Today we are answering the eighth question in the 1o part series: Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Flooring.
Question: Is carpet a bad choice if I have allergies?
Answer: NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.
The folks at the Carpet and Rug Institute say it best on their site so I will give you the highlights from them. (for the full page of information with links and other useful info, click here.)
Things you should know:
- Carpet actually helps keep the air free of allergens and pollutants when properly vacuumed and maintained.
- It’s what falls to the carpet – such as allergens, common dust, pet dander and other pollutants – that tends to stay on the carpet until it is vacuumed, unlike smooth surfaces that allow these particles to re-circulate.
- Properly maintained carpet leads to improved air quality and a healthier indoor environment because regular vacuuming with a Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval -certified vacuum cleaner locks pollutants in the machine and removes them from the air you breathe.
- There is no scientific study linking the rise of allergy and asthma to the use of carpet. Indeed, several studies actually disprove any correlation.
- Carpet may even be helpful to people with asthma: http://journals.elsevierhealth.com/medline/record/MDLN.12170270
- A 2003 study of more than 4,600 school children in New Jersey found that having carpet in a child’s bedroom was associated with fewer missed school days and less need for asthma medication. http://www.nature.com/jes/journal/v13/n3/full/7500266a.html
- Studies have compared the distribution of airborne dust associated with normal activities on hard and soft flooring surfaces. Findings show that walking on hard surfaces disturbed more particles. These particles became airborne and entered the breathing zone. In contrast, carpeted surfaces trapped more particles so that walking disturbed fewer particles. The result was less dust in the breathing zone over carpeted floors. http://www.carpet-health.org/pdf/AllergenPaper.pdf
Hope this information helps!
Bethany Richmond says
Great article. Thanks for sharing the good news that carpet is a great flooring choice, even for us folks with allergies!
Thanks! Glad you liked it.
Bamboo Flooring Australia says
On the contrary to what some might say about carpets being okay for allergies, I have to totally disagree with that comment. Hardwood floors are a lot easier to keep dust free, using a micro fibre mop or even steam moping. Trouble with carpets is like you say keeps dust in there for longer and is far harder to remove spills and stains. Also who really wants to vacuum all the time and unsettle all the dust and allergens collected in it? With carpet it’s harder to see all the actual dust so you may miss it when vacuuming; also the carpets tend to be a breeding ground for dust mites, which is a very big problem for allergy sufferers. With hard wood floors especially bamboo there are no underlying breeding place where the dust mites can in habitat.
From my experience I have a wife who suffers from asthma and chronic hay fever, we originally had carpets and decided to try hardwood after removing the carpets and what a difference it made to my wife’s overall well being.
From my investigation carpets is one of the worst contributors to allergies like asthma and hay fever and collects more matter from animals shedding hair to everyday dust.