Every time you hop onto your bed, you release from your bedding a microscopic cloud of human skin cells, dust mites and their poop, fungal mold, insect parts, pollen, and “bodily secretions from every portal of your body,” says Philip Tierno, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and pathology at the NYU School of Medicine. That’s because all of these things can get trapped in your pillows, mattress, and even box springs, thanks to gravity, and fester for years and decades on end, he says. Apart from making between-the-sheets romps seem a whole lot less sexy, all of those organisms can cause allergic symptoms like a headache and stuffy nose. Your move: Keep your pillows, mattress, and box springs in impervious covers so that nothing can get in or out of them. Put your regular sheets over them, and then aim to wash your sheets every week and those covers a couple of times a year, he says.
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