Latex mattress smell

My 4 year-old latex mattress (RoomandBoard) has developed a strong smell – it’s kind of a sweet smell, as I’ve heard latex described, but the smell wasn’t there during the first few years. It’s off-putting to the point where I may have to just toss it. Does anyone have any ideas for how to six the smell? Thanks.

Hi cathye,

That’s very odd but to fix it you would first need to identify what was causing it.

I hesitate to mention this but bed bugs can have a distinctive sweet smell (its been described as similar to rotting raspberries) and there’s also the possibility of some kind of mold or mildew.

A bowl of vinegar near the bed with an open window can help with smells and a fabreeze sheet may also help but these wouldn’t really solve the problem only mask it. Post #3 here also has some suggestions if your cover can be removed.

Have you checked the mattress (top and bottom and inside if it has a zip cover) for any physical signs that may help you identify where it’s coming from?


Yikes, that’s a disturbing thought. We haven’t had any bites, so I doubt it’s that. I"ll check the mattress for other signs, though.

One thought – I did put an allergy cover on the mattress a few months ago. I wonder if it can’t breathe…


That’s a possibility but unlikely. It would depend on the type of allergy cover.

If it was plastic and had no ventilation at all then it could trap moisture inside the mattress with no airflow in a dark, humid, and warm environment and contribute to the possibility of mold or mildew in the bottom area of your mattress typically in the bottom of the mattress where it sits on the base (foundation or platform bed).

Most allergy covers though would be breathable enough to prevent this unless there were other risk factors involved (see post #10 here).