You’ve probably heard more than a few horror stories about people ordering a mattress topper online, only to get it home and become completely overwhelmed by the chemical smell upon opening their new purchase. It’s not just a bad odor. Unfortunately, the smell occurs when toxins and petrochemicals, otherwise known as volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) that are used to make certain mattress toppers, interact with the oxygen in the air inside your home.

The process is referred to as off-gassing, and it can create physical symptoms, including:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Eye irritation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Sore throat

In people who already suffer from asthma or allergies, the reactions can be quite severe. When you’re hit with a smell this strong upon removing your mattress topper from the packaging, the last thing you can imagine is getting a good night’s sleep on the said topper.

This off gassing only occurs with certain types of mattress toppers, so it’s wise to know which ones are impacted by this. For instance, is this horrid smell a common problem with latex foam mattress toppers?

What Do Latex Mattress Toppers Smell Like?

Natural latex mattress toppers are made with latex foam. This foam is created from the sap of the Hevea Brasiliensis tree, the primary source of natural rubber that is used in so many products today. While there are some people who say that latex mattress toppers have a faint vanilla-like smell when they are first unpacked, few complain of the smell, and most say it dissipates quickly.

This is not the case, however, with synthetic latex, which is made with a variety of petrochemicals and fillers, or with memory foam mattress toppers. In fact, many consumers complain about the chemicals and smell associated with opening these particular types of mattress toppers, some of them complaining they can last weeks.

What are the Differences Between Natural and Synthetic Latex?

Latex foam that is 100 percent natural latex is made with only botanical foam tapped from the Hevea Brasiliensis rubber tree. There are no other fillers or additives used to make the foam that will ultimately become the latex mattress topper.

Synthetic latex mattress toppers, in contrast, are made with a variety of fillers, and may contain very little actual latex in the mattress. Not only does synthetic latex contain a variety of petroleum-based chemicals that can cause noxious fumes known as off-gassing, but it can also be less resilient than natural latex, and is considerably less durable. While the bad smell associated with synthetic latex and off-gassing is unpleasant, it is also harmful to the air inside your home. Even after the initial release of volatile organic compounds into your home, the smell may dissipate in a matter of days, but the chemicals remain long after you can no longer tell they are there. And, they can damage your health and that of your family in the process.

Why Does Synthetic Latex Smell Bad?

Ultimately, the reason synthetic or blended latex smells so bad comes down to the materials used in making the foam. The petroleum-based materials interact with oxygen in the air to create terrible odors that fill the bedroom, and may even expand to other areas of your home. While they are usually most powerful for a few days, they may last up to several weeks among those who are sensitive to strong odors.

Do Natural Latex Mattress Toppers Smell Bad?

If you’re dealing with a 100 percent natural latex mattress topper, you’re usually dealing with a quality product. That means you’re less likely to notice an odor from the mattress as there are no VOCs used to make the mattress. Additionally, the other materials used to make the mattress are non-toxic, and safe to have in your bedroom and your home.

Natural latex foam is not only made from the sap from the rubber tree, but is also made using one of two methods. It will either be made with the Dunlop method, or the Talalay method. Both methods add no additional fillers to the latex foam, so that you can sleep easy knowing your mattress is made with no toxins, and in a manner that is good for your family and for the planet.

How to Choose a Latex Mattress Topper Less Likely to Smell Bad

With that in mind, how do you choose a latex mattress topper to purchase that is less likely to have a strong odor? It really is simple. Look for a mattress that is made with 100 percent natural latex. Then look for certifications from independent certification organizations like Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Eco-Institut, Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), or Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

Also, look for mattress makers that provide full transparency about the sourcing of the latex they use in their mattresses. Businesses that use single-source latex are an even better choice because it is easier to trace the entire life cycle of the product.

Mattress toppers offer quick fixes for many problems that affect beds, and make getting a good night’s sleep more difficult. The right mattress topper can make a world of difference for your ability to sleep. That is why it’s important to choose wisely, and seek only natural latex mattress toppers made with quality materials for your purchase.

The Latex Mattress Topper Smell vs The Memory Foam Mattress Topper Smell

It is equally important to compare the odor from a latex mattress topper to that of a memory foam mattress topper. Just like memory foam mattresses, memory foam mattress toppers are widely known for releasing VOCs, and overwhelming off-gassing upon opening. In fact, most companies recommend opening a window before opening the mattress, or removing the packaging in a well-ventilated room.

That is because memory foam mattresses are petroleum-based products made with a variety of chemicals that interact with the oxygen inside your home.  It may be several days after you open a memory foam mattress before you sleep on the mattress due to the smell. Especially if you are someone who suffers from asthma or allergies. Keep that in mind as you weigh your options when shopping around for a mattress topper for your bed.

Even if natural latex mattresses have a slight vanilla-like smell, they are nothing compared to the chemical smell associated with memory foam and blended latex mattresses or mattress toppers.

Factors that Affect Mattress Topper Smells?

Aside from choosing a mattress topper made with healthy, earth-friendly materials that produce no VOCs into the air, there is little you can do to stop the chemical odor associated with some mattress toppers. However, there are things you can do to help mitigate the smell, and limit the chemicals released into your home, including the following:

  • Consider opening the mattress topper outside your home, and then moving it inside the home after a few hours. While you will not want to expose the natural latex to direct sunlight, this is no problem for most memory foam mattresses, and it allows the smell to dissipate before bringing the mattress into the confined spaces of a bedroom.
  • Open windows and doors, and use a fan to circulate air out when opening a mattress topper inside your home. You want to do everything possible to push the tainted, toxic air out of your home.
  • Read reviews online before you buy a mattress topper to see if others are complaining about the smell. If so, choose a different mattress topper for your home.

Small steps can make a huge difference for your health, and the health of your family. Of course, buying a mattress topper that is non-toxic and made with natural materials is an even better option to avoid off-gassing and bad odors.

What is Off-Gassing?

Off-gassing is the smell that occurs when the petrochemicals used in making certain mattresses are released into the air. Essentially, when you open the packaging for mattress toppers made with synthetic materials like memory foam or blended latex, you’re releasing toxins into the air in a gas form. These toxins smell terrible, and can cause a wide variety of respiratory and other problems for anyone in your home.

Can Off-Gassing Be Harmful to Your Health?

Off-gassing can be harmful to your health. It is especially harmful to people who live with any kind of respiratory illness, including allergies and asthma. Symptoms vary from person to person. Some symptoms are acute, severe, and instant. Other symptoms may manifest slowly over time as you are exposed to the chemicals that have been released into your home. Among the most common symptoms of off-gassing, are the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Achiness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nose and throat irritations
  • Allergic skin reactions

Unfortunately, long term exposure to harmful chemicals that cause off-gassing can lead to other health problems, including the following:

  • The EPA reports that some organic compounds have been known to cause cancer in animals, and are believed to do so in humans.
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Central nervous system damage

As you can see, the potential problems from off-gassing are significant, and should not be dismissed lightly. Especially if they can be avoided by choosing a better mattress topper for your bed.

How to Prevent Off-Gassing?

When it comes to things like off-gassing, prevention is the best cure. By far. You can prevent off-gassing by doing a little research before buying memory foam mattresses or mattress toppers, or before buying latex mattresses or toppers. The more you know about the mattress, the history of the materials, and where and how the mattress is made, the better it is for the sake of your health and the health of your loved ones.

Does Natural Latex Off-Gas?

If you buy a 100 percent natural latex that is independently certified, you can buy with confidence that you’re getting a quality mattress that does not off-gas. That means you can sleep easy knowing you are not at risk of VOCs, and the many health hazards they present. At least, not from your mattress. There are other materials you bring into your home, though, that do off-gas, including the following:

  • Paints
  • Wood preservatives
  • Wood stains
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Carpet glues
  • Air fresheners
  • Cleaners and disinfectants
  • Furniture
  • Building supplies
  • Office equipment

You get the idea. You can look for organic products to avoid some of these problems, or look for qualities that are certified to be earth-friendly and non-toxic.

Does Synthetic Latex Off-Gas?

Synthetic latex is one of the types of mattress toppers that is widely known to off-gas. It’s a result of the chemicals used in synthetic latex. While these chemicals can cut the costs of latex mattresses and toppers substantially, they are generally not worth it because of the harm they cause to health and the planet at the same time.

One of the reasons people choose natural latex mattresses is because they are committed to protecting the planet. Using synthetic latex instead defeats the purpose, and can put your family in harm’s way in the process.

Will Latex Mattress Toppers Start to Smell Over Time?

Of course, it is important to point out that smelly mattress toppers are not only the result of chemical off-gassing. Some smells come with years of use. Especially with mattresses that have layers upon layers of synthetic materials to hold sweat, bacteria, and goodness-knows-what-else nearby. These things, in addition to mold and mildew related to moisture, are prime culprits for causing mattresses and toppers to smell bad over time. This is completely aside from the release of VOCs, and the off-gassing aspect of buying a mattress topper.

Why a Natural Latex Mattress Topper is a Better Choice for Avoiding Off-Gassing

A major advantage of natural latex mattress toppers is that these toppers are incredibly breathable. That means they allow air to flow freely through. Because the air flows freely, moisture doesn’t get trapped within the mattress topper, causing odors to occur over time. Additionally, natural latex is antimicrobial. This means that bacteria and other microbes that cause odors in mattresses and other mattress toppers are not there to cause your natural latex mattress topper to smell bad.

Other Benefits of Natural Latex Mattress Toppers

While smelling better is certainly a huge benefit, when compared to chemical-laden mattress toppers on the market today, it isn’t the only benefit of using a natural latex topper. It would be wrong to fail to mention these other important benefits that natural latex mattress toppers deliver, such as:

  • Pressure relief
  • No off-gassing
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Anti-microbial
  • Durable
  • Supportive
  • Resistant to dust mites, mold, and mildew

If you’re ready to transform your sleep experience, then you’ll want to explore the benefits that a natural latex mattress topper has to offer you. You might discover that nothing less than a natural latex mattress will do for you when the time to replace your mattress for good comes around.

Should You Buy a Natural Latex Mattress Topper?

If you’re in the market for a mattress topper, you have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, by choosing a natural latex mattress topper for your bed. Not only do these toppers offer a better overall sleep experience, but they can also extend the life of your existing mattress, provide incredible support for your spine, and create a comfortable sleep experience you are sure to love.

More than that, a natural latex mattress topper allows you to buy with confidence that you’re getting a product that will do no harm to your family or the planet. And, that can be a huge weight off your mind.

What’s So Great About the Latex for Less Topper?

Now that you’ve learned the benefits of a natural latex topper, it’s time to explore the benefits the Latex for Less Natural Latex Mattress Topper has to offer. These are just a few reasons the Latex for Less Topper might be the right choice for you.

  • Available in two or three-inch heights
  • Available in all standard mattress sizes
  • Available in three firmness levels (soft, medium, and medium-firm)
  • Available with or without an organic cotton cover
  • Made in the USA
  • Free shipping
  • Free sleep trial
  • 5-year warranty
  • Made with single-origin latex
  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified latex
  • Superior support

As you can see, there is a lot to love about the Latex for Less Natural Latex Mattress Topper. What you’re going to love most, though, is the price. Latex for Less is committed to making quality latex products, including natural latex mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows, foundations, and more, affordable.

Get Your Latex for Less Natural Latex Mattress Topper Today!

Now is the perfect time to see for yourself what a difference a natural latex mattress topper can make to the quality of your sleep, and the amount of sleep you get at night. Buy the Latex for Less Topper today, and get a great night’s sleep, night after night.

Elizabeth Magill

Elizabeth Magill is a professional freelance writer and editor who holds an MBA. Liz specializes in writing about health news, medical conditions, healthy living, small business, career and work, personal finance, and green-living, including news and trending topics in these specialties. Her clients include Healthline, The Motley Fool, GoBanking Rates, LIVESTRONG.com, Big Interview, HealthNews, Intuit Small Business Blog, Intuit Health, American News Report, Travels.com, IFX Medical, and many others. She’s also a published eBook author and ghost writer for various clients in the health, medical, career, small business, and personal finance niches.