Which new purchase will best prevent allergies?

I’ve decided to spend some money on allergy-fighting. I am going to make one of three purchases:

  1. Vacuum: some kind of canister vacuum w/ a HEPA filter (I have hardwood floors). As it is, I just sweep and occasionally mop.

  2. Bedding: hypoallergenic pillows and pillow-protectors, ditto with duvet.

  3. Air filter: one of those ionizing air filters, probably also HEPA.

These are all about comparable in price ($200-$300). But which will have the greatest effect on my allergies? I live in a 700 sq. ft. apartment and do not own pets. Mostly I’m trying to reduce dust and dust mites as well as pollen and other allergens. What do ya’ll think?

Since you have hardwood floors, I think bedding might contribute the most to reducing allergens.

A gas mask?

I vote for the bedding, plus a dust mop from Target. You can get a lot of dust with a proper dust mop, and it’s cheap.

[slight hijack] Is it true that pollen & such allergies can be combatted by eating local honey every day?

Bedding is the most important. The pillow case being changed often is the most important.

Look into replacing the furnace filter with a high grade one for only $20.

Don’t sweep. Get a dust mop.

The hyperallergenic vacuums still put out enough dust to make my nose plug up.

I sort of think the best thing you can do for allergies is to expose yourself to allergens like mad, and build up a natural resistence. This is a controversial view, and the specifics around it are too long for a post, but I wanted to put this opinion out there, without meaning in any way to be sarcastic.

Is it really controversial? If a person has the time (a few years even?) hasn’t it been proven that desensitization works? Were all those allergy shot I took as a kid for nothing? :confused: :eek:

As a fellow dust mite allergy sufferer, I vote for the bedding. I think you can do it for less than $200, though. I buy my stuff at www.nationalallergy.com A place like Target or Wal-mart may have this stuff even cheaper, although they don’t always have the full selection in stock. The key things are encasing the box spring and the mattress and the pillows. Once they are encased, I don’t find any benefit from hypoallergenic pillows. Personally, I avoid feather pillows, because I’m also allergic to feathers, but any polyfill pillows are fine for me once they are in the encasing. Make sure all of your bedding is machine washable in hot water, and wash it often. No non-washable comforters, vellux blankets are a good alternative.

You are lucky to have hardwood floors. If you can afford to have someone else do your sweeping, vacuuming if necessary, and dusting, it is very helpful. If not, wearing a mask when you do those chores is geeky but somewhat helpful. I did the desensitization shots for a little over a year, for this and several other allergens. They were somewhat helpful, but I couldn’t keep up with the weekly schedule. If **Chief Pedant ** is suggesting you just immerse yourself in the dust mite allergen, rather than desensitization shots, I’d be very skeptical.

Part of the trick to having bedding that’ll help prevent attacks is the ability to wash it at temperatures high enough to kill mites, mold, etc. You might check before purchasing to make sure one you’re considering is manufactured with the ability to withstand this punishment in mind.

Chiming in to agree with bedding. That change has had the greatest impact on my family’s allergies.

Check out the book My House is Killing Me by Jeffrey May. Excellent, practical advice (and some fascinating tales) from an expert.