Which Mattresses Do Dust Mites Love and Which Do They Hate?

Some mattresses can be a haven for dust mites.

This is a problem because the droppings and shed skin of dust mites can cause serious allergies in people, including asthma.

What are dust mites?

Dust mites are microscopic bugs that largely live on dead skin cells that are shed from people and pets. Dust mites love mattresses because they are where the mites can find a large supply of dead skin cells.

Certain types of mattresses are more susceptible to dust mites than others. Let's look at different mattress types and see how vulnerable each is.

Innerspring mattresses

Innerspring mattresses have the most problem with dust mites. A typical innerspring mattress often has a dust mite population into the tens of thousands. Innerspring beds have this problem because dead skin cells can easily penetrate the mattress and so can the dust mites that eat them. In addition, they ike to eat much of the material that is used to construct an innerspring bed.

Memory foam mattresses

Memory foam beds, such as the Tempur-pedic bed, are a little more resistant to dust mites than innerspring mattresses because they generally do not like to eat memory foam. However, just as with innerspring mattresses, your dead skin cells can penetrate the memory foam and so can the dust mites.


Airbeds, such as the Sleep Number bed, are more dust mite resistant than memory foam mattresses. This is because dead skin cells and dust mites can not penetrate the air chambers. However, they can penetrate any foam padding the mattress may have.


Waterbeds are likely the most dust mite resistant beds available. The vinyl covering of a waterbed can not be penetrated by dead skin cells or dust mites. Dust mites can exist on the surface of the mattress, however. But you can easily wipe clean the vinyl to remove most of them.

It is possible to get waterbed-like dust mite resistance for an innerspring, memory foam or air mattress. To do this, you will need to use a dust mite-resistant covering. While effective, these coverings do not provide 100% protection.