Off gassing is a fairly major concern among people interested in purchasing a new mattress. Consumers consider a wide variety of factors when purchasing new mattresses such as, size, comfort, support, durability, lifespan, etc. As consumers become more educated, however, they’re more interested in issues involving the airflow of the mattress and whether or not off gassing is a concern.
What is Off Gassing?
Off gassing is the reason ventilation is required for painting and other chemical projects performed around the house. The term itself refers to various chemicals being released under normal atmospheric pressure. It’s quite common with building materials and even new cars. In fact, off gassing is what causes that infamous new car smell. But it isn’t always pleasant, and can, in some cases, be harmful.
Do Latex Mattresses Off Gas?
When it comes to mattresses, off gassing is a little bit up close and personal. The common belief is that it’s caused by petrochemicals present in mattresses made with synthetic materials.
The mattresses will put off a distinctive chemical smell for a little while. However, not all mattresses have this chemical smell. In fact, natural latex foam, at most, puts off a faint vanilla-like scent, but not unnatural gassy odors.
Natural latex mattresses don’t off gas. Synthetic mattresses do. It really is as simple as that.
Even synthetic latex mattresses produce only a minimal amount of off gassing and are usually not problematic at all for new owners. They are significantly better than polyurethane mattresses on the market. That said, pure natural latex mattresses that have no chemicals to off gas are the best choice for a good night’s sleep free from all chemical odors. This is, in addition to the many other benefits of sleeping on a natural latex mattress.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Impact of Off Gassing?
Adequate ventilation is an absolute must if you’re trying to diminish the potency of off gassing from mattresses, painting, or anything else. Many manufacturers of synthetic mattresses recommend allowing the mattresses breathe, outside of their packaging for a few days (or as much as a week depending on your personal sensitivity to chemical odors) in a well-ventilated area before attempting to sleep on them. This will allow the petrochemicals to be released into the air before you’re trying to sleep on the mattress.
When you’re in the market for a new mattress, consider the materials used in the production of the mattress. It’s not always the obvious things that leap out at you that are the worst offenders when it comes to off gassing. Glue, for instance, is one of the most odorous materials used in mattress manufacturing. Also consider the bed cover and look for those that are made of natural fibers rather than synthetics.
Taking the time, before you buy, to find a mattress that’s going to produce the fewest possible chemical odors allows you to get a better night’s sleep from the very beginning. If you find a mattress that’s built for comfort, longevity, and doesn’t off gas, such as a natural latex mattress, then you have a real winner on your hands from the moment it arrives in your home.
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