How Long Does New Mattress Off Gassing Last?

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Discover the definition, common chemicals, and factors that affect off gassing duration. Short-term and long-term health effects are discussed, along with sensitivity to chemicals. Follow our to reduce exposure and learn about natural and organic options.

What is Mattress Off Gassing?

When you buy a new mattress, you expect it to be fresh and clean. However, new mattresses can release gases into the air, a process known as “off-gassing.” Off-gassing occurs when the chemicals used to make the mattress break down and release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These chemicals can have both short-term and long-term health effects on the body, making it important to understand what off-gassing is and how it can be prevented.

Definition of Mattress Off Gassing

Mattress off-gassing is the process by which chemicals used in the manufacturing of mattresses break down and release VOCs into the air. These VOCs can include compounds such as formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene, which can have both short and long-term health effects on the body.

Causes of Mattress Off Gassing

Mattress off-gassing is caused by the chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Many mattresses are made with synthetic materials, such as polyurethane foam, which can release VOCs as they break down over time. Additionally, flame retardants, adhesives, and other chemicals used in the manufacturing process can also contribute to off-gassing.

Common Chemicals in Mattresses

There are several common chemicals found in mattresses that can contribute to off-gassing. These include:

  • Polyurethane foam: Used in many mattresses as a cushioning material, polyurethane foam is made from petroleum-based chemicals that can release VOCs as they break down.
  • Flame retardants: Many mattresses are treated with flame retardants to comply with safety regulations. However, these chemicals can also release VOCs into the air.
  • Adhesives: Adhesives are used to bond different layers of a mattress together. However, some adhesives can contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that can be released into the air through off-gassing.

Understanding the causes and common chemicals involved in mattress off-gassing is the first step in taking measures to reduce your exposure to these harmful compounds.

How Long Does Mattress Off Gassing Last?

When you purchase a new mattress, it’s common to experience off-gassing, which is the release of chemicals into the air. But how long does this process last?

Short-Term Off Gassing Duration

In the short-term, off-gassing typically lasts a few days to a week. During this time, you may notice a strong odor coming from your mattress. This is due to the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are used in the manufacturing process.

Long-Term Off Gassing Duration

In the long-term, off-gassing can continue for several years, albeit at lower levels. This is because some chemicals used in the production of mattresses break down slowly and can continue to release VOCs over time.

Factors that Affect Off Gassing Duration

Several factors can affect how long off-gassing lasts. These include the quality of the materials used in the mattress, the level of ventilation in the room, and the temperature and humidity levels. For example, a mattress made from synthetic materials may off-gas for longer than a natural latex mattress. Additionally, a room with poor ventilation may cause off-gassing to last longer.

Reducing off-gassing duration is important for those who are sensitive to chemicals or want to minimize their exposure to VOCs. In the next section, we’ll explore some for reducing off-gassing.

Health Risks of Mattress Off Gassing

Mattress off-gassing can pose several health risks to individuals who are constantly exposed to the chemicals released by their mattresses. Short-term health effects can range from mild irritation to more severe respiratory problems. Meanwhile, long-term exposure to toxic chemicals can lead to chronic health conditions such as cancer, neurotoxicity, and reproductive issues.

Short-Term Health Effects

The short-term health effects of mattress off-gassing can vary from person to person, depending on the level of sensitivity to the chemicals being released. Some of the common short-term health effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Eye, throat, and nose irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Asthma attacks
  • Difficulty breathing

These symptoms are often mild and go away after a few days of not being exposed to the chemicals. However, in some cases, the symptoms can persist and become more severe, especially for individuals who are sensitive to chemicals.

Long-Term Health Effects

Long-term exposure to the chemicals released by mattresses can have detrimental effects on human health. Some of the long-term health effects of mattress off-gassing include:

  • Developmental delays in children
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Neurological disorders
  • Reproductive issues
  • Cancer

These long-term health effects are a result of the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the body over time. Unfortunately, many individuals are not aware of the potential health risks associated with mattress off-gassing, and they continue to sleep on mattresses that release harmful chemicals.

Sensitivity to Chemicals

Individuals who are sensitive to chemicals may experience more severe health effects from mattress off-gassing. Sensitivity to chemicals can vary from person to person, and some individuals may not even realize that they are sensitive to certain chemicals until they are exposed to them.

If you are sensitive to chemicals, you may experience symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea even with short-term exposure to the chemicals released by your mattress. It is important to be aware of your sensitivity to chemicals and take steps to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful substances.

Tips to Reduce Mattress Off Gassing

When it comes to reducing mattress off gassing, there are a few things you can do to minimize your exposure to harmful chemicals. Here are some :

Unpacking and Airing Out Mattress

One of the most important things you can do when you get a new mattress is to unpack it and let it air out before using it. This will help to release any harmful chemicals that may be trapped inside.

To do this, remove the mattress from its packaging and place it in a well-ventilated room with windows and doors open. Allow it to air out for at least 24-48 hours before sleeping on it. During this time, you may notice a strong odor, but this will dissipate over time.

Using Natural or Organic Mattresses

Another way to reduce off gassing is to choose a natural or organic mattress that is made with non-toxic materials. These mattresses are often made with materials like organic cotton, wool, and natural latex, which are free from harmful chemicals.

When shopping for a natural or organic mattress, look for certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) to ensure that the mattress meets certain standards. While these mattresses can be more expensive, they are often worth the investment for your health and well-being.

Using Mattress Protectors and Covers

Using a mattress protector or cover can also help to reduce off gassing by creating a barrier between you and the mattress. These covers are designed to trap any chemicals that may be off gassing from the mattress, preventing them from coming into contact with your skin and lungs.

When choosing a mattress protector, look for one that is made with breathable materials like cotton or bamboo to ensure that air can still flow through the mattress. You may also want to consider a cover that is waterproof to protect your mattress from spills and stains.


Summary of Key Points

In this blog post, we have discussed the concept of mattress off-gassing, its causes, the common chemicals found in mattresses, and the health risks associated with it. We have also provided on how to reduce off-gassing, including unpacking and airing out the mattress, using natural or organic mattresses, and using mattress protectors and covers.

Final Thoughts on Mattress Off Gassing

It is important to note that mattress off-gassing can be a concern for many people, especially those who are sensitive to chemicals. While most mattresses will off-gas to some extent, there are steps you can take to minimize the duration and potential health risks associated with it.

Choosing a mattress made with natural or organic materials can be a good option for those who are concerned about off-gassing, as these mattresses typically contain fewer chemicals. Additionally, using a mattress protector or cover can help to reduce exposure to the chemicals in the mattress.

Overall, while mattress off-gassing can be a concern, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure and minimize any potential health risks. By being aware of the causes and effects of off-gassing and taking steps to reduce it, you can ensure a safer and healthier sleep environment.

Unpacking and airing out the mattress
Using natural or organic mattresses
*Using mattress protectors and covers

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