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Mattress Off Gassing Odor

Unbiased Comparison, Analysis Based on 25,516 Owner Experiences

May 23, 2017

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 is caused by the breakdown of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are common in household products. The science of VOCs is beyond the scope of our mattress research. Our research focuses instead on analyzing mattress owner reports of off gassing.

Off Gassing Odor By Mattress Type

The chart below shows how the different mattress types compare on this issue based on consumer experiences. Keep in mind that the information represents what is often but not always the case; off gassing from particular brand, model or individual mattress may vary from these findings.

mattress off gassing comparison


Among all-latex mattresses, the all-natural variety seldom has reports of off gassing (but may have an initial and unpleasant rubber smell). However, at least 10% of owners of models that contain synthetic / blended latex report considerable off gassing.


Sources of off gassing from airbeds may include the latex air chambers as well as any foam that may be used in the comfort layer.


Among foam mattresses, those that use higher density foam appear most likely to off gas.


Innerspring mattresses that have a thick foam comfort layer tend to have the most off gassing potential.

Memory Foam

Memory foam thickness and density are often main factors driving off gassing. See memory foam off gassing odor for more analysis.


12%+ of owners report an initial smell of a chemical or musty nature. The different futon varieties appear to all have similar off gassing potential.


Hybrids consist of memory foam over innersprings. Those models with two inches or more of memory tend to have the most off gassing complaints.

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