The Truth About Wool Carpets and Asthma

Wool carpets are allergy friendly

Wool carpets are perfect if you suffer from allergies or asthma.

The most common single cause of asthma is sensitization to house dust, or more precisely to the dust mite, and particularly its waste products. But there’s no reason why asthmatics shouldn’t enjoy the comfort and aesthetic pleasure of wool carpet.
In fact, not only are carpets inhospitable for dust mites, but wool carpet is especially resistant. Research performed by the German Applied and Experimental Allergy Research Association (GAF) showed that when wool and nylon carpets (one of which was treated with an anti-microbial finish) were compared for dust mites populations, the wool carpet performed best in resisting dust mite infestation.

Wool’s long, coarse fibres cannot be inhaled and therefore do not affect asthma sufferers. So as long as the air is dry, the ventilation good and the cleaning regular and thorough, asthma sufferers can breathe easy with wool carpet!

Carpets And Asthma

Dust mites feed on human skin flakes and live mainly in mattresses and similar warm, dark places.  Bed-making sends dust mites airborne causing them to be found in floor dust, mainly in bedrooms.  To the dust mite, carpets are a hostile environment: too cold, too dry, too exposed to the light and too regularly cleaned.  Since carpets, unlike smooth floorcoverings, hold dust in their structure, dust mites will be removed by vacuum or wet cleaning.

Dustmites cannot live on wool carpets. They eat flakes of human skin. Wool carpets generally contain very low levels of permethrin, a natuarrly occuring substance that kills very small insects.

Installing a wool carpet is a very good thing to do if there are asthma sufferers in your home.

By their very nature, wool carpets and rugs are good for the indoor environment. That’s because wool, unlike synthetic fibers, rapidly absorbs common contaminants in indoor air like formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide.  Not only does wool keep the air free of many harmful pollutants, it will not re-emit them, even when heated.  In fact, it has been estimated that wool carpets can continually purify indoor air for up to 30 years!

Preventing Asthma  – Some simple things you can do.

Discard old and dirty mattresses, bedding, pillows and furnishings.
If possible, sleep with windows open to reduce the amount of moisture in the bedroom (for breathing).
Reduce the room temperature and thickness of bedding to reduce persperation. – Most people sleep better in a cooler room.
After you get up, air the bed with the windows open. Electric blankets aslo create a dryer environment.
Avoid placing pot plants, flowers and other sources of moisture in bedrooms.
For children who suffer from dust mite allergy, regularly freeze soft toys for 72 hours. Then wash the soft toys.
Update: More Information…
This post has proved by far the most read and linked to within WoolBlog.  It currently ranks only 3rd in Google for Carpets and Asthma!
This has inspired me to put more on the benefits of wool on our website..
USA version is at

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