Home Decor, Home Improvement

Breathe Well: Window Coverings for Those with Allergies

Keep your home as comfortable as possible (and reduce your allergic reactions) by switching to these easy-to-clean window treatments that won’t trap dust and dander.

Curtains, blinds and shades provide privacy and temperature control and are beautiful additions to your home. However, they also tend to gather dust and dander. If you suffer from allergies, this can be harmful to your health and cause you to sneeze, cough, blow your nose and reach for those antihistamines.

Keep your home as comfortable as possible (and reduce your allergic reactions) by switching to these easy-to-clean window treatments that won’t trap dust and dander.

Roman Shades

Roman shades fully block the outside light and can be raised easily when not in use. Many Roman shades are made of all-natural cotton materials or poly-blends, and they don’t contain harsh fabrics or materials that cause allergic reactions.

When Roman shades are rolled out, you have a few options for cleaning them:

  • Clean them with a static-fabric or feather duster or a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery brush.
  • Put them in the washer and dryer on cool settings (if the fabric allows for it).
  • Have them professionally cleaned.

If you have severe allergies, you should clean your shades once a week, as they can trap small amounts of dust between the folds when rolled up.

Vertical Blinds

Unlike horizontal blinds, vertical blinds do not give dust a place to settle, making them ideal for people with allergies. You can clean them with a feather duster or use a damp cloth to wipe them down if you notice they’re becoming dirty. Most vertical blinds are made of sturdy PVC materials and are very easy to clean.

Wood and Faux Wood Blinds

Clean your wood blinds with a dry cloth or duster, as the natural wood can warp if it gets too damp. Faux wood blinds, on the other hand, can be wiped down with a wet cloth soaked in water or white vinegar to keep them allergen-free.

Large Slat Shutters

Unlike small slat shutters, large slat shutters and blinds are easy to keep dust-free. If you start to dust build up on your shutters, run a damp cloth over them. Make sure you get the top and bottom of each slat, especially if they lie horizontally.

Washable Curtains

Curtains easily collect dust. Dark-colored curtains show dust more than light-colored ones so you may want to choose a dark color as a visual reminder to keep them clean. Stick to curtains made of synthetic fabrics and pure cotton that you can easily throw in the wash. If you get curtains that are dry-clean only, you may end up washing them less frequently, and dust will continue to collect.

More Tips to Keep Your Window Coverings Clean

The type of window coverings you invest in for your home matters a great deal. However, you can take these additional steps to keep your home dust free:

  • Clean your floors, rugs and window coverings with a HEPA-filter vacuum, which is designed to reduce allergens.
  • Consider removing any carpet in your home, as it’s much more likely to trap dust than vinyl, wood and tile floors.
  • Wipe down the frames of your windows to rid of mildew and mold.
  • Use a dehumidifier if you live in a humid environment.
  • Invest in air purifiers that remove allergens like pet hair, dust and chemicals.

By finding the ideal window coverings for your home, as well as keeping up with regular cleaning and maintenance, you’ll have a sneeze- and cough-free environment that helps you feel right at home.

Abigail Sawyer is a Senior Social Media Specialist for Blinds.com. She's a home improvement junkie who is currently restoring a 1972 cottage with the help of her husband and her goldendoodle, Biscuit. She writes on a variety of home décor topics, including finding window treatments that are gentle enough for those with allergies. You can find a wide selection of Roman shade styles on the Blinds.com website.

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