If you have owned a memory foam pillow or mattress, then you probably know how bad they smell. Once taken out of their boxes, the pillows smell like something from a chemical factory. Usually, a pillow review is typically based on three things. How comfortable is the pillow? Does it adjust when you lay your head on it? And how does it make you feel? For those who have bought their memory foam pillows online or in stores, the answers usually vary for the first two variables but not the third. On the last item, memory foam users usually agree- the pillows’ chemical smell is unbearable.
Why the Smell?
Every time you buy a memory foam pillow, you buy a pillow made from petroleum products. That product is called polyurethane, and it is flammable. To make the pillows more fire-resistant, manufacturers add chemicals to the pillows and mattresses. The added chemicals cause the pungent smell in memory foam pillows.
What can you do about the smell?
There are two ways to approach dealing with the smell. One applies in case you had already bought a memory foam pillow and the other in case you had not.
Solution 1: Deal with smelly memory foam pillows
A new memory foam pillow will obviously still have a chemical smell. In fact, no pillow comes with a chemical-small-free guarantee, not even those from the best pillow brands. The best you can do is try reducing the strength of the smell. There are several ways to do this.
One option would be to air the pillows in the open or on the porch. Another would be to sprinkle baking soda on the pillow. One more option would be to aerate the bedroom, and the other would be to simply ignore the pillow and just get an air freshener for the entire room (Read full directions here).
Solution 2: Buy memory foam pillows that are lighter on the smell
High-quality memory foam pillows share a lot of the same qualities. Experts recommend that you look at those qualities before buying your pillow (Read more about those qualities here). Of all those qualities, however, what stands out is the material that the pillow is made from. Traditional memory foam pillows are made from polyurethane whereas the less-smelly type of memory foam pillows is made from plant-based foam. The non-conventional pillows still contain some polyurethane, but at lower levels than the traditional variety.
Anyone who is allergic or sensitive to the chemicals in traditional memory foam pillows should buy a memory foam pillow made from plant compounds. The ‘green' memory foam pillows carry fewer chemicals than their petroleum-based counterparts and as a result are more people-friendly. Not many companies sell these pillows though. Anyone looking for ‘green’ memory foam pillows can get them from Waikite, which is one of the best brands available in the market today.