Avocado vs. Awara: A showdown of the "green" mattresses
Avocado has more environmental certifications, but is it better than the Awara Mattress for sleep?
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Few mattress companies venture into the world of sustainability, which makes those who do even more eye-catching. When it comes to mattresses in a box, there are two real heavy hitters in the green domain: Awara and Avocado. But ecological practices are just one reason you might consider one of these brands for your next bed—here’s how they compare on price, comfort, and more.
Price and discounts
Avocado and Awara are not the cheapest mattresses in a box we’ve tested—that designation goes to the all-foam mattress from Tuft & Needle and Nectar, but for hybrid mattresses—which combine a base of innerspring coils with layers of foam—these two aren’t the most expensive, either.
The Avocado Green Mattress’s retail price is $1,499 for a queen. Unlike most mattress companies, Avocado doesn’t consistently have markdowns or sales on its mattresses, so the sticker price is what you'll pay.
Awara’s higher retail prices are regularly offset by discounts. The MSRP is $2,098 for a queen, yet the company’s mattresses often cost less than Avocado’s, thanks to what seem to be perennial sales. A queen-size Awara regularly falls to around $1,300.
Our pick: Awara (narrowly)
Sleep surface sensation
Avocado and Awara are drastically different when it comes to sleep surface and the sensation they provide. The right pick for you will largely boil down to your preferred firmness level and sleep position. The Awara has a very firm and supportive surface. It’s got a bit of cushion, but one of our testers felt it was veering towards the edge of being too unforgiving for comfortable side sleeping, which could lead to painful pressure points on shoulder and hip. The same traits mean it's well suited to stomach sleeping and back sleeping, positions that require more support to maintain spinal alignment.
Our tester found the Avocado, with its spongier upper foam layer, was better suited to side sleeping. On the flip side, whenever she slept on it for too many consecutive nights on her stomach, she could feel a slight strain in her lumbar spine, making this mattress a less than optimal choice for those who like to snooze supine.
The Awara bests Avocado in terms of edge support, which refers to how well the perimeter of the mattress responds to weight and pressure. The Avocado has squishy edges that weren’t particularly supportive, whereas the Awara had ample edge support—so much so that multiple Reviewed staffers noted it felt more like a traditional innerspring mattress than other mattresses in a box.
If you want something that’s buoyant but has more enveloping cushion, the Avocado is likely a better pick. If you’re looking for a bed that feels more on par with a traditional mattress—firm, bouncy, and supportive—the Awara is the clear winner. For those who aren’t sure, it’s always better to err on the side of too firm (Awara) than to find yourself sleeping on a mattress that’s too soft (Avocado)—softening a firm mattress with a foam topper or a feather bed will always be easier than firming up a soft one (basically impossible).
Our pick: Awara
Both the Avocado Green Mattress and Awara Organic Latex Hybrid are made with a combination of springs and foam. Unlike most other mattresses in a box that use polyurethane foams derived from petroleum, the Avocado and Awara mattresses use latex derived from rubber trees. Awara and Avocado utilize Dunlop latex, which is made by pouring a latex mixture into a mold. Dunlop latex tends to be firmer than its counterpart, Talalay latex, which involves vacuum sealing the liquified latex into the mold, yielding a fluffier distribution of foam. According to Avocado, Dunlop latex is more environmentally friendly than Talalay, because the manufacturing steps don’t require as much processing. Dunlop's reputation as a firmer latex holds true in the sensation provided by the Awara, but doesn't seem as accurate for describing the squishier Avocado.
Avocado and Awara also make claims that their latex is naturally and sustainably sourced and back that up by both holding the Rainforest Council seal for that foam component. This shows that the rubber used is sourced from trees that are grown with sustainable practices. Avocado also holds the FSC 100% certificate, which is issued by the Forest Sustainability Council and demonstrates the forests used to produce its latex are managed in a way that’s good for eco-diversity and sustainable.
The latex and springs used in both mattresses also allow them to sleep cooler. Latex is thought to be better than memory foam at temperature regulation and diffusing heat, and our testers agree that this is a standout quality of both Awara and Avocado. In terms of heat retention the materials in both come through, and you can’t go wrong with either one.
Our pick: Avocado, for its greater commitment to sustainability
Trial and return policies
Awara and Avocado have similarly generous trial periods. Unlike most other mattress-in-a-box companies, which generally offer 100 nights of sleep, Avocado and Awara give buyers a full year to figure out whether their mattresses are the right fit.
If worse comes to worst and you need to return your mattress, Avocado works with a network of donation partners across the United States. Just contact the company within the year, and it will help you find a local partner who can come and pick up the mattress from you. According to a customer service rep, the donation partners are organizations that “help people in need.” In other words, the mattress won’t wind up going into the landfill—in keeping with Avocado’s eco-friendly policies, it will be given a second shot.
Awara also aids you throughout the return process. Contact the company’s “sleep concierge,” who will help you coordinate a convenient way to either dispose of the mattress or donate it locally. It’s less certain that Awara mattresses get another chance at life, but it seems as though the company tries to be greener in this regard whenever possible.
Our pick: Avocado
Despite their generous return policies, neither company has a spotless customer service record. Avocado has a better rating than many mattress companies on the Better Business Bureau or BBB (but it still doesn’t beat our top pick, Tuft & Needle). Per the BBB, Avocado has received 22 complaints in the last three years and 19 in the past year. Its overall rating is a measly 1.3 stars, from only 17 reviews to date. We found that the customer service reps available via online chat are generally responsive, though we’ve experienced prolonged waits at times when trying to ask a question.
Awara is under the same corporate umbrella as Nectar and DreamCloud. Perhaps it’s unsurprising that it falls subject to a similarly poor BBB record. Awara has just 1 star and received nearly 90 complaints in the last three years and 79 in the past 12 months. We found Awara’s customer service chat easy enough to use and the representatives generally helpful. Though when our tester inquired about warranty, the rep wasn't able to give a clear answer to what seemed like a relatively simple question.
Our pick: Avocado
Warranty and set-up requirements
Avocado’s Green Mattress is high maintenance when it comes to set-up and bases. The company doesn’t recommend placing it on a box spring—it says this may make its already bouncy mattress bouncier. It also shouldn’t be placed directly on the floor, as the company claims this can cause it to grow mold. The mattress must be used atop slats that are no more than 5 inches apart, solid foundations, or adjustable bases. To maintain your warranty, you must use sufficient supports beneath the mattress—queen, king, and California king sizes should be used with bed frames that have five or six legs, whereas four will suffice for twin and full sizes. The company requires you open the mattress within 30 days of its arrival, as prolonged compression may cause “structural damage and/or condensation from being packaged for an extended period.” Avocado also requires you to rotate the new mattress on a monthly basis (alternating where your head and feet are) for the first six months “to ensure even wear.”
In addition, the Avocado Green Mattress’s warranty is shorter than Awara’s “forever” warranty, but at 25 years, it outpaces the recommended lifespan of a mattress, which is about 8 to 12 years.
By comparison, the Awara Mattress is far less fussy. It’s compatible with most of the common mattress bases and set-ups. It can be used with a box spring, slats spaced no more than 4 inches apart, divans, traditional bed frames, adjustable bases, and foundations or platforms. It was difficult to pin the company down on just what would void the mattress’s warranty, especially when it comes to slatted bases. The customer service rep was only able to suggest buying an in-house base to ensure compliance, but wouldn’t (or couldn’t) elaborate on specific requirements for warranty. That said, we learned the mattress can’t be used on the floor without voiding the warranty, as this set-up limits airflow.
Awara's generous "forever warranty" covers manufacturer defects within the first 10 years. If you notice an issue, the company will replace your mattress. After the first decade, you may still file a claim and the company will repair or replace your mattress as needed, though you may have to pay two $50 shipping fees to get it to the company and then back to your home.
Our pick: Awara
Company ethics and sustainability
Avocado and Awara each hold a handful of environmental certifications for their products and business practices. The Avocado Green Mattress holds more certifications than any mattress we’ve tested, including a handful that are uncommon across the mattress-in-a-box scene. It is one of two mattress companies that holds a Climate Neutral Certification. Even so, Avocado goes beyond neutrality, in 2020 it became the first carbon-negative mattress company—meaning it reduces its emissions as much as possible in manufacturing and purchases carbon offsets for whatever it can’t eliminate, reducing its carbon footprint to nothing.
Neither company holds a CertiPUR certification, which may be surprising to shoppers who look for that sort of thing, but that’s because this common certification only applies to polyurethane foams not latex products.
Our pick: Avocado
And the winner is…
At Reviewed, we think mattresses’ first job is to give you the best sleep possible. That's why we pick Awara as the winner in this showdown. Its firm-yet-forgiving texture will likely be a better choice for most people. It ranked very highly in our overall tests—acing its in-lab heat retention and edge support assessments, as well as the home sleep trial—and was a crowdpleaser among Reviewed staffers who happened by the sleep lab and praised its conventional-mattress-like feel.
If your ultimate concern in choosing a mattress is the environmental impact of its creation, it’s hard to top the Avocado Mattress. Avocado has more certifications than virtually any other mattress-in-a-box company out there—including the elusive Climate Neutral certification that's only held by one other manufacturer (Sleep365, which we haven't yet tested). As for the mattress's sleep experience, if you’re a side sleeper or someone who prefers a softer, squishier sleep surface, we think you'll be elated with your purchase. Others may find it too soft for proper spinal alignment, which could lead to sleep disruptions and even morning pain.
Awara may not be as capital-C committed as Avocado to adding to its certification scrapbook, but the company has a clear and admirable commitment to sustainability. Take that on top of its great characteristics at a surface for sleeping, and you can't go wrong.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.