Woman blowing in a wipe suffering flu symptoms sitting on a sofa at home in winter

Allergy season is in full bloom. And for those who suffer from the vast number of spring and summer allergens, even home can feel like a war zone on the body.

Items in the home may actually be triggering allergies and making reactions much worse. Common household décor may be harboring dust, trapping particles like pollen or even stirring up pet dander. While Martha Stewart never created home décor tips for the allergy sufferer, there is, in fact, a way to decorate that keeps the home free from allergens.

Get ready to spring clean, because here are the 10 items in your home that you need to purge and replace with their perfect hypoallergenic replacements:

 

1. Dust mite covers

Replace: Standard decorative throw pillows

Pillows often harbor dust mites, which many allergy sufferers cannot tolerate. While everyone knows to use dust mite covers for pillows on the bed, those decorative pretty pillows on the couch also aren’t doing your allergies any favors. Add a protective cover beneath the pretty decorative casing to ward off dust mites. While many home stores sell hypoallergenic décor pillows, the key to kicking dust mites are covers.

2. Washable blinds AND curtains made of natural fibers

Replace: Plastic blinds AND window coverings made of synthetic fabrics

Plastic blinds collect dust, which can irritate allergies. The Mayo Clinic advises allergy sufferers to swap out the plastic or wood blinds for washable blinds. When the dust collects on fabric, the blinds can be tossed in the washer and easily sanitized. For window coverings, allergy sufferers should stay away from synthetic fabrics on upholstery or window curtains. Instead, opt for window treatments that have been made from natural fabrics like cotton, silk or linen. Many synthetic fabrics contain chemicals that irritate allergies.

3. Curtains made of natural fibers

Replace: Window coverings made of synthetic fabrics

For window coverings, allergy sufferers should stay away from synthetic fabrics on upholstery or window curtains. Instead, opt for window treatments that have been made from natural fabrics like cotton, silk, or linen. Many synthetic fabrics contain chemicals that irritate allergies.

4. Silk flowers

Replace: Real blooms

While some flowers like hostas, hydrangeas, and geraniums are allergy friendly, many other blooms trigger major allergy flare-ups from their pollen. Individuals allergic to pollen should play it safe and decorate using silk flowers. Quality silk flowers look like real lush blooms but take no effort to maintain. If you absolutely need to decorate with real fresh flowers, opt for the hypoallergenic varieties.

5. Natural fabrics for bedding

Replace: All synthetic linens

Synthetic fabrics often contain chemicals that irritate the body. Instead, select natural fabrics like linen, silk, and cotton, and always launder bedding regularly. According to Live Science, many individuals believe they are allergic to down in their comforter when they are actually allergic to the dust mites. If the comforter causes sneezes or itchiness, launder it in hot water to kill mites.

6. Unscented candles

Replace: Scented wicks

Smell sensitive? Many allergy sufferers cannot stand scented candles. If the romantic smelling candle is making you sneeze, it’s time to toss it. To create a cozy and romantic ambiance, buy flameless candles or unscented beeswax candles.

7. Natural throw blankets

Replace: Faux fabric throws

Select natural fabrics for decorative blankets on furniture. Some fabric dyes and synthetic fabrics can wreak havoc on allergies. If you find that certain blankets make you itch or irritate the skin, it’s time to purge them.

8. Air cleaners

Replace: Fans

Fans stir up dust and debris, causing allergens to float happily through the air. On bad air-quality days, turn off the fancy ceiling fan. Instead, turn on an air cleaner to filter out any allergens lingering in the air, and use the air conditioner for cooler air.

9. Hardwood or ceramic tile

Not: Carpet

The Mayo Clinic also recommends allergy sufferers switch out carpet for hardwood flooring or ceramic tile. The bedroom, especially, should have hypoallergenic floor coverings. Carpet traps dust and many yucky particles that could aggravate allergies.

10. Minimalist

Toss out: Knick knacks

Decorative objects, stuffed animals or knick knacks harbor dust and debris, and storing or discarding them is an easy way to remove pesky allergies from the home. A cleaner space also looks nicer and much more Zen. Choose a few statement pieces to give rooms character or opt for hanging artwork to add zest to a room.

Allergy sufferers should choose all-natural fibers, scentless candles, and keep pillows covered to control household allergens from triggering a reaction. While fans keep air circulating, they also move allergens through the air. Turn on the air cleaner instead of using a fan, and opt for air conditioner to cool the air. With a little due diligence, allergy sufferers can decorate their home while keeping the space allergy free.

Mark Kirkpatrick
Mark Kirkpatrick is a journalist, health and fitness enthusiast in Los Angeles, California. He has found that productivity starts with healthy habits and hopes to help others achieve their goals through positive reinforcement.

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