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What Is a Hypoallergenic Comforter?

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  • Written By: Sandi Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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A hypoallergenic comforter is a comforter specifically designed to meet the needs of allergy sufferers and those with sensitive skin. While the term hypoallergenic is sometimes taken to mean allergen free, this is not necessarily the case. Hypoallergenic materials, including comforters, are engineered only in an effort to cause the least possible reaction in the largest percentage of a population. In other words, a hypoallergenic comforter and other bedding options are designed with the idea of causing the fewest number of allergic reactions in the majority of people. Some allergy sufferers will still have allergic reactions when using a hypoallergenic comforter.

Typically, a hypoallergenic comforter is made of synthetic materials. Natural materials, such as goose down, are often used in standard comforters, but can spark an allergic reaction in those individuals who are allergic to feathers or animal dander. As such, many manufacturers offer down-free or synthetic fiber options under the description of hypoallergenic. Alternatively, some manufacturers offer natural fiber options with an outer casing meant to protect those with sensitivities. Although down alternatives are the most common type of hypoallergenic comforter, many allergy-friendly comforters also combat other common allergens.

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Aside from allergies to natural fibers, many allergy sufferers are also allergic to dust, dust mites, pollen, and other microscopic particles. Many hypoallergenic bedding options are manufactured with tightly woven fibers, such as silk or polyester, to help prevent tiny pollen or other particles from lodging in the material. Likewise, tight weaving and certain types of synthetic fibers prevent dust mites from invading the material, creating allergic reactions unrelated to the comforter itself. Comforters made with this type of material are advertised as hypoallergenic because of the ability to repel common allergens.

What constitutes a hypoallergenic comforter varies from one manufacture to another. Even the same manufacturer may offer different types of comforters and comforter materials for allergy sufferers. For example, one manufacturer might offer two different types of hypoallergenic comforter. One comforter might feature real down sealed inside of a protective layer. Another comforter might feature synthetic microfibers designed to imitate the look and feel of a traditional down comforter, but without the potential to cause a reaction.

When researching or purchasing a hypoallergenic comforter, savvy shoppers do well to read the fine print regarding individual product descriptions. Depending an individual’s specific allergies, some anti-allergy bedding may not be appropriate. Few standards exist to regulate hypoallergenic bedding or other products, allowing manufacturers broad application of the term. Careful review of the specific comforter’s material construction, including fillings, paddings, stitching, and encasements, is advised.

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