AllergyConsumerReview

Hypoallergenic: Bedding, Comforters

Restful Nights Down Alternative Comforters

Definition of Hypoallergenic

“Hypoallergenic” – Definition: non-allergy producing. A term applied to a preparation in which every possible care has been taken in formulation and production to ensure minimum instance of allergic reactions. (Blakiston’s Medical Dictionary)

The definition of hypoallergenic is “having a decreased tendency to provoke an allergic reaction”. Based on this definition, our products, including comforters, are definitely hypoallergenic. The definition of non-allergenic is “having no tendency to provoke an allergic reaction.” Therefore, it cannot be said in truth any product is really non-allergenic. Somebody somewhere will have a reaction.

For many years, companies have been producing products, which they claim are “hypoallergenic” or “safe for sensitive skin” or “allergy tested.” These statements imply that the products making the claims are less likely to cause allergic reactions than competing products. But there has been no assurance to consumers that this actually was the case.

For the past four years, the Food and Drug Administration has been working to clear up this confusion of claims by establishing testing requirements that would determine which products really are “hypoallergenic.” But late last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that FDA’s regulation defining “hypoallergenic” was invalid. This means there is now no regulation specifically defining or governing the use of the term “hypoallergenic” or similar claims. And because of the lengthy procedural steps required to establish a new regulation that is likely to be the situation for some time to come.

Here is then the truth. Despite all the reassurances and claims that manufacturers give us about their products in terms of allergy reactivity, nothing is 100% guaranteed to be non-reactive. This is particularly true of the bedding category.

We put our comforters and pillows to the test with our most allergy sensitive employees, asking them to sleep with comforter samples as a pillow. Here is what we have found so far. Nobody has reacted to cotton or wool pillows and even the most sensitive seem to be just fine with either our Ming Dynasty or Imperial Delight silk filled comforters. In all the hundreds of sales we have had of Hypodown comforters, we have only had one return related to an asserted allergic reaction. We did however test Hypodown with our employee base and found someone with eczema who felt itchy with a Hypodown comforter. What we seemed to find, was that our staff members with eczema reacted to any down product, including our new hypoallergenic Siberian and Eiderdown comforters, much it had been washed by the manufacturer, and however excellent its turbidity (cleanliness) rating. Those staff with respiratory allergies or sinus problems, including feather allergies, curiously enough seemed to be fine.

Our solution? Both Hypodown and Hyperdown manufacturers give you 30 days to try out their products for an allergic reaction and if you have one, you can return it. From what I have seen this is a pretty good bet on their part.

Our Siberian and Eiderdown products are also hypoallergenic but custom made and therefore non-returnable. If you have any doubt about your potential reactivity, we have a sample program and you can test the samples out for yourself.

See the entire selection of down and silk comforters