When you receive a long-awaited mattress and unpack it excitedly dreaming that you will cherish your sleep on it soon. Then, you get startled to feel an unpleasant and chemical-oriented odor that doesn’t let you sit on your bed. What it is??
It is the off-gassing of a mattress. In common language, we call it the New Mattress Smell. With a new mattress, this concept sounds weird. One wonders: should a new mattress smell?
Here, first, we should explain what is off-gassing in a mattress and why does it happen. There’s a research-oriented answer. According to our study, mattress off-gassing is a chemical odor that happens because of the mechanical manufacturing process and boxing process of a mattress. The regular and conventional mattresses, especially the foam ones, are made with chemicals, machine operations, and polyurethane material. As a result, the mattresses release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) during their manufacturing process. When the mattresses are compressed in a box for packaging purposes, the VOCs are trapped in the boxes along with the mattresses. So, when we unpack the mattresses, the chemical gasses air out.
Is off-gassing dangerous?
Is off-gassing dangerous for health in general? Is off-gassing dangerous for babies and expecting mothers? We researched the questions and came across some useful and insightful information that we will share with you in the form of this blog post.
In general, off-gassing affects the air quality of a room and almost everyone feels irritated and annoyed. However, it is not harmful to most people in a way that it doesn’t cause serious harm to health, despite its unpleasant odor.
On the other hand, some sensitive people get the mattress off-gassing symptoms such as dizziness, headache, or nausea. People who already have breathing problems may feel difficulty in breathing. Similarly, the folks who have allergies might feel asthmatic or allergic attacks. Likewise, some pregnant ladies feel smell allergies. As for babies and young children, it can cause irritation, suffocation, or breathing issues.
How Long Do Mattresses Take to Get Rid of Off-Gassing?
Usually, a mattress takes from 1-7 days to off-gas VOCs to an extent where people can use the mattress comfortably. However, some mattresses take months or a couple of years to off-gas completely. If you want to speed it up, there are some practical and effective ways.
How to Speed up the Off-Gassing in a Mattress – Some Practical Tips
Through this article, we will provide you with full information on how to reduce the chemical smell of a mattress quicker than its due period of time. You may follow these steps:
Since all the VOCs are already trapped in the mattress packaging box, you better remove the mattress packing immediately after its home delivery and let it air out. Put it in a well-ventilated room, on your bed frame. Open the room windows and turn the fan on.
Another thing that you can do is, put it outside under the sun. Direct sunlight helps in getting rid of mattress odor in a short time. Don’t let the mattress be like this for many days but for almost 12 hours. During this period, you may bounce or fold your mattress so that the off-gassing mattress performs faster.
Besides, you and your family members can do it the fun way. You all may jump on it for a while so that the maximum amount of chemical odor leaves the mattress.
Frequent cleaning and dusting of a mattress help an off-gassing mattress get rid of the New Mattress Smell quickly.
Moreover, the use of baking soda helps in dissipating the bad smells quickly and effectively. So, sprinkle it on the entire mattress and let it be like this for almost an hour or so. Then, vacuum the mattress and you will see the off-gassing mattress smell better.
We would not advise you to put a new mattress on your bedroom bed. It is better to put it in a room where you don’t need a fully prepared bed. It can be a guest room or so.
Alongside, use HEPA or MERV 11 air filters instead of fiberglass or any other kind of air purifiers. You will find them effective in trapping the unpleasant odor of a new mattress. If you prefer a fiberglass air filter, then after the use of HEPA or MERV 11 for a coup[le of days when you find VOCs cleared off, you may go back to your preferred purifier.
An immediate solution is using mattress covers to prevent off-gassing. A mattress protector helps in blocking odor for the time being. At least, you may sleep on your new mattress for a few days. However, after a couple of days, it will get smelly because of trapping VOCs. Therefore, after immediate use, apply the other strategies as well.
For temporary comfort, you may find these mattress bags to protect you from off-gassing in mattress stores in the mattress accessories sections.
How to Avoid an Off-Gassing Mattress?
If you don’t want to deal with the off-gassing issue of a mattress, there are ways to avoid mattresses that release VOCs.
Pick a Mattress with CertiPUR-US Label
Prefer a Latex or Organic Mattress
Another way of avoiding VOCs discharge is buying latex or organic mattresses rather than going for traditional synthetic mattresses. The traditional mattresses contain toxic materials and they air out VOCs, whereas the organic and latex mattresses don’t off-gas.
Dealing with VOCs emission of a mattress is no big deal. You may learn the strategies about how to speed up the off-gassing of all kinds of mattresses. Even, you may skip the option of buying synthetic and toxic mattresses at all. Rather, you may look for CertiPUR-US certified, organic, or latex mattresses.
If you want to pursue a non-toxic mattress, you might find it expensive. If you can have a budget for it, you are very health-conscious, or a sensitive person, you should go for this option.
Contrarily, you may go for regular mattresses with off-gassing issues, believing that they don’t cause any serious health issues for you, especially if you don’t have any allergies.
Q: Which mattress should be bought, a regular mattress or an organic mattress?
Ans: Organic mattresses are quite expensive than regular ones. If they are affordable, they should be your first choice. Otherwise, you should go for a regular mattress without any overthinking. The release of VOCs is a harmful thing but it doesn’t cause any severe damage to human health. Moreover, it will clear off in short while.
Q: Why does a foam mattress gas off?
Ans: polyurethane material and other chemicals are used in the making of a foam mattress. When they become a finished product, they are packed in a box, in compressed form. Thus, the VOCs don’t have any room to air out. So, when you unpack a foam mattress, these chemical-oriented gases find a way out.
Q. How long does a new foam mattress off-gas?
Ans: The standard off-gassing time for a new foam mattress is 3-5 days or a week maximum.
Q. Does every foam mattress off-gas for an equal amount of time?
Ans: No, because off-gassing depends on the construction material of a mattress. Since the making material is different in different kinds of mattresses, so the level and period of their off-gassing vary accordingly.
Q: Can we stop a mattress from off-gassing immediately?
Ans: It is not possible with a non-organic mattress. However, you learn how to speed up the off-gassing process of a mattress.
In case, you can’t stand an off-gassing mattress or you have health concerns, you should opt for non-off-gassing mattresses or natural mattresses.