Can A Featherbed Be Hypoallergenic?
The oversimplified answer to the question "Can a featherbed be hypoallergenic?" is "yes". According to Encarta, the word hypoallergenic means that a product is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. For anyone with allergies related to down or feathers the term hypoallergenic is of extreme importance if they would like to sleep on a feather bed. A person with these types of allergies will definitely require the hypoallergenic designation on any featherbed they consider.
Each major featherbed manufacturer has a process name for cleaning the down and feathers to enable the label "hypoallergenic" to be applied to the featherbed. One company refers to their hypoallergenic feather bedding as RestAssured®.
While this it is all fine and nice to be designated as hypoallergenic, what does it take to get that type of designation? The American Down and Feather Council (ADFC) is a voluntary group of natural fill bedding manufacturers, processors and dealers. It is their goal to further the interests of the industry while maintaining and improving the quality of their products. It is the goal of their Labeling Compliance Program to make certain that all bedding products with natural fill are correctly labeled. In addition, the quality of the bedding products must meet or exceed the description claims on the package or label. The exact industry standard that must be met to be termed hypoallergenic is an oxygen number not exceeding 4.8 and a turbidity level of greater than 500mm. The oxygen number indicates cleanliness of the down and feather with the cleanest numbers being between1.6-3.2. Turbidity measures how much dust or dirt is present in the feathers after cleaning. The higher the # the less dirt is present.
Featherbeds can be truly hypoallergenic. If you have allergies to feather and down, you do not have to do without the comfort of a featherbed. Look for the hypoallergenic designation, an ADFC seal of approval and at least a 30 day money back guarantee when you select your featherbed. Then, lie back and enjoy the best night's sleep you have had in years.
If you are still concerned about hypoallergenic featherbeds you can always consider a fiberbed. A fiberbed is similar to a featherbed but it contains polyester. Almost all fiberbeds are hypoallergenic by nature.
To stay hypoallergenic it is important to make use of featherbed protectors and possibly a stain or water resistant mattress pad placed on top to keep moisture away from the featherbed and reduce any allergen build up once the item is at home on your bed. Even the smallest feather bed is too big to wash in the laundry, especially at home. So prevention of accidents is key to keeping your feather bed investment in sound condition.
Some companies market a dust mite resistant cover for bedding and generally they feel stiff to the touch and can feel clammy because of the polyester blend fabric. In general a feather bed protector is a great investment and will go a long ways in making it last longer as well.