If you suffer from allergies, the idea of wall-to-wall carpeting might fill you with apprehension.
Unfortunately, a popular myth continues to circulate: that carpet can only ever irritate and exacerbate allergy issues.
This puts many people off investing in what is surely the coziest kind of flooring.
In reality, the relationship between carpet and allergens is a little more complicated. Maintained correctly, carpet can actually reduce allergens in the air, acting as a kind of furry filter. Surprised? Well, there’s a lot more to learn. Even if you do have allergies, maybe you can still enjoy carpet in your home.
Does Carpet Make Allergies Worse?
The reason that many people with allergies continue to avoid carpeting is that carpets are known to trap allergens in their fibers.
Because dirt and dust particles can build up there, there’s a risk that they are later released when the carpet is disturbed, causing an allergic reaction.
Let’s think more deeply about this fact. What it means is that carpet does not create or cause the existence of allergens; it simply contains them. If you have another type of flooring, such as wood or laminate, then these same allergens will still be present.
Instead of being trapped in the carpet, though, they will be more easily dispersed in the air even with the most subtle movements—and probably causing all kinds of irritation.
Neither option sounds especially desirable, but remember that there are particular types of carpet you can buy that reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
There are also steps you can take to maintain your carpet so that if allergens become trapped there, they can be safely removed. A good vacuum with a HEPA filter is a start.
As Home and lifestyle website The Spruce explains, “HEPA is an acronym for high-efficiency particulate air. HEPA is a type of filter that can trap a large number of very small particles that other vacuum cleaners would simply recirculate back into the air of your home.” However, you should be careful to invest in a true or absolute HEPA filter as this kind is the most effective.
Vacuuming at least every 3-4 days is important and it’s essential to have your carpets professionally cleaned at least once every 6-12 months.
According to Dr. James Li, “Steam cleaning carpet on a regular basis can help reduce the presence of dust mites and other allergens in your home.”
What Kind Of Carpet Is Best For Allergies?
Some carpets come with a Greenguard rating, certifying their low emissions status. That means they’re less likely to contain volatile organic compounds which are known to trigger respiratory conditions.
Although no formal industry standard exists, certain carpets have also been deemed more generally hypoallergenic than others. For example, many man-made fibers such as nylon are extra-resistant to mold and mildew.
If you’ve been dreaming of a shaggy wool carpet you can really sink your feet into, but you worry that it’s incompatible with your allergies, this doesn’t have to be the case!
Yes, loose carpets with thick piles are generally harder to clean, and so they have the potential to accumulate more allergens. However, a regular and comprehensive carpet cleaning service can prevent this from occurring, thereby protecting any allergy-sufferers in your home.
How Do You Get Allergens Out Of Carpet?
- Let’s think about prevention.Since your carpet is essentially operating as an air filter, you can help reduce its workload by ensuring your furnace air filter is frequently changed and sufficiently maintained.
You might even invest in an additional air filtration system.
Tim Carroll of the Environmental Protection Agency recently advised Live Science readers that they should “choose a portable air cleaner that has a clean air delivery rate (CADR) large enough for the size of the room or area in which you will use it.”
You can also keep your windows closed during days of high pollen count to keep irritants out of your home (and carpet!)
- Next, you should establish a strict vacuuming routine. At least once a week, thoroughly vacuum your carpet to minimize the allergens that are contained in its fibers.Molly Maid has suggested that carpets in high traffic areas should be vacuumed twice a week; however, in an ideal world, you could vacuum everyday and it wouldn’t be considered too much.
- Lastly, it’s important to invest in a regular professional carpet cleaning service. This will comprehensively remove any dust and dander dwelling in your carpet, greatly reducing the risk of an allergic reaction.
Can I Still Have Carpet In The Home If I Have Allergies?
Hopefully, you now understand that it’s entirely possible to enjoy wall-to-wall carpeting in your home, even if you suffer from allergies.
Every type of flooring comes with its advantages and disadvantages, but what has been perceived as carpet’s fatal flaw—the fact that it traps allergens in its fibers—could also arguably be its greatest strength.
After all, the allergens will be around either way. When you know that they’re stuck in the carpet, the steps you can take to remove them are relatively straightforward.
However, if you do decide to opt for carpeting in your home, you should understand that it involves a commitment. Your carpet must be maintained through regular vacuuming and professional cleaning services or it could begin to aggravate allergies.
Would you like your carpet to be thoroughly and professionally cleaned to reduce the presence of allergens?
AmeriClean has been providing a high quality carpet cleaning service to customers in Hagerstown MD, Frederick MD, Martinsburg WV, Chambersburg PA and everywhere in between since 1984.
Remember that the condition of your carpet depends on regular cleaning and maintenance. Our pioneering Stay Clean Membership offers affordable and fully customized service packages to keep your textiles looking good for longer.