If you have ever bought anything new, you will understand what I mean when I say “new mattress smell”. Nowadays, most stores deliver almost anything at your doorstep, ready to be unpacked and used. When you spend a couple thousand dollars on a new mattress, there is probably nothing that makes you feel better than the fresh smell of the brand new mattress. It gives you a sense of satisfaction that probably cannot be put into words!


Even though that may be a little bit of an overstatement, that new mattress smell gives you a sense of fulfillment and hope that you will finally be able to give your body the sleep that it so badly craves.

Most mattresses come packed in a standard fashion; all you will be required to do is remove the plastic seal, and the mattress should be ready to use. The only type of mattresses that may take a little extra time to expand are mattresses with foam layers.

Now in my opinion, the best part about buying a new mattress is the smell that gets released into the air as soon as you unpack it; a smell similar to that of a new car. It gives you that assurance that your brand new mattress is going to keep you happy for next couple of years, regardless of whether that is the case or not. The question is, how do these mattress companies manage to make you feel so many emotions just by unpacking their product? What is their secret?

The truth is that the so-called “new mattress smell” is really a cluster of chemicals that gets a chance to build up over a period of time, and gets released into the air upon the unboxing of the mattress, or any product for that matter. The main concern that we are going to address here is whether these chemicals are actually harmful to humans, and how to deal with it.

What is off gassing?

Most mattresses have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in them, mainly because they serve as a flame retardant for them. Off gassing results from the breakdown of theses VOCs.

The main question to be answered here is whether or not off-gassing is harmful to humans. Unfortunately, the answer to this question may disappoint many people: yes, it is. Now, this may be a major concern for many people, as it may seem quite unnerving to know that you are exposing your body to harmful chemicals and carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene.

The only relief is that many scientists have proven the fact that the VOCs are emitted in very small amounts, which makes it acceptable for us to breathe it in while sleeping. So, you can sleep peacefully knowing that there are organizations that work with these big mattress companies, which ensure that the emission levels of VOCs from these mattresses is kept to a minimum.

However, if you are a patient suffering from sicknesses such as asthma, you are likely to worsen your symptoms through increased exposure to these VOCs. So, you may want to use your mattress only while sleeping, and not all the time.

How to get rid of the new mattress smell?

Although the “new mattress smell” tends to slowly degenerate over a period, there are certain measures you can take in order to speed up the process, and therefore stay free from the effects that you may have to face upon continued exposure to these chemicals.
  • Expose your mattress to open air and let it breathe: The most important thing to do when you buy a new mattress is to let it breathe properly. Especially if you are not too fond of that new mattress smell, you may want to leave it out in open air and let mother nature take care of the chemicals trapped in the mattress. Although some people say that leaving the mattress out in the open air for about 2 days is more than enough, the ideal amount of time would be 1-2 weeks. If you leave your mattress out in the air to breathe for that long, you should be good to go!

  • Make sure to check that the mattress you are buying is independently tested by CertiPUR-US: CertiPUR-US is a non-profit organization that makes sure that the components used to make the mattress are safe and not hazardous to humans. So, you may have the sense of satisfaction that using a mattress approved by this organization is a little safer than the rest of the mattresses out there, which could end up giving you unwanted sicknesses.
So to summarize, the new mattress smell, which can be unsettling for certain people, is definitely something that you may want to steer clear of. This smell comes from off-gassing, which is a process that takes place by the release of chemicals and carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene.

You can, however get rid of this smell by leaving it to breathe in the fresh air, or by making sure that minimal chemicals were used in the manufacturing process. If you take all these measures, you will be able to get rid of the new mattress smell successfully, which means that your new mattress will be able to give you the comfortable and cozy sleep that your body really craves. Happy shopping!