With the amount of time spent in the bedroom, it is important to make the environment as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, allergies have become more and more common. There are many causes: dust, mold, mildew, pollens, synthetic fabrics, the detergents and softeners used to wash bedding, as well as chemicals found in decorating mediums such as paint, wallpaper glue, and carpets. There are products available that have been proven to help those who suffer from asthma or skin rashes.
For the bed, there are mattress and pillow covers designed to seal out allergens (and also keep your mattress and pillows clean and fresh longer.) Buy 100% cotton or all-natural bed linens, launder in hot water and gentle soap, and avoid fabric softeners. Until recently, down duvets has not been an option for allergy sufferers. But the down is now being processed in such a way that most allergens are removed. Look for hypoallergenic on the label, and talk to the salesperson about the success of their product, or any guarantees the manufacturer or store can provide. These duvets are worth the additional cost.
Foam pillows are available in numerous sizes and shapes. There are also pillows filled with buckwheat that are non-allergenic and give good support for the neck and spine. Remove wall-to-wall carpets and opt for hardwood, cork, or other floor materials that do not give off toxic gases and are easier to keep clean.
Water-based (latex and acrylic) paint is generally nontoxic, especially once dry and it does dry quickly. If you or your children are very susceptible to allergies, there are also specialty paints available. Always check with a qualified medical practitioner first to identify the source of your allergy. If your taste runs to damasks, velvets, brocades, or corduroy, which are heavy fabrics not really meant to be slept under; these make beautiful bedspreads or toppers that can be folded down at bedtime. Handmade quilts, whether passed down through generations, discovered at a country fair, or store bought, will never go out of style. The histories behind the intricate and colorful patterns along with the time and love that go into stitching each quilt make it a cherished part of the room's decor.
Chenille bedspreads are popular once again, as are soft Indian cotton and cotton pique, for those who like a lighter, pared-down bed.