By Sara Schaefer Munoz
From The Wall Street Journal Online
The war on germs is coming to bed.
A number of manufacturers are unveiling antimicrobial sheets and pillows that they say keep bedding cleaner and smelling fresher. Experts say the products can reduce levels of bacteria and mold -- but frequently washing regular linens will do the job just as well.
"Soap and water have been proven throughout the centuries for keeping bacteria counts down," says Timothy Craig, an allergist and immunologist at Pennsylvania State University.
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Meanwhile, the American Medical Association frowns upon the use of products containing antimicrobials that may contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant microbes.
Still, for the germ-a-phobes or laundry-resistant, we sized up the latest offerings:
Product: Rest Right Pillow with SilPure treatment
Company: American Textile Co.
Price: $26 standard
Comments: Available at Macy's, this polyester fiberfill pillow is treated with SilPure, a silver-based treatment that claims to prevent bacterial growth and bad smells. A cotton barrier keeps out dust mites, which doctors say can be helpful in reducing allergy symptoms.
Product: Allergy Luxe Down Alternative Pillow
Company: London Luxury LLC
Price: $29.99 standard
Comments: Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond, this pillow also uses a silver-based agent to fight bacteria and has a tightly woven cover to keep out allergens, but has a softer, down-like feel.
Product: Bamboo sheets
Company: Home Source International
Price: $305 for queen sheet set
Comments: Available at specialty retailers such as www.elitelinens.com, these sheets and pillowcases are made from bamboo fibers that the company says wick away moisture, block bacteria growth and are comfortable for people with night sweats. Some buyers may not like their shiny look.
Product: Bedding with Cupron Copper Technology
Company: Cuprotex LLC
Price: $172 for a queen sheet set
Comments: Available at www.copperforlife.com, this bedding uses tiny copper filaments the company says prevent microbe growth and improve skin appearance. The sheets feel smooth, but come in only one color, natural copper.