Natural and Organic Latex Mattresses
The makeup of a 100% natural latex mattress is comprised of 6 nontoxic chemicals as well as natural materials including hevea milk, water, and fats. Rubber, by nature, does have a certain odor. However with mattresses, due to the manufacturing, washing, and curing processes, the lingering smell is typically very minimal and often described as somewhat sweet. While there is nothing in the mattress that is harmful, it does permit a certain smell that people may notice. The large majority of people will not be bothered by the faint, slightly sweet smell of natural latex, and some cite it as an advantage when selecting a latex mattress.
Natural latex can also be certified organic. The latex from these mattresses is sustainably grown without the use of harmful pesticides. Organic latex offers a natural purity that is essentially unmatched in the mattress world.
Products like tires and gloves are made using entirely different processes than mattress foam, and thus give off much stronger smells when new that do not apply to natural latex. Many manufacturers air layers out before packaging, and new latex mattresses smells should dissipate within a few weeks in a well-ventilated area.
Synthetic and Hybrid Latex Beds
Synthetic latex may give off a stronger odor, either chemical or rubber, due to different ingredients used in manufacturing. Hybrid beds, those that feature latex mixed with poly foam cores, comfort layers, or memory foam, will have the odors associated with those products.
How Latex Mattresses Compare to Others
While some consumers may be bothered that their latex mattress has a smell it should be understood that all mattresses have an odor when they are brand new. For instance, when you consider a new innerspring mattress – these are created with glues and adhesives that can be comprised of over 48 toxic chemicals, not to mention poly foam layers. Of course, in memory foam mattresses there are around seven toxic chemicals which also release potentially hazardous VOCs as compounds breakdown and “off-gas”.
While consumers may be a bit bothered by the latex smell there is some comfort in knowing that the smell is not coming from harmful chemicals and it will go away over time. You can rest assured knowing that the odors are non-toxic and not attributed to volatile organic compound off-gassing people report with polyurethane foams and glues.
To answer the question of whether or not latex mattress smells, the simple answer is yes. However, it is not an odor that many people find offensive and it is not due to chemicals. There are a number of great qualities about latex mattresses that should be taken into account as well, not just odors as these fade relatively soon.
For those that do have a sensitive nose it helps to opt for a bed with as few additives as possible and to simply air out the mattress for a few weeks until the smell is completely gone. Latex mattresses are a comfortable bedding option, and probably one of the most inoffensive in terms of smells compared to other beds on the market. If you want a latex mattress that doesn’t smell bad, choose an organic latex model from a reputable retailer.