During my time involved with testing, reviewing and advocating the use of memory foam pillows for folks to enhance their sleep experience, one of the most common concerns folks bring up is based on the chemical smell that comes from memory foam out of the box. Truth be told, this odor isn’t exactly enticing and yes, when I’m demonstrating or presenting memory foam pillows to new clients – I simply will not use a new one as to avoid putting them through that torture.
I try to be as transparent as possible and let’s face it, just by looking around my site here, I’m obviously supportive of the sales of memory foam pillows and I make my living from this industry. However, if I truly believed that the odors and/or chemicals that are used in the process of building memory foam was dangerous, I wouldn’t be advocating their use. I’m human and I know what compassion is, after all.
Memory Foam Smells and Odors
The chemical smell from new memory foam pillows are NOT dangerous and you can definitely expect the odor to go away. Just about every pillow that I have come across, includes the message on its packaging that the smell is to be expected, and the suggested route to take prior to actually using your new memory foam pillows is to let them air out for a day or two. If you compress the memory foam, you will notice that the odor is much stronger – this is called “offgassing”, which in fact, is why the project was scrapped from NASA to begin with.
I’ll also be the first to admit that man-made chemicals are not always 100% healthy, but we live in a manufactured world, where chemicals are abundant and just about everything we purchase today has at least a handful of different chemicals in them. Sure, I’ll also tell you and anybody else that asks why some people complain about headaches and other physical symptoms due to the chemicals in memory foam, that if used incorrectly, these are to be expected.
I understand the excitement of getting something new – we want to use it, now! I appreciate the enthusiasm, I really do! However, memory foam pillows and mattresses are one of those items that must be taken care of with extra attention. Let’s think about it, the product has been produced and sealed up in a protective layer of plastic and placed inside of a box for presentation and storage. The chemicals are sealed in with the product, and memory foam can act like a sponge, holding onto the odor for extended periods of time.
When we open the package and break the seal, the first thing you’ll notice is that obnoxious smell. However, many people will immediately try to send the pillow back with the conclusion that there is a defect. Again, the chemical smell from new memory foam is normal.
How to Get Rid of the Memory Foam Smell
Memory foam pillows are not your typical, run of the mill sleep aid. Your standard pillows simply cannot compare with what memory foam pillows have to offer you as far as comfort and a better sleep experience. We need to go the extra mile as your memory foam pillows will do the same for you when you’re able to start sleeping on them.
- Open the package in a well ventilated area – To minimize discomfort from the initial release of the smells and odor, open your new memory foam product in an open area. Be it outside, in the garage, a larger room with the windows open, whatever – just don’t confine yourself to a closed closet or you’re asking for trouble.
- Let the memory foam air out – Once the foam has been removed from its packaging, let it sit for a day or two. Help the offgassing process by compressing the foam a bit with your hands – the compression will force much of the trapped air (and odor) out of the product much faster and will only help you speed the process along.
- Clean your memory foam pillow – Cleaning your memory foam pillow is not just as simple as tossing it in the washer and dryer for a cycle, so keep that in mind before you go this route. Take the necessary precautions and this can definitely get a jump start on getting rid of that chemical odor.
That about does it from HQ, I’m forever on the lookout for new ideas and information to share with you so make sure you keep coming back here for more tips, news and of course, new products to drool over (just don’t drool on the pillows, please!)