Our Avocado Green Pillow Review After Two Years of Use

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

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Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.

Updated:

I love my Avocado Green Pillow, in large part because it is easily adjustable to suit all sleep positions. It’s also super sustainable and non-toxic. Here’s my experience with the Avocado Green Pillow, with one small suggestion for improvement.

Table of Contents
  1. Avocado Green Pillow – Overview
  2. How it performs
  3. Care and maintenance
  4. Certifications
  5. Warranty and returns
  6. Final thoughts
  7. Essential Pillow Protector
Staff Tested

Avocado Kapok Pillow

Highlights: Supportive but soft, easily adjustable pillow made with organic latex and organic kapok. Sustainable, comfortable, and non-toxic. Great for all sleep positions!

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What we like

  • Adjustable and squashable
  • Super supportive but feels soft
  • Comes with a soft washable outer cover
  • Comes overstuffed and with extra fill!
  • Made with certified organic materials
  • Breathable (great for hot sleepers)
  • Non-toxic with no detectable odor
  • Made in the U.S. by a heavily certified sustainable B Corp

What could be better

  • Zipper isn’t very robust
  • Kapok easily gets caught in the zipper
  • Some plastic packaging
  • Slightly smaller than standard pillow sizes
  • Heavier than most pillows (but lighter than all-latex)
  • Not machine washable (like all similar pillows)

  • Materials: Shredded organic latex and organic cotton, kapok
  • Certifications: GOLS, GOTS, PETA certified vegan, 1% for the Planet, B Corp, MadeSafe, FSC, Climate Neutral Certified, Greenguard Gold, Eco-INSTITUT, Formaldehyde-free UL, OEKO-Tex 100
  • Cost: $109-$139 (Pairs available at a discount)
  • Sizes available: Standard, Queen, King
  • Adjustable: Yes

Avocado Green Pillow – Overview

Avocado doesn’t disappoint with its signature Green Pillow. This adjustable pillow comprises 70% certified organic shredded latex and 30 percent certified organic kapok. The fill comes in a GOTS certified organic cotton case with zipper, with an extra cover over top for protection.

The outer organic cotton case has a 400 thread count for extra comfort, and to prevent fill migration. Given the fluffiness of kapok, a relatively high thread count is a must.

The latex and kapok combination makes the Avocado Green Pillow a little firmer than a 100% kapok pillow or down. The feel is more like a softer memory foam, only with much more breathability and better support. Overall, the Avocado Green Pillow is a top choice for any sleep position, with options to adjust the firmness and height to suit your needs.

Refills and extra stuffing

Avocado includes a bag of extra fill should you need to firm up the pillow. As a stomach-sleeper, I actually removed some fill and added it to the bag of spare fill. If you misplace the fill or need a refresh, Avocado offers refill packs for $21 and $28 for a half pound or a pound of mixed kapok and shredded latex (view on Avocado).

There was so much spare stuffing with my pillow that I’m considering getting an extra pillow encasement and making a spare toddler pillow.

Sizes and weights

The Avocado Green Pillow is available in the following sizes and weights:

  • Standard: 19″ x 24″ — 3.4 lbs. (fits standard pillow cases)
  • Queen: 19″ x 28″ — 3.9 lbs. (fits Queen pillow cases)
  • King: 19″ x 35″ — 5.2 lbs. (fits King pillow cases)

Because I removed so much filling from my Avocado Green Pillow, it now weighs well under 3 lb. Still, this can feel a bit heavy to move around in the middle of the night. A pure kapok pillow, or a down pillow, would be much lighter, though would require much more stuffing to achieve the same level of firmness and support.

Avocado’s Green Pillows are a little smaller than those of Rawganique and Savvy Rest, but these pillows come with much more stuffing and the option of refills (view on Avocado). They’re also smaller than Naturepedic’s Latex Pillow which also comes with a lot of extra stuffing, however.

How it performs

I’ve been sleeping on the Avocado Green Pillow for a few weeks now and it’s a keeper. This pillow has kept my head cool and sweat-free during a heat wave, and it is super comfortable.

The Avocado Green Pillow performs particularly well for side-sleeping and back-sleeping. I’ve found that the shredded latex molds to my head and neck for excellent medium-firm support without too much sinkage or too firm a feel. I also love that I can easily squash the pillow at the sides to get a little more height as needed during the night.

That said, the Naturepedic Organic Adjustable Latex Pillow offers much more support for side-sleepers. This larger, bouncier, more stuffed pillow doesn’t compress as much as is likely to be the better choice if you have a larger build or wider shoulders.

Here are the two pillows side by side, with the Naturepedic PLA pillow for comparison, using an ad hoc compression test courtesy of a stack of my toddler’s books.

Because I prefer to sleep on my stomach, I removed a lot of the fill initially included in the insert. I added this to the bag of extra stuffing for safekeeping. I still find the pillow a little too firm, though, but removing more would make the pillow less adaptable for when I have to sleep on my side or back because of a co-sleeping toddler. Once I’m no longer co-sleeping, I’ll likely remove even more fill, so I can fully luxuriate in stomach-sleeping.

If you exclusively sleep on your stomach, you can probably remove around half the fill for a much softer, lower profile pillow. Or, because that’s a lot of spare fill going unused, consider getting the Avocado Mini Pillow instead!

My one nitpick with the Avocado Green Pillow

I love pretty much everything about the Avocado Green Pillow except for the zipper closure on the pillow insert. This jams far too easily and I was worried it would snap or tear the first time I unzipped the pillow.

Kapok is a fluffy fiber, so it’s no surprise it can get all up in the zip. Still, the zip could be better protected in the inside to prevent kapok immediately jamming things up. And the zipper itself could be made of more robust metal, with a stronger and slightly larger pull.

I strongly advise taking great care when you unzip the insert:

  • Shake the fill down and away from the zip before you start
  • Go slow
  • Use a finger to clear away any stray kapok on the inside of the zip
  • Don’t overstuff the pillow insert
  • Hold the fill down and away from the zip when zipping up again.

Care and maintenance

The Avocado Green Pillow is not washable, though you can machine wash the outer cotton cover if necessary. Use cold water and no bleach, and let the cover hang to dry. Make sure the cover is entirely dry before putting it back on the pillow.

If absolutely necessary, carefully spot clean the inner cover. Don’t remove this cover or wash it, though.

‘For extra loft, put the pillow in a dryer on cool with a couple of new tennis balls (in socks, ideally).

Certifications

Every Avocado Green Pillow is Greenguard Gold Certified, meaning it meets rigorous emissions standards for chemical exposure and pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde and phthalates. These pillows are also PETA certified vegan, with no wool or other animal products or byproducts that have been tested on animals.

The cotton case is GOTS certified and the latex is eco-Institut certified to be free of dangerous emissions and synthetic materials. 

Avocado uses upcycled shredded latex as fill for its pillows, so that the GOLS organic latex scraps from its mattresses don’t go to waste. This is all part of the company’s mission to become the first certified zero-waste mattress factory.

The Green Pillow is also MadeSafe certified non-toxic, meaning Avocado’s list of materials and processes submitted to MadeSafe pass muster and don’t pose any known toxicity concerns.

Sustainable shipping

Avocado uses carbon neutral shipping and packaging. It offsets 100 percent of shipping emissions by supporting carbon offset projects via Carbonfund.org that help remove an equal amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

For a while, Avocado shipped its Green Pillows compressed via FedEx in a small, unbranded, brown box. The idea here was to minimize the use of dyes and energy. Now, however, the pillows appear to ship in branded boxes. Mine arrived in a very heavily branded box, although the cardboard is FSC certified recycled and the dyes are eco-friendly.

The pillow was also compressed, though the spare fill wasn’t. I didn’t need to let the pillow relax before it was usable and there was no latex smell despite the vacuum sealed plastic bag.

Wider sustainability initiatives at Avocado

Like Leafscore, Avocado supports a charity called American Forests that works to protect and restore threatened wildland forest ecosystems, promote and expand urban forests, and educate people about the environment.

Avocado is also a longstanding Benefit Corporation and member of 1% for the Planet. It is also Climate Neutral Certified and actually carbon negative across its operations, not just for shipping.

All of Avocado’s products are non-toxic and made sustainably in the company’s GOTS certified factory in the U.S.

Warranty and returns

Avocado offers a 100-night trial on the Green Pillow, after which you can return it for a full refund if you’re not happy. The pillow also comes with a 1-year warranty. 

If you’re not sure whether the pillow is right for you, try adjusting the fill a few times. Give each new fill level a trial run of week to ten days. Chances are that you’ll figure out a firmness and fill that works for you.

Pay attention, too, to the size of pillowcase you use. A smaller pillowcase will make your pillow feel firmer, while a larger pillowcase lets the pillow relax and allows greater compression and sinkage.

Given the plethora of happy customers posting online reviews about Avocado’s Green Pillow, you probably won’t need to make use of the company’s refund policy.

Final thoughts

However you sleep, the Avocado Green Pillow should be a top contender for your next pillow. It is non-toxic, sustainably made, super comfortable, and very adjustable. I heartily recommend you give this pillow a try, particularly if you sleep on your back or side and if you’re currently suffering from neck or back pain when you wake.

The Avocado Green Pillow gently cradles your head and neck for soft, but firm support. It’s also very breathable, so works well if you sleep hot or cold.

Essential Pillow Protector

Leaf Score

Highlights: Supportive but soft, easily adjustable pillow made with organic latex and organic kapok. Sustainable, comfortable, and non-toxic. Great for all sleep positions!

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