Yuck! What’s Hiding in Your Pillow?

keep pillows and bedding clean, sanitation in bed sheets and pillow, keep bedding sanitary, germs in pillow, whats hiding in your pillow, dust mites

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

May 19, 2017

  • Can you believe you’re laying your head on THIS every night?
  • You’ll never look at your pillow the same again
  • Your best protection against allergy-causing dust mites in the bedroom

Do you seem to suffer from year-round allergies? Are your mornings spent clearing out clogged nasal passages? Do you tend to feel congested and headachy for the first part of your day?

If so, your pillow could be to blame.

You see, every night while you’re sleeping you deposit dead skin and hair into your pillow. That’s pretty disgusting.

Even more disturbing is the number critters that come to feast on all of that dead skin.

I’m talking about dust mites. These tiny pests are invisible to the naked eye. However, the amount of skin cells you shed in a single day can feed a million of them.

And here’s the most repulsive part of all of this…

If your pillow is more than two years old, a third of the total weight of your pillow could be comprised of dead skin cells, dust mites, other bugs and all of their “droppings”.

When you think about it, the gross factor is pretty high. But that’s not all you have to worry about.

This little colony that’s sprouted up inside your pillow could be responsible for all of those allergy symptoms you can’t seem to get rid of.

You’ll never look at Your Pillow the Same Again

Not everyone has a dust mite allergy. Still, somewhere around 20 million people here in the U.S. are allergic to the tiny bugs.

But it’s not because they bite or burrow into your skin. Rather, they leave behind droppings and dead body fragments that break down into allergens.

When you breathe them in, your immune system mistakenly interprets these waste particles as dangerous invaders. As a result, your immune response kicks into high gear.

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This overreaction is what leads to nasal congestion, watery eyes, sinus headache and sneezing. In some cases it can even trigger an asthma attack.

The thing is most people don’t even realize that dust mites are a major source of allergies and asthma. It’s also a common misconception that changing your pillow case on a regular basis will keep your pillow “clean”.

Not true. It doesn’t matter how often you change the pillowcase. You’re still exposing yourself to dust mite allergens… every night… all night long… year in and year out.

Additionally, mites can take up residence in your sheets and comforters in a matter of days. This is especially true in regions that experience high humidity.

It’s Time to Invest in a New Pillow

It’s easy to hold onto the same treasured pillow for years on end. After all, if your pillow provides the perfect support and comfort, why buy a new one?

Well, now that you know what’s hiding inside of it, it’s probably a good time to invest in a new one.

Your best bet is to look for pillows that have a wool filling and are covered with a tight weave natural fabric. When you go this route, you’ll know that:

  • You won’t be exposed to synthetic chemicals or fire retardants in your pillow. Wool is naturally fire resistant.
  • You’ll stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Believe it or not, wool helps regulate your body temperature.
  • Your pillow will remain dust mite free. Wool is naturally coated in lanolin, a protein that helps repel dust mites.

Then, for added protection against the build up of dirt, skin cells, pet dander and other offensive materials, place your pillow in a zippered pillow cover. Again, make sure it’s a natural fabric with a tight weave. I suggest you do the same for your mattress.

As far as your regular bedding is concerned, just wash them every week in hot water.

On a side note, dust mites thrive in warm humid conditions. So if you’re pretty sure they’re the source of your allergy problems, investing in a dehumidifier for your bedroom could make a big difference.


Calderón MA, et al. Respiratory allergy caused by house dust mites: What do we really know? J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Jul;136(1):38-48.

Tian CM, et al. Studies on the Flame Retardation and Thermal Degradation of Wool. J Textile Inst. 1998; 89(3).

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