Your mattress and pillows can be a haven for dust mites, dirt and allergens. So when was the last time you actually gave them a clean?

Chances are your sofa has probably been vacuumed more than your mattress. Yet you spend a third of your life in bed, so it’s probably a good idea to periodically clean up your pillows and mattress. Especially, when you don’t know what’s lurking in your sheets.

“Cleaning your mattress and pillows removes dust mites, dirt and other allergens. Plus over time it’ll help keep your mattress in good condition,” said Sara Morrow of Consumer Reports.

Dust mites feed on dead skin cells. They may be little but they can cause big problems for those who suffer from asthma or allergies. The little critters can trigger wheezing, watery eyes, sinus problems and irritate skin.

To get rid of them, start by cleaning your mattress with your vacuum’s upholstery or crevice attachment.

Next - deodorize. Sprinkle a one-pound box of baking soda over the entire surface of the mattress and leave it there for about 24 hours.

“Before you start this you’ll want to make sure you’ve made other sleeping arrangements for the night,” advised Marrow.

For pillows, fluff them every day to keep their shape and remove any dust. Once a month run the pillows through the dryer on the no-heat cycle or hang them up outside on a breezy, sunny day. Some pillows can even be washed.

Memory foam and latex are two that you shouldn’t wash because they’re extremely difficult to dry thoroughly. Instead, just spot treat any stains with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

For feather and down pillows submerge in warm water and a small amount of powder detergent. Knead gently. Press out extra water, then roll in a towel to dry.

Throw your pillows in the dryer on the no-heat or air-dry setting.

“Just be patient because it can take hours for pillows to completely dry and we want a completely dry pillow to prevent any mould or mildew,” explained Marrow.

You can add in a couple of towels, which can speed up the drying, and a clean tennis ball or two to keep the pillows from clumping in the dryer.

And don’t forget about your sheets, comforters and other bedding. Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release liquid detergent earned top scores in Consumer Reports cleaning tests for body oil and dirt.