Brits are being warned of six 'tell-tale' signs they have dust mites in their beds.

About a quarter of a millimetre long, the tiny insects live close to humans and feed on the dead skin cells we shed. 

Since they prefer warm and humid conditions, they are often found in our bedding, carpets and clothing.

It's not possible to completely remove dust mites from your home but you can try and reduce your exposure. 

The bedroom experts at Winstons Beds have warned people who are suffering from morning coughs and itchy skin that it could be because of dust mites.

Rebecca Swain, mattress expert at Winstons Beds, said: “If you notice you’re itching uncontrollably despite having no bite marks, it’s more than likely you’re sharing a bed with a horde of dust mites.

“While you can’t see the critters without using a microscope, their presence can be known if you’re suffering from a dry cough in the morning and itchy eyes.

“Make sure to put all of the bedding on a 60ºC wash and dust the entire bedroom to reduce the chances of them from spawning.”

The team of experts have shared six signs to look out from itchy skin to a dry cough.

How do you know if you have dust mites?

Dry cough

If you’re waking up with a sore throat and a dry cough it’s a strong indicator that the bed is infested with dust mites.

Itchy skin

The main symptom of dust mites is itchy skin. The critters feed on dead skin cells in the bed which is why it’s important to regularly wash bedding on a 60ºC cycle to prevent an infestation.


Sleeping on an area of the bed which is infested with critters can stir up allergies and cause sneezing and runny noses.

Difficulty breathing

The allergens caused by dust mites can cause your chest to tighten making it difficult to breathe in the night.

Make sure to vacuum the room to remove the critters and excess dust particles.

Red and itchy eyes

The flu-like symptoms can make your eyes water and become itchy when exposed to the pests. Apply a cold cloth over your eyes to ease the symptoms and immediately strip the bedding.

Disrupted sleep

The presence of dust mites can ruin sleep as you’ll likely wake up due to breathing difficulties. It’s worth investing in allergen-proof bedding to allow for a smoother night’s sleep.

How to reduce exposure to dust mites

Although we can't get rid of dust mites in our homes entirely, the experts at Allergy UK have shared advice on how to reduce our exposure especially if we're displaying these allergy-type symptoms. 

On its website, Allergy UK notes that "a significant amount of exposure to house dust mite allergen happens in the bed, so taking precautions in the bedroom by using allergy friendly covers on bedding, including on all pillows, is a first step".

The experts also recommend washing your bedding regularly because this can sometimes help.

However, it's noted that clinical trials suggest that multiple measures need to be taken, possibly including the use of chemicals called acaricides, in order to see an effect. 

The experts go on to say: "Measures to avoid house dust mite will lower, but do not totally remove, dust mite allergens.

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"Often, this will be sufficient to significantly improve symptoms, but sometimes, the reduction may simply not be enough to result in a noticeable difference.

"There is no way to predict whether someone will benefit from avoidance measures, except by trying them.

"Remember that it is better to carry out several allergen avoidance measures properly in order to see an improvement in symptoms. Just doing one or two things may not make any difference".