Sleep. Babies do it intermittently, teenagers do it a lot, and the rest of us take what we can get in our busy lives. In fact, the average person sleeps for eight hours a day, which means that we all spend one third of our lives asleep.
Let that sink in. We spend one third of our lives sleeping in our beds.
Our mattresses are supposed to support us, comfort us, and leave us feeling restored after a night’s rest. Just like the contents of a nourishing meal, the components of our mattresses should support our health. But, on what are we sleeping exactly?
Traditional mattresses release minute amounts of gaseous chemicals known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These mainly emit from the polyurethane in the mattress, but they have also been found to come from chemicals used in mattress flame retardants as well as plastic components. VOCs have negative health impacts including eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, and even organ damage. On the extreme end, some VOCs such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde have been associated with an increased risk of cancer.
This all sounds more than a little worrisome, but rest easy knowing Avocado Green Mattress has a comfortable solution.
Jeff, one of the company’s founders, was searching for an affordable non-toxic mattress and came up empty-handed. During his thorough research, he discovered frustrating greenwashing and a disturbing lack of transparency that is still a massive problem in the industry today. Since he couldn’t find what he was looking for, he set out to make it instead. Founded in 2016 by four friends with only $40,000 in Hoboken, New Jersey, Avocado Mattress was born and became an industry-shifting idea that remains private to this day. Last year, Avocado became the first mattress company to become Climate Neutral Certified, and this year they officially became carbon negative and a certified B Corporation. By partnering with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Avocado pays to remove carbon from the atmosphere and prevents greenhouse gases from landing there in the first place by financing forest conservation and clean energy initiatives. Avocado Green Mattress also boasts the highest rated mattresses by Consumer Reports for 2018, 2019, and 2020, proving that they can manufacture organic and natural mattresses and sleep products while maintaining environmentally conscious, ethical, and sustainable business practices across their entire supply chain.
Demonstrating that “farm-to-table” doesn’t only apply to the food production and restaurant industries, Avocado is also showing the world that mattresses can be manufactured in a farm-to-bedroom manner. To start, Avocado raises 180,000 sheep that freely wander throughout 40,000 hectares that are company-managed in the Himachal Pradesh region of northern India. This sustainably harvested wool is used in Avocado’s Green Mattresses, Luxury Crib Mattresses, Organic Crib Mattresses, and toppers. It is soft, breathable, and one of the world’s best thermoregulating natural fibers.
From the fields, the wool travels to Avocado’s co-owned GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) organic certified wool factory along the white-water Sutlej River in Rampur. This facility is a vital enterprise in the community and employs many women who were victims of domestic violence. Their jobs within the wool factory help to bolster their independence and provide them with a safe and reliable source of income. It’s here that the raw wool is naturally cleaned, carded, and combed, and the resulting product is some of the highest quality organic wool in the world.
In addition to wool, another key component of Avocado mattresses is latex. The best and most comfortable mattresses in the world are made with organic, 100% natural latex rubber. No other material is comparable in terms of comfort, resiliency, elasticity, breathability, motion isolating capabilities, durability and longevity, support, and even biodegradability. Latex truly provides a support layer with incomparable comfort.
Two thousand miles south of Avocado’s wool factory lies the lush and diverse region of Kochi. Avocado co-owns the Avocado Organic Latex processing facility and manages more than 4,000 acres of FSC and USDA certified organic latex farms. The FSC certification ensures that ten governing principles and fifty-seven criteria for sustainable use, conservation, restoration, and respect for all are adhered to. Within these plantations, rubber trees (Hevea Brasiliensis) can be found in rows by the thousands, and farmers harvest pure rubber sap that will later be used to make the latex foam cores in Avocado mattresses and toppers. Once this 100% GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) organic latex is collected, it is then sent to Avocado’s jointly owned processing facility in Kerala. By eliminating the middlemen in this supply chain, Avocado is able to skirt costly markup scenarios and provide transparency and traceability to its customers. When the latex sap arrives at the processing facility, it is then whipped into a froth, poured into molds, covered, and steam baked. The end result is a clean and environmentally friendly material that is durable, safe, and supportive. Although organic latex may look the same as natural, blended, or synthetic latex, it is not. Only organic latex is truly safe for farmers, for their families, for you, and for the planet.
Currently, no other mattress brands follow this approach of sourcing and processing organic, ethical, sustainable, and responsible components that are grown and harvested without persistent pesticides and herbicides.
Once the wool, latex, and organic cotton arrive at Avocado’s factory in Los Angeles, they are cut and hand-sewn into a selection of products before passing a stringent quality control inspection to ensure the most premium of end products. It is only then that Avocado’s mattresses and toppers are shipped to customers, completing the farm, to factory, to home journey. It’s a journey of which Avocado is proud and one with which its customers can rest easy—and comfortably.
“Going green” has become somewhat of a ubiquitous term, loosely claimed and held aloft by companies to attract conscious consumers to their products or services. But what does it actually mean to “go green” in the world of mattresses? Why does it matter so much?
Well, the answer is unsurprisingly multidimensional.
Did you know that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be five times more polluted than outdoor air? Multiple studies have shown that chemically treated materials commonly used in our manufacturing and building processes negatively impact human health. Through off-gassing, abrasion, leaching, and oxidation, these materials release toxic chemicals into our home and work environments that contaminate our air, water, food supplies, and surrounding natural environment. Since we spend an average of ninety percent of our time indoors working, learning, playing, and sleeping, this should be concerning. And, since mattresses are large items that often appear in more than one room in the home, swapping traditional mattresses for organic options is an easy way to clear the air and decrease health risks.
Avocado Green Mattress contains no toxic flame retardants of any kind. That means there are no toxic chemicals, no rayon, no fiberglass fibers, and no boric acid or other hidden chemical treatments. This has earned them the Made Safe Non-Toxic certification, which makes Avocado one of only three mattress brands in the entire world to meet this safety standard. Also, the layers of an Avocado mattress are not glued together, they are tufted together by hand using long steel tufting needles, cotton straps, and rosettes. Because of this method of securing the layers, Avocado does not use any solvent-based or water-based chemical adhesives. (Don’t be fooled by brands touting their water-based adhesives—they off-gas just like solvent-based adhesives!) Speaking of chemicals, Avocado does not use any polyester because it does not stretch, absorb sweat, or breathe, and it’s treated with thousands of toxic chemicals during production. As a result of their stringent dedication to organic manufacturing, Avocado has been Greenguard Gold certified which means their products have been scientifically tested to meet the most rigorous emission standards for chemical exposure and pollutants. Few mattresses and pillows on the market today qualify for this standard.
So, Avocado mattresses are clearly the greener and healthier option in terms of sleep and general health, but can green also be comfortable? The resounding answer is, YES! Using an ergonomic innerspring support system made up of 1,414 individually wrapped springs made from recycled steel, Avocado mattresses contour to the curves of each body and provide spinal alignment and relief at all pressure-points. Proven through independent lab tests, Avocado mattresses were found to lose only one percent of their height after ten years of hard usage! Perhaps most impressively, Avocado mattresses will biodegrade at the end of their lives and the steel springs can be recycled, which means you won’t find Avocado mattresses piling up in landfills for generations to come. And, with a twenty-five-year warranty which includes the ability to return your mattress for the full replacement value plus shipping expenses within the first ten years, there is nothing holding you back from making a change and trying the green-sleeping life for yourself. (Their sleep trial lasts a full year, so if you’re not happy with your mattress within that time, Avocado will fully refund your purchase and arrange for donation or recycling of your mattress.)
If you want to ensure your entire sleep environment is healthy, safe, and beautiful, Avocado also offers pillows and protectors, mattress pads, crib pads, sheets, throws, face masks, bed frames, dressers, and end tables.
For Avocado Green Mattress, it’s about more than a healthy green sleep—it’s about a healthy green planet. After all, we may be tucked into our own beds, but we’re all sleeping under the same great night sky.
Sweet (and green) dreams!