When you think of allergies, what's the first culprit that pops into your mind? Right after allergies from food or grass, our bedding products tend to accumulate dust mites that thrive on our dead skin cells, which cause some allergy flare-ups and reactions. These reactions can range from really mild to quite severe.
Mild reactions include symptoms like watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, or a runny nose, but in a worst-case scenario, a pillow-caused allergic reaction can also mean an eczema flare-up or even a severe asthma attack.
Why do these symptoms develop though? Can you be allergic to bamboo pillows? Actually, in today’s article, you’ll see that the opposite is likely to be true. Let’s see how.
Can You Be Allergic to Your Pillow?
To cut a long story short - yes.
According to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, the most severe allergy symptoms indoors take place in our favourite place for rest - the bedroom. This means that the place where we lay our heads for at least seven hours during the night may contain allergens that make us uncomfortable.
Which makes us wonder...
What Are the Causes for Your Indoors Allergies?
Dust mites are the indoor equivalent of pollen in terms of allergies, as they are the main indoor allergy triggers.
Even though they’re microscopic, hundreds of thousands of these spider-like pests can spread across your entire home, subtly creating allergens with their body fragments and fecal matter that can’t be seen with the naked eye, yet are quite capable of flaring up allergies and causing asthma attacks.
As your head lays on the pillow for at least seven hours, chances are you might be coming into close contact with these allergens daily - or rather, nightly. When exposed to dust mite residue for a lengthy period of time, you may start exhibiting allergic symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or even a severe asthma attack.
Can You Be Allergic to Bamboo Pillows?
And now for some good news - allergy sufferers, rejoice!
When compared to regular pillows, bamboo pillows are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
However, there is a slight chance that some people may experience symptoms of allergy from the pillow’s memory foam filling. This is either because of the off-gassing smell or the mixture of chemicals that certain memory foams contain.
Another thing that may trigger your indoor allergies is not the pillow itself but irregular cleaning or untimely replacement of the pillow.
Here is a guide on how to wash your bamboo pillow properly that can help you prevent allergic reactions from happening.
How to Deal With Pillow-Caused Allergic Reactions
The material of your pillow is indeed the key to either preventing or dealing with an allergic reaction. This is why you should be very careful when choosing your next pillow. Allow us to help you.
Find a Pillow Made From Natural Materials
Natural doesn’t necessarily mean safer, or better - at least not in all cases.
But considering the latest research, which shows that bamboo fibers fight off illnesses by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, some natural materials are indeed safer.
Or, put differently, viscose rayon - the material used in bamboo pillows - is less likely to nurture microorganisms than other materials that could cause allergic reactions.
This is owing to the fact that, while they indeed are semi-synthetic materials, they consist of a natural antibacterial agent known as bamboo kun. The function of this agent is to preserve the plant from fungi that can harm it. This is why the incredibly fast growth of the bamboo plant doesn’t require the use of pesticides, which makes it all the more natural.
What’s even more impressive is that even after the manufacturing process, bamboo preserves some of the anti-fungal characteristics which makes it one of the safest pillow cover materials.
So, when using a bamboo pillow case, you automatically protect the pillow's filling from coming into contact with potentially dangerous microorganisms. Consequently, this protects you from allergens that could cause an allergic reaction.
Note that some fabrics might not work the same for your skin as for other people. While some people are more susceptible to allergies due to genetics, others are not.
Our Advice: Go For Bamboo Pillows
As bamboo pillows prevent or minimize the possibility of an allergy due to the inherent characteristics of the bamboo plant, we suggest that you use bamboo bedding (including pillows, pillow covers, etc.).
Along with the bamboo pillows’ hypoallergenic properties, however, there are some other benefits of using these wellness-enthusiasts’ favourites. Let’s go over them.
More Benefits of Using Bamboo Pillows
Bamboo pillows come with a myriad of advantages and benefits - including improving your sleep health and keeping your body parts in alignment. Let's take a closer look.
Bamboo Pillows Have Cooling Effects
Have you heard that bamboo naturally wicks moisture and heat?
Yes, that's right. Those tiny holes in the bamboo fibers absorb moisture, simultaneously letting the hot air escape. This means that if you’re living in an area that is too hot and you truly need a cooling pillow - a bamboo pillow is the right choice for you!
The Shredded Memory Foam Provides Excellent Support
Their stuffing makes bamboo pillows extra comfy, as it provides the utmost support for your shoulders and neck. But comfort isn't the only thing you need to consider when buying a pillow.
As you probably know, proper ear, shoulder, and hip alignment are of paramount importance for proper posture and comfortable sleep, and having too low or too high a pillow can cause back or neck pain.
Luckily, bamboo pillows are highly adjustable, meaning that you can alter their shape to fit your needs.
Bamboo Pillows Are Made From Environmentally-Friendly Materials
What makes bamboo rayon biodegradable and environmentally friendly is that it is made from bamboo cellulose. What’s more, using bamboo to make domestic products doesn’t pose a serious threat like deforestation, as bamboo is a type of grass that grows incredibly fast, swiftly regenerating itself.
Many sleepers prone to allergies can reap the benefits of using bamboo bedding because the bamboo fiber is naturally hypoallergenic and allows them to sleep soundly throughout the night.
Does this mean no tossing and turning before drifting off to sleep, no runny nose, or watery eyes?
There’s a good chance the answer is yes - that’s exactly what it means - but realistically, you have to try it and see if it works for you.
For the sake of a good night’s sleep, we encourage you to change your old pillow with a new one, made from bamboo materials.
Can bamboo pillows help with hot and uncomfortable sleep?
Due to their moisture wicking properties, bamboo pillows keep you dry and cool throughout those hot summer nights.
Can you put bamboo pillows in a washing machine?
Even though the bamboo fabric cover is machine washable, you can’t put the entire pillow in your washing machine. If you want to learn more, have a comprehensive guide on how to wash your bamboo pillow.
Why is there an off-gassing smell coming from all bamboo memory foam pillows?
Most bamboo pillows are composed of two parts: the memory foam filling or polyurethane and the bamboo covers that are made from viscose rayon, a man-made bamboo derived material. To create these products, manufacturers use certain chemicals that are the main culprits behind the smell.