Latex off gassing?

We bought the Ikea Myrbacka bed and slept on it for 2 nights before I noticed it had a horrible chemical smell. By last night my lungs were starting to bother me. I am fairly sensitive to chemicals and can’t use bleach, aerosols, and most perfumes. We made the mistake of not airing out the bed first and putting the bed straight on the frame and putting a cover and sheet on it. I should have known better. Today we tried to air it out in the sun but it rained within an hour :frowning: Even carrying it out bothered my lungs again.

That being said, it is very comfortable for my back and I am happy with it. Will the smell dissipate any time soon? What type of cover should I put on it? I know it has a built in wool cover under the first removable cover. Is that enough or will a wool or cotton cover help? Or should I encase the whole thing in a case that will keep the smell in? I’m really hoping this is a temporary issue. It was a hard enough decision as it was!

Hi jladybugj,

There is more about the smell of latex in post #2 here but the latex in your mattress has been certified by Oeko-Tex for harmful substances and VOC’s so at least you have the assurance that the smell and offgassing isn’t harmful although some people can still be sensitive to it and you aren’t the only one that has mentioned the smell of one of the Ikea latex mattresses (see here).

It should dissipate over the course of a few weeks to levels that wouldn’t be noticeable or affect most people but there are also some suggestions in post #3 here that can help speed things up a little.

I would NOT put a latex mattress out in the sun because the ultraviolet light can soften and degrade the latex very quickly.


For what it is worth, Ikea’s latex is a blend, 85% natural and 15% synthetic. While that synthetic part might be the part you are smelling, more likely it is the polyurethane foam they put in the ticking. The description reads “Comfort material: Polyester/viscose (rayon) fiber wadding, Synthetic latex, High-resilience polyurethane foam (cold foam) 2.2 lb/cu.ft.” Polyurethane foam is a petroleum byproduct and has its own chemical smell. As Phoenix described it elsewhere, it’s the “new car” smell.

Hi diynaturalbedding and jladybugj,

diynaturalbedding brought up a good point (thank you :)) and thanks to sdmark you can see a picture of the layering of the Myrbacka latex mattress here which shows the latex and the polyfoam but either way it should diminish as it has a chance to air out over time.


Yea it’s definitely the latex rubber smell that’s bothering me. Smells like my bed is made of car tires. What do you suggest for a cover?

Hi jladybugj,

I would suggest giving the mattress time to air out first because the only two covers or enclosures I know that would either block or absorb the smell (see #9 and #10 here) would either be very costly or would have a significant effect on the feel and performance of the mattress.


Oh yes I saw those and you are correct. Very expensive. I meant after the smell wears off. Since the bed has a built in wool zip cover underneath the first removable cover, is that sufficient to protect the mattress? I’m looking into getting a wool blanket as an extra layer.

Hi jladybugj,

Sorry … I didn’t realize you were asking about a mattress protector.

There is more about the pros and cons of the different types of mattress protectors in post #89 here.

A mattress protector is always a good idea to protect your mattress from the body fluids and oils that we all release each night, to help reduce dust mite populations, to keep your sleeping surface in a clean and hygienic condition, and to protect against accidents and spills. It will also protect the warranty because mattress warranties are usually voided with even a small stain on the mattress.


Thank you Phoenix for your help! I wanted to tell you the thread with the Myrbacka and other Ikea mattress info from sdmark is what led us to purchase it, plus it is $100 off this month! :wink: The smell is slowly diminishing with lots of airing out and breezy temps. I believe their top cover is part of the problem in retaining the smell.

We are also shopping for a mattress for our 3 year old. Being that I have a super sensitive nose, would buying a polyfoam bed like the Tuft and Needle be a poor choice? Should I lean towards 100% natural latex or will that smell just as bad? I am also considering a cotton futon but my husband isn’t sure those are supportive enough for growing bones. I have looked through all of the links on post #2 and it has been very helpful, but also a challenge to spend the money I wish I could on him to get him the healthiest mattress possible. His mattress may potentially be on a top bunk in a few years so mattress height of no more than 6 inches is a possible limiting factor as well. It seems like “bigger is better” is the trend now.
Thanks again!

Hi jladybugj,

That would really depend on how you answer the question of “how safe is safe enough for me?”.

If the polyfoam is made in North America or is CertiPur certified (which Tuft & Needle)
ADMIN NOTE: Removed 404 page link | Archived Footprint:
then for most people it would be “safe enough” and any smell with their mattresses would dissipate fairly quickly but wouldn’t be “harmful” by most people’s standards. Having said that … some parents are more comfortable with an extra margin of “safety” (just like some parents will only use organic food for their family) and for them more natural materials with less synthetic or “chemical” ingredients such as latex or natural fibers may be a better fit for their personal criteria.

A cotton futon would certainly be firm and supportive enough for a child (futons are firmer than most foam mattresses).



sorry to hijack the old topic… We are thinking of getting Myrbacka (latex) for our kids and you’re mentioning these mattresses are certified by Oeko-Tex… and wanted to know if you are indeed referring to Myrbacka mattresses which is made of 100% synthetic materials…
We know the MORGONGAVA is made of 85% natural and 15% synthetic… but it does smell even the ones from the display room…
We wanted to know if Myrbacka is safe for the kids… :slight_smile:
Your input is greatly appreciated… thank you!

Hi zzeuss,

The last I recall, the Myrbacka uses continuous pour Dunlop from Mountain Top, which would be Oeko-Tex certified. But suppliers can change quickly, so I may not be correct on that. But most latex you find would pass Oeko-Tex standards. As you’re aware, Ikea doesn’t list certifications or suppliers on their site for this model.

Regarding odor with Ikea mattresses, from an earlier post in this thread:
There is more about the smell of latex in post #2 here but the latex in your mattress has been certified by Oeko-Tex for harmful substances and VOC’s so at least you have the assurance that the smell and offgassing isn’t harmful although some people can still be sensitive to it and you aren’t the only one that has mentioned the smell of one of the Ikea latex mattresses (see here).

Not all VOCs have odors, and just because something has an odor doesn’t mean it is a VOC.

There’s a common reference post listed ere regarding things that are “safe enough”. Here it is:

There is more about the different types of organic and safety certifications such as Oeko-tex, Eco-Institut, Greenguard Gold, C2C, and CertiPUR-US in post #2 here and more about some of the differences between organic and safety certifications in post #2 here and there are also some comments in post #42 here that can help you decide whether an organic certification is important to you for environmental, social, or personal reasons or whether a “safety” certification is enough.

I hope that helps you out!

Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator
Beducation / Mattress To Go

Thank you Jeff,

This is great… I also see some good reviews on MYRBACKA mattresses…
Thanks again for your help!!!


You’re welcome! And while I know people like to read reviews, I’d tell you to focus upon the componentry of the mattress instead. 2.2 pound polyurethane foam and synthetic latex would tend to be durable materials, so that’s good news.

Jeff Scheuer, The Beducator
Beducation / Mattress To Go