Birch is the environmentally-conscious subsidiary of sleep giant Helix. Their only mattress, called simply the “Birch Natural Mattress,” is billed as one of the most sustainable and ethical beds on the market today.
The Birch Natural Mattress is an 11’ hybrid model, handcrafted in the USA from sustainably-sourced and organic materials. The latex, cotton, and wool used across all six of the layers are purchased from suppliers with ethical and environmentally-friendly business models. The resulting product is one of the few beds-in-a-box that prizes its environmental impact above almost every other aspect of design. None of this comes at the cost of quality, however—the Birch is one of our favorite hybrids for many reasons.
Birch goes even further in its mission to protect the planet by pledging 1% of its profits to the National Forest Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to planting 50 million trees in US National Parks by 2023. Every product purchased from Birch, from their flagship mattress to its pillow toppers and bed frames helps support this goal.
Like any mattresses with foam or gel layers that have to expand once unboxed, the Birch came with some off-gassing odor during setup. This dissipated quickly, and we found it to be a non-issue after a day or two. Birch goes out of its way to source non-toxic materials for its beds, and we think the off-gassing that did occur with the Birch was not nearly as bad as it was with some foam mattresses with unnatural materials.
Judging from the quality of the materials and craftsmanship that goes into creating the Birch Mattress, we feel confident that this bed will hold up for as long if not longer than other hybrids in its category. The latex, wool, and steel used in the product are of the highest quality and come with a 25-year warranty behind them. Since Birch first rolled out this mattress in 2019, we can’t say for sure what the average lifespan will be—but we do feel confident saying that the feel of the bed suggests long-term quality.
We found the temperature regulation of the Birch to be one of its most impressive features. Each layer is designed for maximum breathability, from its organic cotton top cover all the way to its wool base layer. Like many hybrid mattresses, the layer of coils adds significant airflow to the Birch. This surprised us, given that wool is not typically associated with cool sleeping. But Birch pulls it off somehow! If you sleep hot, this is a great mattress for you.
This is a great bed for sex. It’s supportive, springy, and responsive, all important elements when it comes to getting it on. With reinforced edge support and a robust system of coil support throughout the center of the mattress, the Birch is sturdy enough to be a foundation for lots of movement all over the mattress. Amazingly, it accomplishes all of this while still offering a supremely soft and inviting top layer of cotton.
This is not built to cradle your body in the same way as an all-foam mattress. In fact, elements of the Birch are designed to retain their shape over time, which is a good feature for those who want a long-lasting, firmer bed, but not for those who are looking for something that will mold to their shape each night. While the cotton top layer is certainly soft and comfortable, you just won’t sink into the Birch in the way you would on a totally-foam bed.
The Birch is incredibly sturdy, especially when it comes to edge support. Birch uses reinforced steel coils around the perimeter of the mattress. These are slightly thicker and denser than what you’ll find in the center of the coil layer, and the result is a very noticeable supportive feeling along the entire edge of the mattress. We had no problem sitting comfortably on the side of the bed, and more importantly, we did not feel at risk for sagging off the edge while we slept (yes, it happens). For heavier sleepers, this is an awesome thing to not have to worry about.
With any hybrid or innerspring mattress, the steel coils can (and do in Birch’s case) make a slight noise. Especially over time, there is a chance the noise will increase as the bed ages, though we suspect this will be a problem only for the most sensitive of sleepers. We didn’t notice any disruptive noise in the first stages of using the Birch.
Because of the extensive use of latex and the spring coils in the Birch mattress, the motion isolation we experienced was less than stellar. Typically these materials add springiness and support at the cost of not being able to isolate movements as well as mattresses that are made entirely of foam. This is the case for the Birch, where tossing, turning, and getting up were somewhat noticeable to someone on the other side of the bed.
Easy shipping and installation
Sturdier and more supportive than most hybrid models
Strong edge support
Extremely breathable and cooling
May be too firm for lighter sleepers
Somewhat pricey (but worth every penny)
Average motion isolation
How does the Birch mattress feel?
Between the latex layers and the robust network of supportive steel coils, the Birch mattress is certainly on the firmer side of the spectrum. Anyone looking for a more supportive sleep should consider the Birch, which we think excels in providing pressure relief on joints and the back. But if you are looking for a more cloud-like sleep, and like to really sink into your bed, maybe skip this model in favor of an all-foam mattress.
Overall, we think the Birch comes in at about a 7.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, putting it at the upper end of the hybrid mattresses we’ve reviewed.
We should point out that the firmness of the mattress does not mean the top layer of the Birch isn’t supremely comfortable—it is. The cotton and wool layers that form the surface are incredibly soft and supple, designed intelligently to keep cool while relieving pressure from the body. If you prefer a firmer mattress, the Birch is able to provide support without sacrificing the comfort of a plush top layer. Great for all types of sleepers, but stomach and back sleepers especially.
Birch Natural Mattress Construction
GOTS-certified Organic Cotton Topper
Fire-retardant Organic Wool Cover
Organic Wool Comfort Layer
Natural Latex Support Layer
US-molded, individual steel coil layer
Organic Wool Batting Base Layer
Birch Service and Delivery
Birch is a small subsidiary of Helix, which offers a vast range of mattresses and sleep products. The company provides seamless ordering and delivery online, including a no-contact delivery option. Mattresses typically ship within 5-20 business days. Mattress installation can be done without any professional help; simply unbox, unwrap, and wait.
Helix has great customer service as well, with easily accessible associates available via phone, email, or web chat to solve problems and answer questions.
We think it’s impressive that Birch has invested in giving back to the environmental community. Their commitment to donating a portion of their proceeds to environmental causes is admirable. If you are serious about using your purchasing power to push for change, this company is a great choice.
39'' W x 75'' L x 11'' H
39'' W x 80'' L x 11'' H
54'' W x 75'' L x 11'' H
60'' W x 80'' L x 11'' H
76'' W x 80'' L x 11'' H
72'' W x 84'' L x 11'' H
Is This Mattress for Me?
First, this mattress is great for sleepers who want a bed that’s on the firmer side and very supportive. Birch is one of the best luxury mattresses in this category. The individually-wrapped coil system, combined with responsive latex foam layers, makes the mattress ideal for heavier sleepers, back sleepers, and those who simply prefer a more supportive sleep. Lighter sleepers who like to sleep on their side may find this bed a bit too firm, as it can be hard to engage fully with the give of the latex layers if you aren’t heavy enough.
The second person we recommend the Birch for is the eco-warrior! We’re not sure there’s a more eco-friendly mattress out there, and certainly not one created by a company with a mission to donate to environmental causes. From the materials to the manufacturing process to shipping, Birch has thought about all of the ways they can make their mattress greener—and it feels like they’ve done them. If you care about the environment above all else, this could be the bed for you.
We Recommend This If You:
Are a heavier sleeper or back sleeper
Prefer a firmer, more supportive mattress
Want a seamless delivery and set-up experience
Care about the environmental impact of your purchase