Dust mites have a high cringe factor. You want to use the best vacuum for dust mite allergies when you clean your mattress and pillows each week. It’s easy to do when you change your sheets and wash your bedding.
So what kind of vacuum do you need?
Your best bet is to find one with excellent true HEPA filter that also has good suction.
There are also specialized mattress vacuums just for dust mites. My feeling is that a good vacuum should be able to handle this for most people.
If you have strong dust mite allergies, you will want a good vacuum for your home and a specialized vacuum for your mattresses and the rest of the upholstery in your house.
Let’s dive in to the top choices, shall we?
The Top Picks
Ok, for those who want to just check out the top vacuums, here they are. I’d recommend reading the rest of the article to see why as well as the pros and cons of each model.
- Dyson V7 Mattress Handheld Vacuum
- Housmile UV Mattress Vacuum Cleaner
- Raycop Allergen Vacuum Cleaner
- Iris Mattress Vacuum Cleaner
- Dibea Bed Vacuum Cleaner
Dust Mite Allergies
Dust mites are living creatures who live in dust and feed on skin flakes from humans and pets, and on some mold. Because they’re part of the mite family, they’re really tiny measuring approximately 0.2-0.3 mm.
Thankfully, dust mites don’t burrow under the skin. So why should you be concerned?
Well, they produce a protein that creates allergic reactions when inhaled. So you want to try and prevent them from developing a colony as much as possible.
Dust mites can make asthma worse. Dust mites are also associated with allergic rhinitis. That means you have a stuffy nose. They can also cause you to wheeze.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
You’ll want to start with good quality sheets with a thread count over 250. Actually get two sets since you will want to change your sheets and pillow slips once a week.
Then wash them in hot water and a nice hot dryer. I recommend 100% cotton sheets which will stand up to hot water and dryers better than polyester. And definitely don’t use satin sheets.
Even if you’re not particularly sensitive, you should invest in good dust mite covers for your mattress and pillows. That will provide a barrier between you and the dust mite protein.
If you are sensitive, you should look into a duvet cover if you don’t want to wash your comforter every week.
Additional Anti-Allergen Methods
You can also look into an effective anti-allergen spray for the other areas of your bedroom including the carpet, any rugs, upholstery, curtains, etc.
Some people use baking soda on surfaces and then vacuum it off.
If you want to stay completely on top of the dust mites, you may want to look into spraying your whole house including pet beds with the anti-allergen sprays on a regular basis.
And of course, you want to vacuum regularly with a high quality true HEPA filter vacuum.
What to Look for In A Mattress Vacuum
Let’s look at what you need to know when choosing a dust mite mattress vacuum.
What’s a HEPA filter?
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance. It captures stuff from the air and traps it into a filter. A “True HEPA” filter can capture 99.97% of particulates 0.3 microns or larger from the air, and that’s what you want.
The “HEPA Type” or “HEPA Like” filter only can capture 99% of the particulates 2 microns or larger which includes pet dander and dust.
While that’s nice, to really get rid of dust mites, you need a vacuum with True HEPA filters.
Why do I need a vacuum cleaner for dust mites specifically?
Vacuuming up the little guys is the fastest and easiest way to clean your mattress.
You may read about how ultraviolet (UV) light will kill them. But the truth is you’d have to have a strong bright light on one spot for an hour, and you’re counting on the dust mite not moving.
Some people also say that the vibration of the vacuum will kill the dust mites. It won’t.
The vibration will knock the dust mites loose which makes it easier to vacuum them up. That’s why you want a good vacuum cleaner with strong suction power.
To get rid of dust mites and keep them gone, you need to consistently vacuum, change your linens and wash them regularly, and treat your carpets with anti-allergen sprays.
Once you have a weekly routine down, you’ll find changing your bed goes quickly. Your reward will be better sleep since you’ll be breathing easier.
How does this special purpose vacuum cleaner differ to a regular vacuum cleaner?
True HEPA filter vacuums are able to suction up dust mites and trap them.
Regular vacuum cleaners with HEPA like filters (if they even have a filter) just are not able to capture dust mites, and they can get blown back out into your bedroom.
Why? I hear you ask.
HEPA like filters have larger spaces so the mites can sneak though. A true HEPA filter will be able to capture 99.97% of particulates 0.3 microns or larger.
What Are the Different Types of Vacuums On the Market?
I’ll quickly review the types of vacuums. You may be able to use your regular household vacuum if it has a strong enough suction as well as a true HEPA filter.
There are three main types of vacuums. They are:
I’ll explain them in a second.
There are also robotic vacuums and stick vacuums. You’ve probably seen YouTube videos of cats wearing shark costumes riding around on these automatic vacuums. You can set them up to run automatically once a day or even more.
I don’t discuss them here because no robotic vacuum has a true HEPA filter. Plus, you can’t vacuum your mattress with them.
I also won’t discuss stick vacuums because they aren’t powerful enough, although they are convenient for quick vacuuming off of mattresses and couches.
Specialized vacuums were designed just for vacuuming up dust mites from your mattress, bedding and upholstery. They are not designed for whole home cleaning, and are used in addition to another vacuum.
All specialized vacuums are bagless. That is to say, there’s a collection cup that traps all the dust and debris. You need to hold the main unit over a bin to empty it out. Some people feel that this releases the dust particles (and mites) back into the air.
Some collection cups are easier than others to empty, and if you hold it low enough in the bin, you have a great chance of getting everything out.
Upright vacuums are what you think of when you think vacuums. They stand upright and are pushed across the surface.
Some upright vacuums now have wand attachments which is very useful. It used to be that upright vacuums were limited to only being able to vacuum up what was directly below them.
That made it difficult to vacuum off couches or curtains. And you could forget about crevices.
But now, you can get a lot of the same attachments as a canister. Some people feel it’s easier to push an upright vacuum than the canister. It’s honestly a personal choice and what you’re most comfortable with.
Some of the new upright vacuums are bagless. Some people prefer not to have to keep vacuum cleaner bags on hand.
The bagless are easier to empty out than the stick because you can remove it completely from the vacuum cleaner and then empty it into the bin.
Canister vacuums are comprised of two parts. You have the vacuum cleaner head attached to the main body of the vacuum which is often called a canister. The original ones were more barrel shaped and that’s how they got their name.
Canister vacuums are quite flexible in that you can extend the wand for easy vacuuming of ceilings and the corners of the walls.
You also have a wide variety of attachments for easy vacuuming of your mattress and the tiny corners around the bed frame.
And like the upright, some of the newer canister vacuums are bagless.
As I’ve mentioned before, you want to ensure that you have a True HEPA filter.
On some vacuum cleaners, the HEPA filters are removable and washable. This is convenient for keeping your HEPA filters as effective as possible.
Other models have you replace the HEPA filters regularly. You’d need to read the instructions that come with your particular vacuum cleaner.
Cycle per Minute Suction Power
Some vacuum cleaners will tell you their suction power, some will have cycles per minute suction power.
It’s not always easy to compare. Plus, there’s no one standardized specification, so the vacuum cleaner companies are free to promote whatever number they like.
The bottom line is that strong suction doesn’t always equate to strong power.
The vacuum motor creates a vacuum by having the pressure inside the vacuum be less than the pressure outside. That pulls air (and dirt, debris, and hopefully dust mites) into the vacuum.
The larger the difference in pressure, the stronger the suction power.
Now, you have companies like Dyson that promote their consistent suction that doesn’t lose power. They have a motor that can maintain the suction while it’s cycling.
What do I mean by cycling? When something gets pulled into the vacuum cleaner, it immediately changes the pressure differential. So you need a motor that can maintain a relatively consistent suction.
It’s like if you’re boiling water and you put in your pasta. That lowers the temperature of the water and you have to wait until the pot of water comes back up to a full boil before turning down the temperature to maintain a nice, rolling boil.
Anyway, what you should be focusing on is airflow. That’s measured in cubic feet per minute and is the force of airflow across a surface that’s going to be picking up the dirt.
Real airflow can be affected by turbulence in the wand or hose, any restrictions on airflow where the beater bar meets the floor, and any resistance from the vacuum bag or debris cup being full.
Cordless vs Corded
Some upright vacuums and most stick vacuum cleaners are cordless. They have a large lithium ion battery that lasts anywhere from 20 min to 60 min of vacuum time.
Most canister and upright vacuums have cords. That limits you to the length of the cord. And when you reach that limit, you need to move the plug.
Cordless can certainly be easier if you’re doing a quick vacuum. However the downside is that when the battery runs out, the vacuum just stops. Then you have to wait until the battery is charged up again to finish vacuuming.
With cords, you need to remember to take care of them and not let them get tangled up. Then when you’re done vacuuming, you need to put them away.
Some vacuums have retractable cords which is very handy. Others need to be wound up manually.
All specialty mattress vacuums are corded. So you will need to ensure that there’s an outlet near your bed.
Always look carefully at the length and terms of the warranty. You first want to look at the length of time you have to get repairs or replacements.
And you also want to look at what is covered. Will they replace a non-functioning unit or will they have you take the vacuum to an authorized repair center?
If the manufacturer requires you to take it to an authorized repair center, do you have one near you? Do you have an easy way to transport it?
Finally, you need to be sure that your vacuum cleaner is covered from where you purchased it. Certain manufacturers are a bit picky that their vacuum has to be purchased only from an authorized distributor or dealer.
Finally, you will want to be aware of how your vacuum cleaner gets repaired. Some companies require that you bring in your machine to their nearest approved repair shop. That could be more than 25 miles away.
Other companies work with you to send you replacement parts or send you a return label so you can mail the vacuum back to them.
You will want to carefully read the warranty and understand the requirements of each company that you’re considering.
If you’re going to be vacuuming your mattress, you will care how heavy the vacuum cleaner is since you’ll be lifting something up on to the bed.
If you use the upright, you may use an attachment on the wand. If there’s no wand, then you’ll have to be comfortable lifting the full vacuum cleaner up.
Canister vacuums are easier since you can remove the long wand and attach the motorized vacuum head directly to the hose and vacuum the mattress.
All of the specialty mattress vacuum cleaners are small and light so you should be able to easily vacuum the mattress.
Is It Best to Get A Vacuum Cleaner That Vacuums Just Dust Mites or Dust, Pet Hair, and Everything Else?
It all depends upon your allergies.
If you have breathing problems, then try the mite covers first. If it helps a little, then get the specialty vacuum for mattresses.
Then be consistent with changing your linens and vacuuming your mattress.
You definitely want to get a True HEPA filter vacuum for the rest of your house. Then be consistent vacuuming there as well.
I would recommend a bagged vacuum if you have severe allergies. It captures all the dust. Less leaks out when you remove it than when you empty out a bagless vacuum.
You may want an upright to vacuum the majority of your home. Having a handheld vacuum just for dust mites would be a great way to regularly vacuum off all your mattresses when you’re changing the linens without having to pull out the upright vacuum cleaner.
How Often Should I Vacuum to Keep the Dust Mites Away?
Once a week, you should change all your linens, and vacuum off your mattress.
It’s also a good idea to regularly vacuum your whole bedroom once a week as well.
Can A Special Purpose Vacuum Cleaners Clean All Surfaces Where Dust Mites Live and Breed – Floors, Mats, Carpets, Mattresses and Sofas?
You could vacuum sofas and mattresses, but you’d get really tired trying to vacuum floors and carpets on your hands and knees since the special purpose vacuums are handheld only.
What kind of criteria to use to choose between models?
If you have severe dust mite allergies, then you will want to look into having multiple vacuum cleaners. You’ll want a handheld specifically for cleaning mattresses, pillows, couches and chairs.
Then you’ll want a good vacuum cleaner for the rest of your household so you can keep your rugs, carpets and floors clean of dust and dander.
The Top Mattress Vacuums
The following are the best selling and highest rated on Amazon.
Now, all of them try to say they’re the widest and therefore the best. They’re all about the same width, so find the one that you think works best for your needs and budget.
And remember that most of these are specialty vacuums only designed to pick up dust. They won’t pick up pet fur. The Dyson probably will but that’s not what it was designed for.
Dyson V7 Mattress Vacuum
This is the most expensive option. It is backed with the well-known Dyson cyclonic vacuum suction.
It weighs a little more than 3 pounds (1.44kg) and is rather large. It’s looks exactly like a normal Dyson V7 vacuum except that it has the special head that prevents you from hooking up the long tube of a normal vacuum.
You have to hold down the trigger to keep it running. So your hand could get tired if you have a larger mattress.
It’s filter is removable and washable.
This is cordless and will need to be charged regularly.
And this is the only one to come with attachments that can be used for cleaning crevices on couches or a dust brush for flat surfaces.
You will want this if you have a lot of areas you want to vacuum easily all your mattresses, couches, sofas, tables, bookcases, and anything other than floors.
Housmile Mattress Vacuum
The Housmile is a moderate priced option that also includes UV light. It weighs a bit more coming in around 4.5 pounds (2 kg). It also has a vibrating motor to beat the surface knocking dust mites loose.
You can remove and wash the two filters (and should after every use).
This vacuum has a cord and an on-switch so it’s easy to maneuver on top of your mattress.
It cannot be used for anything other than fabric covered items like couches.
There are no attachments and you cannot replace the UV bulb. It is supposed to last for the life of the vacuum.
This vacuum is shaped like a manta ray in that it’s a triangle with a handle over the top. You use it like an iron in that you leave it in place for a moment and then move to another spot.
You would choose this model if you want a reliable specialized vacuum cleaner just for your mattress and upholstered furniture.
Raycop LITE Mattress Vacuum
Like the Housemiele, the Raycop uses UV light as well as pulsating pads to knock dust loose. It is also corded and can only be used for mattresses and upholstered furniture.
It’s the second most expensive option.
There is an on/off switch and it is also triangular with a handle so you can slowly move it across your mattress.
It weighs 4 pounds (1.8 kg) so it’s lighter than the Housemiele.
The Raycop has two filters. One should be washed after every use. The second should be replaced every six months.
This is a good option for people who want a specialized mattress vacuum that is reliable and slightly lighter than the Housmile.
IRIS Mattress and Furniture Vacuum
This was probably the most fun of all the mattress vacuums because it has a color light system that goes from red to orange and finally to green when it feels it has vacuumed up all the dust.
It’s corded with an on/off switch. You can wash one of the filters and it’s easy to buy replacement filters.
It’s the cheapest and the lightest coming in at 3.5 pounds (1.6kg).
It’s also shaped like a small upright vacuum.
It does use vibration and strong suction to pick up the dust but does not have UV light.
Dibea Bed Vacuum
The Dibea is shaped a little more like the Dyson and has a roller brush. It has both vibrating pads and UV light.
It weighs a little less than 4.5 pounds (1.98kg).
It’s also an affordable model. And it has an on/off switch.
You can remove and wash one of the filters. HEPA replacement filters are available. And there are no other attachments.
This is best for people who want an easy to use vacuum with vibration and UV that’s affordable.
I hope this has helped you! Leave a comment as to your experience with mattress vacuums.