We’ve all heard it before: the theory that carpets inflame allergies and aren’t suitable for allergy sufferers. But is that actually true? Not necessarily – that theory is actually a misconception that has circulated for some years now. So before you run a mile from your carpet, or try to have it replaced, have a read through our fact sheet. We will address some of the commonly held beliefs around carpets and allergy sufferers, and put any false facts to rest. Hopefully, this will help you feel more comfortable around your own carpet, and allow you to enjoy the many benefits it has to offer.
Is carpet really suitable for allergy sufferers? There is nothing to suggest otherwise!
Let’s cut straight to the quick: does carpet cause allergies? Studies have revealed no evidence that carpets cause allergies. In fact, some statistics show that allergies and allergic reactions, such as hay fever, are more prevalent in homes with hard flooring covers. And there’s a good reason for that, which we will explain below. The fact is, there is no solid evidence linking flooring of any variety with allergic responses. Carpet, believe it or not, may actually be the best flooring option for you, if you’re prone to allergies.
So how do carpets and allergy sufferers actually interact? Let’s take a look at how allergies work
Before we get stuck in to the dynamic between carpets and allergy sufferers, let’s look at how allergic reactions come to be. Allergic reactions are an immune system response to foreign substances. These responses are triggered by either: contact, ingestion, inhalation, or injection. Any allergies relating to flooring products will therefore be triggered by either contact or inhalation. Carpets are generally made from materials that rarely, if ever, trigger allergic responses in people. That means that contact is not a likely cause. And inhalation is unlikely as well, as carpet fibres are durable and don’t break down sufficiently to become airborne. So what actually triggers allergic reactions? It’s not the flooring, it’s what’s on the flooring: dust, dander, and mould spores. When these become airborne, due to breezes or disturbance, you can inhale them and have an allergic response.
Carpets don’t inflame allergies: you don’t need hypoallergenic carpets for allergy sufferers
Carpets actually harbour dust, mould and dander particles effectively, so they are less likely to become airborne. They are normally caught securely in the carpet fibres, where they remain until the carpet is cleaned. That means carpet can actually be better for allergies than hard flooring products. Hard floors don’t trap these particles, which allows them to become airborne with little disturbance. As a result, hypoallergenic carpets will normally make little difference on any allergic responses you experience – they harbour dust particles in much the same way.
If you suspect your carpet of inflaming your allergies, it’s best to start with a professional clean
So if you have allergies, the best thing you can do is give your carpet a thorough clean. If your allergies are persistent, we recommend getting a professional clean and seeking the advice of a doctor. A professional carpet clean will remove almost all the dust, dander, and mould. If any does happen to remain, it is likely to be deeply embedded in the carpet and will therefore not become airborne. Consequently, it’s unlikely to cause your allergies any trouble.
Durable carpets can reduce airborne dust and make cleaning easier: we suggest wool or nylon
If your carpet is looking a bit old and battered, replacing it may help your allergies a little. When carpet has deteriorated and thinned, it won’t reduce airborne allergens quite as well. Getting a new wool or nylon carpet can help with this. These materials are durable and easy to clean, which will make allergy prevention much easier for you.
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Looking for a little more help with choosing a carpet? Check out comprehensive How To Buy Carpet guide!