Dust Mites and Sofas? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-19-2011, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi. I want to buy a couch that is easy to clean/get rid of dustmites. My daughter and I might have a dustmite allergy.

But, either way, I love the idea of a couch that is super easy to clean.

I don't want pleather because I've been reading about the toxicity of such materials.

I'd rather not have leather because we eat a vegan diet and I when I really think about it, I'm pretty sure that would make my family uncomfortable. Although I have not completey ruled it out.

I was thinking about a wicker couch with machine washable cushions, but then I read that wicker is a dust magnet.

I don't want to use a plastic cover like Marie of Everybody Loves Raymond.

I'm about to buy a bunch of machine washable floor cushions, which my family may actually go for, but would make some guests rather uncomfortable.

Is wicker really that bad for a dustmite allergy?

Is there some sort of dustmite resistant sofa material out there that I don't know about? Please tell me there is. :)


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#2 of 6 Old 03-19-2011, 02:38 PM
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I have thought a lot about this. I did think of a futon with a washable dust mite resistant futon mattress protector if that exists. My husband wasn't thrilled with the idea of a futon so I didn't pursue that. You could try a steam sanitizer on the cushions--if you ran it weekly it would conceivably kill dust mites but then you've got the wet factor and the dust mites in the air/flooring etc. There are chemicals to kill dist mites but that's a problem altogether.

My solution was to vacuum frequently and use a HEPA filter in the room with the sofa. My son is doing well since we've done that and our upholstry is old and certainly dust filled. We make sure he showers before bed so any dust on hair and clothes isn't in his (as dust free as we can make it...) bedroom.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#3 of 6 Old 03-22-2011, 08:16 PM
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I bought the Ikea Ektorp sofa because it has removable covers that can be washed.  I have had the thought of buying dust-mite-proof fabric and covering the pillows with it, then putting the sofa covers over that.

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#4 of 6 Old 03-22-2011, 11:02 PM
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I bought the IKEA sofa also, but it's very uncomfortable and the support beam broke about a year after we had it, It was repaired by my dh. We also have another sofa that's newer, all in microfiber and synthetic material. As soon as the washable slip cover comes in the mail in the next few days, I'll cover the main part of the sofa with a allergy-proof mattress cover or two and then put the slip cover over it. Sounds extreme, but we have severe allergies here. Tearing out all the carpets has helped a lot too.

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#5 of 6 Old 03-23-2011, 07:03 AM
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That's weird about an Ikea couch.  We had two Ektorps for 10 years without an issue at all.  We got rid of them to get a leather couch when DS developed allergies since they were old and I knew there had to be mites inside the cushions at that point.  I hate our new couch and can't wait to buy another one from Ikea....lol.

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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#6 of 6 Old 04-25-2011, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd just like to update what route we decided to go.

This is going to sound strange and I'm aware that it won't work for a lot of families, but my husband built an L shaped bench under a big window in our livingroom. The livingroom looks great! Very clean and crisp and there is so much more space for my daughter to play now.

Right now, it's only padding is some cute blankets, but we hope to eventually have some type of machine washable cushions on it instead. There are some pillows on the bench againt the wall to make it more comfortable.

I've been learning a lot about the minimalist lifestyle/voluntary simplicity and it led me to think "Hey, our family hardly sits on the couch anyways. I can choose to keep a pita to clean couch or I can simply get rid of the problem." lol Now, once a week, I just take the blankets off the bench and wash them. Simple as that. I couldn't be happier with our decision.


We do not get a lot of company and the company we do have always seems to prefer the floor, even when we give them plenty of seating options. So far, no complaints from anyone, although I'm sure we'll get teased by my father in law.

The only t.v. we watch is a movie once a week or so, and I would definately like some extra cushioning for that, but it's otherwise great for reading a book, etc.


Again, I know this option may not work for your family and we were really worried we would absolutely hate it, (We thought we would miss having a big poofy couch.) but it's so amazing to know that your sofa is not covered in mites. You know that feeling you get when the floors have just been mopped. I feel that way about my dust mite free seating everyday!

Just a thought...


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