Area Rugs and Allergies

If you are one of the many people who suffers from allergies you likely have been advised to avoid carpets and area rugs. If so, you need to be aware of recent studies that indicate rugs can actually benefit those with allergies. One of these studies surprised many by showing a correlation between having carpet in a school-aged child’s bedroom and fewer days of school absences, as well as less medication needed for managing asthma. Allergy sufferers can help minimize the impact of allergens the home by carefully considering their flooring and by maintaining it properly.

Of course, it is helpful to stop as much dirt as possible at the entrance with proper matting. But no matter what care you take, allergens still enter your home. Once in the building the mold, dust, pet dander, and pollens fall to the floor. From there what happens depends on what the type of flooring. If it is a hard surface – wood, cork, tile, or laminate – the allergens can be easily removed by sweeping or vacuuming. However, a hard floor which is not cleaned often enough allows allergens to float around and contaminate the air more than if they had been trapped in the fibers of a carpet.

Rugs need to be cleaned frequently and deeply enough to remove the trapped allergens. This can be accomplished by frequent vacuuming, steam-cleaning, and annual cleaning by a professional. If your vacuum is not equipped with a HEPA filter, consider a separate unit for your home.

Those with allergies will also want to decide on the best materials for area rugs before settling on a choice. Synthetic blends, such as nylon and polyester, tend to repel allergens more than wool, and they resist molds. It is also wise to take into account the type of rug being chosen: it’s best to avoid shag rugs and to choose carpets in which the strands are tightly woven; shags and looser fibers can be more difficult to clean thoroughly.

Area rugs offer many benefits and so much beauty to everyone. We would be delighted to help you assess what rugs would best meet your needs and preferences.

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