Mattress/foundation encasements + protectors for dust mite + mold prevention

I’m really torn about what my encasement + protector setup should be for my new DIY latex bed (layer testing to commence this weekend!).

There’s a number of goals I have in mind:

  • Prevent mold growth
  • Prevent the omnipresent dust mite population from moving in and colonizing my new bed
    [li]Try not to ruin the pressure relief benefits of latex by covering it all up with so many layers of protection that will change the way the latex feels

For the foundation, I’ll have the low-profile 5.5" simple slatted wood foundation from U.S. Boxsprings. That’s kiln dried spruce with a cotton cover. Then I want to put the entire foundation inside some type of encasement, and then once it’s enclosed it will sit on a Knickerbocker Monster metal bed frame. (I’ve given up on directly attaching 10" high universal bed legs to the foundation. Stability is more important than looks or more underbed storage.) So I just need to choose a dust mite encasement here.

Then for the mattress, I was thinking, to preserve the natural feel of the latex, to put my layers inside a simple cotton knit ticking. Next probably comes a dust mite encasement. And then on top of that I was leaning towards the St. Dormeir wool mattress protector.

A couple of questions came to mind while I was figuring all this out.

Should a dust mite encasement be put on on top of or under a wool mattress protector? I think due to the difficulty of putting on and taking off a full encasement, I’m probably not going to be washing it that much; and I believe you aren’t supposed to wash dust mite covers that much anyway because each wash decreases the effectiveness of the tightly woven material.

But I’m finding conflicting information about wool and whether it is resistant to dust mites. Plus I’m confused about how often to wash a wool mattress protector, if at all? I thought wool shouldn’t be washed that much either.

Finally, as far as mold prevention goes, I want the entire bed setup to be as breathable as possible, so I was looking into membrane free dust mite encasements. I know this is giving up waterproofing though. I’m also confused about whether a 100% cotton cover is more or less breathable than a polyester (gasp! I know, covering a natural mattress in polyester…) microfiber material. I found membrane free covers in both materials, and both have similarly small pore fine weave (around 3 microns).

And then I was worried all these layers, that include tightly woven encasements, are going to cover up the feel of the latex.

That’s my stream of consciousness jumble of questions. Anyone have any thoughts to share or suggestions?

Hi amnj,

US Box Spring makes a good quality foundation which would be appropriate for a latex mattress, so all you’d need is a simple barrier for this product. Some people choose a simpler encasement for the foundation (like a zip-up vinyl encasement), as they’re not sleeping on the foundation directly, but I still recommend something that is breathable to help allow for airflow through to the mattress and not potentially create an area where moisture can be trapped. Dust mites are around 300 microns, so usually the minimum pore size that is recommended is 10 micros. However, you want to eliminate the food source of the dust mite, and skin cells and dander can get down to the 3 micron range, so I would recommend something closer to a 3 micron pore size, and you can find that in many products in a natural weave without the use of polyurethane films or of course plastic/PVC/vinyl layers.

This sounds reasonable.

You would put the dust mite encasement over the finished mattress, then you’d put your mattress pad on top of that. I would note that many people, to minimize the layers (as you mentioned they all will have an impact upon comfort), will use only a mattress protector and then their fitted sheet, skipping the mattress pad. But that’s personal preference.

There isn’t anything “inherent” in wool that repels dust mites. The key things would be keeping their main food source (skin cells) to a minimum, and keeping the environment low in humidity (they prefer a warm, moist environment). Wool does assist with the creation of a dryer environment, which helps avoid/reduce mildew, mold and dust mites.

Wool can be made to be machine washable, and the St. Dormeir uses this type of wool. They recommend to machine wash in warm on the gentle cycle using a good quality detergent. Don’t use anything with bleach or a bleach alternative. Use the maximum water level and launder alone. Machine dry gentle, medium heat. Don’t over-dry.

The micron size will impact breathability, so a similar micron size will have a similar characteristic of breathability. See my notes just above regarding the 3 micron size, which should be just fine.

Yes, you are correct that all layerings will impact comfort. You’ll gain a little comfort from the St. Dormeir, but it will be a different feel from the latex. As long as the mattress protector you choose isn’t too thick or stiff, you should still have a decent level of comfort in your mattress.

Let us know what you decide to do!


Hi there! I think you may take the help from an expert. Mold affects mattresses so easily which also causing difficulty in breathing. So, removing mold is so important to breathe safely and to avoid health related problems. Mold grows rapidly due to excess of moisture in the air. Few days back, we got mold damage at the bedroom wall and which was also affecting the mattress. As the mold detects in the house we decided to take the help of a professional for removing the mold. While searching online, I got to know about this site who helps in filing the claim and also suggest professionals for repairing mold.

Hi LeahHorton,

I appreciate you visiting the forum, but I’ve deleted your posts, as one was quite clearly promotional in nature and the other two weren’t responsive to the OP or the thread. It’s odd for someone’s first post to link to specific suggestions and a business that’s not necessarily related to the topic of the thread, and when in doubt I tend to err on the side of caution. Please see the forum rules here.