Trying to find a mattress with no off-gassing, please help!

Hi Tim,

Almost all materials will have some degree of “new” odor or emit VOC’s to some degree even though in most cases they aren’t harmful to most people. For those that are most affected by the smell of new materials though (or to VOC’s that have no odor or that have very low levels that wouldn’t affect or even be noticeable to most people) I think that for the most part (at least out of the most common materials that you would find in a mattress) … memory foam would probably be the least desirable material followed by polyfoam and with latex, springs, and natural fibers being the “least offensive” of all.

At the very least I would make sure that any memory foam or polyfoam was CertiPur certified for harmful substances and offgassing and that any latex was OekoTex certified (which is the case with almost all of the latex you will encounter) although that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be sensitive to the smell of any of these.

You could also ask a retailer or manufacturer to air out the mattress for a few weeks in a warehouse so that the initial smell was significantly reduced before you take delivery.

I would also focus on following the steps in the tutorial post here which has all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that will help you make the best possible choices … and avoid the worst ones. In general it would be better to focus on independent manufacturers or better retailers in your area who can tell you the specifics of every layer in a mattress they sell so you can avoid materials that have higher odds of affecting you.

Post #4 here along with post #2 here and post #2 here may also be helpful in helping you decide on which materials that you are comfortable with and which you may wish to avoid and to help you answer the question of “how safe is safe enough for me?”.

These would have some polyfoam in them although they would be in lower amounts and there probably wouldn’t be any memory foam. At least it’s encouraging that polyfoam doesn’t seem to have the same effect on you as memory foam.

There are three main types of foam that are used in mattresses which are memory foam, polyfoam, and latex foam. It will be difficult to avoid foam completely because mattresses that only use innersprings and natural fibers tend to be in premium or even ultra premium price ranges and also tend to be firmer than mattresses that use some type of foam in the comfort layers (you can see some examples of innerspring / natural fiber mattresses in post #4 here).

If you let me know your city or zip I’d also be happy to let you know of any options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area or retailers or manufacturers that are more knowledgeable and transparent about the materials inside the mattresses they make or sell.