The 8 Best Pillowcases and Protectors for People With Allergies
If you're having a serious case of the sniffles, it might be time to consider an unsuspecting culprit: Your pillowcase. Or rather, the tiny little creatures called dust mites that can get inside of it. What was that? Oh, just us shuddering over here.
Runny nose, itchy eyes, and coughing can all be signs of a reaction to dust mites, one of the most common indoor allergens, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI). Dust mites love dark, humid environments, as well as carpeting, mattresses, and pillows, explains Purvi Parikh, MD, a clinical assistant professor who specializes in allergy and immunology in the departments of Pediatrics and Medicine at NYU Langone. For this reason, investing in protective covers for bedding and pillows is crucial for people with allergies, she adds.
"Hypoallergenic pillowcases help with keeping the dust mites out of your pillow so that the inside of it is not full of dust mite feces, which is what we are allergic to," New York-based allergist Payel Gupta, MD, FAACI, tells Health. "Dust mites live off of the flaking of our skin and so are found in our bedding, rugs and other upholstered furniture."
To reduce bedtime respiratory issues due to dust, consider pairing a hypoallergenic pillowcase with a pillow protector. Below, you'll find a variety of top-rated options that have received glowing reviews from allergy sufferers.
The best hypoallergenic pillowcases and protectors of 2021
- Best Overall: Sureguard Pillow Protector
- Expert-Recommended: National Allergy BedCare Allergy Pillow Protector
- Best Budget: Aller-Ease Cotton Pillow Protector Set
- Best Waterproof: Everlasting Comfort Waterproof Pillow Protector Set
- Best Antimicrobial: Aller-Ease Ultimate Pillow Protector Set
- Best Value: Utopia Bedding Pillowcases
- Best Color Variety: Kotton Culture Pillowcase Set
- Best for Skin: Silvon Silver-Infused Pillowcase
Things to consider when choosing a hypoallergenic pillowcase
Before taking details like size and color into consideration, Dr. Gupta recommends opting for hypoallergenic pillowcases that are made with plastic, vinyl, or woven covers to ensure their effectiveness. "Studies show that tightly woven covers and plastic prevent mite penetration, whereas non-woven covers do not," she points out. "Woven covers are also easier to clean and more comfortable." Gupta further notes that plastic and vinyl materials may be easier to clean compared to natural fibers.
Other ways to reduce bedtime allergies
Speaking of cleaning, Dr. Gupta stresses the importance of maintaining a dust-free environment when tackling bedtime allergies. "Vacuum with a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner and dust frequently with a damp cloth and a dry cloth," she begins. "Minimize rugs and carpeting when possible, and keep them clean if you have them. Wash your sheets in hot water at least once a week—not cold or warm—and reduce clutter, which can cause the accumulation of dust." What's more, Dr. Gupta suggests keeping the humidity of your room around 50% to ward off allergens. "Dust mites live off of the humidity in the air," she explains. "So more humidity means more dust mites."
Keep reading to learn more about the best hypoallergenic pillowcases and protectors that will help you enjoy a good night's sleep.
1. Best Overall: Sureguard Pillow Protector
Completely waterproof against spills, saliva, and sweat, this enclosed case has an ultra-fine zipper to seal off your pillow from even the smallest mites. Available in five sizes, the hypoallergenic pillow protector keeps common allergens like mold, mildew, pollen, and pet dander at bay so you can enjoy a good night's sleep. Fans of this set were also impressed by its breathable material, which hot sleepers shared kept them cool at night. No wonder why it has a 4.7-star average customer rating on Amazon.
"I have purchased pillow protectors in the past," one shopper began their review. "I will tell you why I feel these are the best. They are not made of a thin and slippery fabric, they are made of a lined terry cloth material that grips the outside pillowcase… My husband, who is highly allergic to dust mites, has been sleeping like a baby."
To buy: $28 for a set of 2 (was $45); amazon.com
2. Expert-Recommended: National Allergy BedCare Allergy Pillow Protector
Recommended by Dr. Gupta, this hypoallergenic pillow protector creates a protective barrier using tightly woven, 100% organic cotton, which also gives it more breathability for hot sleepers. In addition to minimizing morning congestion and stuffy noses by keeping dust mites, pollen, and mold from lurking inside your pillow, this cover can also help prevent bed bugs from getting in.
"I decided to go all organic with my bedding this year to combat allergies," one Bed Bath & Beyond shopper shared. "These pillow protectors really do a great job keeping out dust mites, which can really aggravate my allergies."
To buy: $25; bedbathandbeyond.com
3. Best Budget: Aller-Ease Cotton Pillow Protector Set
Affordable and effective, the Aller-Ease Cotton Pillow Protector Set uses tightly woven 100% cotton fabric that blocks pollen, dust mites, and pet dander from accumulating on your pillow. Its zippered construction ensures a secure and protective fit while its soft-to-the-touch feel and breathable design deliver optimal comfort. Choose between Standard, Queen, and King sizes.
"I noticed a difference the first night I slept with them covering my pillows," one Amazon reviewer said of the 4.7-star rated set. "Don't hesitate to grab these if you suffer from allergies, they are a great product at a great price."
To buy: from $13 for a set of 2; amazon.com
4. Best Waterproof: Everlasting Comfort Waterproof Pillow Protector Set
Up your pillow's defense with this 100% waterproof protector from Everlasting, which repels everything from sweat to accidental spills. In addition to prolonging the life of your pillow, this set's zippered exterior also shields it from common household allergens so you can catch some well-deserved and uninterrupted Zs. It even features a special insert that promotes ventilation, which prevents heat from being trapped inside if you're a hot sleeper.
"These pillow protectors are beautifully made and very soft," raved one customer. "There is no crinkling noise (even though they are waterproof) and I am actually sleeping better with them."
To buy: from $16 for a set of 2; amazon.com
5. Best Antimicrobial: Aller-Ease Ultimate Pillow Protector Set
Earning an impressive 4.7-star average rating from thousands of Amazon shoppers, the Aller-Ease Ultimate Pillow Protector Set minimizes your exposure to household allergens and creates a healthier sleep environment. Its fully enclosed design prevents dust mites, pet dander, and pollen from gathering in your pillow while its antimicrobial exterior stops the formation of bacteria and odors. Additionally, it's made with temperature balancing technology that adapts to your body heat to help you cool down or warm up.
"Purchased these for a new pillow set and I've been amazed at how soft and comfortable they are under my pillowcases," shared a five-star reviewer. "I can't even tell I have a pillow protector on. These are definitely a must if you have allergies, drool while you sleep (hey, we're human), or want to extend the longevity of your pillow investment."
To buy: $18 (was 21); amazon.com
6. Best Value: Utopia Bedding Pillowcase Set
This value set from Utopia Bedding Pillowcases invites you to an allergy-free slumber every night. Shoppers can get 12 hypoallergenic pillowcases for under $30, as well as the peace of mind knowing that their protective design is blocking dust mites, pollen, and pet dander from collecting on their pillow. The pillowcases are made from a soft microfiber fabric, which one reviewer noted offers a comparable comfort level to their Egyptian Cotton pillowcases.
"The hypoallergenic material proved to be my favorite part," they continued. "I'm allergic to dust, like myriad others, and after swapping to these pillowcases and a hypoallergenic bedspread, I no longer wake up with a stuffy nose."
To buy: from $22 for a set of 12 (was $28); amazon.com
7. Best Color Variety: Kotton Culture Pillowcase Set
Top a dust mite-proof casing with these hypoallergenic, 600-thread count Egyptian cotton cases—total luxury on a budget!—and you'll be snoozing soundly in no time. Available in 16 colors and a variety of sizes, the Kotton Culture Pillowcase Set enhances your bedding aesthetic while ensuring that dust mites and other allergens won't snuggle up with you.
"Beautiful and classy," one Amazon customer said. "Very pleasant feel. Excellent quality and feels soft. Worth every penny spent and more."
To buy: from $28 for a set of 2; amazon.com
8. Best for Skin: Silvon Silver-Infused Pillowcase
Perfect for allergy and acne sufferers alike, the Silvon Silver-Infused Pillowcase is a hypoallergenic pick that features a breathable, antimicrobial silky-smooth exterior. Together, it eliminates allergens and complexion-hindering bacteria from accumulating on your pillow so you can get your beauty sleep.
'I love these pillowcases," wrote one reviewer. "They have helped with keeping my face clearer and they don't adopt the normal funk other linens do. They are relatively soft for their thread count, which I appreciate as well."
To buy: $45; amazon.com