By ISABELLA BIEDENHARN
For all of summer’s good qualities — sunshine, barbeque weather, pool days — the season has one major downside: allergies. Just when it’s safe to open a window without getting a chill, the air has become thick with pollen and ragweed, and ever-present dust mites are lurking at home. Allergens can feel inescapable. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to combat sniffles and itchy eyes. In partnership with Cotton, we're figuring out how to make our spaces more hypoallergenic. From switching out sometimes-itchy down comforters for soft cotton options to investing in an air purifier that will have you breathing easier in no time, we've got plenty of solutions in store.
Want to combat allergies and get better sleep? Switch out your synthetic sheets for ones made of 100 percent cotton, like this chic grid-pattern set from Brooklinen. And according to research, you actually get better sleep on cotton sheets because the fabric doesn’t trap heat the way synthetic sheets do, so your skin can breathe easily at night and you won’t get overheated.
Make it a point to launder your sheets and curtains and clean your home every 1-2 weeks. Wash your sheets however you prefer, and then dry them in the dryer to keep them allergen-free. Don’t worry, you won’t be over-laundering them: Cotton is strong and durable, so your sheets will live through hundreds of spin cycles. For the rest of the home, we love these cruelty-free, allergen-free, and non-toxic products from The Laundress.
It’s crucial to wash your clothes after wearing them outside, or you’re just going to bring pollen into the house. Some synthetic fabrics don’t fare well when you wash them too frequently (read: fabric pilling and stretched-out fits), but cotton is tough and will hold up. Plus, cotton garments retain their shape better than clothes that rely too heavily on spandex, which can sag. These Levi’s Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans are 99 percent cotton, so you can wash those allergens right off of them and not ruin your beloved denim. Win-win!
Ideally, you should keep your windows closed when battling allergies, but sometimes the breeze is worth the sneeze. After you get your fresh air fix, use an air purifier like this one from Molekule, which can completely replace the air in a 600-square foot room once per hour. It captures allergens — including indoor ones like dust and pet hair — and breaks them down. Ahhh, clean air feels nice.
When you’re shopping for curtains, “washable” probably isn’t the first priority on your list — but it should be. Think about it: Pollen, grass, and other allergens come sailing in through your window, getting trapped in the fibers of your curtains. The same goes for dust. For the bathroom, we love these All-Modern curtains: They’re 100 percent cotton, so they’re 100 percent machine washable. (Plus, you’ll save so much money on dry-cleaning!)
Even though you know to wash pillowcases every 1-2 weeks, did you know you should have washable pillows, too? This pillow from Bedding Essentials is machine-washable and has a 100 percent cotton cover (important for anyone who sweats at night, since it’s breathable and doesn’t retain odors like other fabrics). It’s also filled with fluffy, hypoallergenic fiberfill, which is crucial because dust mites tend to stick to feathers in down pillows.