and his company’s co-founders decided to build a natural, eco-friendly mattress brand, they encountered a conundrum: “How do we get something that doesn’t feel horrible?”
They didn’t want anything flimsy, uncomfortable, or that felt like they were compromising on quality for an item that people ostensibly spend a third of their lives on. Their attempt to answer that question resulted in Avocado, an organic certified mattress brand that recently launched a luxury line handmade in Los Angeles.
To earn its many certifications and distinctions–including GreenGuard Gold, climate neutral, formaldehyde free, and more–the company has to be vigorous in substantiating their claims. “We want to be transparent to people,” says Abriels, a co-founder and the brand’s chief marketing officer.
As for the mattress itself, consumers can feel good sleeping at night knowing they are doing so on a mattress free of 6,500 suspected toxins found in many other mattresses, including polyurethane foam. “It’s much easier to make a disposable mattress,” Abrials says.
For one thing, it probably involves owning fewer sheep. Avocado, which has over 1 million square feet of distribution space in Orange County, keeps a tight control over its supply chain and sourcing all over the globe. In order to do that, Avocado owns over 200,000 sheep that live on 40,000 hectares in northern India where all their wool is sustainably harvested. The sheep, naturally, live the good life in a meadow 10,000 feet above sea level, grazing on organic pastures and drinking clear mountain water.
“We use wool, which is a renewable product because sheep need to be sheared,” says Abriels. (Hastens, the world’s leading luxury mattress maker, uses horse hair.) Avocado comes with a 25-year guarantee. “We are not taking the quick route, but it’s far more durable,” says Abriels. Adding: “The springs of the mattress can be recycled and reused.”
In addition to their line of mattresses–their more accessible line starts at US$799—Avocado sells all the bells and whistles for the bedroom. These include vegan bed toppers, mid-century wooden bed frames that are Forest Stewardship Council certified (e.g. they meet the “gold standard” of ethical production), hemp sheets (US$495), a luxury organic crib, non toxic pillows (which start at US$109), and a clothing line of tee-shirts, pajamas, fleeces, and sweaters.
The price for the organic luxury mattress starts at US$2,799 for a twin and goes up to US$6,609 for a plush California King model.
WHAT’S THE GOOD?
After hitting the No. 1spot on Consumer Reports for the last three years, Avocado decided to roll out a high-end line, which was updated in 2022 and uses more layers and rarified materials. “It’s the most luxurious thing we can make,” Abriels says.
Compared with their more basic mattress, the luxury model uses a few additional materials, such as alpaca fibers, hemp, and silk. It consists of 17 layers and takes 100 hours to make. The biggest challenge, however, has been keeping with the demand. “It’s been extremely popular,” Abriels says.
Comfort isn’t a trade-off for this mid four-figure item. Take, for example, tempurpedic, often considered one of the holy grails of sleep comfort, which Abrials explained is made from polyurethane. “Your body tends to sink into it,” referring to tempurpedic, “and traps heat, so then you have to use all kinds of cooling technology.”
Avocado’s premium product, “is a completely different feel,” Abrials explains. “With all the natural fibers, there is more of a plushness, but not so soft where you feel like you are sinking into it.” The sustainably harvested wool from India is, according to Avocado, “one of the world’s most breathable natural fibers in the world.” (In other words, no Chili Sleep Cube needed.)
Latex is the essential element of a comfortable mattress because of the material’s breathability, durability, and support. “But a lot of latex doesn’t come from farms in the United States. Instead, latex is often sourced from places where the harvesting process can corrupt the drinking water and impact the ecosystem,” Abriels says Avocado uses GOLS organic certified latex that is grown without persistent pesticides and herbicides on USDA’s NOP organic-certified family cooperatives.
The direct to consumer company is currently opening three more stores in the next few months, bringing the total to 13 locations across the U.S.s. “When you get to these higher price points,” Abrial says, “people really really want to try what they are buying.”