Do Memory Foam Mattresses Smell?

So, you have done copious amounts of research and finally, very nearly, decided to invest in a memory foam mattress. There is just one tiny obstacle.

A few of the reviews that you have read suggest that memory mattresses give off an odour when they’re new. A horrible smell that impedes perfect sleep, the very reason you’re upgrading your current mattress!

 We decided to investigate if this is true.

What causes the smell and is it harmful?

There is no avoiding the fact that, fresh out of the packaging, most memory foam mattresses will have a distinctive odour. 

If you have ever sat in a brand new car or a freshly painted room, you will recognise the familiar smell.

A slightly chemical, gassy smell seems that it will give you a headache over a long period.

The good news is it won’t last for long and is harmless.

What causes a memory foam mattress to smell?

Within each mattress are volatile organic compounds, VOCs, which break down and form gases. These are where any horrible whiffs emanate from.

The compounds are in the foam, adhesives and possibly in any flame retardant chemicals that might be used to remain legally compliant and safe.

Countless studies have been completed and there has been absolutely no link made with possible carcinogens or anything harmful. You will be able to sleep soundly.

Fortunately, the odours will last a matter of days and then disappear, even faster if you help them on their way.

Are you looking at purchasing a memory foam mattress? If so we recommend you read our post on the best memory foam mattresses available here. It has some great further information on memory foam mattresses.

How can I stop my memory foam mattress smelling?

If you are in a position to let it air-out for a few days before using it, do so.

Remove all of the packaging and leave it in a well-ventilated room, with doors and windows open.

If you have no other option but to sleep on it, then try the baking soda trick.

Sprinkle a few tablespoons over the mattress and let it settle for an hour or so. Then, using the upholstery attachment of your vacuum, clean it thoroughly. The powder absorbs any odours.

Repeating this each time you change your bedlinen is a good trick. All mattresses naturally soak up sweat and smelly feet odours, this will help keep it fresh for longer.

You might also find it useful to place a bowl of white vinegar in the room. This will absorb any pungent smells. However, you will have the smell of vinegar to contend with for a while!

It’s also a great drain freshener, so you are effectively doing 2 jobs in 1 when you pour it away.

How long will it take the smell to go?

This really depends on how well ventilated the room is. We found that it was little more than an unpleasant smell that we stopped noticing after the first couple of days.

Some people barely notice the smell until night time; this is obviously due to their nose being closer to the mattress.

The minority of users claim that their eyes and throat became a little irritated and some of those with asthma felt that it was affected.

 Thankfully, once the mattress is thoroughly aired and the small has gone, all that you will get from your memory foam mattress is a fantastic night of sleep.

So, in our experience, we were hardly bothered by it, others suggest that the smell lingered for up to a week.

And finally..

We hope that we have put your mind at ease. Yes your new mattress may well pong a little for a few days. No, it isn’t harmful and yes, it will soon pass.

And when it does, you can rest assured of a quality and restful night’s sleep.