How To Speed Up Mattress Off-Gassing

Sitting at home, pondering how to get rid of that horrible chemical odor emanating from your new mattress? We've all been in that situation. That's why we're here to help you as we share what we have researched from the experts.

You really need time and ventilation to reduce the off-gassing odor. Here are some practices you can do to speed up this off-gassing process of your new mattress: 

  • Remove the wrapper
  • Air it out
  • Apply white sock treatment
  • Place it in a sunny spot
  • Purify your air
  • Sprinkle baking soda

In this article, we'll talk more about the tips to speed up the off-gassing of your mattress. We'll discuss the reason behind the smell and also the effects of inhaling it. There's so much more waiting for you to learn. So, continue reading!

spring mattress - How To Speed Up Mattress Off-Gassing

Why New Mattress Off-Gassing?

Woman putting soft orthopedic mattress on bed

Off-gassing is a term used in the mattress industry to describe how new mattresses smell. 

This is due to the fact that certain chemicals in the mattress foam, known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), are now reacting with the air. Remember that they were vacuum-packed and had all of the air sucked out from them at the factory.

Thousands of manufactured household products contain VOCs, from cleaners and air fresheners to paints and mattresses. Memory foam mattresses are typically off-gas VOCs from foams and adhesives. CFCs, benzene, formaldehyde, methylene chloride, naphthalene, toluene, and perfluorocarbons are among them.

VOCs are not stable and so they tend to break down quickly under certain conditions. They produce gases that must be expelled. These gases are what you smell when something is brand new, and they're especially noticeable if the item contains memory foam, acrylics, or some plastics.

How to Speed Up Mattress Off-Gassing 

Check the VOCs used in the manufacturing process when shopping for a new mattress. If the manufacturer does not provide clear answers, look into other brands. Everyone has the right to know what chemicals you may be bringing into your home. Off-gassing recommendations are always included in a good and reputable manufacturer's product description. Here are some off-gassing tips:

Remove the Wrapper

Keeping your mattress rolled up in a plastic wrapper for an extended period of time is one of the worst things you can do to it. The longer your mattress is stuffed inside the plastic, the longer it will ferment and the more gasses will be embedded.

Remove the plastic wrap from your mattress as soon as possible in a well-ventilated area and allow the bed to expand completely. Also, dispose the plastic wrapper right away because of the smell embedded in it.

Air It Out

If the smell is really bad after you remove it from the plastic wrap, the next best thing is to let it air out for a few days. This should be done for at least 10 hours per day, or until the smell is completely gone. Make sure the room is off-limits while doing this.  If you don't have an empty room, air it out in a basement or garage where it won't be exposed to moisture, as mold can grow in the mattress.

Apply White Sock Treatment

Two crazy cheerful cheery positive preschool siblings having fun, jump on the mattress in a home over white background. Quarantine. Selective focus on girl.

White sock treatment is a technique that refers to a fun way of dealing with the chemical smell of a new mattress by jumping and bouncing all over your new mattress! It will allow the trapped gases to dissipate more quickly.

You can jump on the mattress as much as you want on the first day of degassing and as often as you want after that. Just don't stay in that room for more than a few minutes or you'll inhale the toxic gasses you're trying to avoid. Before you try this method, make sure to check the warranty on your mattress because it may void it depending on the manufacturer.

Place it in a Sunny Spot

High temperatures and humidity have been known to cause items to off-gas more quickly. The VOCs will be baked out faster if you place your mattress in direct sunlight. This should take at least eight hours to complete. In just a few days, you can smell the best results.

Purify Your Air

Invest in air filters if you don't feel like experimenting with the outdoors ideas. No device can completely eliminate pollutants from the air, but it can try! For the best air purifier, look for original filters that are Ultra Low Particulate Air (ULPA) or High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA). They're designed to trap larger to extremely small particulate contaminants from an air stream. Thus, efficient filtering of the air.

Click here to see this air purifier on Amazon.

What's more, most homes have a one-inch thick fiberglass furnace filter. Upgrade your air filters if possible, at least until the majority of the VOCs in your new mattress has dissipated. Because regular fiberglass filters circulate the air in your home on a continuous basis, trapping only large particles.

Instead of the usual fiberglass or washable filters with low Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) around 1 to 4, better to upgrade them to a few pleated filters with MERV 11 or higher. The higher the MERV rating, the better at trapping specific types of particles the filter is.

Click here to see this air filter on Amazon.

Another way to purify the air is using activated charcoal. Rather than simply masking odors through some commercial air freshener, they must be neutralized. Using charcoal is one way to accomplish this. Charcoal actually eliminates smell by adsorbing harmful particles from the air.

Click here to see this odor absorber on Amazon. 

Sprinkle Baking Soda

Baking soda scattered from a glass jar on a dark

Finally, baking soda is a common household item that can be used to eliminate the chemical odor of your new foam bed. Baking soda can help freshen mattresses, including those that stench, as you are probably aware. However, it will also aid in the off-gassing of your bed.

To begin, sprinkle baking soda over the entire mattress surface and allow it to sit for an hour. Then vacuum the powder off the other side and repeat the process. You can extend the baking soda on your bed by bringing it outside to the sun and after, vacuum the powder off. 

Is the Smell from a New Mattress Toxic?

Despite the lack of evidence that VOC mattresses pose a serious threat to humans, you should still try to get as many of the VOCs out of your house as soon as possible. Inhaling chemicals can cause health problems depending on how much is in the air, how long it is there, and how often it is breathed in.

While inhaling VOCs from your mattress for a short period of time is safe but prolonged exposure to low levels of VOCs can cause health issues in some people. Symptoms of VOC exposures include:

  • In short-term exposures, such as hours to days, headaches, dizziness, irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin, vomiting and nausea, and worsening of asthma symptoms can occur.
  • In long-term exposures, such as years to a lifetime, liver and kidney damage, cancer, and damage to the central nervous can occur.

If you want to limit your VOC exposure or don't want to deal so much with the smell, start by looking for a mattress that has a CertiPUR-US certification. This certification ensures that a particular mattress model contains high-quality foams. 

Furthermore, foams certified by this non-profit organization have been independently tested in labs and found to contain properties such as low VOC emissions for quality indoor air, no ozone depleters, no heavy metals like mercury and lead, and zero phthalates, zero formaldehyde, and zero flame retardants. Thus, CertiPUR-US certified mattresses have minimal pungent odors. In comparison to competing models, they typically off-gas quickly.

Can You Sleep on a New Mattress Right Away?

spring mattress

Most companies advise you to wait 24 hours after unboxing your mattress before sleeping on it for the first time to ensure that the quality of their product is at its peak. The risk of off-gassing is one of the reasons why brands want you to wait before sleeping in their beds. 

You can sleep, roll around, and step on it before the 24-hour mark as much as you want but reminds you that the mattress will not feel its best right away after you unbox it. Allowing your bed to air out for the specified amount of time keeps you from having to deal with any unpleasant odors.

Is it Possible to Return an Off-Gassed Mattress? 

Mattress isolated on white background-clipping path

Yes, you can return an off-gassed mattress. The majority of mattress companies offer 100 days of sleep trials. These trials allow you to use the mattress completely, which means it can be unpacked and placed on box springs or slatted beds.

Returning a mattress, even if it is completely off-gassed, should not be an issue as long as the sleep trial period has not expired. However, read the trial blueprint thoroughly to avoid taking any actions that will prevent you from returning the mattress.

Final Thoughts

Anyone can master the art of speeding up the off-gassing of a mattress. Several options are available for getting rid of industrial chemical odors that ship with brand new mattresses, from airing it out in the open sun to leaving it in a well-ventilated room for days.

However, buying a CertiPUR-US certified mattress can help you avoid off-gassing issues entirely. They may be more expensive than standard models, but the improved health and safety features they provide may be worthwhile.

To read more insightful topics, feel free to visit the following posts:

How Many Air Filters Does A House Have? [And Where Are Filters Located]

How To Use Nature Fresh Air Purifier Bags

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