Latex mattresses are finally enjoying their moment in the spotlight. It’s easy to see why: With a unique combination of responsiveness and conforming support, latex brings together some of the best features of innerspring and memory foam beds. Like memory foam, latex excels at relieving pressure on sensitive joints. And, like innerspring, it has some bounce—latex is often described as feeling buoyant, as if you’re “floating” atop the mattress. (Want to learn more about latex? Check out this latex mattress overview.)
While latex is not as common as other mattress types, shoppers still have plenty of options to choose from. Here is a point-by-point comparison of two popular latex mattresses, the Zenhaven latex mattress from Saatva and the Avocado Green Mattress.
Comfort is a tricky thing. What feels good to you might not feel good to someone else. Most manufacturers use a numerical scale to describe their comfort levels, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest—though it’s important to note that no two manufacturers’ scales are exactly the same. Overall, what makes one latex mattress more comfortable than another is a function of the type of latex, how it’s processed, and the materials and construction of other layers in the mattress.
How many comfort levels are offered?
Zenhaven: Two (luxury plush and gentle firm)
Avocado: One (gentle firm)
The bottom line: More comfort level options equals more chances to find your best latex mattress match. The Zenhaven mattress is flippable, with a different firmness level on each side. (Luxury plush is a 4-5 on the comfort scale; gentle firm a 7-8.) Avocado has a single comfort level, gentle firm. Those who want a softer feel have the option of adding a pillow top to their Avocado for an extra charge, ranging from $240 for a twin to $500 for a king.
What kind of lumbar support does the mattress have?
Zenhaven: Zoned support in the lumbar region. An area of denser latex foam beneath the torso and shoulders provides firmer support in those areas.
Avocado: Fabric-encased coils in the center third of the mattress
The bottom line: Both mattresses offer extra lumbar support in the center portion of the mattress, where most people’s body weight is concentrated. Lumbar support is critical for maintaining the spine in neutral alignment, especially if you tend to experience back pain. Without adequate support, hips and shoulders can sink too deeply, throwing the spine’s natural curvature out of whack. (It helps to have the right mattress, but here are some additional tips for sleeping better with back pain.)
Can the mattress be used with an adjustable base?
The bottom line: Latex, because of its natural flexibility, is a great choice for an adjustable base. Both Zenhaven and Avocado are compatible with an adjustable base. The difference is that the Zenhaven mattress can be purchased as a set with Saatva’s Lineal adjustable base and delivered and set up together. Avocado is not available with an adjustable base.
Latex is a natural material, produced from the sap of the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). Because of the costs associated with harvesting and processing the raw material, latex mattresses are among the more expensive types you can buy. So you want to be sure you’re getting the best quality for your money—a product crafted with premium materials, good for your health, and built to last.
What type of latex is in the mattress?
Zenhaven: Talalay latex
Avocado: Dunlop latex
The bottom line: While both Zenhaven and Avocado Green are natural latex, the process by which they are made is very different. Dunlop latex, the kind used in the Avocado mattress, was the original type of latex foam. The tree sap is minimally processed, which means that more natural sediments end up in the bottom layer of the mold. As a result, Dunlop latex mattresses are denser and heavier. Talalay latex, used to make the Zenhaven mattress, was the second iteration of latex foam. The tree sap undergoes a vacuum process to distribute the material evenly throughout the mold. Then it’s flash-frozen to stabilize the latex particles before being baked into a solid form. The result is a mattress that is softer, lighter, more resilient, and more breathable.
What flame retardant material is in the mattress?
Zenhaven: New Zealand wool
Avocado: Hydrated silica
The bottom line: By law, all mattresses must have a flame retardant. Some mattresses use flame retardants made with harmful chemicals. Both the Zenhaven mattress and the Avocado mattress utilize natural, nontoxic flame retardants.
Is the mattress cover organic?
The bottom line: Both Zenhaven and Avocado are covered in organic cotton. In addition to being naturally soft, durable, and breathable, organic cotton is hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites. (Read more about the benefits of organic cotton.) Zenhaven’s organic cotton cover is additionally treated with Guardin®, a botanical antimicrobial that inhibits bacterial growth to prolong the life of the fabric.
How soon can you sleep on the mattress?
Avocado: After it’s unpacked from the box, unrolled, and expanded
The bottom line: Zenhaven mattresses are never crushed or compressed, meaning you can sleep comfortably on them as soon as they’re delivered. Avocado is a bed-in-a-box, so it needs a while to inflate once it’s taken out of the packaging. According to the manufacturer, you can lie on a new Avocado mattress within 30 minutes of unboxing, but it takes a few hours for the mattress to fully expand. Because the Avocado mattress has been vacuum-packed, rolled, and wrapped in two layers of plastic before being sealed in a box for shipping, it may emit odors as it expands.
There’s more to mattress value than the price tag alone. When assessing bang for the buck, consider factors beyond price, such as delivery and return policies, warranty terms, and home trial periods.
How much does the mattress cost?
Zenhaven: $1,299 for a twin, $1,349 for a twin XL, $1,699 for a full, $1,899 for a queen, $2,499 for a king or California king
Avocado: $959 for a twin, $999 for a twin XL, $1,199 for a full, $1,399 for a queen, $1,699 for a king or California king
The bottom line: The Zenhaven mattress is more expensive, a function of the higher cost of producing Talalay latex. (See how the Zenhaven mattress is made.)
How is the mattress delivered?
Zenhaven: Free white-glove delivery, including setting up your new mattress (and adjustable base, if ordered) and taking away your old mattress
Avocado: Shipped to your door in a box for free or $199 for delivery, setup, and old mattress removal
The bottom line: Zenhaven comes standard with white-glove delivery. Avocado offers two options: You can have the mattress sent to you for free and take care of the setup and removal of your old mattress yourself, or you can pay $199 to have the mattress delivered and set up for you. (Note that a queen-size Avocado weighs 132 pounds.)
How long is the risk-free trial period?
Zenhaven: 120 days
Avocado: 100 days
The bottom line: It sometimes takes a while to get used to a new mattress, especially if it’s a type of mattress you haven’t slept on before. That’s why most online mattress companies offer home-trial periods. At 120 days, Zenhaven’s trial period is longer than Avocado’s. If at any point during the trial period a customer decides to return their Zenhaven mattress, Saatva will pick it up and refund the purchase price, less a $99 transportation fee. If a customer wants to return an Avocado mattress, the company will pick it up for no charge, but the $199 delivery and setup fee is nonrefundable.
How long is the warranty?
Zenhaven: 20 years (non-prorated)
Avocado: 25 years (prorated)
The bottom line: Latex is known for its durability and longevity, so a premium latex mattress should carry a warranty of 20 years or more. Both Zenhaven and Avocado meet that standard. But there are differences in the fine print. The Zenhaven warranty is non-prorated, which means that the terms don’t change the longer you have your mattress. If a Zenhaven mattress is deemed defective any time during the first two years, the company will replace it for no cost; in years three through 20, the company will repair and re-cover the mattress for the cost of transportation ($99 each way). The Avocado warranty is non-prorated only for the first 10 years. In year 11, the replacement cost starts at 50% of the purchase price, plus transportation, and increases 5% per year. After 20 years, you will have to pay 95% of the original cost.
What about customer support?
Zenhaven: Noncommissioned sleep guides are available in Saatva’s New York operations center to answer questions about Zenhaven 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Avocado: Avocado representatives are available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST on weekends.
The bottom line: Concierge service is the Saatva standard, with helpful representatives at the other end of the line any time of the day or night.