Faster Mattress Degassing: Eleven Proven Methods
You've just received your shiny new mattress, and you can't wait to use it to get some shut-eye.
However, the off-gassing that occurs when the mattress is first unpackaged is probably giving you second thoughts unless you specifically chose an organic mattress.
The second thought is probably a search for ways to hasten the off-gassing of the mattress so that you can get some rest.
For good reason, you want to hasten the off-gassing procedure. The intoxicating aroma of a brand new mattress has been linked to a variety of health problems.
Here, I'll share some tried-and-true methods for expediting the off-gassing process of a mattress, so that you can enjoy an odor-free night's sleep right away.
In addition, I'll explain in greater detail what volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are and why they're hiding in your brand-new bed.
First, however, some advice
Fast Off-Gassing of Your Mattress: Eleven Essential Steps for a Smell-Free Night's Rest
Primary Ventilated Room Air
When you get your brand new mattress, you should unpack it and let it air out in a well-ventilated room for at least 24 hours.
The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and new mattress odor can be dissipated with the assistance of an electric fan.
Sun-Warmed Outdoor Air, Number Two
Take your mattress outside in the sunshine if it's nice out. The off-gassing process can be sped up thanks to the UV light, which helps break down the chemicals.
If you leave the mattress outside during the day, you should bring it back inside before nightfall to prevent it from getting wet or dirty from passing cats.
No.3 Air Scrubber
The off-gassing process can be sped up by using an air purifier to remove volatile organic compounds and other air pollutants.
Run the purifier continuously for a full day in the room where the mattress is airing out.
Baking Soda, No. 4
When used on a mattress, baking soda is an effective odor absorber and can hasten the off-gassing process.
Putting baking soda on a mattress and letting it sit for at least half an hour is all that is required. As a next step, a thorough vacuuming
Because of its lack of toxicity, baking soda can be used anywhere, including in the presence of children and pets.
Fifth, make regular use of the vacuum cleaner on the bed.
During the off-gassing period, you can shorten the process by vacuuming your new mattress several times a day.
This is due to the fact that the mattress will no longer be a haven for dirt and dust.
Sixthly, Get On It
Jumping on the mattress for an extended period of time (this is sometimes called the "white sock treatment") can help release the chemicals into the air and, eventually, out the window.
There are two catches to this strategy:
- Use only on latex or foam mattresses. This method should not be attempted on a mattress with springs.
- If you want to spare your bed frame from a fall, put the mattress on the floor first.
Dehumidifier, No. 7
A dehumidifier can hasten the off-gassing process for mattresses in humid environments.
If you have a dehumidifier, you can keep those chemicals from dispersing into the air.
Mattress Pads and Covers #8
Using a mattress protector can lessen your exposure to harmful substances if you're worried about that possibility.
A mattress protector prevents direct skin contact with the mattress. It may also keep your mattress free of dust mites, bed bugs, and other allergens.
Take care not to put a mattress cover on a new mattress as soon as you take it out of the box. This can cause the toxins to be held for a considerable amount of time. It's important to let a mattress off-gas completely before putting a cover on it.
You can keep your mattress protector clean and smelling nice by following Arabella's advice on washing it with all-natural ingredients.
Do not use any artificially scented products
It's possible to miss the end of the off-gassing process if synthetic fragrances are used to cover up the odor.
The room containing the off-gassing mattress should be kept free of any scented candles, air fresheners, or perfumes.
Bamboo Charcoal Sacks, Number Ten
Mattress off-gassing can be mitigated by placing bamboo charcoal bags on and around the mattress.
Simply placing the bags in the sun for two hours will re-energize them and allow the volatile organic compounds to escape.
Always Refer To The Manual Or Other Instructions Provided By The Manufacturer
Most mattress producers have their own recommendations for hastening the off-gassing process.
You should consult the mattress's manual to learn how to properly care for it. If you're having trouble locating something, the company itself should be able to provide assistance.
How do you degas a mattress?
Due to the use of chemically laden materials in their construction, mattresses occasionally release a chemical odor known as "off-gassing." When a mattress is opened and exposed to oxygen, these chemicals can be released into the air.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) refer to a wide variety of chemicals, such as:
- As a blowing agent, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are used in the creation of polyurethane foam. It's common knowledge that CFCs are bad for the environment.
- Formaldehyde is frequently found in mattress adhesives.
- To prevent fires, many mattress materials contain PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers).
- Antimony is frequently used as a mattress flame retardant.
- For the creation of polyurethane foam, toluene is used.
- Chemical used in making polyurethane foam; also known as methylene chloride. Paint removers and degreasers also contain this ingredient.
- A white crystalline solid with a pleasant fragrance, naphthalene. Produced commercially from coal tar, it is used in the production of plastics, dyes, solvents, and other chemicals. It can kill insects and keep away pesky moths. Can irritate the skin, lungs, and eyes.
- Mattresses commonly contain a chemical known as perfluorocarbons (PFCs). In order to make a barrier that is both waterproof and resistant to stains, PFCs are used. But despite the apparent benefits, PFCs have been linked to a wide range of negative health effects.
- Breathing in benzene, which is released from the foam and other materials used in mattresses, can be harmful.
- The additional flame retardant trichloroethane
VOC sources and health effects are discussed in greater detail here.
How Long Does It Take to Get Off Gas?
The duration of off-gassing from a mattress varies with its material:
- Mattresses made from memory foam release the most chemicals during the off-gassing phase because they contain the most chemicals used in production.
- Synthetic latex mattresses have a longer off-gassing time than memory foam ones. All-natural latex mattresses don't give off any harmful gases.
- Innerspring Mattresses: Most innerspring mattresses are constructed with non-off-gassing stainless steel springs. These springs, however, are typically housed in plastic sleeves that Additionally, the top surface of many innerspring mattresses today is made of memory foam.
It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for the off-gassing process to be finished with most mattresses.
Is Off-Gassing from Mattresses Harmful?
Chemicals released at low concentrations, like those found in off-gassing mattresses, are not usually considered harmful.
In the short term, however, they can cause problems like:
- Inability to Breathe
- Reactions of the Skin
How to Prevent Off-Gassing from Your Mattress: Four More Essential Steps for an Odor-Free Night's Sleep
Mattresses made from organic materials are ranked first.
Selecting a mattress constructed entirely from natural materials will result in the least amount of off-gassing.
Mattresses made of natural materials like latex or wool have minimal off-gassing. Cotton-batting innerspring mattresses are also a good choice because they emit few volatile organic compounds.
Here are some articles that can help you select a healthier and more environmentally friendly bed:
Second, consider purchasing something that has been used only a little bit.
It's possible that this advice will cause some friction, but here goes anyway.
You can avoid being exposed to off-gassing from your mattress by purchasing a gently used one.
Since the VOCs will have been released during this process, the mattress will no longer have that awful chemical odor.
Sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace feature gently used mattresses for sale. Before making a purchase, give the mattress a thorough once-over.
If you're planning on sleeping on a previously used mattress, read Arabella's advice first!
Third, Ensure You Check Credentials
Certifications indicating low or zero VOC levels should be sought out when purchasing a new mattress.
CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD are the two most popular and reputable. Both confirm the absence of off-gassing and low VOC emissions from the products they certify.
The Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) are two certifications to keep an eye out for if you're in the market for an organic mattress. The presence of these guarantees that the mattress is made from organic, eco-friendly materials.
Also, if you live in California, you should only buy a mattress that has the Proposition 65 warning label.
Optional Step #4: Check Out Feedback
You can find out which mattresses do and do not off-gas by reading reviews online.
Don't believe everything you read online and keep an eye out for greenwashing.
Mattresses Aren't the Only Target
Although mattresses are a major source of off-gassing, they are hardly alone.
Things like these can also contribute to off-gassing in your home:
- Dog Beds
Questions & Answers
When the gas off-gassing becomes too great, can you return the mattress?
It depends With a sleep trial period, you can send back a mattress for any reason within a certain amount of time after purchase. Without a guaranteed trial period, the manufacturer or store where you purchased the mattress has complete discretion over whether or not they will give you a refund.
Is There a Funky Smell Coming From My Air Mattress?
Yes Many of the same precautions should be taken when sleeping on an air mattress as with a conventional one due to the off-gassing of chemicals.
Can A Mattress Be Off-Gased In The Freezing Temperatures?
This is true, but it will take more time. The rate of off-gassing is reduced in proportion to the temperature.
Can You Sleep On A Mattress That Has Been Taken Out Of Service?
How you define "safe" is a key factor. Consider purchasing an organic mattress if you are concerned about off-gassing having a negative impact on your health.
If you can tolerate the off-gassing odor and possible mild side effects, sleeping on an off-gassing mattress is generally safe. But it's not something I'd suggest (especially in the first day).
It has recently come to light that your brand new mattresses may contain harmful levels of volatile organic compounds.
Fortunately, exposure to this concentration of toxic chemicals is probably not going to result in any serious health problems.
Yet, why should one risk it?
When you first open a new mattress, the levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are highest.
You can significantly lessen your risk by implementing some of the strategies discussed here.
Don't Hesitate to Contact Us
I was wondering if anyone had any tips for getting rid of the smell associated with off-gassing from a memory foam mattress. Will you never sleep on anything but organic, zero-VOC mattresses that protect your home's air quality?
Do you mind getting a used mattress, or must it be brand new? Just shoot me an email and fill me in on what's going on.
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