A bad smell coming from your new mattress can be an annoying issue. If you had to handle delivery and install yourself, the last thing you want is a stinky bed, particularly if you’ve already got rid of your old mattress. So how do you get rid of your new IKEA mattress smell?
Most mattresses contain chemicals that will produce a chemical smell that should go away within a day. If the smell is really bad, let the mattress air out for a few days until the smell subsides. You can return your mattress generally within 30 days for a replacement.
I’ll show you the causes of the smell and the best ways to combat it. We’ll look at some dos and don’ts so that you can be sleeping on your new mattress in no time without the unpleasant smell.
Why Does My IKEA Mattress Smell?
IKEA mattresses generally will have a layer of foam or foam-like material in their mattresses. This foam can emit a pungent smell in a process referred to as outgassing. In most cases, you should find that within 24 hours of unboxing this smell should have gone away.
You can confirm the materials in your mattress on the IKEA website and if it has a latex, PolyFoam, memory foam, or any other type of foam, it could have an outgassing issue.
The smell comes from the materials making up the mattress. The production process means these materials are used in the adhesive that is used to keep the foam layers together, or the manufacturing process itself. These are petroleum-based, and additional chemicals like fire-retarding agents are also involved.
Almost all mattresses, including the ‘all-natural ones’, contain these fire-retarding agents. It will almost certainly be listed on the packaging or tag if otherwise. The fire-retarding agents are thought to be the main cause of the smell as they seep out of the mattress.
As these mattresses are produced in the factory, wrapped, and then shipped the outgassing process has not completed by the time the mattress gets to you. The wrapping of a mattress to protect it during shipping will also mean an airtight seal to stop moisture from getting in and therefore smells can’t get out.
If your mattress smells and it is new, that is normal particularly with foam mattresses. If you have bought a used mattress and it stinks, there is probably not much to be done.
How Do You Get the Smell Out of an IKEA Mattress?
Generally, the new mattress smell will go away on its own. If after 30 days the smell is persisting, it would be best to contact the retailer. The smell may also be coming from mattress toppers or similar, so they can be removed temporarily and aired separately.
You can help speed up the outgassing process or just not use the mattress for that period. It would be best to remove all sheets from the mattress and leave somewhere out of the elements like a garage or other well-ventilated room for it to finish off-gassing. If it is a new mattress, remove any plastic coverings as well.
Ensuring airflow in the room will also help. Leaving the mattress on its side to maximize surface area as well as having a fan on and window open will help. A particularly smelly mattress may take some time to fully off-gas and so you may want to do this in a room that you don’t mind making it off-limits for a week or two.
If the mattress is outgassed in the elements, be careful of mold or pollen. Mould can be avoided by making sure the moisture is not too high in the area it is being degassed, generally through active ventilation. Pollen can be easily removed with a vacuum cleaner after the mattress has outgassed enough.
Another general technique is to sprinkle baking powder on the mattress and leave it overnight and vacuum off the next day. One of the best cleaners that you can make from ingredients at home can help remove smells too. Mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and dampen the mattress but do not saturate it. Allow 24 hours to dry.
Finally, you could try steam cleaning to remove odors. Whether by a professional or by hiring a commercial steam cleaning machine, this will be the most expensive option. Effectiveness may vary depending on what is causing the smell. A new mattress smell due to the off-gassing not having finished may not be helped that much by steam cleaning.
To prevent your mattress from developing smells, a mattress protector is a great idea. There are many options to choose from but a waterproof mattress encasement can help stop odour-causing surface stains from spills and accidents. Preventing liquid from seeping in deep into the fabric is very important as then it can be next to impossible to remove the smell.
Is the New Mattress Smell Harmful?
The materials that make a mattress smell are released in very low quantities and often dissipate after a short time. There is generally no harm to the consumer by these chemicals given this low amount. These substances can also be referred to as volatile organic compounds. Aside from the odor, they can also cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions in select people.
The reality is that these chemicals are used in many different materials and so are very common. There are established thresholds that industry is kept to and low levels of exposure like that even from a very strong odor from a new mattress have not been shown to cause any harm to humans.
If the smell irritates you and impacts your sleep it would be best not to use the mattress. Given that it should greatly reduce over the next 24 hours anyway, you’re best to just consider temporary alternative sleeping arrangements while it off-gasses completely.