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The gel mattress enhancer on my Sleep Studio Sleep Joy mattress has a strong odor. Will this go away?

asked Oct 18 '14
Anonymous124's gravatar image

The gel topper smell will go away eventually, though in some cases I've seen it take up to a couple weeks. The smell might be particularly strong at first if the mattress enhancer was vacuum packed.

answered Oct 20 '14
Kenny Kline's gravatar image
Kenny Kline
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Memory foam off gasses the toxic chemicals from which it's made. It will continue to do so for some time, although the initial strong acrid smell will dissipate in a while. Most common reaction is headache, although much worse side effects have been reported. My advice for the sake of your respiratory health, is to get rid of it.

answered Oct 20 '14
Peter Cancelli's gravatar image
Peter Cancelli ♦
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Hi Peter -- That is a pretty grim recommendation...! Are you aware of any official medical reports citing respiratory problems or other side effects that have been linked to memory foam, or are you referring to anecdotal reports from your customers?

(Oct 22 '14) GoodBed Help ♦♦ GoodBed Help's gravatar image

Thousands of consumers reports from all over the country, spanning the 11 years I've been blogging. The most common complaint is sinus headache. The worst I heard was bleeding sinuses....with plenty of asthmatics reporting difficulty breathing. The toxic chemicals used can be found on the net. My blogs draw interest and questions from all over the world, giving me a rather interesting overview. Those who have experienced the effects of memory foam's toxic fumes, and I, seem to be the only people aware of the problem. I doubt, very much, that anyone on an official medical level know anything about it.

(Oct 22 '14) Peter Cancelli ♦ Peter Cancelli's gravatar image

Thanks Peter. Those do sound like alarming experiences. I just wish there was a way to provide people some more context. You refer to thousands of consumers, but of course there have been many millions of these products sold and certainly the majority have no such complaints. So there's a question of prevalence, but even moreso there's the question of correlation vs. causality, which is impossible to assess without a control group. Also, I'm sure that not all foams are created equal on this front, so there's an open question as to which foams or brands are more likely to have this problem.

In short, we agree with making people aware of possible issues, but at the same time think it's equally important to provide perspective as to what we know and what we don't know. Otherwise, we are simply sensationalizing the concerns, which IMHO is no better than what marketers do.

(Oct 29 '14) GoodBed Help ♦♦ GoodBed Help's gravatar image

"Thousands" from the millions sold are finding their way to my blog alone. I'm certainly not hearing from everyone. The reports to me are so consistently bad, I'd be remiss if I didn't warn people who ask about it. The physical danger from the off gassing of the toxic chemical from which it's made is only part of the memory foam problem. It doesn't hold up worth a damn, making it a very poor value. When you have the choice of chemical free, long lasting latex, why opt for the far inferior memory foam? Memory foam is so popular because of the unrelenting advertising that's behind it. It amounts to no less than brain washing of the American public....THAT'S what marketers do! What I do, isn't at all the same thing. They're hyping dangerous junk. Warning about it and offering a safe, high quality alternative, is what I do.

(Oct 29 '14) Peter Cancelli ♦ Peter Cancelli's gravatar image

Yes, understood. Our only point is that from what we see, it appears to be a small self-selected minority of people that are reporting these problems -- to anyone. When we survey customers broadly about their mattress, memory foam mattresses tend to rate quite well, certainly no worse than other major types, including latex. So, while memory foam sales have certainly been sparked by advertising, the overall customer satisfaction seems to be driven by most people having a positive experience with the product. So we feel it's important to provide this perspective.

(Oct 29 '14) GoodBed Help ♦♦ GoodBed Help's gravatar image

Frankly, I don't know how anyone can consider "thousands" of complaints to be a small self-selected group of people. Out of the millions who bought, how many more thousands, or even millions felt they had nowhere to turn? I am but one man. I don't advertise. And yet, thousands of unhappy memory foam customers have found me. To add perspective, I've noticed that much of the positive reviews are from new owners. Also, those who are most happy, long term, are people who are young and fit. Older, heavier people with any sort of back problem are much more likely to complain...after being told that memory foam will solve their problem. In these cases, memory foam does not deliver as promised. Memory foam enhances the industry's attempts to sell more mattresses more frequently to the same people. First going one sided, then adding more and more memory foam has changed this industry from a legitimate business to one akin to a bunch of snake oil salesmen...highlighting P.T. Barnum's assessment of the buying public, "There's a sucker born every minute". Those pushing memory foam, tap into that market.

(Oct 29 '14) Peter Cancelli ♦ Peter Cancelli's gravatar image

OK, thanks Peter. I think we've covered this adequately. To be clear, we aren't trying to diminish the importance of any bad experiences that some customers have had. We only wanted to put it in a broader perspective which is that we currently see no evidence that the average customer has a bad experience with memory foam, given the overall satisfaction levels with memory foam products. We will definitely keep our eyes peeled for trends relating specifically to older customers or ones that suffer from back pain.

(Oct 29 '14) GoodBed Help ♦♦ GoodBed Help's gravatar image
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I see people every week that are having issues with off gassing in foam mattresses. The issue is real and that is perhaps why Peter is stern in his opinion. I think the most important thing is to point out what memory and poly foam in spring mattress are made out of. The answer petroleum and other chemicals. The users should then make the decision if this is what they want to spend 1/3 of their lives snuggled up with. I do hope this site will allow valuable opinion and not become like another popular internet site where it just sways people to recommended venders for a profit. Please allow people like Peter he knows his stuff to add value without being overly disputing. The web is begging for a fair forum with input from people who know what they are talking as apposed to a a "phoenix" hijacking all conversation.

answered Dec 11 '14
Joey Ashley's gravatar image
Joey Ashley ♦
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Hi Joey -- Thanks for your input. I hope you didn't think that our comments on Peter's post were "hijacking" anything. What we are building here is exactly what you described -- a "fair forum" with input from a broad community of experts. Many of the issues discussed here are nuanced, meaning they aren't black and white. We believe that with the right people in the room, the best way to flesh this out for consumers is to (respectfully) engage with each other, just as you would in a panel discussion. Ultimately, we hope this will bring the best facts and information to light for the consumer.

(Dec 11 '14) GoodBed Help ♦♦ GoodBed Help's gravatar image
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Asked: Oct 18 '14

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Last updated: Dec 11 '14

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