Can Dust Mites Live In Leather Furniture?

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At Dust Mite Solutions, we are often asked if dust mites can live in leather furniture. Dust mites are pesky creatures, invisible to our naked eye, that survive on eating our dead skin and lost hair (they also recycle pet dander).

The great news is that dust mites can’t live in leather furniture or in synthetic (polyurethane) coverings. They need a porous outer cover in order to move between the surface of furniture and the deep layers of cushion. If you have leather furniture, rest well!

Even though I didn’t know it at the time, I grew up with dust mites. I also grew up with soft fabric furniture and plenty of carpets (two places dust mites thrive).

After learning about my allergy to dust mites I began searching for the best ways to reduce my exposure. Switching to leather couches and hard flooring worked great and put my mind at ease.

In the sections below, I’ll share why leather furniture is a great option to reduce dust mites in your home and reduce exposure.

#1 Dust Mites Live Inside Furniture Cushions

Dust mites require a warm, dark area to survive. They also need moisture, which they absorb through from the air (they don’t drink water). Can dust mites live in leather furniture?

Given the requirements dust mites need to survive, their favorite places to live are mattresses, pillows, carpets, and couches.

Fabric coverings on our beds and couches have space between the weave. This is called “pore space”. It’s unusual for sheets and furniture coverings to have tight pore space because it usually creates a harder fabric – the weave is too tight.

As a result, dust mites can live inside furniture cushions, then travel to the exterior of the cushion where it feeds on dust.

Leather covered furniture doesn’t have pore space between fibers. Neither does a faux leather couch. Technically dust mites could live inside the mattress but they wouldn’t be able to penetrate the cover.

In addition, leather-covered furniture is cool to the touch and lacks hiding places (dust mites hate this).

#2 Dust Isn’t Attracted To Leather Furniture

If you’ve ever sat on a fabric covered couch you may have noticed that dust flies into the air. Dust mites feed on that dust.

However, you’re unlikely to see dust fly into the air when you sit on a leather couch. Why so?

Leather actually repels dust while fabric catches and holds onto dust. Sure, you may need to wipe down leather furniture once in a while but dust can’t work its way down into the cushion.

If there’s no food (dead skin and hair) on leather furniture, then it’s not a hospitable place for dust mites.

#3 Leather Is Great For Furniture, But What About Dust Mites In My Bed

Making the switch to leather furniture is a great decision for people with dust mite allergy. But what about the floors and beds?

Dust mites also thrive in our beds. In fact, sleeping is when the majority of allergic symptoms take place. Some people experience dust mite allergy and asthma, others experience watery eyes, chronic cough, or itchy skin.

Covering your pillow and mattress can be one of the best things you can do to reduce dust mite allergy symptoms (visit my Recommendations page to view the best mattress and pillow covers).

Flooring is also a major contributor to dust mite allergy. Carpets not only harbor dust mites but pollen, mold, and pet dander can get trapped in carpets for years and cause symptoms in allergic individuals. Even the best allergy vacuums won’t remove all dirt and dust from your carpet.


Making the switch from fabric furniture to leather furniture helped my health improve. But I didn’t stop with furniture.

I also removed carpeting and rugs from the house and covered my pillow and mattress with allergy-proof covers.

Unfortunately, I also had to keep my pets outside more often because I was allergic to dander (sad I know).

If you or someone in your family has dust mite allergies, consider making small changes in your house to reduce dust mite populations. A dry, well-ventilated house can significantly help with dust mite allergy as can allergy HVAC filter and air purifiers.

Hopefully, I answered your question on dust mites and leather furniture. After years of health issues, I feel confident sitting on a couch without having to worry about dust mites. Check out the home page for more dust mite information and tips.

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