Sleeping on a hot bed of bacteria? Your bed could be making you ill

29th of October 2015
Sleeping on a hot bed of bacteria? Your bed could be making you ill

A scientific study analysing samples of eight-year-old mattresses has highlighted the variety of bacteria, yeasts and moulds that thrive in the material. And these particles can provoke allergies, cause infections and exacerbate existing lung conditions.

That's according to the study commissioned by UK bed specialist Dreams and carried out under direction from university professor and environmental hygiene expert Dr Lisa Ackerley.Samples were taken at different depths - from the mattress exterior to the base layer. The tests revealed the presence of Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

There were also yeasts and moulds such as Cladosporium on the top layer plus Aspergillus & Saprophytic moulds deeper within the mattress.

Dr Ackerley said of the study: "Most people would be rather surprised by the things you can find in an old mattress. Mould spores and bacteria build up over the years and although invisible, you could be breathing in these harmful spores at night.

Due to the amount of human contact with the average mattress, it's inevitable that microbes and unwanted guests will develop over time. People tend to focus on cleaning the things they can see - pillows and sheets, but the mattress itself can be a ‘hot bed' of potential illness."

She added: "Finding bacteria such as E.coli indicates the presence of faecal contamination, which shows that if someone was carrying an infectious disease, it could be passed on to someone else sharing the bed, or using the bed at another time.

"Some Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can cause skin infections and there are strains that are anti-biotic resistant, including MRSA."



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