My Mattress Smells

Updated November 21, 2016

It is difficult to get a good night's sleep when your mattress smells. Whether you are bothered by the smell of a new mattress or an old stain, you can counteract the odour.

New Mattress

New mattresses can give off strong chemical odours. They are treated with stain repellents and antibacterial chemicals, and they contain polyurethane foam. Placing a new mattress outside where it can air out will help dissipate the smells. You can also place a mattress cover of vinyl or tightly woven fabric over the mattress to block odours, according to "Ecoholic," a guide to environmentally friendly products.

Old Mattress

If your old mattress smells because of a stain, wet the affected area with water. Sprinkle dry borax onto the wet spot, then rub it into the mattress. Once the spot is dry, you can vacuum up the borax, and the smell should be gone.


Using too much moisture when cleaning your mattress can damage the foam inside, and put you at risk for mould growing within the mattress. Vacuuming your mattress every six months will help remove dust and mould spores, reducing the risk of your mattress smelling musty, according to the book "2,001 Amazing Cleaning Secrets," by Jeff Bredenberg.

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