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Covering an older Latex mattress that was poorly protected 04 Aug 2016 13:19 #1

Hi,
I built my own mattress about 10 years ago and have been very happy with it. However, I made the mistake of not protecting the mattress right from the beginning with a good cover (the cover I have is stretch terry cloth with a waterproof base and zippered on 3 sides). As a result, the edges of the mattress have dried out...I suppose from being exposed to air).

Except for the very edges, the foam layers are still in great shape. The problem I have is that there's a slight smell from the mattress, which I am attributing to the mattress being exposed to air and drying out (3 layers: 2" firm polyurethane base, 4" firm talaly, 3" medium talalay latex).

First question...does it make sense to assume the smell is due to the latex drying out?
Second question...would covering this mattress with a good protector at this stage eliminate the smell?

If it turns out that I can't get rid of the smell on this mattress and I need a new bed, I would want to custom build another one, so either way it would be good to know the a answers to these questions.

Thanks!

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Last edit: by CeeGee. Reason: forgot to subscribe to the thread

Covering an older Latex mattress that was poorly protected 04 Aug 2016 13:30 #2

Hi CeeGee,

First question...does it make sense to assume the smell is due to the latex drying out?


I would think that it's more likely that the smell is coming from some type of soiling or moisture (or possibly mold or mildew) that has developed or accumulated in the mattress over time than from the actual latex drying out.

Second question...would covering this mattress with a good protector at this stage eliminate the smell?


Most protectors allow for some airflow through the protector so it's not likely that they would block the smell. There are some suggestions in post #3 here that may help but if you can't eliminate the source of the smell the only way I know of to block it would be the barriers that are mentioned in #9 and #10.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status

Covering an older Latex mattress that was poorly protected 08 Aug 2016 11:15 #3

Thanks for the info. It doesn't seem like a new cover will do much good in my situation then since I don't want to block air flow. I wonder if the problem with my mattress is in the quality of the latex foam itself...impossible to know since the seller is no longer in business (also making my 20 year warranty worthless).

The smell is particularly noticeable when there is no ventilation in the room. In order to to vent the smell, I need to open the door or crack a window, even in winter.

I guess I thought all Talalay latex would have the same properties and quality...it's good to know that's not the case, although figuring out a replacement just got harder because I actually really like the feel of sleeping on latex.

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Covering an older Latex mattress that was poorly protected 08 Aug 2016 13:12 #4

Hi CeeGee,

Thanks for the info. It doesn't seem like a new cover will do much good in my situation then since I don't want to block air flow. I wonder if the problem with my mattress is in the quality of the latex foam itself...impossible to know since the seller is no longer in business (also making my 20 year warranty worthless).


Any type or blend of latex (either Dunlop or Talalay and made with either natural or synthetic rubber or a blend of both) would be a good quality and durable material relative to other types of foam material.

While I don't know the reason for the smell ... latex can oxidize and dry out faster with greater exposure to air and ozone and ultraviolet light along with other substances that can damage it ( see here ). This will also happen more slowly with a thicker cover than with a thinner cover. There is more in post #3 here and post #3 here that will give you some sense of the effect of different types of covers on latex.

Phoenix
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Last edit: by Administrator. Reason: Updating link to https: status
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