Off-gassing is a common issue with new mattresses. The gas that is emitted can be harmful to your health, and it’s important to take steps to speed up the process.
The easiest way to reduce off-gassing odor from a new mattress is by giving it time and ventilation.
Many new mattresses need at least a few hours, but some may require up to 48+hour period to get rid of odors completely.
In this post, we’ll outline some tips for minimizing off-gassing. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to enjoy your new mattress in no time.
What is Mattress Off-gassing?
Mattress off-gassing is the release of industrial chemicals from mattresses into the air after arrival in your home.
Memory foam mattress makers rely on various petroleum-based chemicals in the manufacturing process, which can result in fumes that linger on mattresses for extended periods.
While some people are not affected by these fumes, others may find them to be unpleasant or even harmful.
How do you Speed Up the Mattress Off-Gassing Process?
Bring it out
When you first bring your mattress home, it is important to allow it to air out for a few hours in a well-ventilated room. This will help to speed up the off-gassing process and get rid of any residual chemicals from the manufacturing process.
Once your mattress has aired out, you can then proceed to set it up on your bed frame and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
However, if you are sensitive to smells, you may want to consider placing your mattress in an enclosed space such as a garage or shed for a few days before bringing it inside. This will help to further lessen the chemical smell.
Place It In A Sunny Spot
You can speed up the mattress off-gassing process by placing it in a sunny spot.
The VOCs will be baked out faster if you put your Mattress directly under bright sunlight for at least eight hours before turning away from its rays, so make sure that this doesn’t happen during wintertime.
Use Baking soda
The technique to eliminate the chemical odor of your new foam bed is with a common household item you probably already have in mind: baking soda.
You are familiar with how it helps freshen up mattresses, including those that smell musty or develop an unpleasant odor after time; well this method will also work for speeding off-gassing.
To start simply sprinkle some around on top of each side and let sit through one hour before vacuuming away any excess powder (be sure not to touch!).
Once done repeat the process outside again if needed due to sun exposure which may speed up its drying process too.
Try an Air Purifier
One way to speed up mattress off-gassing is to place an air purifier in the room where the mattress is located. This will help to remove VOCs from the air, allowing the mattress to off-gas more quickly.
Additionally, you can increase ventilation in the room by opening windows or using a fan. This will also help to remove VOCs from the air and speed up the off-gassing process.
Apply White Sock Treatment
A new polyurethane foam mattress can release strong fumes for some time after it is first unpacked.
This off-gassing process is normal and harmless, but it can be unpleasant for some people. One way to speed up the process is to apply the white sock treatment.
This involves jumping and bouncing across the entire surface of the mattress. Doing this will help to release the locked-in gases more quickly.
However, it is important to leave the room after bouncing around for no more than 10 minutes, as the fumes can be overpowering.
Wearing a face mask during the process is also recommended. In addition to speeding up the off-gassing process, this procedure can also help to break in a new mattress more quickly.
Add mattress cover
One method is to place a plastic mattress cover over the mattress. This will help to trap the gases and prevent them from dispersing too quickly.
However, it’s important to note that this is only a temporary measure. The cover will eventually need to be removed for the mattress to be off-gas completely.
Off-Gassing by Mattress Type
When you are mattress shopping, you may come across different types of mattresses that use various materials. These materials can provide different levels of support, comfort, and durability.
However, you may also be concerned about how these materials affect the amount of off-gassing that occurs. To help you make an informed decision, we will discuss the five most popular types of mattresses and their performance in terms of off-gassing.
All-foam mattresses are made with a polyfoam support core and a comfort system that uses memory foam, polyfoam, latex, or a combination of these materials. Since most all-foam models use synthetic foam, they have a high potential for off-gassing.
Latex mattresses contain a latex support core and comfort system. Most models use natural latex, which should produce minimal odor due to its lack of chemical byproducts. However, models with synthetic or blended latex may emit similar levels of off-gassing.
Innerspring mattresses have a steel coil support core with a comfort system made of cotton batting, memory foam, polyfoam, or fiberfill. While the coils themselves do not off-gas, the other materials in the comfort system may emit odors.
Hybrid mattresses have a support core made of steel coils with a comfort system that consists of one or more layers of memory foam, latex, polyfoam, or fiberfill.
Like innerspring mattresses, the coils in hybrids do not off-gas but the other materials in the comfort system may still emit odors.
Airbeds have an air chamber support core that is adjustable to provide different levels of firmness.
The comfort system is typically made from polyester fabric or PVC (polyvinyl chloride), both of which have a low potential for off-gassing.
Waterbeds have a water chamber support core that is filled with water to provide firmness and support. The water is enclosed in a vinyl liner, which has a high potential for off-gassing fumes.
How long does off-gassing usually last?
When a new mattress is first unwrapped, it is common for there to be a noticeable Odor. This is commonly referred to as “off-gassing.”
While the strength of this odor varies among different mattress models, consumers can typically expect it to dissipate within the first two weeks.
Is the smell from memory foam toxic?
When purchasing a memory foam mattress, one of the first things you’ll notice is the distinct smell that’s emitted from the foam. While the odor is unpleasant, it’s not harmful to most people.
A small percentage of owners report difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, and asthma. However, these symptoms are typically mild and dissipate quickly.
How long does polyurethane foam take to off-gas?
However, polyurethane foam can also release harmful chemicals into the air. These chemicals are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and they can have a range of health effects, including headaches, dizziness, and respiratory problems.
The good news is that VOC emissions from polyurethane foam decrease over time. In fact, according to the CertiPUR-US program, emissions must be below 0.16 ppm of benzene after 72 hours to earn their seal of approval.
What can I do about my bed’s degree of off-gassing?
The key to reducing the off-gassing odor that is emitted from new mattresses is ventilation and time.
Mattresses should be left in a well-ventilated room for some time, preferably a few hours, before being used for the first time. This will allow for the majority of the off-gassing odor to be released.
To promote airflow and help speed up the process, windows should be opened or fans used in the room where the mattress is located.
By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your new mattress will have a minimal off-gassing odor when you begin using it.
While we can’t make the smell disappear completely, hopefully, these tips will help speed up the process so you can get back to a good night’s sleep.
Have you tried any of these methods for speeding up a mattress off gassing? Let us know in the comments section below.