Purple mattress smell is a common complaint. Six smelly mattress solutions include airing it out in the sun, letting the kids jump on each side, vinegar spray and other odor-eating products, and covering with baking soda.
If you’re planning to switch to memory foam, you’re not alone. Users praise them for their durability, support, and comfort. However, this industry hasn’t always been truly committed to customer safety.
The 2007 regulations allow manufacturers to add various harmful chemicals for improved comfort levels and longevity, putting consumer safety at risk.
These hazardous chemicals often cause unpleasant smells that lead to sleeping difficulties, respiratory problems, and skin allergies. Moreover, the bed-in-a-box companies vacuum pack mattresses that further cause odors. Typically, the odor dissipates within a few days of unpacking the bed.
Why Does Purple Mattress Smell
Purple is one of the leading online mattress brands known for its patent polymerized and pressure-relieving beds. The company claims its proprietary organic food-grade Purple Grid and chemical-free Fire Barrier make it safe and odorless. But the latter part of the claim is far from true as numerous sleepers have complained of an unpleasant smell and off-gassing issue.
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Use a waterproof protector cheap and well rated one like this at Amazon to reduce current odors and prevent future ones.Scott Boyd
VOCs: a Common Cause
The problem is quite prevalent in polymer-based memory foam models. But why do these mattresses smell funny or off-gas? Purple, being a type of foam, undergoes the off-gassing process that releases certain chemicals, known as Volatile Organic Compound, into the air.
They are unstable compounds and tend to break down as the conditions or environment change. In polymer mattresses, these chemicals turn into gas and escape into the air, and thereof, you can smell them. Like beds, fresh paint, nail polish, and new cars are also off-gas due to similar reasons.
However, the question arises if off-gassing is harmful to your health. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, breathing low levels of VOCs can aggravate certain health complications (Source). Several studies have also indicated that exposure to volatile compounds can worsen asthma and skin allergies in sensitive people.
Unboxing Lets the Chemical to Air Out
Being a bed-in-box product, Purple is vacuum-sealed in a box. But once you unpack the mattress, it expands and allows the materials to inflate, producing an unpleasant odor. The smell would typically last for a few days and may go undetectable for those who aren’t hypoallergenic.
Typically, off-gassing is considered safe for children and adults. But a small percentage of owners report headaches, nausea, and itchiness due to these chemicals.
Despite the fact that off-gassing chemicals are termed carcinogens, no studies prove that memory foam mattresses are toxic or cancer-causing.
And I don’t expect this industry to fund such a study for obvious reasons.
Therefore, health-conscious individuals prefer limiting their chemical exposure and thus make lifestyle choices. This is why organic and natural beds are quite popular for their chemical-free construction.
How Long Does It Take For A Purple Mattress To Off Gas?
In general, manufacturers attempt to ensure that it doesn’t off-gas after it’s packaged and shipped as it is bad for business to have the Internet world chatting about your funky smelling mattress.
The bulk of the off-gassing takes place at the factory between production and packaging for shipping. But it is likely that your mattress will still smell once unwrapped.
The duration of the smell depends on the density of the foam, how long it has been sealed in plastic, and chemicals used in its production.
Memory foam mattresses are said to have the highest off-gassing issue, and thereof, their smell tends to last for weeks. In other materials, you may experience it for days, but the lingering scent could last a month.
Purple mattress contains elastic polymers and polyurethane foam considered to be the safest man-made foam with little to no off-gassing.
But since it is roll-packed into a box, the mattress releases a faint smell lasting for 3-days at max. If you’re highly sensitive to off-gassing, you may experience it for a week.
Purple Smells Comments by Real Owners
Here I have shared reviews on the off-gassing issue. The opinions and comments are solely the views of the Purple Mattress (REAL) Owners:
Posted by u/tabawhatt
Purple People: New Mattress Smell?
I’m not typically a sensitive nose type of person, but I can’t help notice the smell it gives off when I’m sleeping in it. Is that normal? I haven’t found many comments on that with the Purple, so I’m starting to wonder if I got a bad mattress. Did anyone else have any smells that dissipated over time, and how long did it take?Source
1 point·7 months ago
I’m on day 2, there’s still a faint chemical smell. The Harmony pillows are brand new from yesterday, so that might be a factor for me too. Hopefully, it’s not messing with your ability to sleep on it! Our Purple was such an improvement from our cheap Amazon mattress we are just basking in comfort, and I guess ignoring the smell. Both slept like logs on night 1 and 2.Source
1 point·7 months ago
Yes! Mine had a weird smell for about 2 weeks. But it does go away!Source
Online Mattress Retailer
0 points·7 months ago
Sometimes there is a faint smell, similar to a new car smell, but it should be gone in a couple of days. If not, then reach out to us because it could be a warranty issue.Source
There are 59 reviews for the Purple mattresses on Consumer Reports and zero have anything negative to say about the smell. Actually, only one mentioned smell and it stated that it dissipated within hours.
Six Smelly Mattress Solutions
If you’re in the same boat and want to get rid of the pungent smell, then here we have six tips for you to fix the funk:
1. Air It Out
The most natural way to get rid of the mattress odor is to let it air out for a day or two. Once you have unboxed it, you should place it near the window or better yet outside in the sun (the sun is a natural disinfectant.
Off-gassing outside is also much better is so that the bedroom materials (furniture, carpet, clothes, etc) don’t absorb the odors, which will extend the amount of time to eliminate the odors from the bedroom and your lungs and nose will thank you.
The smell of the VOCs and other compounds dies off when they are continually exposed to daylight and fresh air for hours.
However, you shouldn’t put them directly under the sun for very long as it will deteriorate the quality of the mattress components, which in turn will affect its performance. But you should flip and rotate the mattress to ensure none of the VOC gases are trapped inside.
2. Nature’s Miracle
This is a stain and odor removal spray that is available at Amazon, Walmart, Target, pet stores, and more. Try the Advanced Stain and Odor Eliminator 128oz bottle and use it liberally.
Does it work? Some people say yes and others say no. It has a 4.8 rating on Walmart, so that is impressive.
And for about $20 compared to the mattress I would say it is worth a try.
If it does not work you can recoup the cost by skipping a couple of coffee drive-thrus
3. Zero Odor Pro
This product is more expensive (you can check for a sale here) and more cost-effective per gallon, but I would suggest starting with a smaller bottle to see if that works. You can get a 32oz bottle at Amazon here for about $30.
4. White Sock Treatment
If airing out doesn’t work for you, then try the “white sock” treatment! You can let your kids jump on the mattress and let it off gas faster. But you or your kids shouldn’t be spending more than a few minutes in the rooms as you could end up inhaling too many harmful gases.
So maybe let the kids give the mattress the bare-foot treatment outside rather than in the bedroom 🙂
The treatment works well in getting rid of the scent, but it could deter the quality of the bed. This means it may break down even before it reaches its warranty period.
5. Baking Soda
The safest and most popular method is the baking soda treatment. Evenly sprinkle a handful of baking soda and cover the entire top. Leave the curtains open to let in some direct sunlight and watch the magic in a day or two. Vacuum clean your mattress to remove the baking soda.
6. Distilled Vinegar
If you’re planning to use chemical-based mattress cleaners and odor repellents, then think again! Distilled white vinegar gives you the same results without the potency of hazardous chemicals. Mix equal parts of water and vinegar, and gently spray it on the entire surface. Let it air dry for a day or two to get rid of the funky smell.