House dust mite counts in different types of mattresses, sheepskins and carpets, and a comparison of brushing and vacuuming collection methods


Dr Brent Taylor, Department of Child Health., Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Bristol.


Mite counts were compared in dust from three types of mattreses. Foam rubber mattresses appear preferable for mite sensitive atopic subjects; the surface of kapok mattresses averaged twice, and innerspring mattresses three times, the number of mites per square metre found on foam rubber mattresses (P < 0.01).

Sheepskins used for infant bedding were also found to be heavily infested, harbouring as many mites per square metre as bedroom carpet.

Mite collections are best made with vacuum sampling methods in preference to a brush and results are best expressed in mites/m2.