Birch vs Awara: which organic mattress is best?

 Awara natural hybrid mattress and Birch Natural mattress
Awara natural hybrid mattress and Birch Natural mattress

The Birch Natural Mattress and Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress are two popular hybrid latex models. Each comes from one of the best mattress brands around: Birch is the natural mattress option from parent company Helix (which sits under 3Z Brands) while Awara is part of the Resident Home family, alongside Nectar and DreamCloud.

We tested both out, and you can read our in-depth look at each model individually in our Birch Natural mattress review and Awara Natural Hybrid mattress review. However, this showdown is for those who can't decide between the two. We'll be directly comparing how each mattress performs in key areas, to help you figure out the best one for you.

Overall, the Birch is officially the better mattress, winning two of the four categories and drawing on a third. However, it's a very close-run thing, and the Awara will be a better pick for some shoppers (especially those on a tighter budget – this mattress is significantly cheaper, and very affordable for an organic model). Both of these models feature high up in our best organic mattress guide, so we would be happy recommending either, and neither is a dud pick. Read on for our full Birch vs Awara mattress showdown...

Birch vs Awara mattress: Specs

Awara vs Birch mattress: Design

  • Both are hybrid designs including latex foam and coils

  • Birch is an inch taller and adds extra layers of wool for padding 

  • Awara uses cheaper Dunlop latex, while Birch has pricier Talalay

Both the Awara and the Birch are latex hybrids, but the internal designs are a little different. The Awara is the shorter of the two mattresses, at 10 inches tall. The design is simple: there's a cover made from cotton and organic wool, followed by a 2-inch layer of Dunlop latex, and an 8 inch pocket coil layer. There are handles on the sides to help with maneuvering.

The 11-inch tall Birch is 11 inches has a more complex design. The top cover is made with GOTS Certified cotton. This sits on top of two layers of wool, to provide padding and also to act as a natural fire retardant. A tier of Talalay latex follows, and then a layer of pocket coils (height not specified), reinforced along the side edges. Another layer of wool forms the base. There are no side handles here.

Diagram showing internal layers of the Birch mattress and Awara mattress
Diagram showing internal layers of the Birch mattress and Awara mattress

You might have noticed two different kinds of latex there. As our Dunlop vs Talalay latex article explains, Talalay latex foam (found in the Birch) is typically the softer, bouncier, less dense and more expensive of the two types, and as such is often the preference for comfort layers like this.

Both are bed-in-a-box mattresses, which means they'll arrive compressed and rolled in a conveniently sized carton.

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Birch Natural mattress on a neutral wooden bedframe against a dark wall, with a lamp and bedside table
Birch Natural mattress on a neutral wooden bedframe against a dark wall, with a lamp and bedside table

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Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress in a bedroom
Awara Natural Hybrid Mattress in a bedroom

Both mattresses are the more basic option in a two-mattress lineup. The Awara Premier Natural Hybrid has a very similar design to the regular version, but the latex layer is twice as thick (4 inches). It sits in the an upper-mid price bracket (still cheaper than the basic Birch).

The upgraded Birch has an extra layer of wool, adds cashmere into the cover, and the reinforced coils run around the entire perimeter. You can read our Birch Natural mattress hands-on review for more on that one.

Design winner: Birch

Birch's extra height, additional cushioning wool layers and more premium latex foam earn it the crown here. 

Birch vs Awara mattress: Price & extras

  • Awara is mid-range, and very affordable for an organic model

  • Birch is premium, although gets decent discounts around sales events

  • Awara comes with more generous extras

The Birch Natural sits in the premium price bracket, while the Awara is a mid-range model. You'll usually pay slightly more for a natural mattress, so in the context of this specific part of the market, the Awara is actually extremely good value (it's the cheapest model in our organic mattress ranking). The Birch is about average – not the cheapest, but also not the most expensive.

Neither is ever sold at MSRP. Expect at least 20% off the Birch and $400 off the Awara. If you're shopping for the Birch, the discount will sometimes get bumped up to 25% off around national holidays, or it might pay to be savvy about when you buy. The Labor Day mattress sales in September, Presidents' Day mattress sales in February, Memorial Day mattress sales in May and 4th of July mattress sales are all a good bet for snagging that bigger discount.

The Awara deals tend to stay pretty stable, rather than increasing around these events. However, traditionally the Black Friday mattress deals at the end of November are a good bet for the lowest prices of the year – we'll be covering all the price drops in detail.

Here's a look at the prices you can expect to pay for each of the main sizes of each model:

The Birch comes with a 100 night trial, which is about the minimum you can expect from any major sleep brand. However, it's nowhere near as generous as Awara, which gives you a full 365 nights. In terms of warranty, it's 25 years for the Birch and forever for the Awara, but you should be replacing your mattress every 7-10 years anyway.

Price winner: Awara

Awara vs Birch mattress: Comfort & support

  • Birch is medium-firm (6.5/10 or firmer), while Awara is firm (8/10)

  • Both offer a lifting feeling rather than sink-in

  • Both comfortable in all positions, including (surprisingly) side sleeping

The Awara and Birch have similar sleep feels, and the 'better' of the two will depend on your body type, sleep style and personal preferences.

The Birch Natural has a taut, bouncy sleep surface, with some subtle contouring. There's enough give to be comfortable, but the overall feeling is one of sturdy support. This is a mattress that you sleep on top of rather than sinking into, which makes it easy to move around on. It's a similar experience with the Awara – there's a subtle amount of give, and but overall the feeling is one of floating on top on the mattress rather than sinking into it.

Birch Natural mattress and Awara mattress with weights resting on the centre
Birch Natural mattress and Awara mattress with weights resting on the centre

A running theme with latex mattresses is that people struggle to give them a conclusive firmness rating. Officially, the Birch is a 6-7 out of 10 in terms of firmness. Our testing panel landed on a rating of 6.5, although some testers found it as firm as an 8. The Awara comes with an official rating of 7 out of 10 for firmness, but we judged it to be an 8.

Both the Birch and Awara provided plenty of comfort for back and stomach sleepers, with the supportive sleep surface ensuring the lumbar was properly elevated. As a rule, the best mattresses for side sleepers are a bit softer, to allow the hips and shoulders to sink into the surface and prevent pressure from building up in these areas. However, both our testing panels found the Awara and Birch surprisingly comfortable for side sleeping. Being (probably) a little softer, the Birch might be the comfier of the two, and some side sleepers – especially lightweight ones – might still prefer to go for something softer.

Only the Birch has reinforced springs along the long edges, but both offer excellent edge support. In our reviews both mattresses scored a 4 out of 5 in this area, which means you shouldn't have to struggle with squishy or sloping edges, whichever model you go for.

Comfort winner: Draw

Awara vs Birch mattress: Temperature regulation

  • Both mattresses offer great temperature regulation

  • Birch sleeps marginally cooler

  • Natural materials and spring layer encourage breathability

Both the Awara and Birch are both latex hybrids. Latex is known for being naturally temperature regulating (compared to something like memory foam, which can trap body heat), and the spring layer allows airflow within the mattress, boosting breathability. The Awara and Birch also make use of wool and cotton in their upper levels – two naturally breathable and temperature regulating materials. So in theory, both of these mattresses should offer good temperature regulation.

That was reflected in our tests. We never had any issues with overheating or feeling overly warm while sleeping on the Birch or Awara mattresses.

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Close up of cover on Birch Natural mattress
Close up of cover on Birch Natural mattress

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Close up of cover on Awara mattress
Close up of cover on Awara mattress

However, we think the Birch just has the edge over the Awara on this front. That's perhaps thanks to the extra wool layers at the top of the mattress (the Awara uses wool in its cover, but the top internal layer is the latex). We gave the Birch a perfect 5/5 on temperature regulation, while the Awara was awarded a 4.5, so both strong scores. Remember, the Awara also comes with a full 365-night trial, which means you'll be able to test it that model out in all seasons before committing.

Temperature regulation winner: Birch (just)

Awara vs Birch mattress: Which should you buy?

Buy the Birch if...

You have a bigger budget: The Birch wins on the design front here, with wool layers for padding and the more luxurious type of latex foam. If you can afford the higher price, this is a slightly better mattress overall.

You're a side sleeper: The general consensus was that the Birch is a little softer than the Awara, and the extra upper levels of wool create a slightly more padded feel too. That means it might be a better choice for side sleepers as well as anyone who weighs below average. It's a close-run thing though, as these two mattresses have a similar sleep feel.

You sleep hot: We were very impressed with how well the Birch mattress regulated our reviewer's body temperature and prevented overheating, making this a strong recommendation for hot sleepers. The Awara also did well on this front, but not quite as well.

Buy the Awara if...

You're on a tight budget: The Awara is far cheaper than the Birch, and in fact the lowest-priced of all our natural mattress recommendations. You'll always pay a bit of a premium for an organic mattress, which makes the Awara's mid-range price all the more notable.

You're a back or stomach sleeper: The Awara is slightly firmer than the Birch, so might be the better choice for back or stomach sleepers, as well as anyone who weighs a little above average. However, there's not a lot in it so do factor in personal preference here.

You want maximum value for money: If you're looking for the best all-round package, you'll get it with the Awara. This mattress comes with a full 365-night sleep trial and forever warranty (compared to 100 nights and 25 years for the Birch). That's very generous for a mid-range mattress, and the long trial is especially useful as it'll enable you to test this mattress out in all seasons before fully committing.