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Doctors believe that 90 percent of allergies are caused by house-dust mites. These microscopic creatures live on dead skin cells that make up 80 percent of all household dust. The majority of the mites live in beds and bedding and provides the perfect habitat with plenty of dead skin cells and moisture. The older the bed the more dust mites there are.

A tenth of your old pillow could contain dead skin cells, mould, dead mites and mite droppings, all invisible to the human eye.

Non-allergenic mattresses are now just coming onto the market, but still you will need to go to a specialist for a good range of products. These will be more expensive than the normal mattresses, but can make all the difference to an allergy or asthma sufferer. To find your nearest supplier ask instore at a local bed shp or look in the Yellow Pages.

Unfortunately it is impossible to achieve a totally dust-free bedroom, but you could try encasing your pillow and mattress with a special microporous cover. This allows moisture through, but keeps mites out.

Brands to look out for:

*Intervent – Allergen Exclusion Bedding System that wipes clean.
*Banamite Anti -Allergy Bedding which is machine washable 60degrees. Complete bedding kit includes pillow, mattress cover and duvet.
*Allerayde cotton covers - Washable at 60 degrees. The complete bed kit includes pillowcase, mattress and duvet covers.
*Alprotec covers.
*Medibed Anti Allergy Bedding - washable at 60 degrees. Can be made to measure direct from the manufacturer.
*Holden Medical One-in-Four Protector and Protector Plus complete system. Hand washable at 40 degrees.

To keep allergies at bay try these easy tips:

*Keep the bedroom well ventilated to keep the humidity down.
*Air the bed daily and wash the bedding frequently at temperatures over 55 degrees.
*Vacuum and clean the room and bed regularly using the small nozzle on your hoover.
* Never dust or vacuum with windows closed.
* Keep the room tidy, yet do not over dust or vacuum. Once or twice a week is fine.