Smells from latex mattress

I received my new latex mattress yesterday and slept on it last night. It had a fairly strong smell, of what I am not sure. I probably should have let it air out for a few days before sleeping on it, but I was so excited to try ti out. This morning my ears and throat were sore. I called the company where I bought the mattress and was assured that the odor is just a natural latex smell. Are there other possibilities?

Has anyone else had this or similar experience with latex mattresses? If so, what did you do about it and how long did the odor take to go away?

Hi jojo,

Talalay latex usually has a “sweetish” or “vanilla” type of smell and Dunlop tends to have a “rubbery” smell and in both cases they are normal and will dissipate to levels that aren’t noticeable or would bother most people over the course of a few days or weeks (typically the rubbery Dunlop smell will last a little longer). Most latex has been tested and certified for harmful offgassing either through Oeko-Tex, Eco Institut or other independent testing agencies so if your latex is certified then the smell is not harmful or anything to be concerned about.

Different people also tend to be more sensitive to certain smells (including the smell of rubber) so for them the smell of latex may persist for considerably longer even though others may not notice it. Different batches of latex can also vary in terms of how strong they smell.

If there are other types of foam in your mattress (particularly memory foam) then these may be the source of any odors or sensitivities as well. Some people are also more sensitive to odors than others regardless of whether they may be harmful or not (many harmful VOC’s are odorless).

There are also some suggestions in post #3 here that can help reduce any odors to levels that most people won’t notice more quickly.

In some rare cases … latex that is imported on untreated wooden pallets is subject to import fumigation requirements (see here) but this type of shipment method (using untreated wood) would be very unlikely because fumigation is more costly than using treated wood pallets (fumigated or heat treated) in the first place.

What type of latex is in your mattress and is it all latex or does it include other foams?


I bought our king dunlop mattress over two years ago from Foam Sweet Foam and was assured that the smell would go away, but it has not. I hate the smell of the rubber and have tried so many things to eliminate it without success. These include airing it out for weeks, 2 boxes of baking soda on the cover not on the Dunlop, layering more including a cotton mattress pad and a organic wool one. I hate the rubbery smell. I would welcome any suggestions. I thought of putting on some sort of cover to enclose it but have not found anything but synthetics and I wondered how that would feel. What to do?

I also have bought 3 Savvy Rest Queens with much less of a smell problem. I would like to know though what the best suggestion for comfort at this point. My adult son is complaining of hip and shoulder pain. His configuration is MMF? My husband is SMF and is having similar issues. I am thinking a Tallay Topper. Savvy Rests is quite expensive and shipping things back is a pain. Any other Tallay Toppers recommended or ideas?

Hi Jmccar4919,

There is more about the smell of natural rubber in post #2 here and some suggestions that may help in post #3 here (many of which you’ve already tried). In most cases the smell of natural rubber diminishes over time to the point that most people don’t notice it or it isn’t offensive but with any natural material the smell can be stronger with some batches than others and some people are more sensitive to some types of smells than others so in some cases it can become an issue over the longer term as well. Humidity levels can also make some difference as well. It’s also possible that the smell could be coming from the wool cover so if this is the case then taking the cover off and seeing if the problem remains can help identify the source of the smell. If it does turn out to be the cover then removing it and putting it out in the sun to air out will activate the lanolin and self cleansing properties of the wool and may make a significant difference as well.

If you have gone through all the suggestions in the post I linked and in this reply then the “best” suggestion I could make would be to see if you can identify whether the smell is coming from a specific layer and replace it with another one that has an odor that is milder or less offensive to you. I would also suggest talking with the manufacturer to see if they have any other suggestions that they have found helpful for those few customers that have longer term issues with the smell of their mattress or any of the layers.

There is more about the various symptoms that people may experience on a mattress and some possible solutions in post #2 here and the posts it links to which can help with the “detective work” that may be necessary to decide on any layer changes. In most cases pressure issues would involve either rearranging or exchanging layers so that the upper two layers are softer and more pressure relieving (such as using S/M/F for your son or S/S/F for your husband). A layering that works for one person may not work for someone else so I would also avoid “connecting” your son’s experiences with your husband’s experiences because they may do best with different combinations. If the softest possible layering that you have or that is available from Savvy Rest doesn’t help the pressure issues enough then adding a topper that uses softer layers of latex yet (that they may not have available) can also help. Talalay is generally available in softer versions than Dunlop so a Talalay top layer would be well worth considering.

If you do decide to go in this direction (and I would make sure you talk with the manufacturer of your mattress first if you are still in your trial period so that they can add their own suggestions as well) then there is more about choosing a topper in post #2 here and the topper guidelines it links to (which also includes a link to the better sources I’m aware of) that can use their sleeping experience as a reference point to choose a topper that has the best chance of success to solve any “symptoms” that they are experiencing.


Yes, I do think that humidity makes a difference. As I said I bought it from Foam Sweet Foam, have you heard anything about this company? I currently have taken the organic wool and cotton cover off as I have done before in the past and placed it in the sun to check one more time where the smell is coming from. I now feel certain that it is definitely a rubber smell from the “organic” latex. (Apparently these trees are in an organic area of growth?) What I have not tried is the carbon blanket and I have not tried using baking soda on all sides of the latex as it seemed so messy and difficult to do especially vacuuming it to remove the baking soda from all the small holes after letting it sit for a day. But I would do this if you think it would take away the rubber smell.

Is there any type of an enclosure that you could put around the mattress that would seal it? What types are available. I am guessing they are all some type of plastic / synthetic which probably have VOC’s etc and are hot and may affect the feel of the mattress. Any suggestions? Is the carbon one an enclosure? I also did not see one for a kingsize bed…ours is 6 pieces or three layers.

As for the shoulder and hip pain of my son. We have ordered a soft Tallay 3 inch topper that arrives this week fingers crossed. I think given my son has an athletic build, wide shoulders narrow hips, from what I read it is that his shoulders do not sink in enough do to the firmness of the MMF Dunlop and he is probably twisting his lower body to compensate causing the hip issue.


Hi Jmccar4919,

Yes … I have talked with Scott on many occasions and think highly of him and FSF. They certainly use good quality materials in their mattresses. A forum search on Foam Sweet Foam (you can just click this) will bring up more information and feedback about them although it will also include some results that include “foam” and “sweet” that aren’t about FSF. Searching foamsweetfoam will bring up a smaller list of results (that may miss some) and a search on FSF will bring up some results that were missed from the first two searches. (NOTE: They are now a member of this site).

I doubt that the baking soda would work if it’s the rubber. I don’t have any personal experience with the carbon blanket so I’m not familiar with it but I would talk with Dalia about it to see what she thinks and what you would need to cover a king size mattress.

The last suggestion in the post I linked includes a link to a food grade polyethylene enclosure that would certainly seal everything inside it but it would be uncomfortable and would almost certainly increase the sleeping temperature of the mattress significantly.

That makes sense to me. I hope it works well for him and I’m looking forward to your feedback.


I have recently ordered latex layers and a mattress cover from foam sweet foam. I think what you are smelling is the new type of mattress cover. It uses Joma wool which has a bad smell. The latex (a talalay layer and a dunlop organic layer) are both fine. They barely have an odor. But the mattress cover is such a strong smell that it makes me ill. I have looked into this and apparently is the special type of wool used - organic, and has had less processing than most wool we are used to.

There is a short post on this at Blog | My Green Mattress. Look for this article several down the page.
Blog | My Green Mattress

The author believes the smell will become lighter after a few weeks. We have found that it remains a strong smell, which is intolerable if you have a keen sense of smell.

This is my third latex mattress and I’ve never experienced a bad smell before. We have the mattress cover downstairs, trying to air it out and the latex layers are upstairs in our bedroom. All is well upstairs - but downstairs there is a strong odor.

Hi dcarter1776,

Welcome to the Mattress Forum!.

I noticed that you registered with your email as your username which can lead to spambots harvesting your email address and adding you to their spam lists. If you’d like I can remove the @ and the part after it.

Thanks for adding the link … I appreciate it :slight_smile:

While latex can have a smell that can bother some people … some wool also has a smell that can bother some people as well and there are a couple of other recent examples here and here and here from some of the other members that were commenting about the smell of new wool in their mattress or protector. It does dissipate after it’s had a chance to air out for a few weeks and it’s a fairly common experience with wool that has had less processing.


I purchased the Aloe Alexis from Brooklyn Bedding and have been sleeping on the mattress for a little over two weeks. Neither my wife nor I have noticed any type of odor. There are 2 3" layers of latex over a 7" layer of polyfoam. I guess we are lucky in that regard.

Hi smankins,

Most people aren’t affected by the smell of latex and consider it to be fairly mild if they notice it at all but it can vary from batch to batch (especially if it has a higher natural rubber content) and some people are more sensitive to it than others. Talalay tends to have a more “sweet” smell while Dunlop has a more “rubbery” smell.


I don’t know how to use this forum properly. I hope this does not post to all. Thank you to the administrator. You have made an excellent suggestion and I would appreciate it if you would shorten my username as you suggest.

Hi dcarter1776,

Done … your email is no longer visible in your posts :slight_smile:


I just received my 10" Total latex from Brooklyn Bedding yesterday and put it together last night. There was an initial odor when I unwrapped the 3" top layer but it wasn’t too bad and once I zipped it into the mattress it was almost gone. I did not notice any odor when I unwrapped the 6" base latex layer.

I was a little worried about odor because my wife gets a little, how can I say this, annoying with strange odors and sleeping. But she slept fine on it the very first night.

Yes, Scott at Foam Sweet Foam Felt it was the cover two years ago when I bought it, but after taking it off and separating them I was still smelling a rubbery smell. Two weeks ago I ordered a new mattress from an old Boston Company they makes them to order. It is wool and Cotton with pocket coils and they are sewn the old fashion way and tufted so you can flip them. It arrives October 9th. After two years of struggling and trying to solve a problem I never should have had I am back to the old fashion mattress. BTW It does not have chemical fire retardants.

Hi Jmccar4919,

It’s unfortunate that you are so sensitive to the smell of rubber and I’m sorry to hear that things didn’t work out for you.

On the other hand … I’m glad to hear that you were able to find a mattress that you are happy with … and congratulations on your new mattress :slight_smile:

Where did you buy it from?


I have now been sleeping on my Urban Green (FSF) 10" Talalay M/F/XF mattress since June 20, 2016. It has the organic cotton/wool mattress cover. As stated elsewhere on this forum, I love the feel and the pain relief I’m getting from this mattress! I’m hoping this one doesn’t form a rut as our Habitat latex mattresses did. So far, so good.

HOWEVER, the smell, albeit somewhat diminished over one month of ownership, is still a problem, I have an insanely acute sense of smell and pick up odors that nobody else in a room will typically detect. I actually detected a harmful gas leak in a Kodak lab once before any human or any machine picked it up. LOL.

So, this morning I did a quick check to see exactly where that foul odor was coming from. I simply zipped open the cover and shoved my nose in against the latex. I picked up VERY little odor and what I got was not unpleasant at all…almost a little “sweet”. Not acrid. And, once again, even my Superman nose could barely detect any odor at all. It would easily be overwhlemed by the fresh scent of a washed sheet, for example.

But the second I pulled my nose off the latex and shoved it very close to the top mattress cover a few feet away from the exposed latex, that nasty, pungent, acrid smell asaulted my senses once again. YUCK!


I suspect it is most likely the organic joma wool, as others have mentioned. The latex itself is NOT the culprit. Heidi Fischer of FSF suggested that the cover was the culprit when I first emailed FSF about the odor during the 1st week of ownership but I didn’t believe her. Now I do!

SO…does anyone know where I can get a cotton-only mattress cover to provide the simple function of holding the three 3" latex layers together? I love the latex but gotta get rid of that nastly wool.

Hi Dave_C,

That makes sense to me and you certainly wouldn’t be the first one that was sensitive to the smell of wool (or organic wool).

You could try unzipping and removing the cover and hanging it out in the sun for a few hours to see if it makes any difference (sunshine activates the natural self cleansing and deodorizing properties of the lanolin in the wool).

The better sources for cotton covers I’m aware of are in the DIY component post here.


Thanks, Phoenix! Looks like there are a few sources for what I’m after.