The truth is, we have a lot of household items that are made from materials that off-gas. Think dryer sheets, cleaners, laser printers, non-stick pans, etc. We might also notice adverse, temporary reactions when we use any of these.
In short—mattress off-gassing isn’t dangerous or particularly toxic if the amount of chemicals used is low enough. That’s because some low amount of these chemicals is actually needed; for example, synthetic foams are flammable so they need fire retardant to meet certain safety standards. Furthermore, any reputable mattress company will also have to pass safety standards that certify them to be low in VOCs and free of toxic chemicals. It’s primarily the smell that is overbearing at first and what causes reported issues with breathing, headaches, nausea, eye or throat irritation, etc.
Experts even claim that low emission levels of VOCs are okay for us to breathe in every day and that it mostly becomes harmful for infants and young children. According to Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, “By virtue of their age and size, they have heightened vulnerability to potential toxic effects.” This also goes for people with asthma, breathing problems or sensitivity to chemicals.