Pillows and Allergies – sleep in hayfever season

allergy and hayfever pillow advice

It’s peak allergy time in our house at the moment.  With grass pollen at its height, itchy eyes, runny noses etc often feel worse at bedtime.

There are a few simple things we’d recommend to make it snooze-time and not sneeze-time.

To reduce your allergy symptoms at night and give you a more comfortable night’s sleep, especially when those one-a-day anti-histamine tablets seem to have worn off:

  • Wash pillows or swap old pillows for new

    Pollen and dust love nesting in your bedding.   Pillows and duvets need to be cleaned regularly, more often this time of year than at any other time.  This means swapping out old pillows for new, and / or washing your pillows and drying them in a large-capacity tumble drier – see our article on washing pillows and washing duvets.  Do check to make sure that your pillow is washable in the first place and don’t just ‘air’ them outside (in the pollen!).

    Reviews of 2 great washable pillows here and here.

    And a brilliant washable duvet here ( I love these & own three!) 


  • Anti-allergy pillows

    Anti-allergy can help, certainly if you have an allergy to dust mites.  They’re also useful when it comes to pollen as they tend to be washable and often come with high thread count covers which means dust, dust mites and pollen are less likely to be able to get in in the first place.

    See our reviews of 3 of the best anti-allergy pillows: here, here and here.

    The best anti-allergy duvet?  Review here.


  • Keep the pollen out

    Shutting bedroom windows might make the room a little stuffy, but it will help keep the pollen out. We’d advise also keeping your bedroom door shut if you have windows or doors open in the rest of the house; and use the air-con in the car, not windows, especially if you have a pollen filter fitted to your air-con unit.Annoyingly, grass pollen and tree pollen are often released at different times of the day.   Generally the pollen count is highest between 5am and 10am, says www.pollen.com  so definitely don’t ‘air’ the room in the mornings.  Warm, dry and windy mornings are absolutely the worst, but then again ‘pollen showers’ can occur as the air cools in the evening after a warm day – which explains why my hayfever is worse at night.  Wait for a colder, wetter day with little wind to let the air in to your house.   https://www.allergyuk.org has some useful factsheets.


  • Pollen  – in hair, on pets, on carpets

    Wash your hair at the end of the day.  Even rinsing in the morning and the evening can help get rid of dust and pollen which has blown into your hair throughout the day.  What you don’t want to be doing is lying in pollen grains whilst you sleep and rubbing them into your pillow!Your cat may not appreciate you giving them a shower, so basic sense is not to let them sleep on your bed.  Dogs and cats can carry a lot of pollen in their fur, particularly if they’ve been having lovely long walks in the countryside.

Finally, don’t forget to vacuum as often as you can. Clean surfaces with a damp cloth and wash out afterwards to get rid of pollen grains and keep your allergies under control.

For the best pillows and duvets for allergies:

The best anti-allergy pillows & best washable pillows

The best anti-allergy duvets &  best washable duvet reviews