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How Long Should You Air Out An Off Gassing New Mattress

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 8 minLast updated on April 3, 2021

According to research, the mattress industry's increasingly global market value is primarily due to its ease of use and durability. (1)

However, not all mattresses provide the same high-quality ratings for comfort, durability, and safety. If you notice a pungent chemical-like smell when you air out a new mattress, chances are it is made of synthetic foams. You don't want these toxic fumes right under your noses, so the best solution is to learn the ways on how to get rid of them. 

In this guide, I'll help you discover how long you should air out an off-new gassing mattress and some tips on how to speed up a mattress off-gassing to ensure a safe and sound slumber.

What is Off-Gassing?

When you buy something new, it has this particular "new" smell. Mattresses are usually delivered right on your doorsteps, and it comes in an airtight package. Due to this, the Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) utilized in manufacturing the foam are stuck with nowhere to go. As you air out a new mattress, you will probably notice a suspicious chemical odor coming from the foam. These chemical-like fumes are caused by the process called off-gassing. (2)

It would help if you learned that off-gassing could be observed on things found in your home. 

Some of those are:

  • Laser printers
  • Non-stick pans
  • Dryer sheets
  • Cleaning products
  • Furniture
  • Paints
  • Cars

What Are The New Mattress Off Gassing Symptoms?

Have you parted ways with your squeaky coil spring mattress? There are many inexpensive mattresses out there, but what should you choose? Revamping to a memory foam mattress is a convenient choice for many. However, when you air out a memory foam mattress, it may come with a "new mattress smell," and although it isn't literally fishy, you should investigate more about it to ensure you can sleep peacefully and safely. 

Beds are one of our safe spaces where we spend almost a quarter of our lives, but what would you do if you discover that there are potentially hazardous chemicals in there? Although foam mattress is becoming more popular throughout the years, it has its fair share of criticisms. These mattresses are synthetically based, so many people are still skeptical of whether it is really safe for human use. 

Low-quality foam mattresses made of polyurethane foam emit a large amount of chemical-like fumes called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). It can trigger allergic reactions and other health issues if you are exposed to it for an extended period. (2)

Please don't toss out your newly bought mattress just yet. There is no purpose in agonizing over it if you address the issue before it causes you severe harm. If you are asking, what are the new mattresses off-gassing symptoms, here are some of them:

  • Lingering "new mattress smell" ( lasts for weeks or months)
  • Morning headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Frequent nausea
  • Lack of concentration (especially for children)
  • Respiratory issues (usually triggers those with asthma)
  • Allergic reactions (eye, nose, and throat irritation)
  • Dizziness

How Long to Air out a New Mattress?

After receiving your order, the next question is, how long to air out a new mattress? You might get too excited and rip out the package once it arrives. However, your new bed can't be safely used until you get rid of that distinctive new smell. 

When you air out a new mattress, it usually takes around three to seven days to get rid of the pungent chemical smell. You must do it in an open space or well-ventilated room so that the VOCs will not be contained in one area. 

There are air-quality friendly mattresses out there that do not emit this harmful smell, so they can immediately be used in the first few hours of opening them. Let your nose be the judge if it is safe to sleep in your new mattress. However, if the smell still lingers after weeks or months, chances are the mattress can bring you more harm than good.

How to Speed Up a Mattress Off-Gassing?

Usually, when you receive your order, it comes with a list of how to speed up a mattress off-gassing. Some mattress manufacturers include this guideline to make sure that you can enjoy your new bed as soon as possible. But, if you want to know more tips, read on. 

Here's how:

  • Immediately take the plastic wrap off the mattress. 

Even if the mattress you just bought will not be used at the moment, it is essential to take the plastic wrap off as soon as it gets delivered. Keeping the mattress rolled up inside for a long time can make the harmful chemicals be embedded deeper on its surface. Remember to dispose of the plastic wrap correctly and away from your home because the smell can easily stick to the walls and other surfaces.

  • Find a suitable place to air out your new mattress. 

Opening your new mattress inside an enclosed room is a big no. Since it still has this distinct chemical smell, it needs to be opened in an open space so that the fumes can dissipate quickly. It is recommended to air out a memory foam mattress in a well-ventilated area or open garage. 

  • Increase air circulation. 

Not all of us have a garage or a good open space, so if it is inevitable to open your mattress inside the house, there is still a way to do it. Make sure to open your windows and doors to increase the air circulation in the place. You can also make use of fans and air filtration systems to cross-ventilate and speed up the process of off-gassing inside your home. 

  • Baking soda or bamboo charcoal can help. 

Baking soda and bamboo charcoal have a high surface area, so it is effective in trapping in VOCs. You can sprinkle some of it on the bedding to absorb and neutralize the chemical odor. After leaving it for about a day, you can easily clean it up using a vacuum cleaner. 

  • Jump on it. 

After knowing how long to air out a new mattress is, you might find it tedious just to wait. Who says "no more jumping on the bed"? Have fun while waiting and jump on your mattress after you take it out of the package. Note that even if you are having fun jumping on the bed, you should get out of the room every few minutes to ensure that you do not inhale too many toxic gases. 

  • Use layers of mattress covers. 

If you really need to use your mattress, even if there is still a lingering smell left, what you can do is double the layers of mattress covers. The covers can help lessen the smell and exposure to the VOCs.

F.A.Q.

How Dangerous is Mattress Off-Gassing?

It may sound scary but be assured because the amount of VOCs emitted in mattresses is not high enough to cause you extensive harm, especially if you let it dissipate immediately.

What Are the Chemicals to Watch for In Mattresses?

Watch out for Formaldehyde and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs).

These chemicals can be dangerous if you are frequently exposed to them.

Conclusion

With all the new developments in the mattress industry, it can be tempting to buy the new one on the shelf. However, you must have a good sense that it is always better to be proactive

Even though off-gassing is an unavoidable task that comes with buying a new mattress, be sure to do the tips and recommendations I shared above. Make sure that you can have your good night's sleep without the weight of thinking whether your bed can be dangerous for you. 

Finding great mattresses that don't sag and are safe to use is more accessible today. In fact, scouring for a memory foam mattress without fiberglass is not even that challenging because there are manufacturers out there that carefully consider customer's needs and preferences. 

Now I'd like to know your thoughts:

Have you had similar experiences with airing out a new mattress?

Or do you have other helpful tips to avoid facing the trouble of off-gassing?

Either way, leave a comment and join the discussion below.

References:

  1. The global mattress market is forecasted to attain the value of $38,976 Million by 2023 https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/01/20/1972588/0/en/Global-mattress-market-is-forecasted-to-attain-the-value-of-38-976-Million-by-2023.html 
  2. Volatile Organic Compounds' Impact on Indoor Air Quality https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality

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