Birch Natural mattress review: cooling and comfortable organic mattress for combination sleepers
Birch Natural mattress: two-minute review
The Birch Natural mattress is a latex innerspring hybrid mattress made with organic, non-toxic materials. It has an organic cotton cover followed by organic fire retardant wool. Organic birch wool comprises the comfort layer, natural Talalay latex is used in the pressure relief layer, and up to 1,000 individually wrapped coils make up the support layer. Lastly, a second layer of fire retardant wool is used in the base layer.
The Birch Natural is very breathable and cool to the touch, which is why we specifically recommend it for hot sleepers. (When shopping for a new mattress, don’t forget to consult the TechRadar best mattress buying guide for must-know insights.)
This organic mattress clocks in at around 6 to 7 on a scale of 10 for firmness, making it medium-firm to firm. These firmness levels are best suited for back and stomach sleepers to promote spinal alignment. Side sleepers will prefer a softer mattress to prevent pressure buildup, though the Birch Natural might prove to be an adequate enough fit for average to heavier weight sleepers.
The Birch Natural mattress is bouncy, which can be an attractive feature for combination sleepers in particular, as it enables them to switch positions throughout the night with ease. (Absorbent memory foam, for instance, can make moving around a bit more challenging.) However, this quality has the potential to be disruptive for co-sleepers—namely if one or both co-sleepers wake easily and/or are fidgety. Lastly, although it isn’t cheap, the Birch Natural offers a good value for what you pay.
Keep reading to find out more details on this highly rated organic mattress and if it could be a good fit for your needs. We tested it in all major areas of performance—rating how it stacked up in terms of pressure relief, motion isolation, edge support, cooling, and ease of set up.
Birch Natural mattress review: price
Offers chance to save hundreds of dollars
Free ground shipping across the US
Two free pillows with each purchase
The Birch Natural is the brand’s most popular mattress—though the only other one currently offered (aside from the kids’ version) is the Birch Luxe Natural.
Since it’s organic, you can expect to pay more than you would for a conventional mattress with similar features otherwise. At full MSRP, it comes within the premium price range. Fortunately, the mattress is often sold at a promotional price—typically 20% off—which brings the cost down to the upper-mid range in the wider market. (When I tested the Birch Natural for this review, savings of $250 to $438 were on the table, based on your chosen mattress size.) Don’t forget to consult TechRadar’s mattress sales guide, which is updated regularly to help you score the best deal on your new mattress of choice.
Promotional pricing aside, the value of your purchase is boosted by free ground shipping in all 50 states. Birch also entices potential buyers with two free Eco-Rest pillows. These offers combined can wind up saving you hundreds of dollars.
Here’s what you can expect to pay for the Birch Natural, whether for full MSRP or at the usual sale price:
Twin size: MSRP $1,248.80 (regular sale price $999)
Twin XL size: MSRP $1,311.30 (regular sale price $1,049)
Full size: MSRP $1,561.30 (regular sale price $1,249)
Queen size: MSRP $1,811.30 (regular sale price $1,499)
King size: MSRP $2,186.30 (regular sale price $1,749)
Cal King size: MSRP $2,186.30 (regular sale price $1,749)
Birch Natural mattress review: specs
Birch Natural mattress review: materials and design
Latex innerspring hybrid mattress
Organic, eco-friendly, non-toxic materials
Multiple breathable layers assist with cooling
Birch takes pride in using safe and organic materials that are good for sleepers and the environment alike. Many of the materials used also boast third-party certifications to back up their quality and eco-friendliness.
The soft organic cotton cover is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certified. Organic wool in the following layer provides protection against fires. The comfort layer uses organic birch wool to maintain the shape of the mattress as well as help with temperature regulation. The pressure relief layer uses natural Talalay latex, which is eco-INSTITUT certified and provides extra give to help alleviate pressure points in standard areas like the shoulders, back, and hips.
The support layer limits motion transfer and bolsters the body via individually wrapped coils (which, as we’ll cover later, are thicker lengthwise along the sides to amplify edge support). Finally, the base consists of another layer of fire retardant wool to help the mattress hold up with nightly use over the years.
Ahead, I’ll get into how these materials and design elements can help make or break a good night’s rest.
Design score: 5 of 5
Birch Natural mattress review: comfort
Average firmness of 6.5 out of 10
Extra bounce makes it great for combination sleepers
Side sleepers may not experience adequate pressure relief
According to the brand, the Birch Natural clocks in at 6 to 7 out of 10 for firmness. After testing it for the full period (and in light of other mattresses I’ve reviewed within similar ranges), I think an average 6.5 out of 10 fits best. However, some customers believe it leans much further into firm territory, even suggesting it’s an 8 out of 10.
You won’t find a hugging or cradling feeling laying atop the Birch Mattress, as you would with a memory foam mattress. Instead, it’s taut and offers the sensation of being lifted, rather than sinking in, via innersprings. However, it doesn’t feel hard or uncomfortable, and rather provides slight conforming to your body’s curves and a mild amount of give.
To measure pressure relief, I put a 55-pound kettlebell in the middle of the bed, which mimics sinkage from a sleeper’s weight. The amount of sinkage was about 2.5 inches, which also helped inform my 6.5 out of 10 firmness rating.
I’m a combination sleeper (under 130 pounds) who mainly gravitates toward side sleeping, followed by back sleeping. However, I tried out all sleeping positions to see how comfortable the Birch Natural mattress was in each. I felt best while back sleeping, followed by stomach sleeping. I felt mild contouring and the Birch Natural helped to keep my spine aligned in these positions. That said, I found it most impressive when switching from one position to another throughout the night. The springy nature of the mattress allowed for minimal effort and a great deal of ease to move around.
I found it less ideal (but not downright uncomfortable) for side sleeping. This makes sense since softer mattresses offer extra cradling to minimize pressure buildup along the side body in this position. However, I found it to be more comfortable than other firm mattresses I’ve reviewed for side sleeping, which I don’t want to discount.
I asked a tall, average weight sleeper to share her insights on comfort in all sleeping positions. She found it more comfortable for side sleeping than I did, but agreed with my findings in the other positions.
All things considered, the Birch Natural is likely to be most comfortable for back and stomach sleepers, and especially combination sleepers who switch off between these two positions. Average weight and heavier sleepers will like the support this mattress provides—though as a lighter weight sleeper myself, I found it to be comfortable in most regards as well.
Comfort score: 4.5 out of 5
Birch Natural mattress review: temperature regulation
Worthy pick for hot sleepers
Materials and design elements boost breathability
Cool to the touch
TechRadar already deems the Birch Natural mattress to be the best organic mattress for keeping sleepers cool, and I was pleased to discover that it didn’t disappoint when I tested it for myself. I sometimes run hot at night, so I was looking forward to this feature most.
The Birch Natural lives up to the expectation thanks to its materials and design throughout several layers. The organic cotton cover is breathable, the organic wool is naturally moisture-wicking, the Talalay latex enhances ventilation, and the innerspring coils permit a high degree of airflow.
While testing the mattress—which is cool to the touch—I never woke up from overheating or found myself sweating due to trapping heat. I enjoyed cool, more restful nights thanks to its prime temperature regulating abilities, and recommend it for hot sleepers seeking the same relief.
(Note: I tested the Birch Natural mattress at the start of spring in Los Angeles. Nightly temperatures averaged in the low 50s Fahrenheit. I slept on bamboo sheets, a down alternative comforter, and a bamboo duvet.)
Temperature regulation score: 5 out of 5
Birch Natural mattress review: motion isolation
Doesn’t absorb motion as well as alternatives with similar firmness
Not ideal for certain co-sleepers
Motion isolation in a mattress is very important for co-sleepers especially. If one or both co-sleepers move around during the night and/or wake easily, sleep quality can be an issue.
To objectively find out how well the Birch Natural performs with motion transfer, I put a wine glass in the center of the bed. From there, I dropped a 10-pound kettlebell at 4, 10, and 25 inches away to notice how much it moved and see if the glass would tip over. This test helps gauge the likelihood and extent of a sleeper feeling another’s movement while in bed.
When I dropped the weight 4 inches away, the wine glass fell over most times. It recovered its position when I dropped the weight 10 inches away, but looked as though it was about to fall. When I dropped the kettlebell 25 inches away, the wine glass moved slightly.
Although the glass only fell from 4 inches away, there’s a chance that one or more co-sleepers could experience waking throughout the night if someone moves or fidgets a lot. I hadn’t yet seen a wine glass fall from this experiment with other medium-firm to firm mattresses, which also informed my final rating.
Motion isolation score: 3.5 out of 5
Birch Natural mattress review: edge support
Impressive lengthwise edge support
Whole surface area of mattress is sturdy and usable and sturdy
Edge support is an important consideration in a mattress since it increases the overall usability of the sleeping area. Strong edge support can also help you sit sturdy and upright on the perimeter of the bed and prevent the sides from early wear and tear (namely sagging).
The Birch Natural is impressive in terms of edge support. The support layer has thicker coils along the sides of the mattress, and its medium-firm to firm construction also contributes to its sturdy surface.
I didn’t experience any issues getting into or out of bed, and was able to rest comfortably along the sides of the bed without thinking I’d roll off. To measure edge support more objectively, I placed the 55-pound kettlebell on the sides to measure sinkage. At just shy of 2.5 inches, it was very close to the sinkage I measured at the middle of the mattress, which confirmed how sturdy the side edges truly are. However, you’ll need to upgrade to the Birch Luxe Natural for stronger edge support along the top and bottom of the bed.
Edge support score: 4.5 out of 5
Birch Natural mattress review: setup
Mattress vacuum-packed and rolled in a box
Free ground shipping
Wheezes upon unboxing but off-gassing isn’t an issue
Those who purchase the Birch Natural will appreciate the free ground shipping to all 50 states. Although you won’t be able to select your delivery date and time window, you can track your shipment with tracking information provided via email. White glove delivery isn’t currently available.
The product page reads that it takes 3 to 10 business days to ship the Birch Natural. I was surprised to find that I received my shipment in less than 3 days. Moreover, I was pleased to see that it arrived at my apartment doorstep rather than in my lobby, which made maneuvering it into my home much easier.
The Birch Natural arrives vacuum-sealed and rolled in a box with three plastic layers. There was a mild hissing sound that lasted for about 2.5 minutes upon unwrapping the first layer. However, since it uses organic materials, you don’t have to worry about off-gassing hazardous chemicals. I also didn’t observe bad smells throughout the process, though others have reported this (and that it dissipated within 24 hours).
I found it easy enough to place the mattress on my bed frame on my own when it was still folded. From there, I cut through the remaining layers of plastic. Upon scanning the QR code on the info card, I read that the mattress takes 1 to 2 hours to unwind and expand entirely—yet it appeared as though it expanded significantly within the first few minutes.
Setup score: 4.5 out of 5
Birch Natural mattress review: customer reviews
4.7 out of 5 stars (average) from 1,800 reviews on website
Callouts for comfort and pain relief from back and stomach sleepers
Disparities on actual firmness level and some complaints about motion isolation
While writing this review (mid-April 2023), the Birch Natural has an average of 4.7 stars out of 5 across 1,800 reviews on BirchLiving.com. You can buy the mattress at CB2.com, but it currently doesn’t have any reviews published.
A few common trends stood out across the many reviews I filtered through and scanned. Happy customers felt pressure relief and fewer aches and pains while sleeping on the back and stomach. Other reviewers praised the Birch Natural’s cooling properties and strong edge support. Many reviewers were happy with their purchase, writing the organic mattress offered a good value for the investment.
On the other hand, other customers were dismayed, stating the mattress was too firm (and sometimes even too soft) for their needs. (Of course, perceived firmness can vary based on your weight and sleeping position. It can also take time to adjust to a new mattress, particularly if it differs significantly from your former one.) Some co-sleepers thought it fell short for motion isolation, and others simply found that there was nothing too impressive with the mattress.
Should you buy the Birch Natural mattress?
I believe that the Birch Natural is worth buying if you run hot at night and are a combination sleeper (flipping between back and stomach sleeping) in particular. If you’re set on buying an organic mattress but need to narrow down your choices, these are two important callouts that may bump it to the top of your list. That said, back and stomach sleepers of most weights can also appreciate the Birch Natural. The value-adds—including regular promotional pricing, free ground shipping, and two free pillows—are also attractive and can end up amounting to hundreds of dollars in savings.
The organic, non-toxic materials are also compelling for those who are concerned about chemical exposure and prefer to support businesses with eco-friendly initiatives.
While I don’t fully advise against co-sleepers buying this mattress, it’s important to note that motion isolation can potentially be an issue. Moreover, side sleepers tend to prefer softer mattresses to mitigate pressure buildup, so they too may want to consider other options.
Birch Natural mattress review: Also consider
Awara Natural Hybrid mattress
Set on going organic but want to save a bit of cash? You may wish to check out the Awara Natural Hybrid. It has a 6.5 out of 10 firmness level, which may suit most sleepers (including side sleepers). Similar to the Birch Natural, it also has excellent edge support—yet motion isolation is weaker with the Awara, so co-sleepers may want to steer clear.
Avocado Green mattress
The Avocado Green mattress is TechRadar’s pick for the best organic mattress for back sleepers, with a 7 out of 10 firmness rating. You’ll pay a bit more (as well as a $99 shipping fee), and side sleepers and lightweight sleepers aren’t the ideal customers for it. That said, back sleepers and heavier sleepers are most likely to reap its rewards.
Read our Avocado Green mattress review
Birch Luxe Natural mattress
If you want a luxury organic mattress and budget isn’t a major concern, check out the Birch Luxe Natural mattress. Upgrades include the inclusion of organic cashmere and targeted lumbar support, the latter of which can help those who experience back pressure and want to benefit from enhanced spinal alignment.
How I tested the Birch Natural mattress
I slept on the Birch Natural mattress for three weeks in early spring in Los Angeles, where average nightly temperatures were in the low-50s Fahrenheit. I used bamboo sheets and a bamboo duvet to cover an alternative down comforter.
I asked a taller, slightly heavier sleeper with similar sleep preferences as mine to provide her opinion on comfort and pressure relief in order to bolster this review with an additional perspective.
Since several markers of mattress reviews can be subjective, I performed standardized tests with weights to objectively assess softness, edge support, and motion isolation.