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Unless you live in a desert, you have probably come across nasty dust mites in your mattress, pillows, carpets, and other areas of the house that are damp and humid. One of the most powerful tools used to get rid of dust mites is a dust mite vacuum cleaner.
Does dust mite vacuum work? To be precise, vacuum cleaners do not remove dust mites by themselves but they can control their population so that you get some relief. Vacuuming helps in removing the dust from the surface so that dust mites and allergens do not thrive on them.
In fact, the mites are so small that they can even pass through the vacuum bag. Regular vacuuming of bed, furniture, carpet, and other mites prone areas help in keeping the dust down so that mites do not get attracted. However, this cannot guarantee the complete elimination of allergens.
The life cycle of dust mites is faster than you can imagine. As a result, eliminating their entire population with vacuum cleaners alone is not a practical solution to the problem. No matter how much you clean, this is a never-ending battle that can be controlled but cannot completely be won over.
Recent Findings Indicate Vacuum Cleaners Are Ineffective
A research conducted by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research showed that vacuum cleaners are infective at removing mites and allergens from carpets. The research was done on worn and old carpets and the results indicated that vacuum cleaning could not remove all the dust mites equally and it only distributed them within the carpet.
According to the head researcher, they used the carpet for their study because they are thicker and bigger reservoirs of dust mites than mattresses or any other thing. Vacuum cleaning is considered as the most common method for allergen control but this study has made the picture clear.
The study showed that vacuum cleaning alone cannot fight away dust mites or allergens. They must be accompanied by other methods to control dust. Furthermore, the study showed that the vacuum cleaners with rotating brushes are more effective at removing dirt and allergens than ones without them.
Other studies also reveal that the vacuum cleaners with 2-3 layer bags perform better than the ones with one layer bag. While there are different types of vacuum cleaners available in the market, the ones with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air filter) filtration are most useful at controlling dust mites (see on Amazon).
A Closer Look At Dust Mites And Their Nuisance
Dust mites are like an invisible enemy because they are so small and microscopic that you cannot see them with the naked eye. They have eight legs, but they are not insects. They are from the spider family and can grow up to 0.5mm in length. An ounce of house dust can actually have thousands of dust mites that can’t be seen. Creepy, isn’t it?
The life cycle of dust mites spans across five stages, and they shed skin at every stage from an egg to an adult. Under optimal conditions, the dust mites can grow within a month and live for two months after that. The female mites can lay about 50 eggs during their reproductive stage.
Dust mites like a humid environment, preferably between 75 and 80 degrees F. As they don’t drink water, they absorb it from the humidity around. If the humidity level becomes less than 60%, they cannot survive. This explains why extremely cold and dry places don’t have these arachnids.
While they don’t bite people, their feces can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. Those who have respiratory diseases like asthma and skin problems may experience aggravated symptoms like runny nose, cough, sneezing, red eyes, and so on.
Things To Consider When Buying A Dust Mite Vacuum
You may not have the time to do heavy-duty vacuum cleaning everyday and this is when you need a lightweight stick vacuum to keep your home free of dust mites. If you don’t get the time to vacuum frequently, you may need a canister or upright vacuum with a powerful motor to deep cleanse every corner of the house. If you are a cleaning freak and wish to vacuum clean each day even when you are not around, consider getting a programmable robotic model.
If you are highly sensitive to allergens or seasonal allergies create havoc in your area, vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters may be a good option. If you choose a HEPA certified product, remember to clean or change the filter in every six months or less if your allergies are too severe. If you want to save money, look for the models that can use washable or reusable filters.
The amount of noise your vacuum cleaner produces while running may be an important factor if you live in a small apartment or house where neighbors can feel disturbed. Look at the product specifications to check the noise level of a product or ask the salesperson about the decibel range.
Vacuum cleaning may last for a few minutes or take several hours so the weight of the product determines its ease of use. The full-size models can weigh over 20 pounds while the lighter stick models can be less than 10 pounds. If you live in a multi-story home and need to take the vacuum up and down the stairs, you may want a lighter model that does not hurt.
UV Vacuum cleaners
Unfortunately, there’s no permanent solution for dust mites but the cleaning effects may be short or long-lasting. For long-lasting effects, you may consider buying one of the technologically advanced UV vacuums. These compact and light devices produce beams of ultraviolet light that can kill dust mites and other disease-causing germs. As a bonus, the UV lights are capable of piercing through the dust mite eggs to destroy them even before they hatch.
Top 5 Dust Mite Vacuum Cleaners
#1. Dyson Upright Vacuums and Cordless Stick
Since the Dyson launched its first product in the 1980s, it has never looked back. It is hands down one of the best dust mites vacuum cleaners that do a great job. I like the ball technology which makes it easier for users to operate the product and maneuver it around furniture and hard to access areas. If you are looking for a cordless option, I would recommend the Dyson V8 Cordless vacuum that gives you 40 minutes of run time with 4 hours of charge.
If you are a Dyson loyal, read my article where I have presented an in-depth and unbiased review of the 4 best dust mite vacuums by the company.
#2. Hoover Vacuum Cleaner
It’s hard to find good quality vacuums with HEPA filter and Hoover gets it bang on! With easy reusable filters, Hoover not only helps in controlling dust mites but also removes odors. It comes with a flexible wand that can reach up to 15 feet upwards. The high suction capacity of the device delivers a great job at giving you an allergen-free environment. I recommend it for those who have respiratory problems like asthma or are highly sensitive to allergens.
#3. Shark Rotator Professional Upright Vacuum
The reason why Shark Ninja vacuum cleaners have been able to slowly create hold in the US market despite of so many brands is that they are really good at what they do. This 2-in-1 device works great as an upright vacuum and portable cleaner. The HEPA filter comes with an anti-allergen seal and the LED headlight helps in illuminating dark areas for better cleaning. Besides being stylish and functional, the Shark Rotator Upright Vacuum scores points for being highly versatile.
#4. VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Corded Vacuum Cleaner
Don’t let the small size delude you because this 2-in-1 corded vacuum cleaner can pack a powerful punch with a suction capacity of 600 Watts. The HEPA filter does a good job at controlling the population of dust mites and allergens. Despite being reasonably priced, it comes with accessories that you can otherwise find in high-end upright vacuums.
#5. Housmile Upgraded UV Anti-Dustmite Vacuum Cleaner
This product is specially designed for killing dust mites, not for absorbing dust particles. It releases hot air through a 253.7nm UV tube which eliminates mites, bed bugs, microorganisms and other bacteria up to 99.7%. The HEPA filter can trap microns as small as 0.3 to give you fresh and germ-free air. It is further powered by the activated carbon filtration technology to control allergens twice more effectively than standard models.
Others Ways To Control Dust Mites
Using a de-humidifier
Mites cannot survive in low humidity levels so lower the humidity level in every room and if possible leave the house for a few days. You can set the thermostat to 65 degrees F and place dehumidifiers in different corners of the house. If you maintain these conditions for 1-2 days, the population of dust mites will drastically go down. Vacuum clean the house after 2 days to get rid of the dead mites.
The biggest downside of this method is that the mites will re-appear once you get back to normal temperature levels. Furthermore, running multiple dehumidifiers may cost you a lot and provide only temporary relief. Thus, using a dust mite vacuum cleaner is a more cost-effective solution.
Washing beddings in hot water
Wash all your beddings and other fabric items in hot water or use the hot setting in the washing machine. If you cannot wash the bedding in very hot water, let them run in the dryer for 15 minutes at 130 degree F to kill mites. Drying clothes in direct sunlight can also help in killing mites.
The downside is that even if you change the bedsheets daily and wash them in steaming hot water, the mattress will still contain dust mites. Sweat and body oils permeate into mattresses to create a breeding ground for allergens. You may buy a mattress protector to avoid this but even then you will need to vacuum clean the mattress once a week to remove dust mites.
Baking soda and vacuuming
If you have a mattress with fabric surface then you may clean it with baking soda and vacuum cleaner. Take one cup of baking soda and add a few drops of essential oils to it. Mix well and sprinkle on the mattress. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then vacuum cleaner to suck up all the baking soda along with the dust mites.
I suggest that you use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter as it is more effective at absorbing and containing the mites in the bag. The ordinary ones usually spread the allergens without properly absorbing them.
Not just the bedding, pillows, and mattresses, but the stuffed toys and other items can also have dust mites on them. Put them in a plastic bag and keep inside the freezer for 24 hours. Make sure you do not keep them directly as this may cause freezer burn.
The extremely low temperature will kill the dust mites and also destroy their eggs. When you take out the items from the plastic, shake vigorously to get the allergens out of them. Vacuum clean the area to remove the dirt and debris.
For more ways about killing dust mites: 24 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Dust Mites And Get Allergy Relief
What is the best strategy to kill dust mites
To get the most effective and long-lasting relief, use a HEPA vacuum cleaner like this to remove dust mites from the most allergen prone areas such as a mattress, drapes, furniture, and carpets.
Are steam cleaners effective at removing allergens?
Steam cleaning does a good job at removing dust, dirt, and grime from the surface. It is also effective at killing mites however let’s not forget that moisture accumulated on the carpet due to steam cleaning can create a favorable environment for dust mites to thrive. So, I recommend using dry cleaners.
What change can I do in the house to keep mites away?
Small home improvements and changes can go a long way in keeping a check on mites population. Wash stored blankets and clothes before using them. Use an allergen barrier on your bedding, mattress, and pillows. Replace the down pillows with pillows cover like this, and change the wall-to-wall carpets for vinyl, tile, or wood flooring.