There is a strong correlation between allergies and sleep problems. That’s because the allergens usually irritate your airways till you’re a coughing or gasping mess. Of course, you can’t sleep while you’re struggling to breathe.
Over time, you’ll notice that your breathing gets worse when you sleep. Nine times out of ten, the culprit responsible for this atrocity is your pillow. Your allergen-infested old pillow.
Luckily, hypoallergenic pillows exist. They make life easier by reducing the allergens around you. Now you may get some rest as you replenish your natural beauty. Gel pillows are a godsend because they don’t get hot while you sleep.
But are gel pillows hypoallergenic? Let’s find out.
Gel pillows are hypoallergenic. However, they primarily work against dust and dust mites. You will still have to invest in anti-allergenic covers. Plus, just because your stuff is hypoallergenic doesn’t mean you can skimp on cleaning.
How Do Allergens Accumulate in the Pillow?
You sleep on your pillow every night for six hours, at least. You’re shedding dead skin and hair onto the pillow during that time. Plus, dust from the air settles into the pillow, and all this attracts dust mites.
The dust mites feed on the gunk in your pillow and aggravate your allergies. So, you’re left with coughs and sneezes that make breathing hard. If you don’t wash your pillows and pillow covers regularly, that’s the cherry on top. You’ll put yourself up for acne, too.
Are Gel Pillows Hypoallergenic?
Gel memory foam has hypoallergenic properties even though it’s not natural. The gel-infused foam is densely packed together, so allergens can’t settle into the foam. However, that doesn’t mean you can skip the cleaning process.
If your pillow isn’t cleaned in ages, it will accumulate allergens despite its hypoallergenic properties. That said, gel memory foam doesn’t collect as much debris as down or fiber.
Gel Pillows Against Different Allergens
Gel pillows are hypoallergenic to a certain extent. However, their effectiveness varies against different allergens.
Dust & Dust Mites
As we said, gel memory foam is densely packed, so dust can’t settle inside the mattress. Similarly, dust mites can’t burrow into the gel pillows either. As such, they stick to surface levels.
Mold and Other Microorganisms
If your room is humid or the weather is sweltering, you’ll also leave your sweat on the pillow. Since humidity is perfect for mold and other microorganisms, they’ll thrive in your pillow.
You can identify mold as it forms black or green spots and emits a nasty smell. However, you need to watch your pillow very carefully if you want to achieve that goal. Asthma can be triggered by breathing in this mold.
Gel pillows will decrease your night sweats, which reduces the humidity a bit. However, gel memory foam is still susceptible to mold. You’ll need to leave the pillow in a properly ventilated space where it can dry.
Since bed bugs don’t burrow into anything, the pillow’s material won’t make any difference. They’ll infest any crack or crevice in your bed. So, you’re better off vacuuming regularly and checking for signs of these nuisances.
Can You Wash Gel Pillows?
A monthly wash is recommended for your pillow. You can even do it more often if you know about your allergies. Unfortunately, you can only wash the gel pillows by hand.
If you throw them in the machine, it can damage them. For minor stains, use soap and water. Vacuum the pillows regularly to remove any dust or other debris. If you have a pet, use a brush to remove any hair. Click here for more detailed instructions on how to wash gel pillows.
How Often Must I Replace My Pillow?
At the very least, your pillow should be replaced every two to three years. However, that’s just a rough estimate. Your pillow will let you know when it needs to retire. You’ll notice it when all the material is just compressed. Additionally, your gel will stop being as cool as it once was.
If all this isn’t enough, there’s another way to know when to go shopping. Take your pillow and fold it in half. If you’re comfortable placing your head on the folded pillow, it’s time to get a new one.
Hypoallergenic vs. Anti-Allergenic Pillows
It’s not uncommon to think that being hypoallergenic is the same as being anti-allergenic. However, the reality is different.
Hypoallergenic means that your pillow is less likely to trigger your allergies. That’s because they discourage allergens from accumulating. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get allergies while using it.
Anti-allergy pillows play a more active role in preventing your allergies. The manufacturers treat these materials so that allergens can’t survive in them. To get rid of any bacteria or mites, just put them through a hot wash.
What Else Can You Do to Avoid Allergens?
Just getting a gel pillow isn’t enough. You also need to invest in a mite-free pillow cover. While you’re at it, take a look at the rest of the bedding. Check if your mattress is okay and get an anti-allergy cover for that, too.
Once you have the removable covers, wash them once a week. If you can’t do that, at least wash them once a month. Alternatively, you need to vacuum your bedding regularly.
If your house has a humidity problem, get a dehumidifier. Give your bedding some sunlight once in a while. Plus, ensure that your mattress has decent ventilation. Otherwise, mold can grow on the underside. Maintain your hygiene so you’re not leaving too much gunk on the bedding.
To recap, gel pillows are hypoallergenic. However, they primarily work against dust and dust mites. You will still have to invest in anti-allergenic covers. Plus, just because your stuff is hypoallergenic doesn’t mean you can skimp on cleaning.
You must regularly clean your pillows and pillow covers to avoid triggering allergies. Your pillow may look innocuous, but it’s heavy because of your dead skin and dust mites after a while.
You need to replace your pillow after two to three years, no matter how good the pillow looks. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on how to wash the pillow to avoid any damage.