How to Get Rid of Memory Foam Smell

The excitement of purchasing a new memory foam mattress or pillow is often accompanied by an unexpected and unwelcome guest – an unpleasant odor. This smell, typically noticeable upon unpacking your new sleep accessory, is primarily due to the off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in manufacturing.

How to Get Rid of Memory Foam Smell

While the scent is not harmful to most individuals, it can be bothersome, affecting the quality of your sleep and overall comfort in your sleeping environment. Understanding how to get rid of memory foam smell promptly and effectively is crucial for anyone looking to enjoy their new mattress or pillow to the fullest. Addressing this issue enhances your immediate sleep experience and contributes to a healthier indoor air quality over time.

Understanding Memory Foam Off-Gassing

A. What is Off-Gassing?

Off-gassing is the process through which new memory foam releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that were trapped in the material during its manufacturing. This release of gases contributes to the distinctive odor many users notice upon unpacking their memory foam products.

B. Types of VOCs Emitted

Memory foam can emit a variety of VOCs, including formaldehyde, benzene, and naphthalene. While the levels of these compounds are generally low and not harmful to most people, prolonged exposure can pose health concerns, particularly for those with sensitivities or allergies.

C. Factors Affecting Off-Gassing

Several factors can influence the intensity and duration of off-gassing from memory foam. Temperature, for instance, plays a significant role; higher temperatures can cause memory foam to release VOCs more rapidly. Ventilation significantly impacts the dissipation rate of these gases, with well-ventilated areas facilitating quicker odor removal. Additionally, the thickness of the memory foam product can affect off-gassing, as thicker products have more material that can emit VOCs.

How to Get Rid of Memory Foam Smell: Strategies for Eliminating Memory Foam Smell

A.  Ventilation and Fresh Air

The most efficient method to remove the odor from memory foam is through proper ventilation. Allowing fresh air to circulate around the memory foam product can greatly accelerate the off-gassing process, thereby eliminating the unwanted smell faster.

Place the memory foam item in a well-ventilated room or, if feasible, near an open window. A fan can also be utilized to increase air circulation. Airing out the product for several days, especially in the initial days after unpacking, significantly reduces the intensity of the odor.

Near an Open Window

B.  Baking Soda

Baking soda is renowned for its natural odor-absorbing properties, making it an excellent choice for neutralizing the distinctive smell of new memory foam. To use, evenly sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the surface of the memory foam product and allow it to sit for at least a few hours, or even overnight, if possible.

The baking soda works by absorbing the odors and vacuuming the baking soda thoroughly after the allotted time. This method is safe and effective and can be repeated if necessary for persistent odors.

C.  Vinegar Solution

White vinegar is another natural deodorizer that can effectively combat the smell of memory foam. Its mild cleaning properties also make it suitable for light cleaning tasks. To use, mix a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water in a spray bottle.

Lightly mist the surface of the memory foam with the solution, being careful not to saturate it. Allow the memory foam to air dry completely. The vinegar smell will dissipate along with the memory foam odor, leaving a neutral scent.

D.  Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is another effective tool in the fight against memory foam odors due to its powerful odor-absorbing properties. Place pouches of activated charcoal near the memory foam product or directly on the surface if the product allows it.

For a more integrated solution, consider using mattress covers or pads that incorporate activated charcoal in their design for continuous odor control. Activated charcoal works by trapping odor-causing particles, thereby purifying the air around the memory foam product.

Using Mattress Covers

E.  Commercial Odor Absorbers

For those seeking a straightforward solution, commercially available odor absorbers and deodorizers specifically formulated for use on mattresses and upholstery are available.

These products often contain a blend of odor-neutralizing compounds that can effectively tackle the chemical smells associated with memory foam. Be sure to choose a product safe for use on memory foam and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. These can be particularly useful for individuals sensitive to smells or without the time to try more natural remedies.

Additional Tips and Considerations

A. Purchasing Certified Memory Foam

When selecting memory foam products, opting for items that are certified for low VOC emissions can significantly mitigate initial odor issues and reduce potential health concerns.

Certifications such as CertiPUR-US or Oeko-Tex Standard 100 are quality and safety indicators, ensuring that the product meets stringent emissions standards for chemical exposure and indoor air quality. These certifications provide peace of mind and contribute to a healthier sleep environment by limiting exposure to harmful chemicals often associated with non-certified memory foam products.

B. Patience and Persistence

Eliminating the odor from new memory foam products may require time and patience. The off-gassing process is natural and varies depending on the product and conditions.

Consistently applying the earlier deodorizing methods, such as ventilation, baking soda, and activated charcoal, can significantly speed up odor dissipation. Remember, persistence is key; with diligent effort, the memory foam smell will eventually dissipate, leaving you with a fresh and comfortable sleeping environment.

Addressing Stubborn Odors and Long-Term Solutions

A.  Professional Cleaning Services

Professional Cleaning Services Can Offer

Professional cleaning services can offer a more thorough solution for stubborn odors that refuse to dissipate through home remedies. Specialists in odor removal can deploy stronger, sometimes industrial-grade, odor-neutralizing solutions or enzyme treatments specifically designed to break down the volatile organic compounds causing the unpleasant smell. While this option may come at a higher cost, it presents a valuable alternative for those unable to eliminate the odor using DIY methods.

B.  Sun Exposure (limited application)

Sun exposure can serve as an effective, natural method to combat memory foam odor, thanks to sunlight’s ability to naturally neutralize many odors. However, it’s crucial to approach this method with caution to avoid potential UV damage to the memory foam.

Limited sun exposure, preferably in direct sunlight, for short periods can aid in odor elimination without risking color fading or material degradation. Always monitor the memory foam closely during sun exposure to prevent damage.

C.  Replacing the Memory Foam Product

In rare instances, the memory foam smell might be too strong or persistent, defying all efforts at elimination. In such cases, considering a replacement becomes a practical option.

If the product is still under warranty, reaching out to the manufacturer for a return or replacement might be feasible. Alternatively, purchasing a new memory foam product certified for low VOC emissions can ensure a better experience, minimizing the chances of facing a similar issue again.

D.  Investing in Proper Ventilation

Ensuring proper ventilation within the bedroom is a long-term solution that benefits not just memory foam odor issues but also improves overall indoor air quality.

Strategies such as using ceiling fans, installing an air purifier, opening windows regularly, and ensuring a good flow of air can significantly mitigate odor buildup from memory foam and other sources. Proper ventilation also contributes to a healthier sleeping environment by reducing the concentration of indoor pollutants.

Using Ceiling Fans

Preventing Future Off-Gasing Issues

A.  Choosing Low-VOC Memory Foam

To mitigate the issues associated with off-gassing and promote healthier living environments, selecting memory foam products certified for low VOC emissions is paramount.

These certifications, such as CertiPUR-US or Oeko-Tex Standard 100, ensure that the product meets rigorous standards for chemical emissions, thus significantly reducing the release of volatile organic compounds into your living space. Prioritizing these certified products lessens potential health risks and contributes to a more sustainable and eco-friendly purchase choice.

B.  Allowing Time for Off-Gasing Before Use

Before settling into your new memory foam mattress or topper, allowing it to air out in a well-ventilated area for several days is highly advisable. This pre-use airing significantly aids in dissipation a large portion of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) often present in new memory foam products. Such a proactive approach ensures that by the time you’re ready to use the product, most of the off-gassing has already occurred, minimizing your exposure to these compounds during sleep and promoting a healthier sleeping environment.

Health Concerns and Safety Precautions

A. Potential Health Effects of VOCs

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), while common in various household products, including memory foam, can pose potential health risks. Exposure to VOCs may lead to headaches, dizziness, and respiratory irritation, among other symptoms.

These effects are typically mild and short-lived, especially at the low levels of exposure associated with memory foam products. However, understanding these potential impacts is crucial for individuals sensitive to chemicals or with pre-existing health conditions.

B. Minimizing Exposure During Off-Gasing

Use the Product in a Well-ventilated Area

To minimize exposure to VOCs during the off-gassing period of memory foam, it is advisable to use the product in a well-ventilated area. Enhancing room ventilation by using air purifiers or simply opening windows can significantly reduce the concentration of VOCs in the indoor environment. These measures are particularly important during the initial off-gassing phase when VOC emissions are highest. Maintaining good air quality minimizes health risks and contributes to overall comfort and well-being.

C. When to Seek Medical Attention

If you experience persistent or severe symptoms such as extended periods of headache, dizziness, or respiratory issues that you suspect might be related to VOC exposure, seeking medical attention is advisable. Additionally, individuals with allergies or sensitivities might find that VOCs exacerbate their conditions. It is important to monitor health symptoms closely and consult a healthcare provider if you are concerned about the potential health effects of memory foam or any other product emitting VOCs.

That’s it! You’ve now learned how to get rid of memory foam smell and promote a healthier living environment for you and your loved ones. Remember to prioritize low-VOC memory foam products, allow for proper off-gassing time, and maintain good ventilation in your bedroom for maximum comfort and safety. With these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of memory foam without worrying about any potential odor-related issues.

5 Benefits of Getting Rid of Memory Foam Smell

Memory foam mattresses are cherished for their comfort and support, but the initial off-gassing smell associated with these products often raises concerns among new owners.

This volatile organic compound (VOC) released from memory foam can cause unpleasant odors and may even trigger respiratory issues for some. Many consumers face this issue and seek to resolve it promptly. Here, we’ll explore the top five benefits of eliminating that new mattress odor, which can lead to a safer and more satisfying home experience.

1. Improved Indoor Air Quality

When you rid your memory foam mattress of its initial smell, you’re not just eliminating an annoyance but also improving the quality of the air you breathe in your home.

Memory foam responds to temperature, which can lead to the release of VOCs, including formaldehyde. By taking steps to minimize these off-gassing effects, you reduce your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, contributing to a healthier living environment.

2. Enhanced Sleep Quality

A significant benefit of tackling the memory foam smell is better sleep quality. The scent from your mattress can be distracting and interfere with your ability to relax and fall asleep.

By removing this smell, you’ll enjoy an environment that encourages a peaceful night’s sleep, with fewer disturbances that unpleasant odors can cause.

Removing This Smell

3. Prolonged Lifespan of Mattress

The odors may not just impact your nose; they can also have repercussions for the longevity of your mattress. Trapped odors could lead to the breakdown of the foam over time, which means a decrease in the mattress’s effectiveness in providing support and comfort. By keeping your mattress odor-free, you’re extending its life and the quality of your investment.

4. Eco-Friendly and Health Benefits

Opting for natural and environmentally friendly methods to get rid of the memory foam smell offers a range of benefits. Firstly, it reduces your carbon footprint and helps preserve the environment by avoiding the use of high-impact chemical solutions.

Secondly, it’s a healthier choice for you and your family, as it minimizes exposure to toxins, which aligns with the growing trend of eco-conscious consumerism and health-conscious living.

5. Cost-Effective Solutions

Last but not least, finding affordable ways to eliminate memory foam odors can lead to significant savings. You can bypass the hefty price tags of commercial odor-eliminating products by implementing simple DIY solutions. This makes the process more accessible and ensures that you don’t have to compromise on quality or safety due to cost.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Causes the Off-Gassing Smell in Memory Foam Products?

The off-gassing smell in memory foam is primarily due to the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are a byproduct of the manufacturing process. These compounds can emit odors when the mattress or topper is new and not yet aired out.

How Long Does It Take for The Off-Gassing Smell to Go Away?

The duration of the off-gassing process can vary, but typically, most of the noticeable smell dissipates within a few days to a couple of weeks. Proper ventilation can expedite this process.

Are There Any Health Risks Associated with Memory Foam Off-Gassing?

For most people, the levels of VOCs emitted from memory foam are not harmful. However, individuals with chemical sensitivities or respiratory issues might experience discomfort or health symptoms. If severe or persistent symptoms occur, seeking medical advice is important.

Can I Sleep on My Memory Foam Mattress Before the Smell Is Completely Gone?

Yes, you can sleep on your memory foam mattress before the smell completely dissipates, especially if the off-gassing period is conducted in a well-ventilated area. However, if you are particularly sensitive to odors or chemicals, you may want to wait until the smell reduces to a comfortable level.

What Can I Do to Speed up The Off-Gassing Process?

To speed up the off-gassing process, place the memory foam product in a well-ventilated area. Using fans, opening windows, and airing out the room can help disperse the VOCs more quickly. Some also recommend gently vacuuming the mattress with a clean attachment.

Recommend Gently Vacuuming the Mattress

Is Off-Gassing only A Problem with Memory Foam, or Do Other Types of Mattresses Have the Same Issue?

While memory foam is particularly known for its off-gassing odors due to the chemicals used in its production, other types of mattresses and furniture made with synthetic materials can also emit VOCs. However, the intensity and duration of the smell can vary based on the materials and manufacturing processes used.


In conclusion, addressing how to get rid of memory foam smell encompasses a spectrum of strategies, from employing natural deodorizers like baking soda to seeking professional cleaning services for stubborn odors.

The guide detailed both immediate and long-term solutions, such as sun exposure and replacement with low-VOC certified products, highlighting the importance of creating a comfortable and health-conscious sleep environment.

Proper ventilation has been underscored as a critical measure in expediting the dissipation of memory foam odor and maintaining the overall air quality of living spaces.

Remember, most memory foam products will naturally off-gas and lose their initial smell within a few days to a week, provided they are placed in well-ventilated areas. For those looking to minimize their exposure to VOCs and potential health risks, prioritizing memory foam products with low VOC emissions, certified by reputable standards like CertiPUR-US or Oeko-Tex Standard 100, is advisable.

Numerous resources are available online for further information and recommendations on choosing the right memory foam products that align with healthy sleep habits. Websites specializing in eco-friendly and health-conscious living often feature guides and reviews on low-VOC memory foam products. Investing in such products contributes to a safer sleep environment and promotes overall well-being and sustainability.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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