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Off gassing (or out gassing) in our research refers to an 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.
Only those models that contain memory foam and or synthetic / blended latex tend to have reports of significant off gassing.
The vinyl of a water bed can produce a limited initial odor.
Generally, only those models that contain memory foam and or synthetic / blended latex – in other words, hybrid models – have reports of significant off gassing.
All-natural, all-latex mattresses seldom have reports of off gassing, but they may have an initial rubber smell. Models that contain synthetic / blended latex can off gas considerably.
Futon mattresses usually have a different off gassing odor than that of the other mattress types. It tends to be reported as being musty rather than chemical-like.
While memory foam has the most reports of off gassing, the majority of owners do not report a significant problem. See memory foam off gassing odor for more analysis.
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
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