How Long Mattress Air Out

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What Happens If You Sleep on a Memory Foam Mattress Before 24 Hours

So you’ve got a new memory foam mattress, you’re excited – in the back of your mind you remember some rule of thumb about waiting for a day before sleeping on it. The manufacturers say to wait for at least 48 hours before it expands fully, especially the ones that are still in the box. But if you’re curious what happens if you sleep on a memory foam mattress before 24 hours, then you’re in the right place.

Sleeping on a Memory Foam Mattress Too Soon

There are some essential things to consider before sleeping on a memory foam mattress too soon. For instance, most memory foam mattresses require up to two days before it goes back to its original size and form. After all, these mattresses are vacuum sealed, pressed and rolled tightly to fit in the packaging.

But can you sleep on a memory foam mattress the first night? Well, you can relax, jump, or do whatever you want with your bed as soon as you received it. Using it right away won’t cause any damage but will only speed up the process of expanding the foam.

This 24-hour recommendation is to ensure customer satisfaction and manufacturer guarantees.It also gives any off-gassing time to dissipate.

Why It Needs 24 Hours to Expand?

Well firstly, you you should know that the off-gassing happens in the first couple of hours. If it’s okay to sleep on your new memory foam without waiting for 24 hours to allow it to expand, then why do we still need 24-48 hours?

It’s all about the manufacturer guarantee. They claim that if it doesn’t fully open up and you did sleep on it then you’ll void that guarantee. If you’ve paid several hundred or even thousand on a new bed – you have to think twice about risking your money back opportunity.

But another important question is that, what should you do if your mattress takes more than 24 hours to expand fully? Well, there are rare cases wherein compressed memory foam mattresses don’t fully extend. If that’s the case, then you can ask your seller what to do to make it expand or ask for a new one.

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Zinus Mattress – How Long to Expand

Most Zinus Memory Foam Mattress like the 12 Inch Green Tea Mattress need 48 to 72 hours to relax and decompress and restore to its original shape. That’s why the Zinus company manual advice customers to open the packaging within 72 hours of arrival to make sure the mattress they ordered will fully grow to its potential.

And with the green tea extract infuse in the foam, you will not inhale hazardous and harmful smell with you first open the packaging. It will typically dissipate after laying the mattress in a well-ventilated area.

What to Do When Memory Foam Mattress Not Inflating?

Memory foams have different thickness levels. You can choose from an 8-inch mattress to a 13-inch memory foam bed. They are designed with open cells to conform to various shapes of sleepers using the bedding. Before they leave the factory, these mattresses are folded and compressed using a machine roller to fit into a small package.

The best way to use a memory foam is to let it expand before using. However, if it’s not inflating, there are simple tricks you can do to enjoy its comfort after 24 hours of arrival. Check these tips to help you out:

  • Unbox the memory foam within the three days of arrival. Remove the plastic cover using your hands. Never use any sharp objects like a knife and scissors when removing the mattress from the package to avoid damages.
  • Allow the foam to adjust in room temperature, which may take up to a couple of hours until it begins expanding. This step is essential, especially when you get your memory foam in the winter season. Foam mattresses tend to become more brittle if it’s still tight, which can lead to tearing.
  • Unroll it in a spare room so the open cells of the memory foam will expand and inflate freely. Separate each layer of the foam carefully to allow them to grow. Pull them in uniform motion with slow and steady hands.

What Are the Possible Reasons Why your Lucid Memory Foam Mattress is Not Expanding?

If your Lucid memory foam mattress is not expanding, there might be an essential step you haven’t performed after unrolling it. First, it needs time to develop, typically within 72 hours before you can finally use the mattress. So wait for it until it becomes entirely usable in its original size.

Some memory foam mattresses take one week to air out, but they lose the new-foam smell at the same time. It is already fully plumped when you noticed that the smell is gone. And you can use a mattress topper to retain the plumpness of your new memory foam.

Key Takeaways

The truth is, each mattress has its own expansion time and features. Therefore, the time required before they fully expand will depend on the model and brand you purchased.

Before you can move it to your bedroom, most memory foam mattresses that usually take 24 hours to decompress may still need at least two hours. Waiting for 24 hours or 72 hours to allow a bed to expand is a traditional belief.

Most of the mattresses offered on the market today only take a short time to decompress, and you can sleep on the right after unboxing them. So there’s nothing to worry about sleeping on your mattress too soon. You won’t damage your memory foam while sleeping on it during the first night.

The key is in the type of memory foam used in your mattress. The higher quality the foam, the better and faster it will expand in less than 24 hours.

The facts on memory foam smell and mattress off-gassing

Memory foam mattresses usually have the highest ratings for comfort, durability, and customer satisfaction. One of the only complaints owners have is about memory foam smell. This unpleasant odor is caused by the materials used to make the mattress and lasts up to 4 weeks.

The good news is that some mattress brands make their foam from better components that reduce or eliminate memory foam smell. This article explains how, and tells you what to look for to make sure your mattress comes odor-free.

What causes memory foam smell?

Memory foam smell comes from a reaction called “off-gassing.” If you’ve ever smelled fresh paint, dry cleaning, or the inside of a new car, that’s off-gassing.

New foams and many other manufactured products experience off-gassing. It happens when “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs) break down. As opposed to being stable, these “volatile” (or unstable) compounds break apart, most commonly forming gasses — hence the term off-gassing.

In mattresses, the most common place to find VOCs is in the foam and adhesives. They can include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), formaldehyde, benzene, methylene chloride, toluene, trichloroethane, naphthalene, perfluorocarbons.

These "volatile" (or unstable) compounds break apart, mostly forming gasses.

The short answer is no. While the odor from mattress off-gassing is unpleasant,for most people it’s not harmful. A small percentage of owners report difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, and asthma. The symptoms stop when the person is no longer near the mattress though, and go away once it airs out.

Also, despite the fact that some of the chemicals that cause mattress off-gassing odors are classified as carcinogens or potential carcinogens, no studies have shown memory foam is toxic or causes cancer. Still, many people choose to reduce their chemical exposure as a lifestyle choice, and want to sleep on a mattress as chemical-free as possible.

No studies have shown memory foam is toxic or causes cancer.

While a completely chemical-free mattress doesn’t exist, you can limit your exposure by finding one containing foam certified by CertiPUR-US®. CertiPUR-US® independently tests and verifies which foams are made without harmful VOCs, phthalates, CFCs, heavy metals, formaldehyde and PBDEs.

Also, plan to let the bed air out for 3-7 days in a well-ventilated room or garage before use.

Not only does the foam in Amerisleep mattresses meet the Certi-PUR® standards, but we also use plant-based materials instead of petroleum to make our foam. On top of that, our patented manufacturing process is the only one that meets the standards of the Clean Air Act. No other mattress brand is more sustainable or eco-friendly than Amerisleep.

CertiPUR-US® standards for content, emissions and durability, and are analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories.

Mattress off-gassing refers specifically to odors from the breakdown of VOCs. A new mattress can also have other smells unrelated to memory foam off-gassing though. Even products like plant oils and natural fabrics can produce some smell.

If you buy a mattress low in VOCs (like from Amerisleep) and it still has a slight scent, don’t worry. It’s probably not memory foam off-gassing, and will often quickly go away.

Learn how Amerisleep memory foam compares to other memory foam.

How Long Should You Air Out An Off Gassing Mattress?

Getting a new mattress can be an exciting time, after all, you spend about a quarter of your life in bed, and therefore it’s not only an important investment, but it can drastically improve your quality of life. But things aren’t all rosy; there are some health issues that you need to consider when you receive your new purchase, especially when one of those is an off-gassing mattress.

Although there is a serious debate in the healthcare community about the health impacts of off-gassing, what’s not debated is the effect it can have on the environment and your air quality. Mattresses aren’t produced using only natural ingredients, and therefore the manufacturing process uses machinery, chemicals, and human-made products.

Table of Contents

What Is Mattress Off-Gassing?

Mattress off-gassing is the continualrelease of gases from your mattress, not only at night but also throughout the day. Off-gassing occurs as a result of the breakdown in the volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs, which are emitted as gases or vapors from some of the compounds in the product.

VOCs aren’t rare, in fact, they are found in thousands of the products which we use in homesevery dayincluding cleaning products, paints, and air fresheners. Typically, the VOCs which are released from your mattress will come from the adhesives and foams used in the product.

These VOCs Include:

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Methylene Chloride
  • Toluene
  • Trichloroethane
  • Naphthalene
  • Perfluorocarbons

These volatile organic compounds break down over time, slowly releasing these gases into our homes. However, studies have shown that a huge percentage of all the gas that will be released is done so in the first two months of the product being used.

This statistic is important because while VOCs could be harmful. In small quantities, it’sunlikely to have any drastic impactwhile at higher concentrations it could be dangerous. In this first two months, the concentration of VOC emissions is likely to be far higher and therefore during this period you must make an effort to reduce the risk to yourself and your family.

Memory Foam Off-Gassing

Memory foam is so called because it adapts to the shape of your body. Once you stand up, you’ll see an imprint of your body before it quickly returns to the standard shape. Memory foam is viscoelastic foam which is what many popular brands use, including some of the Tempur-Pedic mattresses below.

Many believe that memory foam off-gassing is far more prevalent than other materials, because memory foam mattresses have a more pungent smell which tends to last for weeks instead of days.

For this reason, it’s even more important that you allow the product to air out before you start using it. If you can, leaving it upright near a window for two to three days can drastically reduce the smell and allows much of the VOCs to break down and the gases to be released. As usual, removing the sheets and allowing for regular off-gassing can reduce the smell quicker.

Mattress Off-Gassing How Long?

It’s unrealistic for us to allow it to air out for weeks on end. You need the space in your home, and you want to be able to use the new product that you just paid for. As a result, most experts recommend that you air it out for 24 hours, a number which is backed by the Sleep Products Safety Council.

Once this time has passed, you can smell the surface up close and compare it to how visceral the scent was when it first arrived. As long as the smell doesn’t bother you any longer, it’s okay for you to start sleeping on it. If the scent is too strong, you can continue to air it out for longer and rotate it periodically to ensure that the entire bed can air out.

How To Air Out A New Mattress

When you first unbox one, you’ll notice a potent chemical smell which can be overpowering and nauseating. While the jury is still out on whether it’s dangerous for your health in small amounts and for short periods, the smell is unpleasant, and it can make you reluctant to sleep. To prevent this, you need to do whatever you can to air it out. Here are some tips:

Remove Plastic Cover Immediately

All mattresses will come covered with a thin plastic layer which prevents staining and damage during transportation. However, not only does this plastic have a noticeably unpleasant smell, but it also keeps in the VOCs from the foam and adhesives, preventing them from escaping and causing them to seep back into the bed.

Typically to conform to local safety laws, they are doused with chemical flame retardants that help to reduce the spread of fire. However, some believe that these chemicals can cause a variety of severe health problems including developmental brain disorders and cancer. To reduce this risk, you must remove the plastic and let the gas escape, typically for about 24 hours at least.

Choosing Where To Air It Out

Some bloggers have suggested that airing out your mattress outdoors can speed up the process and allow for greater gas release. However, there seems to be little evidence of this, and it will drastically increase the risk of damage from critters and animals.

Outside it’s likely that bugs will end up on the surface, even if you’re airing it out on a balcony or outside of your condo. Instead, it’s wise to keep it inside at all times to prevent it from becoming tarnished.

The smartest way to air out your mattress is to lean it up against a wall near a range of windows so that only the smallest amount of the surface is touching the floor and wall. This position allows for greater ventilation and ensures that more of the gas is released. If you leave it lying down the gases from the bottom will be unable to escape.

Reducing The Chemical Smell

To reduce the smell which is going to spread through the home, you ideally want to locate the mattress on a wall near to a few windows. By opening these windows, you can create air circulation which will drag out the VOCs and the associated smell, while bringing in fresh air which will allow you to continue to enjoy your home.

It’s also possible to use air freshener to mask the smell but because these release VOCs too it’s not the wisest decision. Instead, lighting a few candles around the home can get rid of much of the scent without putting more dangerous gases into your house.

With an open window and a few candles around the home, not near the mattress, you should notice that the smell dissipates significantly in the first few hours. After 24 hours, almost all of the scent should disappear, allowing you to start using your new bed.

Further Off-Gassing

In the first 24 hours, a lot of the VOCs are released, but they will continue to be emitted for the lifetime of the bed. Noticeably, in the first two months much of the lifetime VOCs will be released, and therefore you would expect the continuation of off-gassing for the first two months.

At least once a week it’s wise to peel back the sheets from the mattress and stand it up straight or lean it against a wall while you’re out at work. This period will allow further off-gassing which is nearly impossible with your sheets on the bed. Doing this once a week for the first eight weeks, with the windows open, will get rid of practically all of the smell and can drastically reduce the VOCs emissions in your home.

Mattress Off-Gassing Symptoms

Although the science is debatable, and experts are still figuring out the truth, many believe that the chemicals and products used in mattresses can cause health problems. Some suggest that they could lead to:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Neurodevelopment disorders
  • Behavioral issues
  • Fertility problems
  • Skin, eye and lung irritation
  • Cancer from chronic toxic exposure

In particular, the pesticides which are found in textiles can influence the nervous system, contribute to cancer and cause skin and eye irritation.

Similarly, the flame-retardant chemicals, phthalates, and benzene have been linked to other issues including cancer, chromosome damage, fertility problems, and behavioral issues.

Using A Mattress Cover To Prevent Off-Gassing

One method that some homeowners and parents swear by is the use of a mattress cover to prevent off-gassing. A mattress wrap made using a polyethylene sheeting, or similar material can prevent gases from permeating through it, forcing off-gassing through the bottom of the mattress which is less likely to be inhaled.

The main problem is that we sleep directly on our mattresses with only thin cotton sheets, allowing the VOCs to be inhaled easily. A non-permeable cover can prevent this while still allowing the surface to breathe through the bottom. These wraps or covers also act as spill protectors, dust mite barriers and will trap bedbugs too.

Tuft and Needle Off-Gassing

Tuft and Needle mattresses are made using polyurethane foam which is incredibly comfortable to sleep on but more importantly, can be manipulated to fit into a box to ship directly to your home. Polyurethane foam is a common emitter of VOCs and is therefore tightly regulated by CertiPUR-US which measures the amount of gas emitted over a 72 hour period.

The mattresses from Tuft and Needle easily passed their safety test which means it gives off no more than 0.16ppm of benzene over 72 hours and 0.13ppm for toluene. The Tuft and Needle is shipped directly from the factory to your home in a box, and therefore it needs to be allowed to air out.

As with other brands, you’re required to remove it from the box and take off any plastic packaging before you let it expand. Once it is fully extended, you can lean it up against a wall with open windows to ensure circulation and leave it there for 24 hours to reduce the unpleasant smell and to allow the VOCs to be emitted. (Read the full Tuft and Needle Review).

Leesa Off-Gassing

According to some experts, Leesa is one of the most superior online mattress companies which also delivers in a box. With layers of supportive foam, it can help to give you a better night sleep and prevent aches and pains.

As with the Tuft and Needle mattresses, polyurethane foam is used because it’s incredibly effective, cheap and durable. However, it produces lots of VOCs and therefore airing out the bed to allow for off-gassing in the first few weeks is essential. While many would argue that the health impacts are negligible, the smell can be unpleasant and the effort required is minimal. (Read the full Leesa Mattress Review).

Tempurpedic Off-Gassing

Tempur-Pedic is the manufacturer of possibly the most famous mattress of all time, which uses viscoelastic foam that allows for pressure reduction and adaptive temperature contouring. Traditional polyurethane foam which is used by Leesa and Tuft and Needle is excellent, but it compresses under your weight rather than contouring and adjusting.

These Tempur-Pedic mattresses can give you greater support where you need it with little to no counter pressure. However, many would argue that this type of viscoelastic foam, otherwise known as memory foam, has high levels of off-gassing.

To prevent against any increased risk, it’s wise to let your Tempur-Pedic air out for at least 24 hours. Also, ensure that you remove the sheets and stand it up to air out at least once per week for the first two months. After four weeks you will notice that practically all of the scent has disappeared.

Purple Mattress Off-Gassing

Purple is one of the fastest-growing companies of all time, originally started through a crowdfunding campaign. They use a variety of different materials in their mattresses, but for those worried about VOCs and off-gassing, it’s important to note that it uses polyurethane foam just like the Leesa.

Polyurethane foam off gasses quite heavily and because the Purple is transported in a box and plastic wrap, it might need slightly longer to off-gas than a mattress shipped whole in a container without any compressed wrapping. For this reason, make sure to remove the plastic wrapping quickly, let it expand and then lean it up against a wall to off-gas for 24 hours before use. (Read the full Purple Mattress Review).

How long should I let my new mattress air out?

How long should I let my new mattress air out?

I am getting a new Serta mattress (spring coil) delivered tomorrow. I plan on letting it air out a bit and off gas. How long is an appropriate amount of time for this thing to off gas?

Serta does use Certi-Pur foams on all products. Certi-Pur foams are third party tested for harsh chemicals and reduced off-gassing, more at www.certipur.us

As a retailer, I cannot ever recall having an issue with a smelly spring coil product. An all foam product is another thing.

If you have a sensitive nose/sensitivity I would suggest keeping the mattress in the garage or out of your room entirely until you are comfortable with the odor, or it’s gone. The chemical smell (off-gassing) can permeate sheets, comforters, clothing, carpet, and drapes. And for some, once it’s in, they swear it can take months to get it out.

If you go this route have the delivery crew set up everything else and just place the mattress in your garage on it’s side and roll down the plastic so it can breathe. Good luck and enjoy the new mattress set!

Thanks so much for the reply. I guess I will see how stinky it is when I get it tomorrow. Hopefully a night to air out is enough.

I’ve never had a problem with off-gassing. I let my last mattress air out for about 12 hours and then slept on it that night.

What is the best way to ‘air out’ a new mattress?

I recently bought the Savant iComfort sleep system by Serta. I also had bought a new electric blanket, sheets and mattress pad. I only washed the sheets ahead of time before the bed arrived. I made the bed and slept in it within a couple hours. Immediately, I started to have a sinus/allergy reaction which led to coughing. I thought it was the electric blanket because it had a "new" smell. I washed it the next day and slept in the bed the second night. I coughed all night again with sinus/allergy irritation. Then, I decided to wash the new mattress pad because it also had a strong "new" smell as well. The new pillows that came free with my bed are also memory foam and I removed them from my room on the second night. I do have indoor/outdoor allergies and sinus problems with occasional asthma. Any Strong chemical odors I can not tolerate including perfumes. I’m beginning to realize that my new bed does have a chemical odor as I’m coughing every night, all night long. It is the fifth day and I really want to keep my new bed because I love the adjustable bed with iComfort mattress by Serta. I’m googling information to find out how to get rid of the "off gasses" from the mattress as quick as possible. Some say the smell lasted 20 days and others say to use heat and air the mattress out and room really well. I have stripped the mattress including its fabric encasement and opened all the windows for a short time. Then closed the windows and put an extra heater in the room with the mattress on its side trying to air everything out. I’m thinking of washing the mattress zipper encasement as a last resort. I would welcome any more suggestions because I like this mattress and want to keep it.

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