Birch vs Avocado Mattress
Top eco-friendly mattresses Birch and Avocado go head-to-head in our comparison. Read our post to discover which one is best for you.
Last Updated: September 3, 2020
You ride your bike to work every day, you bring your reusable bags to the farmer’s market, and you’ve sworn off fast-fashion and plastic straws, but you’re still looking for ways to incorporate your passion for environmentally conscious living into other areas of your life. Natural and organic mattresses have become an increasingly popular corner of the mattress industry.
|AT A GLANCE||PRICING||HEADLINE|
|Latex Foam||$200 Off Code: SLUMBER200||Birch is the natural/organic mattress from Helix Sleep. It’s around a medium-firm and is responsive and resiliant.|
|Latex Foam||$175 Off Code: GREEN175||The Avocado Green Mattress is the most sought after natural/organic mattress online. It’s supportive, comfortable, and constructed with high quality materials.|
Avocado vs Birch Review
Several mattresses compete in the natural and organic corner of the market, and we’ll take a look at Birch vs Avocado mattresses in this post. Both are definitely worth noting. Like most mattresses in this category, they have many similarities, but there are also a few things that make each of these mattresses stand out. In this post, we will explore:
- Feel — Though they are made with similar materials, Birch is softer than Avocado.
- Construction — Birch is constructed with four different layers of material, while Avocado uses two (three if you choose to purchase the pillow-top).
- Price — Birch is slightly more expensive than Avocado, with or without additional toppers.
In a hurry? Watch this video highlighting some of the similarities and differences between the two mattresses. Then, if you’re looking for more information, read on below.
Birch And Avocado: Dreaming Green
Perhaps most impressively, both of these mattresses are created sustainably. We admire both brands for committing to clean, green products and giving back to the environment. Both mattresses use sustainably sourced all-natural materials that give their mattresses distinctive feels and smells. Unlike mattresses constructed from synthetic materials, natural mattresses don’t give off that chemical “new mattress” smell, or “off-gas” when first removed from the box. We find that both Birch and Avocado mattresses smell more pleasant and earthy—like a cup of chamomile tea or a fresh-mown lawn.
Environmentally savvy buyers will also be thrilled to learn that Birch and Avocado both support 1% For The Planet, meaning they donate 1% of all corporate revenues to environmental non-profits. Birch and Avocado have also pledged to offset their carbon emissions with the help of Carbonfund. They do this voluntarily because they know that, though they strive for the most energy efficient and eco-friendly materials and production methods, the production and distribution of their products still generates some carbon dioxide emissions. By donating to projects that help reduce carbon emissions, these companies are able to achieve as close to zero emissions as they can.
Speaking to why they choose to offset their emissions, Avocado says on their website, “just a 2% decrease in emissions per year could make a real and lasting impact.” It is one thing for a mattress to be produced with natural materials, but these companies are as authentic as it gets when it comes to giving back to organizations that do more to benefit the environment.
For a little Birch background info, it’s owned by Helix, a popular mattress industry maven that has made it their mission to create a mattress that will suit every sleeper. They have several varieties of Helix mattresses that come in an array of firmness levels with all sorts of special features. Birch is Helix’s answer to the increasing demand for environmentally conscious alternatives.
The Layers Inside Birch
Birch and Avocado have a fairly similar construction. They both exist within the hybrid mattress category because they are primarily made of natural latex foam and pocketed steel coils.
Birch uses high quality wool in two layers: the batting base layer and the thick comfort layer at the top. This wool is sustainably sourced in New Zealand and has received certification from the PGG Wrightson Wool Integrity Program. Using the wool batting as a base for the springs ensures that the other layers have a sturdy and durable foundation. Wool fibers have a natural elasticity which makes them durable and resilient while maintaining breathability and moisture wicking.
Unlike traditional innersprings, Birch uses 8” of pocketed coils. This means that each coil, made from American steel, is individually encased to move independently of the others. This helps make the mattress responsive, while limiting motion transfer and also makes the coils themselves super durable because there is no chance of them rubbing up against the other coils and getting damaged.
The coil layer is followed by a 2” layer of OEKO-TEX certified Talalay latex that provides the mattress with its distinctive soft and airy bounce. Natural latex is antimicrobial and made from the sap of rubber trees. The top comfort layer of the Birch mattress is also composed of thick Birch wool, which serves both as a source of cushion and softness, and as a natural fire retardant. By law, all mattresses have to have a fire retardant and often that means they are sprayed with a chemical fire-proofing agent, but wool is a great alternative.
How Does Birch Feel?
Since Birch stacks a slab of latex foam on top of an innerspring layer, we think this mattress feels supportive and responsive. Then with the softer Talalay latex, coupled with the generous portion of wool on the mattress, we think the firmness level lands at medium-firm.
Mattress firmness is subjective, largely based on body type, to describe the feel in a way that will resonate with the vast majority of those who use the mattress.
For The Eco-Conscious Couple
Medium-firm is especially great for those who sleep on their backs and stomachs, because it means that there will be enough lumbar support to avoid any spine issues. Side sleepers often need a bit more cushion, so if you identify with this sleeper type consider opting for the topper. (Petite side sleepers: If you don’t want to spend the extra money on a topper, take a list at our post on our favorite plush mattresses.)
Because the Birch mattress, with the addition of the pillow-top, is close to medium in firmness, we think couples may really like this bed, especially couples who struggle to agree on a mattress. The firmness profile differs depending on the amount of pressure that a person’s body weight exerts on the mattress.
Couples should also consider motion isolation and edge support. Most modern mattresses do a decent job of limiting motion across the bed, but we find that latex foam, because it is so bouncy and responsive, is not always the best at motion isolation.
When it comes to Birch vs Avocado mattress edge support, the thick layer of wool Birch wool really helps deaden any movement that might transfer from one side of the bed to the other. So if your significant other has a tendency to roll or kick in their sleep, you won’t feel much of that movement on the other side of the bed.
Birch Mattress Pros And Cons
- 25-year warranty
- Sustainably sourced
- Supports all body types from petite to heavy
- Somewhat pricey, comparative to non-organic mattresses
- Not as ideal for petite sleepers without investing in a topper
- Might be too firm for those looking for a soft mattress
Other Birch Products
Birch Mattress Reviews
- BBB Rating: A
- Amazon Reviews: The Birch Mattress is currently not available on Amazon, but check back in the future to see if they’ve added it!
Avocado Mattress Construction
Avocado, just like Birch, uses 8” of American-made coils to provide support and spring to their mattress. On their website, Avocado declares that their recycled steel coil layer uses 1,414 individual coils arranged in five ergonomic zones to provide support in the right areas.
There are two main processes to create natural latex foam: Dunlop and Talalay. When it comes to Birch vs Avocado mattresses, the main difference between Dunlop and Talalay Latex is Avocado’s organic vs Birch’s natural certifications. While they may sound similar, an organic certification is slightly more prestigious than natural. Talalay natural latex foam tends to be slightly firmer, too.
The latex layer that Avocado uses is 3” thick and made using the Dunlop process. This process makes it GOLS certified, which means it’s at least 95% composed of fully organic raw rubber sap. The comfort layer also includes organic fibers that add extra cushion. In the Green Mattress, Avocado uses wool sourced from India, providing softness and acting as fire retardant. Avocado also offers a PETA-approved, fully vegan option, which replaces the wool with American-grown cotton and uses a natural silica based fire retardant.
The whole mattress is then covered in a 100%organic cotton cover – hand-tufted in Avocado’s Los Angeles factory. Hand tufting leaves behind cotton-yarn buttons, a look that is distinctly Avocado.
The Feel Of An Avocado Mattress
We think Avocado feels similar to Birch due to its similar latex and innerspring layers, but Avocado is slightly firmer because it omits the wool layer. That’s why we rated the Avocado as a firm on our spectrum.
That means, if you’re a heavy back or stomach sleeper, this mattress would probably work wonders for you. It’s firm enough to keep your spine in proper alignment and prevent your back from sagging into the mattress, plus it offers an ample amount of support.
With the additional 2” euro pillow topper, however, which we’d definitely recommend for petite to average sized side sleepers, brings the mattress closer to a medium-firm.
Avocado Mattress Pros And Cons
- Great spine alignment
- Sustainably sourced
- Good for heavy sleepers
- More affordable than Birch
- Somewhat pricey, comparative to non-organic mattresses
- Not as ideal for petite sleepers without investing in a topper to bring it to a more medium-firm
Other Avocado Products
Avocado Mattress Reviews
- BBB Rating: D
- Amazon Reviews: Amazon currently doesn’t sell the Avocado Green Mattress, but check back in the future to see if that’s changed!
Avocado vs Birch Mattress Prices: Spend Green to Sleep Green
As of July 2020, according to the Birch and Avocado websites, the price comparison of Birch vs Avocado mattresses is as follows:
Spend Green To Sleep Green
So how much is this going to cost me? You may be wondering. Well, keep in mind that you spend hours and years with your mattress, so buying a mattress that is going to last a long time and will provide the kind of comfort and support that you need is an investment that we think is pretty wise.
Both Birch and Avocado are on the slightly higher end of average in their price tags, but you do get what you pay for with these beds. The materials that are used by both Avocado and Birch are naturally and sustainably sourced, and tend to run a little bit pricier in general.
Birch is just a hair more expensive than Avocado, at around $1500 without the topper, and $1900 with the topper. Avocado is going to be about $1400, with the optional topper also adding around $400 on top of the base price. These are certainly not the most expensive mattresses that we’ve seen, at under $2000, we still think they are a pretty reasonable price, especially considering the length of the warranty that these companies offer.
The price tag really reflects that you are investing in better sleep and a better world. We also will always try to find you the best discounts and coupons on our Mattress Deals page, so check there and check the current listings on the Birch or Avocado websites to make sure you are getting the best price possible.
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about how these mattresses are made and what sets them apart from one another, you have a job to do: choose one. We try to do as much work as possible to make this job easy for you, but ultimately it is a decision that can only be made by each individual because we are all looking for something different in our mattress. To help with your decision, here are a few things to consider:
- What is your max price point? Birch is slightly more expensive than Avocado, which might tip the scales.
- If you share your bed with somebody, what are both of your body types and sleeping styles? If you are really different sleepers, you might want a mattress that is softer and closer to medium in firmness level, like Birch. Avocado tends to be firmer.
- Do you put a lot of stock in eco-friendly production certification? If so, Avocado’s laundry list of certifications and partnerships is hard to top.
Whatever you decide, we hope this has helped you get a better handle on the Birch vs Avocado mattress, and natural and organic mattresses in general. If you are still searching, you may want to visit our other mattress comparisons for more suggestions. Thanks for visiting the Slumber Yard!
Shipping, Returns, Trial Period, Etc.
Birch and Avocado both compete in the online “bed-in-a-box” and they’ll be shipped for free right to your front door in a box about the size of standard golf bag. It is actually pretty insane, once you get your mattress unboxed and set up, to think that something so sturdy and resilient was ever able to fit in a box small enough to easily make it through your front door. Once that box is through your door, however, the unboxing process is pretty simple: just pull and unroll. Another reason we like latex hybrid mattresses is because they are made with such responsive materials (latex and springs), they will quickly pop right into shape when you unbox them, unlike, say, memory foam, which might take a few days to fully expand. These materials are a double-edged sword, however, because they can be pretty heavy, so we recommend having an extra person around to help the set up process go smoothly
Once you have your mattress all set up and you’ve had a chance to sleep on it for a few nights, both companies offer a few awesome policies that are important to know for your next steps. Because you don’t have a chance to physically test out the mattress before you buy it, both Birch and Avocado offer trial periods. If you don’t like the mattress within the time allotted, you can return it for a full refund. The Birch mattress comes with a 100 night trial window, which is a pretty standard period from what we’ve seen with other companies. Avocado, on the other hand, allows for a full year of sleep and consideration before you make the final decision on your mattress. That means if you get the mattress as a Christmas present (Dang, Grandma is getting generous!) but around Thanksgiving you realize it’s not for you, you can still return it and use Grandma’s hard earned money for that new iPhone instead.
If you end up loving your mattress, whether it be Birch or Avocado, both companies offer a 25 year warranty. We think having such a long warranty really speaks to the quality and durability of these products. Birch and Avocado know that they’ve made these mattresses to last much longer than average; in fact their warranty is three times longer than the average lifespan of a mattress, as most people should replace their mattress every 8-10 years. You always want to make sure that you know what is and isn’t included in a warranty, however, so if you want to know more, check out the Birch or Avocado warranty on their respective websites.
Motion Isolation And Edge Support
These beds caters pretty well to all body and sleeper types, making it ideal for couples. It also does pretty well in a few other categories that we like to look at when talking about sharing a bed: motion isolation, edge support and temperature regulation. . The steel coils used in the support layer are specifically reinforced along the sides of the mattress, making for great edge support. Couples who share a bed, especially smaller beds, often hug the side a bit, so edge support is really important to ensure that you don’t feel like you’re going to fall off the bed. Another issue that couples face is different sleeping temperatures. Those who sleep hot often have a hard time finding a bed that will keep them cool enough to sleep comfortably. Latex foam, because it is a naturally airy and porous, coupled with moisture-wicking wool and breathable cotton, makes this mattress great at temperature regulation. It isn’t a mattress that is necessarily actively working to cool you down, if you want something like that, check out our list of cooling mattresses. But this bed truly feels neutral, meaning it isn’t going to feel too hot, but it won’t feel freezing either. This is great for couples where one partner is a walking sauna and the other is almost always in a blanket burrito (sound familiar to anybody else? No? Just me?)
Birch certainly uses high-quality materials and abides by policies that value the environment, but Avocado goes above and beyond to ensure that every scrap of materials used in their mattress is as sustainable and high-quality as it can be. Some consumers may not really care where the materials in their mattress came from, as long as it is comfortable, but we assume that, if you are seriously considering a green mattress, then it is because you actually do care about where that cotton or wool or latex comes from, and how the plants and the people involved in making it have been treated. As an eco-conscious consumer, something to be aware of is the concept of “green washing,” that is, marketing that uses vague terms and environmentally friendly images to make their products appear as such. The problem with catch-phrases like “pure” and “natural” and “green” is that they are unregulated, so anything can be labeled with these terms even if it is not necessarily true. Look instead for certifications from regulated third-party groups. These ensure that companies are upfront and honest about what is in their products and what they spend their money on.
Both Birch and Avocado have received Greenguard Gold certification from UL Environment, a third-party regulation group. This certification verifies that the mattresses were made with low emissions and low exposure to chemicals and pollutants. This certification is really tough to get and is super impressive. These mattresses are also both OEKO-TEX standard 100 certified to meet international standards for human and ecological safety in textile manufacturing.
Avocado owns both of its factories in Los Angeles and India to ensure quality and transparency throughout the mattress’s whole production. Their factories and New Jersey headquarters are wind powered facilities, certified as clean energy partners by Arcadia Power, and whatever energy they do use in the production process is balanced out through annual emission offset payments. In fact, Avocado is climate-neutral certified and was the first mattress brand to reach net zero emissions.
Avocado pledges to stand by two pillars: sustainability and social responsibility. This is really exemplified in their FSC certified co-owned farmer’s society and factory in India where they source and produce all of their latex and wool products. This certification means the factory meets stringent standards for responsible resource management and sustainable rates of consumption. Avocado’s factories and farming partners, both in India and America, are also GOLS and GOTS certified. This is in line with the USDA’s National Organic Program’s endorsement. Additionally, Avocado is one of only three mattress brands to be Made Safe certified, meaning the products, and the people making them, have had absolutely no exposure to harmful toxins.
If you can believe it, this isn’t even an exhaustive list of all of Avocado’s certifications and partnerships, to read more, check out Avocado’s certifications page, and maybe even click through to their magazine which has some great articles about living a greener lifestyle.
By no means is this to say that, because Birch does not possess as many certifications as Avocado, it is not an incredibly high-quality mattress made with sustainability in mind. The fact of the matter is, however, that Avocado has truly gone the extra mile to achieve all of the rigorous certifications that it has, which certainly makes it an impressive mattress and a company worth putting your money behind.
No worries! Both companies come with a free trial period. Birch comes with a 100 night trial window, while Avocado gives you a full year, 365 days.
No. Currently both Birch and Avocado beds are available on the company websites only. Avocado, however, does have experience centers in New Jersey and California.
You’ll find some seasonal offers, for instance, both Birch and Avocado held $200 off during Fourth of July specials.