#1 in Sleep Product Research
Unbiased and Independent
Millions Served Since 2008
Comparison & Analysis Based on 16,000+ Owner Experiences
Off gassing (or out gassing) in our research refers to a chemical-like odor that a mattress may give off when it is new due to its chemical composition and packaging.
The odor results from the breakdown of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are common in household products. The science of VOCs is complex and is beyond the scope of our mattress research. Our research focuses instead on analyzing mattress owner reports of off gassing.
The chart below shows how the different mattress types compare on this issue
based on consumer experiences. Keep in mind that this represents
what is often, but not always, the case; a particular brand,
model or individual mattress may go against these findings somewhat.
* Futon mattresses usually have a different off gassing odor than that of the other mattress types. It tends to be reported as being musty than chemical-like.
As the chart above shows, all mattress types can off gas, but memory foam mattresses tend to off gas considerably more often and more strongly than the other mattress types. In addition, other mattress types, such as innerspring mattresses and air beds, that have a memory foam layer are more likely to off gas than those without such a layer.
It should be noted, however, that while memory foam off gasses more than other mattress types, most memory foam mattress owners do not report a noteworthy off gassing problem – and not all owners report the same degree of problem. (See charts below.) In addition, less than 2% of memory foam mattress owners return their mattress due to off gassing odor concerns.
Our research shows that off gassing is usually just an annoying odor to those mattress owners who notice it.
Some owners, however, report feeling ill from it. Reports of headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, sweating, sleeplessness and asthma resulting from off gassing exist but occur in less than 2% of mattress owner experiences. These findings are similar to what is reported by the EPA.
In addition, according to our research, illness claimed to be caused by off gassing is almost always short lived. The illness a person experiences diminishes when the off gassing diminishes or when the owner avoids being in the same room as the mattress during the off gassing period.
Owners sometimes deal with off gassing odor and any illness it may cause by putting their new mattress in a well-ventilated room, spare room, covered patio, or garage until the off gassing odor has mostly diminished.
In regard to off gassing being a long-term health threat, such as a cancer risk, there is currently no credible study or evidence showing this to be the case.
A widely held belief is that American-made memory foam off gasses less (and is consequently safer / healthier) than imported foam, namely foam from China. Our research based on actual owner experience data tends to suggest the opposite: Domestically made memory foam has significantly more off gassing reports than foreign-made foam.
This may possibly be explained by the fact that higher density memory foam, which tends to be domestically produced, often off gasses more than less dense foam, which is often foreign made.
IN THE NEWS: Sleep Like The Dead's research findings have appeared in such news publications as Barron's • Toronto Star • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Edmonton Journal • Woman's World • The Consumerist • The Gazette • Ottawa Citizen
© 2007-2013 SLTD, Inc. • Copyright Violation Notice