The Avocado Green pillow is an eco-friendly choice for side sleepers

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Note that this review took place in the midst of a class action lawsuit against Avocado regarding the brand’s claims of using safe, eco-friendly materials. More on that below. 

I try to do my part in saving the environment, like walking to the store instead of driving or turning off the tap while brushing my teeth. Apparently, I can make the world a greener place in my sleep, too, by using products made from sustainable materials and manufactured through processes that don’t leave a massive carbon footprint.

In my pursuit of greener habits, I was eager to try the Avocado Green pillow(opens in a new tab) (from $109), an adjustable fill pillow crafted from sustainable materials and decorated with a slew of certifications from various eco-conscious organizations. Plus, Avocado claims to maintain a negative carbon footprint(opens in a new tab) in manufacturing its pillows, mattresses, bedding, and furniture.

For two weeks, I slept on the standard Avocado Green pillow. Environmental benefits aside, I woke up refreshed most mornings. As a dedicated side sleeper, the shredded latex and kapok (pronounced kay-pok) were exquisitely cozy once I adjusted the fill level to my liking. It slept cool, too, thanks to its breathable materials (including an organic cotton outer cover). But as much as it gets right, the Avocado Green pillow does have its shortcomings. I’m reluctant to recommend it to non-side sleepers and those who can’t be bothered to fluff their pillow every day.

The Avocado pillow is made up of breathable materials for cool sleeping.
Credit: Alison Barretta / Mashable

How much is the Avocado Green pillow?

The Avocado Green pillow comes in three sizes: standard ($109), queen ($129), and king ($139). It’s more expensive than the popular Coop Home Goods pillow(opens in a new tab) (starting at $72), which uses a blend of cross-cut memory foam and microfiber. Meanwhile, it’s closer in cost to the similar Layla Kapok pillow(opens in a new tab) (starting at $109), which features a kapok/memory foam fill plus a polyester/viscose cover.

Fortunately, you can save a little extra cash courtesy of regular Avocado coupon codes that slice 10% off, knocking the price of its pillow to as low as $98. (Just know that there’s a $5 shipping fee.) A 100-night trial applies, as does a one-year warranty if you decide to keep it.

What is the Avocado Green pillow made of?

The Avocado Green pillow has three distinct layers. Inside is a 70/30 blend of shredded Dunlop latex and kapok fibers, giving the pillow a medium-plush feel. (An extra bag of fill is included if you want to make it taller and fluffier.) The middle layer is a zippered organic jersey cotton liner that’s spot-clean only. Outside is a quilted cover made from organic cotton; it’s machine-washable with cold water, but must be air-dried.

person holding handful of shredded inner pillow material

The pillow’s filling is a blend of shredded Dunlop latex and kapok fibers.
Credit: Alison Barretta / Mashable

Avocado uses GOTS-certified organic materials sourced from the United States, Canada, India, and Guatemala. The pillow carries eco-INSTITUT(opens in a new tab) and GREENGUARD Gold(opens in a new tab) certifications, indicating low levels of emissions and harmful synthetics. It’s also 100 percent certified vegan.

However, Avocado is embroiled in a class action lawsuit over its MADE SAFE Certification which, according to the brand(opens in a new tab), means that its products are “free from ingredients linked to or suspected to cause harm to humans, animals, or ecosystems.” The lawsuit alleges that an independent lab detected multiple synthetic chemicals(opens in a new tab) in Avocado products that have been linked to health problems and environmental damage. In a statement to Furniture Today(opens in a new tab), the company says it intends to contest the case and stands by its third-party certifications. You can read the 57-page complaint here(opens in a new tab).

How to set up the Avocado Green pillow

My standard Avocado Green pillow came stuffed with 3.4 pounds of fill rolled up and covered in plastic. Upon arrival, I unfurled and unwrapped it, fluffing it vigorously until it resembled a pillow. (This was actually quite fun, and a decent workout for my arms.)

From there, I placed the pillow on my bed and dropped into my primary sleep position. (I’m a side sleeper who often rolls onto my stomach by morning.) The pillow was a little low for my liking, so I added a couple of handfuls of spare fill that was conveniently provided in a separate resealable bag. Eventually, I found a perfect balance that allowed my head to sink comfortably into the pillow while keeping my neck properly aligned.

It’s worth noting that like many adjustable fill pillows, the Avocado Green can be a bit messy. The pillow is partially filled with kapok — a silky, airy fiber that’s also clingy. I spent a few moments brushing off stray kapok fibers from my hands, arms, and comforter.

avocado green pillow sitting on top of bed

The Avocado Green pillow can get lumpy and uncomfortable if you don’t regularly fluff it.
Credit: Alison Barretta / Mashable

After two weeks of sleeping on my Avocado Green pillow…

…I was glad that it no longer smelled. 

The first couple of nights, there was a potent rubber odor — seemingly harmless but definitely unpleasant. I’m used to synthetic foams emitting a chemical-like scent as a result of off-gassing, which is when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released into the air. I wasn’t expecting my organic pillow to stink so much. My theory is that the smell is a byproduct of vulcanization, the process of turning liquid latex into a solid. Fortunately, the scent started to fade on the third night and by the end of my two-week test run, I could hardly notice it.

Odor aside, is the Avocado Green pillow comfortable to sleep on? Yes, but only if you’re willing to give it a good fluff every night. Otherwise, it’s lumpy and not so comfy. (I’ll admit to not always being so compliant with this step.) As a dominant side sleeper, I enjoyed the contoured squishiness of the latex and kapok. After a long day, there was no better feeling than flopping onto my bed and resting my weary head on a soft, lofty pillow. (When I fluffed it, of course.)

That said, I’m not keen to recommend the Avocado Green pillow for back or stomach sleeping. You’ll probably need to take out a substantial amount of the filling for it to suit those positions, but even then, it’s still very soft. Unless you’re a fan of plush pillows, chances are you’ll be craving firmer support for your neck and shoulders.

By the way, I tend to sleep hot but didn’t break into a sweat at all with the Avocado Green pillow. That’s not much of a surprise considering latex, kapok, and cotton are all highly breathable materials. Whether I used a pillowcase or slept on the pillow as it came, I managed to stay cool and dry all through the night.

Is the Avocado Green pillow worth it?

For side sleepers who want a soft, squishy pillow but don’t mind a bit of maintenance to keep it comfortable, the Avocado Green(opens in a new tab) should handily fit that role. It’ll also be a boon for hot sleepers thanks to its breathable combo of latex, kapok, and cotton. Just beware of an initial rubber-like odor over the first couple of nights. You may need to let it air out before sleeping on it if the smell is too bothersome.

Price-wise, this pillow is on the more expensive side, ranging between $109 and $139(opens in a new tab), although you’ll often find Avocado promo codes to help shave off a few dollars. Organic sleep products typically come with a higher price tag due to the quality of materials used and the rigorous standards required for certifications, which ramp up production costs. 

However, if you prioritize safe, clean materials above all else, Avocado is currently facing a lawsuit regarding its “all-natural” claims so you might want to see how that plays out before deciding to buy. In the meantime, consider the Naturepedic Organic Adjustable Latex pillow(opens in a new tab) (starting at $119) as an alternative. It’s earned a multitude of organic certifications and comes in three comfort levels (soft, medium, or a mix of both) to better accommodate a variety of sleep preferences. Bear in mind that you’ll only get 30 nights to try out the Naturepedic at home, compared to Avocado’s more generous 100-night trial.

Will the Avocado Green pillow be replacing my go-to Sleep Number True Temp pillow? Not quite — mostly because I prefer not to perform a daily ritual of pillow fluffing. That said, I’m willing to swap in the Avocado Green when my Sleep Number pillow is in the wash or I long to rest my head on something softer.

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