Good edge support
No off-gassing odor
Heavy and difficult to unbox
May be too firm for some
January 31, 2022
Since we tested the Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress in April 2021, the brand has made changes to its products. We are retesting the Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress in the near future.
What is the Awara mattress?
The Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid Mattress is one of two mattresses company sells (though you can also peruse its sheets, pillows, mattress pads, and at least one yoga mat). The word “luxury” is key here—this mattress's pricing starts at around $1,000 for a twin (technically $1,798 when full price, but that almost never seems to be the case) and goes up to $1,499 for its California King (or $2,298 list price). This puts it on par with other luxury brands like Purple, Leesa, and Avocado. You’ll also probably get some bedding accessories with your purchase, such as pillows, sheets, and a mattress protector, as the company often offers such promotions. Awara is owned by Resident Home, which also produces Nectar and Dreamcloud mattresses.
Awara’s mattress is a hybrid, which means it has springs and foam. The company claims its products are made with natural materials—including dunlop latex and organic wool. In this case, the Awara is made up of a base of nine-inch pocketed coils, layered with four inches of latex foam, and topped with a pillow-y layer made of wool, all encased in a cotton-blend fabric. All mattress sizes are 13 inches tall, which is thicker than most other mattresses in a box. Awara also makes eco-friendly claims that may help justify its cost to some. According to the company, it contains organic cotton, wool from “happy” New Zealand sheep—we can’t verify this claim, but it sounds nice, if a little like a gag from Portlandia—and its Rainforest Alliance-certified latex is sourced from real rubber trees. Awara also pledges to plant ten trees with every mattress purchase.
Though it is priced similarly to Avocado—another mattress brand that makes green claims—it does not have as many environmental certifications. In fact, it doesn't really count as "organic." Awara’s certifications include that its latex has the Rainforest Alliance certification, which means it is sourced in a way that meets “rigorous” conservation standards. Awara claims its foams are made without mercury, lead, or formaldehyde, among other potentially harmful materials, but it has not sought out the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), or CertiPUR-US, which set parameters and require corroborating proof—and other mattress companies have earned, including Avocado. Awara also refers to its cotton and wool as “organic” but it lacks the USDA or any other third-party seal to that effect.
What’s it like to unbox the Awara mattress?
The Awara Organic Luxury Hybrid is dropped off at your front door in an oblong cardboard box—I got a queen, which weighs 129 pounds. This is heavier than most hybrid mattresses (possibly due to the latex foam, which seems to make mattresses weigh more) that usually weigh around 100 pounds. And it’s significantly heavier than most memory foam mattresses, which tend to be around 70 or 80 pounds. Its weight made it a real struggle to lug the box up two flights of stairs, then shimmy the folded and rolled mattress out of the box and place it on my bed frame in a way that would make it unroll face up.
On the plus side, once open, it had no odor whatsoever, so I didn’t have to wait through the customary off-gassing period for a noxious scent to dissipate. It also expanded almost immediately—some mattresses take several minutes or even hours to reach full size—so I could have slept on it right after unboxing if I’d wanted to.
How did we test the Awara mattress?
Mattress testing at Reviewed has two components: in-home testing and lab testing. The key part of in-home testing is using it like most consumers (probably) do, which entails sleeping on it. During the month-long sleep test, I took note of the Awara’s overall comfort, level of firmness, its amount of motion transfer and edge support, whether the mattress seemed to change consistency over the course of a month, whether I felt hot or cold overnight, and what sleeping position works best with the mattress. (I usually sleep on my back and side, for reference.)
Once I was done sleeping on the Awara, I shipped it off to Reviewed’s sleep lab, where it was subjected to objective tests that measure similar criteria. These tests included balancing a bowling ball on the edges and corners of the mattress to see if they collapse and the ball rolls off, and warming it up with an electric blanket to check for heat retention.
What we like about the Awara mattress
It feels dense and supportive
The first word that comes to mind when I think of this mattress is “dense”—and I mean that in the best way possible. The Awara has real substance that a lot of mattresses that come in boxes lack. Its coils make for a sturdy core that fully supported my weight, and impressed me as something that would not degrade or sag over time. On a firmness scale, Awara's coils make it skew towards being a firm mattress, but after sleeping on it I'd say it has a medium firm feel, which I like. Still, it’s not the firmest mattress I’ve ever tried, as its top layers of wool and latex cushion the coils and gives it a degree of yield that makes for a plush but not enveloping sleeping surface.
I was surprised by the level of springiness the Awara had, too—I didn’t try jumping on the bed (I have a low ceiling), but it felt like I could have if I wanted to. I also tossed some dumbbells on the bed to see how they bounced, and they got some air. All told, if I hadn’t gone through the (admittedly laborious) process of unboxing the Awara myself, I wouldn’t have believed that it came from a box at all, but rather a traditional mattress store.
It provides effective temperature control
Although I run cold during the day, at night I tend to overheat and sweat. But this wasn’t the case with the Awara. The brand claims its wool and latex do not retain heat, which checked out for me. During my 30-day trial period, I woke up each morning feeling refreshed instead of the sodden mess I become with some mattresses that retain a lot of heat. This helped me feel better about starting the day and prolonged the length of time between my sheet and PJ washes.
If my anecdotal experience isn’t enough for you, the Awara also aced our lab-based heat retention testing—in fact, it outperformed most other mattresses we’ve ever tried in this area. Even with the heated electric blanket sitting on it, the mattress maintained its baseline temperature over time.
It has supportive edges
The Awara has defined, supportive edges, which lessen the likelihood of falling off the bed if you like to sleep on the very perimeter. I’m proud to say that I haven’t fallen off my bed since grade school, but I appreciated how the top edge of the mattress held up well when propped myself up against the wall with some pillows to read, which isn’t the case with a lot of softer foam mattresses. And if you like to sit on the side of the bed to put on shoes, you'll have no unexpected collapses when the side fails to keep you perched.
What we don't like about the Awara mattress
It may be too firm for some
The Awara’s surface texture and firmness were ideal for me, whether I slept on my side or back. But if you know you prefer a soft, squishy mattress—better for some side sleepers who may otherwise experience uncomfortable pressure points on their shoulders or hips—you should look at other mattress options. For example, if you want a hybrid that skews softer, consider Brooklyn Bedding’s Signature Hybrid.
Unboxing is a huge hassle
Yes, you only have to unbox it once. But I cannot overstate how much I did not like dragging a box that weighs as much as me up the stairs and maneuvering it out of the cardboard and onto my bed frame. The whole unboxing process took much longer than other mattresses and left me sweaty, tired, and generally discouraged—there may have been tears, I don’t remember. That I was able to enjoy sleeping on it at all is a testament to the mattress’s quality, as this experience initially soured me against it.
Customers and the government have raised red flags
Awara is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and it has a poor performance according to the organization. The company has a 1.54-star rating (from 13 reviews) and 98 complaints from the past three years. Most complaints are about the process of returning the mattress, not being notified about shipping delays until after placing an order, and at least one person felt that Awara's "organic" marketing was misleading once they received their mattress and took a look at its tags.
That pattern extends to other brands owned by Awara's parent company, Resident Home, which manufactures Nectar and DreamCloud mattresses.
Beyond poor customer service, Resident Home has settled multiple Federal Trade Commission charges. In 2018, the agency said that the company falsely claimed its imported mattresses were assembled in the United States.
In 2021, the FTC filed a complaint of misleading advertising concerning Resident Home’s DreamCloud mattresses. When reached for comment, the brand replied:
“An outdated, single web page comparing Resident’s DreamCloud mattresses with another brand and included incorrect language noting that Resident brand DreamCloud mattresses were made with 100% USA material, was mistakenly republished on the DreamCloud website.”
Per the settlement agreement, Resident Home paid $753,000 and contacted customers who purchased a DreamCloud mattress when the webpage was public between December 2019 and January 2020 and again in May and June 2020.
What are Awara’s trial, warranty, and return policies?
Awara offers a trial period of 365 nights and a “forever” warranty. This means the brand will replace it for your first 10 years of ownership if it’s defective in workmanship and materials. After the 10-year window is up, the company will still repair, re-cover, or replace the mattress for a fee. This warranty only applies if the mattress is placed on an “appropriate base”—Awara cites a platform bed as an example, so I’m not sure if my Ikea bed frame with slats and no box spring would qualify—and if the mattress is still in the possession of the original owner.
If you don’t like the mattress during your trial period, you may contact Awara’s “Sleep Concierge” to donate or dispose of the mattress locally.
What are current owners saying?
The Awara mattress has 636 reviews and an average rating of 4.7 stars. For the most part, reviewers like the same things I do—the lack of chemical scent, the low heat retention, and the firmness topped off with a soft pillowy layer. Many also bemoan the unboxing process but say it was “worth it,” which makes me feel validated.
“I had never spent so much for a mattress and my family thought I was nuts but I love, love, LOVE my mattress,” writes a 5-star reviewer. “After 14 years of aches, pains, [and] surgeries, I am now able to sleep and feel better in the morning. My mattress isn't making me sweat and I don't wake up in order to turn over.”
There are currently 14 one- and two-star reviews. Almost all the customers who don’t like the mattress have issues with its firmness, though I spotted two reviews that said it was too soft, which is a good reminder that everyone’s body is different. However, almost everyone who mentioned requesting a return says Awara made it easy to get a refund—even if it was a little difficult to manage the actual donation portion due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Is Awara worth it?
It’s expensive, on the firmer side, and very, very frustrating to unbox. These factors may make it a no-go for some. But for me, I’m all-in on Awara—and I think anyone who wants a firm, low-heat, no-odor bed that feels like it came from a traditional mattress store (and not a box) will be, too.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Sara Hendricks is an editor with Reviewed covering health and fitness.
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