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Mattress Outgassing and its Effect on Health 

Mattress outgassing is not harmful to your health, but it could trigger your allergies or give you a headache, depending on the severity of the outgassing odor. To speed up mattress outgassing, always open your bedroom windows before unpacking the bed. Take all packaging outside as soon as possible and unroll the mattress so that it is no longer tightly compressed. The longer you leave a packaged mattress compressed in a box, the stronger its odor will be.


Many new mattresses sometimes give off an odor when first unpacked, which is due to byproducts of mattress manufacturing known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This is called outgassing. Mattress outgassing occurs when you first remove a mattress from its packaging and is particularly noticeable with beds in a box. These mattresses are compressed with a heavy weight and then vacuum sealed for packing in a box, which locks in the chemical by-products.

What does VOC mean? 

VOC means a volatile substance that can easily become a gas and organic means the substance is carbon based.

Why are they present in mattresses?

Because most of them are essential to the manufacturing process. Is outgassing from mattresses dangerous? Research conducted  shows that estimated exposure to VOCs from mattress outgassing remains well below the No Significant Risk Levels (NSRL) set in California environmental laws.

However, Kenneth Spaeth, director of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, NY, points out that there are more concerns about children’s exposure to VOCs. The most common side effects of outgassing are headaches and minor allergic reactions such as eczema. Because of their age and size, they are more vulnerable to potential toxic effects, he points out.

However, fresh air intake can really help reduce these stresses. The most common side effects of outgassing are headaches and minor allergic reactions such as eczema and hay fever-like symptoms. However, you can significantly reduce all risks by purchasing a mattress from a reputable brand that ensures the use of safe materials

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