Couch Ownership Tips

From Fresh to Fab: Navigating New Couch Smells Safely

The experts at guide you through the art of airing out your couch without suffocating in the process. Stay tuned for all the hot takes!

How long does it take for a new couch to air out?

Ah, the sweet smell of a new couch! But if you're wondering when that "new" scent will mellow out, here's the scoop:

  • Freshness timeline: Typically, it takes about a few days to a few weeks for the initial new couch smell to dissipate. It's like breaking in a new pair of shoes; they need some time to get comfy. From a sectional from West Elm to a Burrow couch, give them some time to breathe.
  • Ventilation victory: Open your windows and let that fresh air work its magic. Good ventilation can speed up the process, especially for fabric couches. Think of it as giving your new grey sofa a breath of fresh air.
  • Fabric matters: The type of fabric your couch is upholstered in can affect the smell duration. Fabrics like leather tend to air out faster than heavily padded and fabric-covered couches. So, if in doubt, go for those leather couches.

What is off-gassing?

"Off-gassing" may sound like a sci-fi term, but it's a common occurrence with new furniture. Here's the down-to-earth explanation:

  • Chemical release: Picture this: materials like foam, adhesives, and fabrics used in furniture manufacturing release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a process called off-gassing. But now worries, it's not as ominous as it sounds!
  • Fresh off the line: Let's talk about that new furniture smell. You know, when your latest purchase is so fresh, it practically sizzles with excitement? That's the peak of off-gassing right there! However, as time goes by, off-gassing takes a back seat and becomes less noticeable, just like the new car smell that fades with each road trip.
  • Health consideration: Now, we do want to keep our air quality in check. While off-gassing is a completely natural process, it's a wise move to ensure proper ventilation in your home to minimize VOC exposure. A little fresh air never hurt anyone, right? And, if you're concerned about off-gassing, why not go for furniture that meets low-VOC or eco-friendly standards?

What is making my new couch smell?

That new couch smell is a curious thing, isn't it? Here's what's cooking in the world of couch aromas:

  • Materials in play: Your new couch smell is mainly the result of the materials used in its construction. Foam, adhesives, and fabric treatments can all contribute to the unique scent.
  • Packaging and transport: The couch may also pick up odors from its packaging or the environment during transportation. It's like getting a whiff of the places it's been before it landed in your home.
  • Home environment: Your home's air quality and ventilation can influence how strong or long-lasting the new couch smell is. Proper ventilation can help freshen the air and reduce any lingering odors in the couch fabrics.

So there you have it—your new couch's scent explained. Finally, with a bit of patience and fresh air, it'll soon be just another comfy part of your home sweet home.

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Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
Alex Back CEO & Founder