What Is Mattress Off Gassing: Is It Safe?

If you want to know what is mattress off gassing, this article will discuss what it is and why it happens. Furthermore, you will learn more about its safety and how long it takes for a bed to finish off-gassing. You should get everything you need to know about mattress off-gassing after reading this guide. 

In case you’re also curious, here are the healthiest mattresses in the market. It’s always helpful to know what materials put you at low to zero risks of health hazards. 

what is mattress off gassing


What Is Mattress Off Gassing On New Beds?

Mattress off-gassing refers to the chemical smell you notice on new beds. Upon the arrival of your mattress, it usually smells like chemicals, and some even describe it as similar to the odor of a new car or a freshly painted item. This smell happens because of the VOCs breaking down and forming gasses from their previous stable state. 

Beds made from synthetic materials such as polyurethane and memory foam materials are prone to off-gassing, unlike natural sources such as latex foam. If you’re interested in this mattress type, here are the best natural latex mattresses in the market. These beds even have the certifications to prove their safety against potentially hazardous chemicals.


What Are Symptoms Of Off-Gassing?


  • New smell

The most obvious sign of mattress off-gassing is the new smell. You are probably familiar with this scent on freshly-opened plastic products or even in bed-in-a-box mattresses that you are expanding. However, some people are more sensitive to the smell of off-gassing that they develop headaches, nausea, dizziness, sore throat, and even difficulty in breathing. 

Do note that even if your mattress stops smelling, it might haven’t finished emitting VOCs. Consider checking the FAQ section of your foam bed to know how long you must wait before using it to ensure you won’t get irritated. It’s usually from one to two days, depending on the mattress’ overall construction. 


  • Irritation

Besides respiratory symptoms, some beds emit VOCs that the users can develop skin irritation. Your eyes might also feel itchy whenever you’re in the room with the new mattress. Please remember to place the new bed somewhere ventilated so the VOCs won’t be concentrated in your bedroom. 

If you experience other potentially worrying symptoms such as an allergic reaction, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Furthermore, always check the materials in the mattress you’re using as some might be irritants. 


Off-gassing vs out-gassing

Do not be confused between off-gassing and out-gassing because both are terms applicable to the release of gases in products. However, off-gassing is more commonly used in homes, while out-gassing is more relevant in a lab setting.


How Dangerous Is Mattress Off-Gassing?

It’s natural to worry if off-gassing from new mattresses is dangerous or toxic. However, it’s safe to say that off-gassing is only unpleasant, but it won’t be potentially hazardous since the VOCs emitted are at low levels to cause any long-term health issues. Nonetheless, you still want to limit your exposure to the chemicals or hasten the process of off-gassing to avoid symptoms such as headaches, irritation, and discomfort during breathing. 

Check the mattress brand for certifications to prove that they met the standards and tests that ensure your safety from chemicals to put yourself at ease. They include GREENGUARD Gold, OEKO-TEX Standard 100, and CertiPUR-US. Here are the safest and best memory foam mattress brands to consider if you want a foam bed without health risks. 


How Long Does Mattress Off-Gassing Last?

Mattress off-gassing can last from days to weeks, depending on the type of mattress and how dense the foam is. You also have to consider how the manufacturer packed it and how long it has been compressed and covered. The strong odor should be gone within a few days only, but you might be sensitive to smell and notice residual odor even after weeks. 

If this is bothersome, you can always ventilate the bedroom or use a mattress cover to make the smell less noticeable. Some homeowners also swear by placing coffee grounds or a bowl of vinegar in the room to absorb the smell. But if the odor has been lingering for too long, don’t hesitate to contact the mattress manufacturer.


How Do I Get Rid Of Gassing?

There are many ways to speed up off-gassing, but the best way to eliminate the chemical odor is to allow your new mattress to ventilate. If it comes compressed in a box, please enable it to expand and place it outdoors. The same is also applicable when your new mattress is delivered in its actual shape, but remember to unpack it and remove it from the plastic cover.  

You can also freshen the mattress and absorb the smell using baking soda. Pour baking soda all over the mattress surface and let the powder sit for a day or two. Then, vacuum it off and do the same on the other side to remove the smell altogether. 



We hope this article clarifies your confusion and answers your questions about off-gassing. To recap what is mattress off gassing, it refers to the gasses formed from VOCs in mattress. These gasses create that chemical smell apparent in new foam beds. 

However, these VOCs are emitted at low levels to make you worry about toxicity. But to alleviate the discomfort and potential irritation, make sure to aerate your new bed or use baking soda over it. 

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