dust mites can defecate as much as twenty times a day, so their faeces can really build up in your mattress if left uncleaned. Indeed, it’s thought that if dust mites are left to their own devices for two years, then their faeces can make up as much as 10% of your pillow’s weight. Which is an incredibly scary thought.

Luckily, dealing with a dust mite problem can be quite simple. If your mattress is over 6 years old and has never been properly cleaned, and you feel it might have a dust mite infestation then it’s probably best to replace your mattress. Plus, at this point, your mattress has probably lost a lot of its support that you need for your body during a good night’s sleep. You should also replace your pillows every one to two years.

If your mattress is still relatively new, then managing dust mite faeces is very easy. Your mattress and surrounding area (such as floors, skirting and furniture) should be thoroughly vacuumed regularly. You need a hoover with a HEPA filter for the best results. Wooden floors are particularly good for keeping dust mites away as this flooring is far less habitable than a carpet.

Your mattress is favoured by dust mites as it’s full of moisture, so to combat this you should open your bedroom windows on a regular basis to let in fresh air. You should also have a mattress protector, especially an anti-allergen one, to provide a washable barrier for swear and skin cells.

All your sheets and bed linen should be washed around once a week, at temperatures of at least 60 degrees Celsius – the dust mites can’t survive high heats.

These steps should all ensure that your mattress is kept safe from dust mites, however if you feel you need to replace your mattress then here are some of our top sellers: