National Allergy mattress bed bug encasement test results

by nobugsonme on September 11, 2007 · 16 comments

in bed bugs, mattresses, new york, tools and weapons

Editor’s note: since this post, developments have been made in the manufacturing and testing of encasements, and our recommendations have changed. Please read the Encasements page before deciding on an encasement.

As many readers know, many of us use National Allergy mattress encasements on our mattresses (and box springs, if we have them), and I am one of those. After many Bedbuggers had been using and recommending the encasements on this site for a long time, National Allergy offered Bedbugger readers a discount on all NA products, which you can access via this link or the National Allergy banner in the sidebar. (note: the discount is no longer offered so I have deleted the link)

The folks at National Allergy wrote recently to let me know they had done tests as to whether bed bugs could feed or pass through, or their eggs could pass through the fabric or the zippers of the mattress encasements, and I am happy to post them on the site for your perusal.

Click here to load a PDF of the report. The results begin on page 7.

1 nightshirt September 11, 2007 at 3:57 pm

my question is – from looking at those pictures – how did the experiment work? if they put the material on top of the jar, closed jar witih lid and taped how would one know if a bb could penetrate it? there is no food and i dont think they can crawl up glass.

ps – i just bought from them their encasements and mattress covers last week.

sorry posted in wrong place first time.

2 nobugsonme September 11, 2007 at 9:30 pm

hi nighshirt,

If you read the description of the method, it is explained. they turned the jars over so the bed bugs could have tried to get through. Also, to see if they could feed, the jar was upside down against someone’s skin (the way the entomologists feed them, as I am sure you’ve seen photos of Lou doing.)

3 nightshirt September 14, 2007 at 3:26 pm

but wouldnt they have to be on someones skin for a few days consistently b/c how would you ever know when a bb was hungry? thanks i must have quick read that and missed the procedure part. do you nbom feel comfortable with the methods used and the outstanding results? you opinion. thanks.

4 nobugsonme September 14, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Nightshirt, I believe it says they used bed bugs that had not eaten for 7 days or more, of all life stages and sizes. I think it’s a fair assumption they’d be hungry.

I already use the covers, and I do think they are good.
I am not an expert on testing methods, however.

5 Winston O. Buggy September 15, 2007 at 10:48 pm

The methodology seems sound and extensive enough to assure a significant
degree of protection if properly used.
PS. Beau coup for the Ice Hotel tip.

6 nobugsonme September 15, 2007 at 11:56 pm

Thanks for the professional input on the NA test results.

Let us know if you go to the Ice Hotel!

7 nightshirt September 18, 2007 at 12:24 pm

i bought them to and they are reassuring.

8 November 7, 2007 at 2:48 am

from the link are all of those good?

even the basics one? does anyone know if any are better than others?

9 nobugsonme November 7, 2007 at 3:04 am


The link is to search results on the NA site for covers that are labeled for bed bugs. The fabric and zippers were tested as per the data above.

The descriptions on each product mention this (if you see one that does not, then you have somehow gotten wandered onto another kind of product). They also explain the differences: one has more cotton, one is more water resistant, etc. There was a smaller selection when I bought mine. I have the Bed Care Classic and am happy with it but might try another, given the wider selection, next time. Others here have used different models.

10 November 7, 2007 at 3:19 am

yeah i checked it out. turns out shipping to my area costs more than the product would anyway, haha. might just have to check out the local bed stores.

11 nobugsonme November 7, 2007 at 4:01 am

Make sure whatever you get is labeled for bed bugs. Try to find one that has been tested as such. It should be zippered and completely enclose the mattress. If you tell us where you are, someone might have a recommendation.

12 Michele Grissett September 8, 2008 at 11:36 am

I bought an encasement for my son 14 years ago.
He has done fine up until a couple of weeks ago.
When he lies down on his bed his sinuses start acting up.
We always keep his encasement clean and washed in hot water.
We have taken EVERYTHING out of his room and cleaned it. The room is spotless.
Is it time to replace the encasement, I thought they had a 15 year or lifetime warranty.
Any suggestions.

13 nobugsonme September 8, 2008 at 11:56 am

Michele Grissett,

It sounds like you’re using an encasement for dust mites to avoid allergy problems.

The encasements mentioned here are designed to protect against bed bugs — a completely different problem. I understand they will also work for dust mites, but I can’t speak to the longevity of dust mite encasements.

You might want to talk to the manufacturer about their warranty.

14 Diane October 4, 2008 at 6:40 am

Your site has offered some great needed sanity to the most nerve racking problem of my life…BED BUGS!!! I have recently ordered encasements to cover 5 bedroom mattress of king and queen sizes. The company you have listed above made a good profit off my hopes of ridding the pest located in the memory foam mattresses. Instead I watch each night as the tiny black/brown dots and clear nimphs work their way through the weave of the encasements on their quest to the sheets and then ME. To keep from going insane with lack of sleep I pick them off with tape. I have decided to call the company later this AM (as it is now another night I have missed of sleep and the time is 6:36 AM). I will let your readers know of the outcome. Thanks again for the help you bestow on the weary souls of bed bug hell.

15 nobugsonme October 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Sorry to hear that, Diane. Please let us know what happens.

Which NA encasement line did you use?

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