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Exploring the Link Between Allergies, Asthma, and Pillows

Pillows play a crucial role in one’s sleep, significantly affecting whether someone can have a restful night. With the proper neck support pillow, the body can be aligned appropriately, alleviating potential neck or back pains that might emerge when people wake up. It can also make someone more comfortable lying in bed, making it easier for them to relax and fall asleep. In addition, a pillow can improve sleeping posture and reduce the risk of experiencing sleeping disorders like sleep apnea. 

However, pillows can also cause harm for countless sleepers, especially those suffering from allergies and asthma. A lousy pillow can significantly aggravate the symptoms over time, leading to possible sleepless nights that can cause decreased performance at work or school. This can also result in more serious health complications that can decline someone’s health over time, including reduced lung function and chronic airway inflammation. 

This is why individuals with allergies or asthma must learn the connection between their conditions and pillows. Learning how pads can trigger asthma and allergies can help sleepers buy a new one, ensuring they can get a night of restful sleep and be ready for the day. 

Understanding Allergies and Asthma

Before diving into the role of pillows in allergies and asthma, people need to understand the two conditions, especially those not diagnosed by medical professionals. Allergies happen when someone’s immune system reacts to foreign objects that enter the body. Symptoms can vary depending on what someone is allergic to, while severity can go from minor irritation to anaphylaxis. 

Meanwhile, asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes people to experience various symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. This happens when the airways inside the lung get inflamed or narrowed, triggered by different factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, and prolonged exposure to allergens. 

The Role of Pillows in Allergies and Asthma

If you have allergies and asthma and find your conditions getting triggered often, then your pillow might be to blame. Despite proper maintenance and cleaning, pads can carry various allergens that can lead to allergy or asthma attacks in the middle of the night. These allergens can slowly accumulate in the pillow as people continually sleep on them, and exposure to them can cause irritations that can be frustrating over time. 

Here are some of the most common allergens that might pile up in the pillow and trigger one’s allergy or asthma while sleeping: 

  • Dust

From dead skin cells, dirt, pollen, and fabric fibers, dust can significantly grow in the pillow, especially if it is not cleaned regularly. These irritants are often trapped in the pillow, and inhaling these can trigger potential allergic and asthma symptoms, including watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, scratchy throat, and breathing difficulty. 

  • Dust Mites

Apart from dust, another allergen that might be living rent-free in your pillow is dust mites. These microscopic organisms often thrive in warm and humid environments and feed on a human’s dead skin cells that usually collect in the pillow. If left untreated, dust mites can make pillows their breeding ground. This can increase the chances of individuals inhaling waste or decomposing bodies, triggering allergies and asthma. 

  • Molds and Fungi

Another allergen that can cause severe allergic and asthma attacks is molds and fungi that can build up due to moisture and oils that go into the pillow. This includes food stains, high humidity or perspiration, and saliva that sleepers excrete while sleeping. These allergens can release a significant amount of spores that can trigger allergies and asthma as they develop. 

How to Avoid Allergens from Accumulating in the Pillows

Now that you know how several allergens can cause allergic and asthma episodes through your pillow, it is essential that you also learn how to alleviate the allergens from hoarding into the pillow. And while it is not possible to completely prevent these things from growing in the pad, there are some things you can do to prevent it from causing restless nights. 

  • Regular Cleaning: The most obvious way to reduce the possibility of allergens piling up is to clean the pillows and pillow sheets regularly. This can wash away the dust, dust mites, and molds already compiled in the pillow. Washing the pillowcases and sheets at least once a week has become a general rule for those seeking comfortable sleep. 
  • Choose Hypoallergenic Pillows: People with allergies and asthma should consider getting pillows made with synthetic materials. This type of pillow has a dense structure that makes it hard for allergens to accumulate inside and outside the pad. 
  • Use Pillow Covers: One thing that numerous people do all the time is not using pillowcases. This product is an excellent barrier between the pillow and outside elements, mitigating the risk of allergens penetrating and building up in the cushion. 
  • Keep Pets Away: Having your furry friends in the bed doesn’t only affect the mattress. They can also bring dirt and dust into the pillows, especially if they stay there for a prolonged time. 
  • Try to Keep Low Humidity in the Room: Dust mites can only consume water by absorbing it in the air, making them thrive in humid conditions. An AC, ventilation fan, or dehumidifier can help make the room less habitable for these micro creatures. 


As sleep becomes more important in the fast-paced world, ensuring that your pillows won’t cause you allergy or asthma attacks in the middle of the night becomes more critical. Several types of allergens can be found in the pads, helping intensify allergy and asthma symptoms in the long run. But with proper maintenance and cleaning, people can ensure that they can use their pillows without worrying about allergies or asthma episodes during or after sleep. 

And if you are looking for a hypoallergenic and height-adjustable pillow for you and your family, Nishikawa has got you covered. The Nishikawa AiR Pillow series is made with comfort in mind, guaranteeing that individuals can have the best sleep possible. It is made with polyurethane which makes it ideal for people with allergies or asthma. It also has sheets that make it possible for people to adjust the thickness of the pillow based on preference. 

Ready to Have the Best Pillow of Your Life?

If you are interested in our products, visit our hands-on store at 395 Santa Monica Pl, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Here, you can experience various AiR products and see what fits your needs best. We can help you measure the pressure balance applied to your body when sleeping and recommend the ideal mattress and pillow for a comfortable sleep. We can also precisely measure the curve of your head and neck so you can have the perfect pillow for the best sleeping experience.

If you have further inquiries, please connect with us by visiting or calling (424) 278-0300.


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