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New Mattress Smell And How To Prevent It


Written by Andrea

Last Updated: 7th April, 2023

A new mattress smell can potentially be a nightmare. When you buy a new mattress, you want to get it all set up in your bedroom and enjoy the comfort as soon as possible. Mattresses can be a large investment and it's important that we take our time to consider what kind of mattress suits our needs. Depending on the kind of mattress you have chosen, you might find that your new mattress has a smell that you are experiencing from the moment you open up the wrapper.

No one wants to have their guests come over to see their newly decorated home and having them notice the mattress smells like chemicals. Luckily there are ways to prevent it from spreading and lingering. In this guide, we'll look at some of the reasons why a new mattress might smell and how to stop a mattress from smelling.

Why Does A New Mattress Smell?

There are tons of reasons why a new mattress might smell. Sometimes you can find that it is as simple as the wrapper on the outside coming from somewhere that has an identifiable smell. However, it isn’t always down to the wrapper as some mattress materials can contain chemicals that are slowly released as you start to sleep on your new bed.

Many people love memory foam mattresses for their great features such as pressure relief. Typically, memory foam is one of the mattress materials that can have the most pungent smell. This is due to the chemicals that are inside the foam. These can be known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)✓ and they release a smell when they react with the air.

If you aren’t familiar with VOCs then you should know that they tend to break down under certain conditions. This causes the gases to escape and create smells around your home. According to the experts, mattresses that contain acrylics, memory foam and some plastics will have the highest number of VOCs.

Fun Fact!
No studies have shown memory foam to be toxic or cause cancer.

Are The Gases Dangerous?

It's easy to be alarmed when you hear that there are gasses coming from your new mattress but this isn’t something that you should be overly worried about. Many mattress manufacturers are aware of this issue. They try to use more natural and organic materials in mattresses that will reduce the gases that are being emitted in order to reduce the smells and any potential danger to customers.

Some of the chemicals that you can expect to find in some mattresses include naphthalene, benzene and formaldehyde. While these gasses might be inside of your mattress, there isn’t enough in there to harm anyone in your home. Additionally, they will disappear after a short period of time and so they won’t cause any harm to you.

You should also note that many of these gasses will be within other items in your homes, such as non-stick pans and laser printers. So, if you are happy enough to have these items, you shouldn’t be worried about any chemicals in your mattress.


How Long Does The Mattress Smell Last?

If you fear the mattress smell lingering in your home for a long period of time, know that this isn’t always going to be the case. Yes, the smell might be annoying at first, but typically, the smell should start to disappear after a few hours or days.

With a memory foam mattress, you can expect the smell to subdue after around 2 days. According to the experts, this will then reduce by around 25% every day after that. So, it won’t be long before your new mattress smell is a thing of the past.

Of course, there is no way to guarantee that the new mattress smell will be gone in just a few days. It is all down to the materials used and the quality of the mattress. There are methods that you can use to speed up the process but you should proceed with caution if possible.

How To Get Rid Of A New Mattress Smell

No one wants to have to deal with a new mattress smell. You may find some guidance online from retailers and other home experts who know a thing or two about mattresses but you need to make sure that you don’t do anything that could ruin your new mattress and void your warranty.

Below, we’ll give you some great tips that you can use to get rid of that mattress smell and enjoy time in your bedroom once again. Use these tips with caution and make sure that you don’t damage your mattress while you’re at it.

New Mattress Smell

1. Remove The Wrapping Immediately

If you have invested in a mattress that comes rolled up, you will need to unwrap it and allow it to expand over the course of a few days. Typically, mattresses that are rolled up will be tightly packed with plastic to ensure they don’t unroll on the journey to your home. Even mattresses that are laid flat will come with some kind of wrapping on top to keep them clean and ensure they don’t get damaged.

If you want to get rid of the new mattress smell, try to remove the wrapping as soon as possible. The longer you leave it in there, the more chemicals can start to develop. When removing the plastic wrapping, protect the mattress and let any smells dissipate out your windows. If you can, remove the plastic as soon as it arrives and you’ll thank yourself in the long run.

mattress wrapping plastic

2. Ventilate Your Home

One of the best ways to remove a smell from your home is to keep it ventilated. You’ll know this from times when you have tried to get rid of other smells such as burnt food. There are tons of ways that you can ventilate your home, including by opening some windows and by making use of a fan.

We recommend that you only open your mattress in a well-ventilated room. If there are no windows, you might want to rethink your strategy. Keep the windows open for as long as possible, even into the night if you can. Try to keep the room off-limits to reduce the risk of the smell moving through the home.

If you have a fan or a dehumidifier, use it in the room where you have the mattress. This way, you can circulate the air and get rid of that smell sooner rather than later. Just remember to put it on the right setting to keep the air moving around carefully.


3. Open It Away From The Bedroom

If you want to prevent the bad smell from lingering in your home, you should try to open your new mattress away from the bedroom. You might want to open it up in there to avoid moving it around but this can be a mistake. If you need to sleep in your bedroom then you risk having the smell there at night.

There are other places in your home where you can open up your mattress such as your garage or in a spare room. Before you do this, however, you should try to avoid opening up your mattress somewhere that could potentially get your new mattress dirty. Mattresses can be hard to clean and so it might be worth putting down some kind of material that will protect your mattress from dirt and damage. Find a good location and you’ll thank yourself later when you can move your new mattress into your bedroom with no smell. Should you somehow anyway manage to get your mattress a bit dirty, check out our top tips on how to clean a mattress.

4. Try Baking Soda

Have you ever considered using baking soda to get rid of a smell on your mattress? This is a proven strategy that homeowners have been using for years when they spill something on their mattress or have some kind of issue. Baking soda can be effective when it comes to neutralising that smell and leaving your mattress feeling brand new.

If you want to try some baking soda on your mattress to remove the smell, you should mix around 5 parts of water with 1 part baking soda. In case you have a stain or a specific part of your mattress that could have a smell, you will want to dab this part with the baking soda mixture.

If you simply want to remove the bad smell from the room, you should place the mixture in a few bowls around the room. Over time, these bowls will catch the smell and leave your room feeling fresh sooner rather than later. It might be worth replacing the bowls over the course of the week to make sure that all the smell is eliminated.

5. Use Activated Charcoal

In addition to baking soda, you might also want to try using some activated charcoal to remove the smell in your home. This might be a bit more expensive as you will have to go to the shops and pick up some charcoal briquettes but it is very effective in terms of removing a smell.

To use the charcoal, all you need to do is place them under the bed or in a bowl around the room. It is important that you remember that charcoal can stain your carpet so if you have pets or young children running around, this might not be the best strategy to take.

Charcoal can help to soak up the smell and leave your home feeling fresh. Make sure to try out this option if you have a new mattress smell and want to get rid of it soon.

charcoal to rid the smell

6. Have Some Fun

If you have some children then you might find this next tip a great solution for removing the smell in your mattress quickly. Kids love jumping on a mattress and having a pillow fight but this is often discouraged, especially with a new mattress that is in a great condition.

However, if you do allow your children to jump on the mattress, you can actually release the chemicals and gasses more quickly than they would naturally come out of it. This will effectively increase the smell at first but it might be worth it in the long-run as you’ll cut the time that it takes for the gasses to release.

Why don’t you spend some time with your kids and let them help you to break in the mattress? Just make sure that everyone is safe and careful when jumping to avoid any injuries. This can be a lot of fun and it can also help you get the job done quickly.

Kids Jumping In Bed

New Mattress Smell And How To Prevent It Conclusion

If you have recently purchased a new mattress and are worried about the chemical smell that it is bringing into your home, you should consider trying out some of the ideas that we have given you in this article. Remember that a new mattress smell will go away naturally over the course of a few days but you might want to reduce the smell and live in a fresh home before that.

You don’t need to worry about the smell coming from your new memory foam mattress harming your family or any young children but it doesn’t hurt to be safe. Use some baking soda, have some fun and don’t forget to get it out of the wrapping as soon as you can.

Before you know it, you’ll be sleeping on your new mattress and enjoying your new bed in your home. Any guests who come over won’t be able to smell the new mattress but you can tell them all about it as a funny anecdote.


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