Hypoallergenic Sheets - A Detailed Guide

You will most likely spend a considerable amount of time in bed sleeping, relaxing, and enjoying other activities. While you enjoy how comfortable the bed feels, do you also wonder how clean (or unclean) your sleeping area is at that moment? If you’re using a mattress topper, you can start with cleaning that first before working your way to the other components that make up your bed.

Hypoallergenic Sheets

A soft and supportive mattress covered in luxurious sheets will create an inviting surface for you to sleep and relax on. However, no matter how decadently soft your bed feels, there may still be dangers lurking on and just beneath the surface that can pose threats to your comfort and overall health. The simple step of switching to hypoallergenic sheets may be the start of your path to absolute sleep bliss.

Your bed sheets act as protective layers that can keep your mattress safe from accidental spills as well as dirt accumulation to prolong its life and quality. These sheets are in constant contact with your body when you’re in bed, so you will need to ensure the material is as comfortable and safe as possible. Regularly cleaning the surface of the bed and the sheets can remove the accumulation of dust and other debris, but these are not the only things that contribute to a dirty sleeping area. By using hypoallergenic sheets, you can add an extra level of protection to prevent common allergens from touching your skin and triggering sensitivities that can, in turn, disrupt your restful sleep. The sheets will keep you from sneezing or feeling itchy while in bed, allowing you to take advantage of the benefits of a deep and rejuvenating sleep experience.

Hypoallergenic Sheets

What are Hypoallergenic Sheets?

Hypoallergenic sheets are made from materials that are resistant to common allergens. These sheets are constructed with tight weaves to prevent their surface from forming gaps where allergens such as dust mites and other organisms can be trapped and cause irritations. Hypoallergenic sheets are suitable for people who are easily irritated when exposed to common allergens as well as strong chemicals. Hypoallergenic sheets are mostly made from natural materials that have antimicrobial properties and are breathable to allow air to move freely on and within the fabric. Some synthetic materials such as microfiber can also be used as hypoallergenic sheets, but the chemicals used in their production may still trigger allergic reactions for people who are extremely sensitive to harsh substances.

Hypoallergenic Sheets

Materials Used for Hypoallergenic Sheets

Cotton

Cotton is naturally hypoallergenic, making this material a suitable choice for people who want their immediate sleep environment to be free from irritants. Organic cotton sheets are manufactured without strong chemicals so you won’t be exposed to the strong substances that can trigger allergy symptoms. Hypoallergenic cotton sheets are strong and durable so they can be depended on to last for a long time without considerable damage even with continuous use.

Pros

Breathable

The breathable nature of cotton makes it extremely difficult for bacteria to grow or stay on the surface of the sheets because these organisms thrive in warm and damp environments. Air is allowed to pass freely through the sheets to promote a comfortably cool sensation and prevent heat buildup.

Easy to Wash

Cotton sheets can conveniently be machine washed using warm water unless specified to the contrary in the manufacturer’s instructions. The high temperature of the water helps in eliminating allergens, germs, dust mites, and bacteria.

Soft and Gentle to the Skin 

High-quality cotton such as Egyptian cotton is used in its pure form, without being combined with other materials that sacrifice its natural hypoallergenic properties. This results in luxuriously soft sheets that will feel gentle and welcoming even on dry, rough skin to promote peaceful nights of sleep.

Affordable

Cotton sheets come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and types of cotton used. This results in a product selection that offers something for virtually any budget range. Cotton sheets are some of the most affordable hypoallergenic sheets available, allowing you to keep your sleep environment free from common allergens without the need to spend too much.

Cons

Not Moisture-Wicking

Cotton sheets are breathable, but they do not wick away moisture. Sweat will not be drawn away from the surface of the sheets so you will most likely still feel the clammy and sticky sensation even hours after sleeping. This can result in an uncomfortable feeling that can rudely interrupt a deep sleep experience.

Can Feel Crisp at First

Cotton tends to feel crisp at first before eventually softening further as time passes. This may be an issue for those who want to enjoy the supreme softness from the first time the bedding is used.

Hypoallergenic Sheets

Tencel

Tencel is the brand name of the fabric lyocell, which is derived from the wood pulp of eucalyptus trees that are grown sustainably, without the need for high levels of irrigation and pesticides. Tencel uses a closed-loop procedure to dissolve wood cellulose using chemicals, resulting in a non-toxic solvent that can then be reused to ensure that the overall manufacturing process leaves almost zero waste byproduct. Hypoallergenic Tencel sheets are more expensive than cotton but they work harder to wick away moisture and are supremely soft from the first use.

Pros

Eco-friendly

Growing and cultivating eucalyptus trees does not require large amounts of water, making for environmentally sound practice. Because the resulting non-toxic solvent is fed back into the material, very minimal waste byproduct is left after the manufacturing process.

Breathable and Moisture-Wicking

Tencel is a breathable material that prevents the growth of bacteria, germs, and other irritants such as indoor allergens on the surface of the sheets. It also works to draw sweat away from your body so you can continue feeling comfortably cool and dry even when you sleep for long hours and the room gets warm.

Soft and Smooth

It has a remarkably smooth and soft texture that will not cause irritations even on the most sensitive skin that may feel uncomfortable when exposed to stiff or rough fabrics.

Durable

Tencel hypoallergenic sheets are durable and can be relied on to provide comfort and protection against common allergens for years.

Cons

Expensive

Tencel or lyocell sheets have a higher cost compared to cotton. They may not be the most ideal choice for those who are looking for an affordable set of hypoallergenic sheets.

May Be Difficult to Clean

Tencel sheets often need to be hand-washed so they can be time-consuming to clean. There may be cases when these sheets can be machine washed using the gentle cycle, but this must first be verified with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Hypoallergenic Sheets

Bamboo

Bamboo sheets are made with bamboo plant fibers that have natural antimicrobial qualities that help maintain the freshness of the bedding. They are also hypoallergenic and prevent the accumulation of common allergens on the surface to protect you from the discomfort that these allergy triggers can bring while you are sleeping.

Pros

Antimicrobial

Bamboo sheets have antimicrobial properties that also work to prevent bad odors from setting into the fabric. This will enable you to enjoy your soft, hypoallergenic sheets for a long time without having to endure unwanted smells in the process.

Chemical-free

The bamboo plant can quickly grow on its own without the need for chemicals. This results in an eco-friendly material that has hypoallergenic properties and offers superior comfort with a soft and cooling structure.

Breathable and Wicks Moisture Away

The bamboo material is breathable and moisture-wicking so the sheets stay cool and dry, making it difficult for a damp and humid environment to be cultivated where bacteria and mold can thrive.

Soft and Lightweight Bamboo sheets have a soft and smooth texture and are suitable for those who prefer lightweight sheets.

Cons

Prone to Wrinkling

Bamboo sheets will wrinkle easily after being washed. They will need to be ironed  before you can enjoy their soft and crease-free texture.

Pricey

Bamboo sheets are generally pricier compared to cotton sheets. They may not be an ideal choice for those who are looking for the lowest-priced hypoallergenic sheets.

Hypoallergenic Sheets

Silk

Silk is a naturally hypoallergenic material used in sheets that can help make sleep experiences more comfortable for those who suffer from allergies and/or asthma. The fabric is known for its luxurious texture that invites hours of blissful sleep. A protein that the silkworms produce while spinning the fibers can be found in the silk material, making it resistant to dust mites, germs, and common allergens that may trigger sensitivities or allergy symptoms. Silk sheets are also for those who want only the most inviting sensations to surround them while sleeping.

Pros

Luxuriously Smooth

The decadent smoothness of silk effortlessly glides on one’s skin so these sheets are ideal for people who may be suffering from rough and dry skin that can easily get irritated by stiff textures. This silky feel is for those who want to enjoy a touch of luxury in their sleep environment.

Lightweight

Silk sheets are lightweight and are easy to move around if you need to change positions. They will not interfere with your movements or your comfort.

Provides Great Insulation

Silk sheets can provide superb insulation in the exact manner you require. They will feel cool to the touch, keeping you comfortable and preventing overheating during the summer months. Meanwhile, they  can be warm and cozy during chilly weather.

Cons

Expensive

The luxurious feel of silk sheets come with a correspondingly high-end price. These sheets are for those who are willing to pay the price of having the decadent material on their beds but may not be suitable for people who are looking for affordable hypoallergenic sheets.

Requires Gentle Care

Silk sheets are not suitable for machine washing. The best way to keep them clean is by handwashing. This may be an issue with people who may not have the luxury, energy, or free schedule to handwash the bedding.

Hypoallergenic Sheets

Pros Cons
Hypoallergenic Cotton Sheets
Breathable Affordable Easy to wash Soft and gentle on skin
Does not draw away moisture Initially feels crisp
Hypoallergenic Bamboo Sheets
Antimicrobial Chemical-free Soft and lightweight Breathable and wicks away moisture
Pricey Prone to wrinkling
Hypoallergenic Silk Sheets
Luxuriously smooth Lightweight Provides great insulation
High cost Requires gentle care
Non-hypoallergenic Sheets
More affordable than hypoallergenic sheets Readily available
Not hypoallergenic – may trigger allergy symptoms May not be as comfortable as hypoallergenic sheets

Key Takeaways

  • Hypoallergenic sheets are made with materials that naturally resist common allergens such as dust mites, bacteria, and mildew.
  • Natural materials are mostly used for hypoallergenic sheets. Some synthetic ones – such as microfiber – can also be considered, but they may still contain chemicals that can trigger allergy symptoms.
  • The most common materials used for hypoallergenic sheets are cotton, bamboo, silk, and lyocell (Tencel).
  • Cotton sheets are the most affordable options with a wide range of products to choose from while retaining their hypoallergenic advantages.
  • Hypoallergenic sheets offer great benefits for people with allergies or asthma, while regular sheets may be more suitable and more affordable choices for those who do not.

FAQs

Q: What are hypoallergenic sheets?

A: These are sheets that are made with fabrics that are resistant to common allergy triggers including bacteria, mildew, and dust mites.

Q: Can strong chemicals on sheets cause irritation?

A: Yes. People who are sensitive to harsh substances may feel allergy symptoms or irritation when exposed to strong chemicals.

Q: Why is it important for hypoallergenic sheets to be breathable?

A: A breathable fabric allows air to pass through to maintain a cool and dry surface. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold as well as resist dust mites, as these organisms thrive in moist and humid environments.

Q: Are hypoallergenic sheets expensive?

A: It depends on the material used. In general, though, these natural hypoallergenic sheets  – with the probable exception of cotton – have a higher price compared to sheets that are not hypoallergenic or are manufactured with chemicals (such as polyester).

Conclusion

Hypoallergenic sheets can bring wonderful benefits to those who suffer from asthma and are easily irritated by common allergens. The natural materials used in these sheets are free from chemicals, which can trigger allergy symptoms in people who are sensitive to strong substances. The materials most commonly used for hypoallergenic sheets are listed here to give you a clear idea of each one’s benefits and drawbacks, so you can more easily decide which one will work best for your needs.

Sources

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America – https://www.aafa.org/dust-mite-allergy/

American Thoracic Society Journals – https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1513/pats.201008-057RN

Research Gate- https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237548338_THE_FUNCTIONAL_PROPERTIES_OF_TENCELR_-_A_CURRENT_UPDATE

Institute of Physics – https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/850/1/012028/pdf

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5633739/

Deakin University – http://dro.deakin.edu.au/view/DU:30053661

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