Growing up in a military family I had to achieve pristine corners in my bed-making. If they couldn’t bounce a quarter off the end of my bed, I had to remake it.
It’s safe to say that as an adult I’ve rebelled a bit. I can’t remember the last time I actually made my bed or my kids’.
But I may be off the hook: according to experts, our health may be better off skipping this tedious morning routine.
An often-citied, ongoing London study at Kingston University reveals that asthma-causing dust mites flourish in made beds.
Beds are a breeding ground for dust mites
Dust mites cannot survive in warm, dry conditions, such as an unmade bed. But they can become problematic under cool, damp conditions trapped in by a made bed, study leader Dr. Stephen Pretlove said.
Pretlove said the average bed could be home to up to 1.5 million dust mites. Dust mites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are among the leading triggers of acute asthma conditions.
“Dust mites feed on scales of human skin so they love to share our beds. The allergens they produce are easily inhaled during sleep and are a major cause of illnesses such as asthma,” Pretlove said in his research.
“Leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die,” he said.
Unfortunately, if you decide to skip making beds, you should still vacuum, wash sheets and dust. All these are effective ways to reduce dust mites in your home.
But if you have serious allergies…
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute all agree simply not making your bed isn’t enough.
Though some scientific controversy remains, allergists and environmental experts say allergic consumers should encase mattresses, box springs and pillows in special allergen-proof fabric covers.
Watch: Why experts say not making your bed, helps your health.