Dr Christian Jessen on why wool could be the answer to your allergy woes

"It's so important to raise allergy awareness," begins Doctor Christian - who's just as friendly on the phone as when he's on telly, whether that's for his long-standing programme Embarassing Bodies, or presenting as he has done recently, alongside Davina McCall for Stand Up To Cancer.


"Allergies are a growing problem, and definitely on the up," he continues. "The key thing to remember is that you can develop them at any time. A lot of people think you're born with hayfever, or an allergy to nuts, but more of us are developing allergies as we age.

"Even I was miffed to develop hayfever in my late 20s, having never had it before - and I still get it now, really badly."

'In theory you can become allergic to anything at any time.'

And to that end, Dr Christian says it's time we took a good, hard look at our bedding. "It's what's inside the bedding, even if you religiously wash the covers, that can be so dirty," he says, "including your pillows. But woollen bedding or woollen blankets (for those of us who prefer them to duvets) are a great way to banish dust mites from your bed."

These comments come in light of recent tests which proved wool to be the only bedding material completely free of dust mites, due to its natural ability to manage moisture. This means a more comfortable and restful night for eczema and allergy sufferers in particular.

Yet, "everyone can benefit from sleeping in wool, as it helps regulate our body temperature while we snooze", says Dr Christian. "If you're too hot it will cool you down, and if you're too cold it will warm you up." By contrast, synthetic fibres cannot wick away perspiration, which is why we can often feel like we are overheating in bed.


While prices are noticeably more expensive wool bedding is a cost-effective choice in the long run. Its lifespan can be more than three times than that of a synthetic equivalent - and because it works best in its natural state, there's no need to wash it either (Of course, in this we refer to the bedding itself, and not duvet or pillow covers, etc!).

"I've also learnt that Merino wool is especially good for eczema," says Dr Christian. So in addition to a positive change in the bedroom, wearing wool could work some magic, too...

It's certainly been a good few years for the wool industry. Since the Prince of Wales began his Campaign for Wool in 2009, mill sales have risen to the tune of £300 million. So when you buy a woolly jumper that's good for your skin, you're also helping to revive a great British industry! Find out more at www.campaignforwool.org