All about allergens at home

Did you know that an allergy is the most common chronic disease and that more and more people are affected by this? About a quarter of the population suffers from allergies. Many allergens are present in a house: substances that can cause an allergic reaction. We will discuss on this page what these all are, where they can usually be found and what you can do about it.

Allergens that can be found in the house

There are several allergens in the house. Check out the most common.

Dust Mites

A common allergen in a home is dust mites. They are so small that you cannot see them. House dust mites like warm moist places.

Symptoms dust mite allergy

Stuffy nose and itchy eyes

Pet Hair

Pet allergies are a common problem. It is often not the hair that causes an allergic reaction, but the dander of animals.

Pet hair allergy symptoms

Sneezing and stuffiness


An allergy to pollen is called hay fever. It is an allergy to pollen, which comes from grasses, trees and plants.

Pollen allergy symptoms

Itchy eyes and nose

What are allergens?

Allergens are substances foreign to the body, in many cases proteins. If you are sensitive to specific allergens, an allergic reaction can occur and there is an allergy.


You can come into contact with allergens in a home in different ways. For example, you can breathe in blown pollen or come into contact with pet hair. Allergens can enter your body in three ways: through your mouth, nose or skin.

allergy in house

Where can allergens be found in the house?

Allergens can be found in different places in a home. Many allergens can be present on fabrics in particular: think of furniture, curtains, bedding and carpet.

allergens couch

Fabric furniture: sofas and chairs

Various allergens can often be found on fabric furniture and pillows. If there is a dog or cat in the house, you will especially encounter a lot of animal hair on chairs and sofas. Not only because a pet often sits on this; the animal hairs can adhere more easily to fabric than to smooth surfaces.


It can be a good idea to thoroughly vacuum and clean your sofa every now and then to prevent it from becoming a source of allergens. Don't forget the gaps between the cushions.

What can you do?

Window coverings: curtains and net curtains

Curtains are also a favorite place for various allergens. Here too, allergens from outside the home may be present, as they are hanging in front of the window. In addition, the curtain often hangs down to the floor: a dog or cat walking past can leave its pet hair – with dander – on the curtain.


Although it is smart to ventilate your home well, it can be smarter to keep your windows closed during sunny days with a lot of wind. This prevents pollen from blowing against your curtains and ending up in them.

What can you do?

allergens curtains
allergens mattress

Bed: bedding and mattress

A bed is a nice warm place. Perfect for house dust mites, which can often be found in the bed linen and in the mattress. Dust mites mainly feed on human dander and like warm places. Since people lose thousands of skin flakes every day, a bed is therefore a mecca for allergens such as house dust mites.


It is, among other things, advisable to leave your duvet stored when you get out of bed. In addition, weekly airing of your duvet is very important and vacuuming your mattress can reduce the chance of an allergic reaction.

What can you do?

Carpet: low and long pile rugs

As with furniture and pillows, allergens can also easily settle on carpets and rugs. Especially because they are on the floor, it can be a source of allergens: we walk across the floor from the inside to the outside, whereby allergens from outside can also be taken along. Think of pollen and animal dander.


Removing pet hair from carpet can be a tricky job. So go for a vacuum cleaner with a motorized brush: it easily pulls the animal hair out of the carpet.

What can you do?

allergens carpet

FAQ about allergens in the home

In particular, pet hair, pollen and dust mites are common allergens in homes.

No, that's almost impossible. Allergens can be found even in very clean houses. You can greatly reduce the chance of an allergic reaction.

By keeping your home clean, vacuuming regularly and ensuring good ventilation, you reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

It is smart to opt for as few fabric objects in the house as possible. For example, go for smooth, hard floors instead of carpet. Tired of pollen? Then keep your windows closed on sunny days with a lot of wind.

No. Not every vacuum cleaner has a good (HEPA) filter and is suitable for, for example, vacuuming animal hair. Always research the filters, the suction power on specific floor types and the dust emissions. More information about a vacuum cleaner for allergies.

Pet hair is often the most common allergen in homes. Even when entering a house with cats or dogs, someone with a pet allergy can get an allergic reaction.

An allergy is often chronic and even hereditary. An allergic reaction is often temporary and occurs when one comes into contact with an allergen to which one is sensitive.