New Mattress Smelling Bad? Here’s What Going On

New Mattress Smelling Bad? Here's What Going On
New Mattress Smelling Bad? Here's What Going On

Are you looking to get a better night’s rest?

A good night’s sleep is essential to restoring your brain and physical functions. One of the best ways to get the best sleep is by creating a good sleep environment. A new mattress can help you optimize your sleep environment for better sleep.

However, if you bought a new mattress, you may be feeling bothered about the new mattress smell. Does your mattress give out a strange odor? Don’t worry; we’re here to help.

In this article, we cover the new mattress chemical smell and where it comes from. Read on to discover some great tips on how to fix it.

What is Off-Gassing?

Your new mattress may be giving off a strange odor. People say the smell ranges somewhere between a new carpet and a strange gas. Other people may associate this new mattress smell with a new car or opened can of paint.

This smell comes from gaseous byproducts during the manufacturing process. These byproducts dissipate as time continues. The foam present in some mattresses is the main culprit of off-gassing.

Resins and adhesives may also contribute to a mattress off-gassing. A company may also add a flame retardant for the mandated government standard.

Consumers may also experience a new mattress smell in any upholstered furniture. Any product with similar components or materials tends to off-gas. However, you may be wondering why people call it the “new mattress smell.”

When ordering a mattress online, the manufacturer will compress a mattress for delivery. To compress the mattress, they need tight plastic wrapping. This will prevent the mattress from expanding or exploding out of its packaging.

A new mattress in an air-tight packaging will trap these VOCs. These gaseous byproducts stay until you unseal the item. You may be less likely to experience a new mattress smell when you go to a physical store.

VOCs and SVOCs  

VOCs are also known as volatile organic compounds. These are molecules that dissipate and scatter. These molecules may disperse into the air or anywhere near room temperature.

A subgroup of VOCs is SVOCS or semi-volatile organic compounds. Mattress or other items with foam material can release SVOCs. These gases are semi-volatile because they have a higher boiling point.

To vaporize, the gases will need more heat. SVOCs often come from flame retardants, divided into two categories: reactive and additive. Your new mattress’s odor may come from an additive retardant.

The application of additive retardants makes them more likely to leech out. These don’t get added to the products until the end of the manufacturing process. Since it’s not bonded to the base material, it’s more prone to releasing SVOCs.

Is It Harmful?

Is the new mattress smell harmful? Experts state that most healthy adults won’t even experience the side effects. If you’re sensitive to these, you may experience a headache or eye and throat irritation.

However, the side-effects subside as soon as you get away from the mattress. You will only experience carcinogenic effects with high concentrations. It’s good practice to pay attention to how your body reacts to a new mattress.

You may still smell the new mattress odor for a few days. This may depend on the mattress itself or your sensitivity to smells. Humans may also experience olfactory fatigue.

This happens when your sense of smell becomes desensitized due to prolonged exposure. If you suffer from conditions like asthma and lung disease, you may be at a greater risk. It’s also crucial to limit exposure to a baby or child.

Can You Buy a Better Mattress

If you’re concerned about VOC emission, you can always choose a better mattress. Many independent companies offer low-toxin mattresses. Others claim that their mattress has only organic fibers.

Some great companies to consider are Okeo-Tex Standard 100 and Nolah Evolution. You can check out this Nolah Evolution Mattress Review here for an idea of their products. You can also try out GOTS or Global Organic Textile Standard for certified products.

These brands focus on textiles and fabric covers. They offer polyurethane beds, which are beds that are all-foam mattresses. You can choose between memory foam or hybrid foam-spring.

You may also discover a new category called CertiPUR-US. This category consists of flexible polyurethane mattresses. This type of mattress should meet several environmental and chemical criteria.

Here are some of the qualifications of a Certi-PUR foam mattress.

  • Most not emit high levels of volatile organic compounds, or more the 0.5 parts per million or ppm
  • Undergo an emissions test for formaldehyde
  • Must not consist of phthalates that cause respiratory issues among other concerns
  • Must not consist of chlorofluorocarbons or ozone depleters
  • Must not contain heavy metals like mercury or lead

CertiPUR-US certifications for a mattress are voluntary. However, flammability standards ensure that mattresses do not have flammable components. You may also choose mattresses with fibers like wool, which has a natural flame retardant.

How Long Will the Smell Last

There is no set time for how long you may have the new mattress smell. Most memory foam mattresses will lose their odor after two days. The smell will reduce at a gradual pace after this period.

After 5 or 6 days, you will not be able to smell it at all. However, if you think you can’t wait that long, don’t worry! Here are some tips for getting rid of that new mattress smell.

How to Get Rid of New Mattress Smell

Even with certifications and toxin-free claims, any mattress may still off-gas. Off-gassing may occur at a variety of levels for different reasons. If your mattress has new components from the manufacturer, it’s more likely to off-gas.

Looking to get rid of that new mattress smell? Here are some great ways to start after you find out why does my new mattress smell like chemicals.

Air Out Your Mattress and Ventilate Your Home

The first thing you can do if your mattress is off-gassing is to let it breathe. After unboxing and unwrapping your mattress, set it aside and allow it to air out. Most VOCs will be gone within the first hour of unboxing your new mattress.

These chemical smells will continue to disperse into the air for an unknown period. Your mattress smell could last between a few hours and a few days. You can speed up the process by placing the mattress in a well-ventilated area.

If your mattress is in a bedroom, ensure to open the windows to promote good ventilation. A cross breeze is the best environment to put a new mattress in. If you want to avoid inhaling it, place your mattress outside.

Allow your mattress to ventilate for at least two days. If possible, try letting the mattress air out for a week.

Use an Enzyme Spray

An enzyme spray is generally to remove body odors, like urine or sweat. These sprays can also help in getting rid of off-gassing smells. If you’re tentative about doing this, conduct a test-run first.

Spray only a small part of your mattress to ensure the spray won’t stain. Then, you may spray the mattress surface. The manufacturer may have provided instructions for this method.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great home remedy for many household concerns. To use baking soda for an off-gassing mattress, combine a few bowls of water and baking soda. Use one part baking soda and mix it well with five parts of water.

Place them around your room, around the corners where you placed your mattress. Leave these bowls out and allow them to catch and neutralize the off-gassing odor.

Use Activated Charcoal

Another way to absorb the smell of an off-gassing mattress is with activated charcoal. You can use charcoal briquettes or purchase the powdered version. Place the bowls of charcoal under your bed to ensure that you don’t spill it on your new mattress.

Use Heat

When a mattress starts off-gassing, you can use heat to disperse the VOCs. You can place the mattress in an unconditioned space, like your garage.

Massage Your Bed

Massaging your bed can help in releasing the volatile compounds. Do this by walking all over your new mattress. This helps you compress it and encourage movement in parts that haven’t settled down yet.

Clean Your Mattress

Cleaning your mattress is a great way to get rid of that new mattress smell. Gather clear vinegar and water and mix equal parts in a spray bottle. Spritz your mattress and dab off any excess liquid.

Sprinkle some baking soda on the top. The baking soda will absorb the vinegar and any foul odors. After a few hours, use a vacuum to get rid of the excess powder.

Get Rid of the New Mattress Smell Today!

Some components in your mattress may cause it to release volatile compounds. Is the new mattress smell bothering you? Now you know how to get rid of that off-gassing odor.

Thanks for reading our article! Want to know more about turning your bedroom into the best personal bubble? Check out our other home and interior design guides here!