Don’t toss your mattress over dust mite worries

Your vacuum is the front line against dust and mites trapped in your mattress.

“Keep it clean in bed,” urges a major chain of mattress stores in an advertising campaign.

Using the double entendre slogan, the retailer tries to coax consumers into buying a new mattress at least every eight years. The television commercial features a comically scowling actor dressed in a dust mite costume and another actor feigning disgust at the prospect of sharing a bed with an insect who feeds on dead skin cells and then “poops” all over the mattress.

The ad claims mattresses over eight years old host too many dust mites and should be replaced.

Of course, the age of your mattress is not really the major factor determining how many dust mites will be sharing your bed.

The American Lung Association points to more practical methods of dust mite control for people with allergies and asthma who are sensitive to dust mites: reduce humidity in bedrooms, avoid upholstered furniture, use hard flooring instead of carpets, clean hard floors with a damp cloth to capture dust, and “reduce the places where dust mites can live.”