If you like a plush, pillow top style mattress you can sink into, an Awara mattress might be a good option. However, we would trust the product more were Awara to pursue meaningful eco-certifications which are currently lacking from this new entrant into the green mattress market.
Awara is a relative newcomer to the crowded mattress space, seemingly created by parent company Resident to directly compete with Avocado. To find out more about the company behind these great-looking and slightly more affordable mattresses, we fired off a bunch of questions to Awara. We’re still waiting for answers, and will update this review, as well as our starting Leaf Rating, as we hear back.
See also: The best non-toxic mattresses
Here’s our take on the Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress, which John tested for several nights.
Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress
Highlights: A comfortable, plush, affordable latex and innerspring coil mattress mostly made with natural materials but carrying no third-party organic certifications.
Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress at a glance:
- Made with mostly natural materials and some recycled synthetics
- Certified to Oeko-Tex 100
- Includes sustainably sourced Dunlop latex
- Features wool and cotton (not third-party certified organic, despite the company’s organic claims)
- Available in sizes Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, Cali King
- Prices from $1,099 on sale to $2,598 not on sale
- Free delivery in 1-3 business days
- 365-Night Trial, Forever Warranty™, and free shipping and return (in the contiguous U.S.)
- Sturdy construction – can be used on most bed bases.
Awara – Quick specs
Awara offers two mattresses, the Natural Hybrid (10-inch) and the Premier Natural Hybrid (12-inch). Both have an 8-inch layer of innerspring coils. The Natural Hybrid has a 2-inch layer of latex and the Premier has a 4-inch layer of latex. Thanks to the combination of latex, coils, and wool, the Awara mattress is quite a bit lighter and firmer than a mostly latex mattress.
At first glance, these mattresses look like they’re made with premium quality natural and organic materials. Look a little closer though and you’ll find some seriously discrepancies between the marketing copy and the reality. This probably goes a long way to explaining how Awara manages to undercut Avocado and other brands making genuinely good quality mattresses with sustainable materials.
The Awara mattresses comprise:
- Rainforest Alliance Certified Dunlop latex
- Innerspring coils (individually wrapped, no mention of recycled steel or PLA, etc.)
- New Zealand wool (not certified organic)
- Cotton (not organic certified)
- Certified recycled synthetic fibers (REPREVE)
- Silicate-based flame retardant certified non-toxic by SGS
- Water-based adhesives.
There’s no synthetic foam or virgin synthetic fabrics in an Awara mattress, but there is a lot of greenwashing.
One of the things that makes Awara stand out is its impressive lifetime warranty on the mattress and a full 365-day sleep trial. Awara touts this as being the last mattress you’ll ever buy, thanks to its durable construction. Given the company has only been around a handful of years, it’s impossible to tell if this is credible.
Measurements and weights
The Premier Natural Hybrid mattress from Awara is available in the following sizes, with measurements and weights given:
|Size||Width x length x depth (inches)||Weight (lbs.)|
|Twin||38 x 75 x 12||56|
|Twin XL||38 x 80 x 12||59|
|Full||54 x 75 x 12||79|
|Queen||60 x 80 x 12||100|
|King||76 x 80 x 12||118|
|Cal King||72 x 84 x 12||119|
Out of the box
Like most mattress companies these days, Awara ships its Premier Natural Hybrid rolled and compressed in a plastic wrapper and cardboard box. There’s no mention of the company favoring ground-freight over air-freight, and estimated delivery times are very fast (1-3 days in some cases), meaning these mattresses are not made to order.
Unlike a full latex mattress, the Awara pops back to its full height and shape pretty fast. That means you’ll want to unwrap it quickly and in the room of intended use. That said, this mattress is also a lot lighter than a full latex mattress, making it far easier to reposition as needed. There are also four firmly stitched carry handles to make moving the mattress easier.
All Awara orders ship free in the contiguous U.S. For orders to Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and elsewhere, there’s a non-refundable shipping fee. Pre-pandemic, Awara offered a White Glove delivery service to have your mattress carried inside, unpacked, and set up. You could also choose to have your old mattress removed (and donated, where appropriate), all for $149. This service is not currently available, given social distancing etc., with the exception of California, where residents can have their old mattress recovered and recycled for free within 30 days of delivery of their new Awara mattress.
Firmness and comfort
I’m a big fan of firmer mattresses, meaning a typical memory foam or Talalay mattress is typically too squishy for my tastes. Awara’s Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress lands firmly in the medium to plush range, making it a great choice for most adults, whether you sleep on your back, front, or side.
The reason for the firmness is that Awara uses Dunlop latex instead of the softer Talalay latex. Dunlop latex undergoes less processing and isn’t as airy as Talalay. This makes for a firmer sleep surface and, arguably, greater durability.
Dunlop latex is still very breathable though, unlike memory foam. This means that you won’t sink into the Awara mattress and create a sweat trap, as is the case with memory foam mattresses. Instead, this mattress helps you stay cool while sleeping, which makes for a more restful sleep overall.
What’s in the Awara Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress
The Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress from Awara is a 12-inch mattress comprised of natural latex, innerspring coils, wool and cotton, plus a silicate flame retardant and water-based adhesives.
More specifically, the Premier comprises:
- Four inches of Rainforest Alliance Certified Dunlop latex from Sri Lanka
- Eight inches of individually wrapped innerspring coils (it’s not clear how they’re wrapped, with paper, plastic, or bioplastic PLA, nor if the coils themselves are made with recycled steel or other material)
- A Plush EuroTop layer of New Zealand wool and a cotton cover with four sturdy handles
- Non-toxic silica-based fire retardant, certified for safety by the SGS
- Water-based adhesives (no formaldehyde).
The innerspring coils offer support and a little bounce for comfort. They also help make the mattress lighter overall than a full latex mattress and minimize motion transfer.
Awara lists a range of certifications for its mattresses but doesn’t specify which materials these apply to. Overall, the mattress appears to be certified to Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and Greenguard Gold. The only other credible certifications listed are:
- Rainforest Alliance Certification – demonstrating sustainably sourced Dunlop latex
- REPREVE Fibers Certification (more below)
- Forest Stewardship Council Certification (for wood products, not mattresses).
Let’s dig in a bit to Awara’s marketing.
How green is the Awara mattress?
Awara uses words like “sustainable” and “organic” a lot in its marketing materials. Unfortunately, there is no third-party certification (yet) to show it is using organic wool or organic cotton in these mattresses, nor that most of the materials are sourced sustainably or that the company itself is committed to sustainable practices.
Awara sources its wool from Wools of New Zealand™️, which gets its wool from New Zealand farmers and sells it to brands like Awara. Wools of New Zealand also talks a lot about sustainability and human sheep husbandry but isn’t an organic certifying body and doesn’t have any publicly available standards for sustainability. In short, while Awara likes to suggest that this source of wool is more sustainable and pure than that used by competitors, the reality is that standards such as GOTS, USDA Organic, and EcoWool in the U.S. are far more credible.
Similarly, Awara mentions organic cotton several times in its marketing. Dig in further and you’ll realize this is just hot air. There is no third-party certification and Awara carefully uses ‘natural cotton’ when talking about its certifications.
How about that Plush EuroTop “covered in smooth organic cotton and cozy 100% organic new zealand wool”? Well, it turns out that the wool is not certified 100% organic, nor is the cotton, and the cover itself is actually made with a blend of cotton and recycled polyester. At least the polyester is certified as genuinely recycled, thanks to REPREVE.
Keen eyes will also notice logos that look like they could be certifications that a product is free of formaldehyde. Again, this is just a nice-looking graphic, not a link to a credible certifying body that actually tests the mattresses. The mattress is also made with adhesives and a chemical flame retardant (albeit silicate-based), and I strongly suspect the individually wrapped innerspring coils are wrapped in some kind of plastic, likely virgin plastic, given that this isn’t mentioned in Awara’s marketing.
To be fair, Awara has at least obtained Oeko-Tex 100 certification for its mattresses, and this offers assurance that the mattresses have no or only low levels of formaldehyde, CFCs, phthalates, and many other harmful chemicals.
In short, there is no evidence that Awara uses organic cotton or organic wool in these mattresses, but many examples of deceptive marketing (greenwashing). The mattress is not even 100% natural as it is made with recycled polyester and probably has plastic wraps for the coils.
A note on trees
I also want to take a minute to note that Awara also uses tree-planting to green its brand. Through a partnership with Trees for the Future, Awara plants 10 trees for every mattress bought. This amounted to 225,000 trees planted in 2021, with a plan to plant 1,000,000 more in 2022. While this all sounds great, and Trees for the Future is a cool organization highly rated at Charity Navigator, the actual cost to plant 10 trees with this organization is… $2.50.
On a mattress costing $1,100-$2,600, this isn’t an especially impressive commitment from Awara, amounting to just 2% of sale price at best. As a comparison, Leaf Score donates 10% of what we make from affiliate income to American Forests, with more than 12,500 trees already planted thanks to readers purchasing products we recommend. As another comparison, one of our favorite brands, tentree, also plants 10 trees for every purchase. The difference being that tentree doesn’t make $1,000-plus mattresses, it sells apparel for a fraction of that price.
Why you might still want to choose an Awara mattress
Okay, so I’ve just detailed what I don’t like about Awara. Why, then, include the company on Leaf Score?
Three reasons: affordability, comfort, and durability.
Awara prides itself on making a mattress with the best quality materials and construction, with the intention that the Premier will be the last mattress its customers ever buy. This is thanks to a firmer, more supportive base and the overall design. Awara is so confident in the durability of its mattresses that it offers an impressive lifetime warranty.
As noted earlier, Awara is a new brand, so we don’t know if these mattresses will last a lifetime. We also don’t know if Awara will be around to honor the warranty in 10, 20, or 30 years. Still, it’s nice to have and a big difference from most other mattress makers offering just 5- or 10-year limited warranties.
As for affordability, because Awara doesn’t actually have the certifications to back up its claims over organic materials and such, and because it manufactures in China and not the U.S., its overheads are likely a lot lower than brands like Avocado. This means it can sell its mattresses for less, offering a mostly natural mattress that many families can afford.
Finally, Awara does appear to be a comfortable, well-made mattress. I haven’t slept on one myself, but John can attest to its performance, having slept on a Premier Natural Hybrid Mattress.
Other benefits of the Awara mattress include fast delivery (typically in 1-5 days) and the ability to use it on most bed bases. This includes adjustable bases, divan or box springs, traditional frames, and platform beds. The downside, of course, is that fast delivery almost guarantees these mattresses are sitting around in warehouses waiting to be sold, rather than being made to order. With that speediness comes the potential for mold and mildew in poorly run warehouses.
Warranty and returns
Arguably Awara’s biggest draw is its Forever Warranty and 365-day sleep trial. For the latter, the company lets you sleep on the mattress for a full year and offers a full refund if you decide the mattress isn’t for you after 30 days (up to 365-days). This is a much longer trial period than most mattress companies. As a comparison, Avocado offers a 100-night trial while Savvy Rest doesn’t do returns at all.
Note, though, that you do have to arrange to have the mattress delivered back to Awara if you change your mind. This could cost you quite a lot of money, especially as you won’t be able to vacuum pack it back into the small box it comes in.
Fortunately, if you can’t send it back for a full refund, Awara will work with you to “have your mattress locally donated or disposed of.” Here’s hoping the latter doesn’t happen, because that’s obviously not very sustainable! Instead, Awara will help you figure out somewhere local to donate the mattress and will then offer a 50% refund with proof of donation.
As for the warranty, if your mattress is damaged through normal use at any time, even after that first year, Awara will replace it at no extra cost (for the most part). More specifically:
- In the first 10 years of ownership – Awara will replace your mattress with a brand new mattress at no charge to you
- In years 10+ – Awara will completely repair and re-cover your mattress, or replace it (as it sees fit). Customers pay transportation costs of $50 each way, though charges are waived if Awara confirms the mattress is defective.
You can read the small print of the warranty here. Having read it all and looked for customer complaints, it does seem like Awara has one of the best mattress warranties available and actually honors these in the first few years at least (it hasn’t been in business long enough to know how it performs from year 10 onwards).
Awara makes a big deal about how its mattresses compare to Avocado and other mattress brands. It’s quite misleading, though, in how it frames these comparisons. For instance, on one page Awara rightly notes that Avocado’s mattresses aren’t made with the same “Certified 100% Organic Wool fiber from New Zealand” that Awara uses. This doesn’t mean Avocado uses an inferior material, though. In fact, Avocado uses GOTS certified organic wool, which is an actual organic standard. Awara, it turns out, doesn’t actually use certified organic wool.
Awara also doesn’t mention the very important detail that it makes its mattresses in China, using materials sourced from all over the world. In contrast, Avocado makes its mattresses in the U.S., which means a higher standard for labor and working conditions and a lower overall environmental footprint. Avocado also takes pains to source as many raw materials locally in order to minimize carbon emissions. (As a side note, Avocado only ships a handful of items to Canada because it hasn’t found a reliable way to ship larger items carbon-neutral.)
Awara says on its website that “Choosing Awara means making a better choice for the planet because we are always making steps towards more sustainable practices and materials.” There’s no indication what this actually means, though, with no information about the company’s sustainability credentials beyond material choices.
Avocado is also a Benefit Corporation (B Corp) and has been a 1% for the Planet member since 2017. Frankly, this is much better than spending $2.50 to have ten trees planted with every mattress while continuing to use conventional cotton that ravages the land.
Final thoughts on Awara mattresses
If you’re looking for an affordable, comfortable, likely very durable mattress with a great warranty and decent materials, the Awara Premier Natural Hybrid is a solid choice. However, if you can bump your budget up a few hundred dollars you can get a My Green Mattress Natural Escape for around $1500 on sale and sleep comfortably in the knowledge that this mattress is made with GOLS organic latex and is fully GOTS certified organic with organic wool and organic cotton and innerspring coils.