Get access

House dust mite allergen (Der p 1) accumulation on new synthetic and feather pillows


Siebers Department of Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine, PO Box 7343, Wellington South, New Zealand.



We have previously demonstrated that synthetic pillows contain significantly more Der p 1 than feather pillows. The aim of this study was to compare the accumulation of Der p 1 allergen on new synthetic and new feather pillows.


Der p 1 was measured in dust samples from pairs of synthetic and feather pillows placed together on 12 beds over a 12-month period.


After 12 months synthetic pillows contained higher concentrations of Der p 1 (19.28 μg/g; 95% confidence interval: 9.76–38.07) than feather pillows (6.45 μg/g; 2.96–14.05). There was a significant correlation between Der p 1 concentrations of pillows at 12 months and Der p 1 concentrations of the mattresses at the beginning of the study (r = 0.72; P = 0.008 for both types of pillows).


Synthetic pillows accumulate Der p 1 more rapidly than feather pillows and the accumulation rate of Der p 1 on pillows is governed by the Der p 1 concentration in the immediate environment they are placed in.