Definition of Allergen

Meaning of the Term as it Pertains to Mattresses

What is an Allergen?

A substance, typically a protein, that causes a discomforting reaction when introduced to the body. Individuals may pick up allergens through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. Common allergic side effects include itchy eyes, runny nose, trouble breathing, and swelling of the skin.

Dust mites are mattress-dwelling bugs that are often a source of allergens in the home. The shells and fecal matter of these microscopic arthropods can be kicked up with dust and inhaled, resulting in allergic reactions that range from mild to severe. Memory foam mattresses cannot support dust mites, which makes the mattress type ideal for individuals with dust mite allergies.


The immune system's response to foreign substances that are innocuous to the most people. Some common substances people develop allergies for include pollen, mold, and pet dander. Dust mites often thrive in mattresses and can cause mild or severe allergic responses in individuals.

People with dust mite allergies may avoid experiencing adverse reactions caused by the tiny organisms by purchasing memory foam mattresses. The solid block foam structure of a memory foam mattress prevents dust mites from burrowing inside and breeding. As a result, the pests find the environment unfavorable and will not inhabit the mattress or thrive long enough to pose allergenic problems.