Last Updated on August 3, 2023 by DAVID
A new mattress topper can sometimes emit a noticeable smell when it’s first unpacked. This smell is known as off-gassing, and it is caused by the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the materials used in the manufacturing process. While most mattress toppers are safe and non-toxic, the smell can be unpleasant for some people.
If you want to reduce the mattress topper smells and speed up the off-gassing process, here are some tips and tricks to follow:
- Unpack and Air Out the Topper: As soon as you receive the mattress topper, remove it from its packaging and unroll or unfold it. Allow it to air out in a well-ventilated room, preferably near an open window, for at least 24 to 48 hours. This will help to disperse the initial odor and allow the VOCs to dissipate into the air.
- Use Activated Charcoal or Baking Soda: Activated charcoal and baking soda are both natural odor absorbers. Place a bowl of activated charcoal or sprinkle baking soda over the topper’s surface to help absorb and neutralize the smell. Leave it for a few hours before shaking or vacuuming off the charcoal or baking soda.
- Expose to Sunlight: If possible, take the mattress topper outside and place it in direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can help break down some of the VOCs and aid in reducing the smell. Be cautious not to leave it outside for too long, as excessive sunlight exposure may damage the topper.
- Increase Air Circulation: Enhance the airflow around the mattress topper by using fans or opening windows and doors. Improved air circulation will speed up the off-gassing process and disperse the odors more quickly.
- Use a Fan or Air Purifier: Position a fan near the mattress topper to help blow away any lingering odors. Alternatively, an air purifier with a charcoal or activated carbon filter can help trap and eliminate VOCs from the air.
- Wash or Air Out Bedding: If the topper is placed under sheets and bedding, make sure to wash or air out the bedding regularly. This will prevent any trapped odors from lingering in your sleeping environment.
- Choose Well-Ventilated Room: If possible, place the mattress topper in a room with good ventilation. Avoid storing it in a small, enclosed space, as this may trap the smell and slow down the off-gassing process.
- Patience and Time: Off-gassing is a natural process, and the smell should gradually dissipate over time. Be patient, and continue to use the tips above to speed up the process.
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How Long Does It Take To Air Out A Mattress Topper?
Airing time for a mattress topper varies due to material, thickness, off-gassing, and ventilation. Generally, odor lessens in 24-48 hours, but some may take up to a week.
Here are some factors that can influence the duration of the airing-out process:
- Material of the Topper: Different materials used in mattress toppers can have varying levels of off-gassing. Memory foam, for example, tends to have a more noticeable initial odor compared to latex or natural fiber toppers.
- Thickness of the Topper: Thicker mattress toppers may take longer to air out compared to thinner ones because there is more material that needs to release its VOCs.
- Room Ventilation: A well-ventilated room with good airflow will speed up the off-gassing process. If you can place the mattress topper near an open window or use fans to increase air circulation, it can help to reduce the smell more quickly.
- Temperature and Humidity: Warmer temperatures and higher humidity levels can facilitate the off-gassing process, as VOCs tend to disperse more readily in these conditions.
- Quality and Certifications: Some mattress toppers are labeled as “low-VOC” or “certified organic,” indicating that they have undergone processes to minimize off-gassing. Such toppers may have a milder and shorter airing-out period.
- Frequency of Use: If you regularly use the mattress topper and expose it to body heat and movement, the off-gassing process can be accelerated.
Can I use my mattress topper right away?
Use your mattress topper based on its type and brand. Some need airing out, while others can be used immediately. Check manufacturer’s instructions for waiting period.
Here are some common types of mattress toppers and their usage guidelines:
- Memory Foam Mattress Toppers: Memory foam toppers may require some time to expand to their full thickness after being unpacked. Usually, they can be used within a few hours, but it’s best to check the specific instructions from the manufacturer.
- Latex Mattress Toppers: Latex toppers are often ready for immediate use. They don’t typically require any significant expansion time or off-gassing.
- Fiberfill or Polyester Mattress Toppers: These toppers are usually ready for immediate use as well. They don’t need any expansion time and don’t have off-gassing concerns.
- Wool Mattress Toppers: Wool toppers can be used right away, as they are naturally resistant to off-gassing and odors.
- Featherbed Mattress Toppers: Featherbed toppers are usually ready for immediate use, but you may want to fluff them up after unpacking.
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Always follow the specific guidelines and recommendations provided by the manufacturer. If there is a slight smell when you first unpack the mattress topper, it is generally normal and should dissipate within a short period.
If a strong chemical odor persists, air the topper in a well-ventilated room for a few hours or as advised by the manufacturer. Follow earlier tips for faster odor reduction.
David is a Certified Sleep Science Coach who analyzes sleep products and appears. He completed his master’s degree in journalism Industry from University of Hawai’i. He wants to make sure good night’s sleep for all.