Latex pillows have become a popular choice in recent years, as people are looking for alternatives to traditional foam or feather pillows. But some people are worried that latex pillows might smell. In this post, we’ll take a look at the evidence and give you our verdict on whether latex pillows smell or not.
Do latex pillows smell?
Latex pillows usually have a mild smell. Natural latex can be described as smelling a little like sweet vanilla, but latex can also be described as having a rubber smell to it.
However, the slight smell of latex should not be overpowering or unpleasant. If you are concerned about the smell of latex, you can try to find a pillow with a synthetic latex filling, which should have very little smell.
Do all latex pillows smell?
Latex pillows tend to smell less than memory foam versions. A shredded latex pillow usually gives off less of an odor than solid latex pillows.
Syntheticl latex also gives off more odor than natural latex. The odor from synthetic latex is caused by chemicals used to treat the material. These give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that produce a slightly unpleasant smell. The VOCs ‘off gas’ over a short period of time so synthetic latex pillows should be aired out to speed up this process. See below for instructions on how to do this.
What does latex smell like?
Natural organic latex smells like a slightly sweet vanilla. The smell should not be strong or overpowering.
Synthetic latex often has a rubber like smell and can give off a chemical odor until it is aired out and some people can find this smell unpleasant. The smell should dissipate within a few days to a few weeks. Any lingering odor is usually very slight.
Is the smell of latex harmful?
Some people worry that latex pillows will cause them to have an allergic reaction. However, unless you have a latex allergy (which is actually quite rare) then you should be able to use a latex pillow safely. If you are concerned about latex allergies, you can look for a pillow that is labeled “latex-free.”
Otherwise, the smell of latex is not harmful at all, as it is non toxic, although some people find the chemical smell of VOCs unpleasant while the latex is off-gassing. To prevent this you should always air your latex or memory foam pillows prior to use (see below).
Does latex pillow smell go away?
Usually, the smell from your latex pillow will go away on its own within a few weeks, although some people who are very sensitive to the smell can notice it for longer. Synthetic materials will tend to hold their smell for slightly longer than organic latex.
How do you get the smell out of latex pillows?
To get rid of the smell from latex pillows quicker, there are several things you can do.
Air your pillows
Firstly, make sure to remove any plastic packaging or coverings from the pillow and leave it somewhere that air can circulate around it.
If possible, place your pillows outside in the sun
If it’s a sunny day you can speed up the airing out process by placing your pillows outside in a sunny spot. Remember to turn your pillows every few hours and definitely make sure to get them in before nightfall and before it rains.
If you aren’t able to place your pillows outside, open the windows and turn your pillows every few hours.
Use a fan
Use a fan to circulate the air around the room. This will speed up the airing process.
Place a bowl of vinegar nearby to the pillows, in the path of the airflow away from the pillows. Vinegar is a natural air purifying agent which will help remove any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. Make sure not to get any of the vinegar on your pillow.
You can also place essential oils in the air path before your pillows to disguise any lingering smell from your new latex pillows. Again, be careful not to get the oil on your pillows themselves.
If you have tried the above steps and still find an unpleasant smell coming from your latex pillow, you can try using baking soda to absorb some of the smelly VOCs from the pillow. This isn’t possible with shredded latex pillows but can be done with a latex foam pillow (the solid latex type).
For this, sprinkle baking soda over the pillow and then leave it in a sunny spot (preferably outside) or with good airflow around it. You can place the pillow in a dry bathtub if you aren’t able to place it outside.
After 2-3 hours vacuum the backing soda off the pillow. You should then repeat the process on the other side. As baking soda is a naturally deodorizing powder you should find that it helps to remove the smells from your pillow.
This is also a great way to get your pillow clean if you find that you get any spills on it. See also our guide on how to wash a memory foam pillow. Read our answer to: Do you put a pillowcase on memory foam pillow.
Conclusion: Do latex pillows smell?
Latex pillows tend to smell less than memory foam versions. A shredded latex pillow usually gives off less of an odor than solid latex versions.
Syntheticl latex also gives off more odor than natural latex. The odor from synthetic latex is caused by chemicals used to treat the material. These give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that produce a slightly unpleasant smell. The VOCs ‘off gas’ over a short period of time so synthetic latex pillows should be aired out to speed up this process.
Once you have been through the off gassing process with your new pillow, you should find that you are able to get a good night’s sleep with your new pillow type.