You also can buy appliances and systems to clear the air of dust. ("What's important isn't what's on the floor but what they breathe in," Apter said.) Buying costly cleaners and vacuum systems should definitely be a last resort, both Apter and Gordon said.
Rita Rooney, health education specialist with the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, believes that portable air filters--the "high efficiency particulate air" (HEPA) types are recommended--are good investments for those suffering from allergies. Several models cost about $250, and they are small enough (the size of a small footstool) to go on vacation with the allergy sufferer.
Also, if a home is equipped with central forced-air heating and cooling, HEPA or electrostatic filters can be added to the furnace to clean the air in the house.
Outside of the bedroom, carpeting and overstuffed chairs and sofas are the main dust mite motels. Gordon's best advice to allergy sufferers is to get rid of such furniture or to encase upholstered sections of antiques in plastic.