Meet Our Testing Team
- Lightweight and average weight sleepers. The Nolah Original provides pressure relief for people weighing up to 230 pounds regardless of their preferred sleep position.
- Shoppers on a budget. The Nolah Original’s mid-range price-point and excellent pressure relief make it a high-value pick.
- Couples and co-sleepers. The Nolah Original limits most motion transfer and is virtually silent. That means sleepers are less likely to accidentally wake each other as they change sleep positions.
Not Recommended for...
- Sleepers who want a highly durable mattress. Based on the quality of the materials, we do not expect the Nolah Original to last as long as competing models.
- Heavier sleepers. The Nolah Original may not give people over 230 pounds the level of support they need for optimal spinal alignment.
- Sleepers who prefer the feeling of sleeping “on” their mattress. The Nolah Original’s conforming comfort layers cradle the sleeper in a way that may feel too soft for those who prefer a floating feel.
Our sleep testers checked out the Nolah Original Mattress to see how it works for people with different preferred sleep positions and different body weights. Our team looked for performance factors like pressure relief, motion isolation, edge support, temperature neutrality, and more. You can see their tests, hear their feedback, and learn more about the Nolah Original in this video review.
Our testing team conducted an extensive evaluation of the Nolah Original Mattress. Our review and rating process consists of three parts: in-house evaluation, external sleep testing, and data collection of verified owner experiences. To learn more about our review process, read our methodology here.
Our performance criteria and ratings for the bed are listed in the table below.
According to our ratings, the Nolah Original Mattress excelled in the pressure relief and noise categories. It also provides very good motion isolation, though it fared poorly in the sex and durability categories.
For complete ratings and details, read on.
Sleep Position Ratings
As part of our ratings process, we evaluated the Nolah Original Mattress across different body types and preferred sleep positions. In addition to physical testing, we surveyed our sleep expert team and analyzed reviews from verified mattress owners and customers. Our findings are listed in the table below.
How Is the Nolah Original Mattress Constructed?
The Nolah Original’s cover is made of Tencel, a plant-based fabric. The Tencel fibers help wick moisture away from sleepers, which is helpful since all-foam beds tend to trap body heat more than innerspring or hybrid mattresses.
The Nolah Original is topped by a 2-inch thick comfort layer of AirFoam, Nolah’s proprietary high-resilience polyfoam. This layer is designed to conform to sleepers for pressure relief without creating a sinking feeling or trapping excess heat.
With a high-density rating of 2.5 PCF (pounds per cubic foot), this layer is designed to conform closely to the sleeper, relieve pain at pressure points, and isolate motion. High-density foam comfort layers can trap body heat and lack the responsiveness of an innerspring or latex mattress.
Beneath the top comfort layer is a 1-inch thick layer of high-resilience polyfoam. Its much higher density rating of 4PCF makes the mattress more responsive, preventing the sleeper from coming into contact with the support layer below. High-density foams also make the mattress more durable, although they can contribute to noticeable, but harmless, off-gassing when the mattress is new.
At the base is a 7-inch thick layer of high-density base polyfoam that’s designed to provide support and keep the bed from sagging too much around the edges. It measures 1.8 PCF, placing it in the high-density category.
Altogether, the Nolah Original’s layers make the mattress 10 inches tall. That places the Nolah Original in the medium-profile category, which most bedding is designed to fit.
|Product Name||Firmness||Thickness||Support Core Components||Comfort Layer Components||Cover Components|
|Nolah Original Mattress||5.5 (Medium)||10”||7” 1.8PCF HD Base Foam||2” 2.5 PCF Polyfoam
1” 4 PCF High Resilience Foam
What Are the Firmness and Feel Like?
At 5.5 (medium) on the 1-10 firmness scale, the Nolah Original balances support with conforming to provide pressure relief. The conforming provided by the polyfoam comfort layers allows sleepers feel cushioned without feeling like they’re sinking too far into the mattress.
Our testers found the Nolah Original Mattress to be a bit cooler and more responsive than memory foam mattresses, and less bouncy than latex and innerspring options. All of our testers received very good pressure relief on this mattress, even at common pressure points like the shoulders and hips.
Testers described the Nolah Original’s feel as supportive, conforming, and soft. Some testers found it a little too soft, while others described the feel as similar to a hug. It conforms well – but recovers its shape fairly quickly – which enables sleepers to easily change positions and avoid feeling “stuck” in the mattress.
Nolah has not been in business long enough yet to evaluate the long-term durability of their products. We rate the Nolah Original as fairly durable, based on its all-foam construction. Foam mattresses, regardless of whether they’re memory foam or polyfoam, tend to last about eight years before they develop permanent sleeper indentations.
The exact lifespan of a foam mattress depends on several factors. For example, heavier bodies tend to form permanent indentations in foam sooner than lighter bodies do. And a mattress that’s slept on every night will likely wear out sooner than a guest room mattress. Additionally, a mattress with denser layers of foam is usually more durable than one made with lower-density foam.
To maximize the lifespan of an all-foam mattress like the Nolah Original, we recommend rotating the mattress head-to-toe (not flipping it over) every six months. This can prevent deep impressions from forming in the comfort layers.
Motion isolation refers to how well the mattress absorbs a sleeper’s movements, rather than transferring that movement to the rest of the bed (and to other sleepers who may be sharing the bed).
To test this, we asked two of our testers to rest on the Nolah Original at the same time. One moved around while the other felt for signs of motion on their side of the mattress. Our in-house testers said they felt very little motion transfer, so the Nolah Original performed very well for motion isolation. Our external testers noted the same results. This can be a plus for couples and co-sleepers who don’t want to disturb each other with movement during sleep.
Our testers noticed some odor when they took the Nolah Originalout of its packaging, but it dissipated within about a week. This type of “new mattress smell” is common with all-foam mattresses. Opening the windows in the bedroom where it’s set up can help get rid of the odor faster.
Despite the “new mattress smell,” the foam in the Nolah Original is CertiPUR-US certified to be free of ozone-depleting chemicals, chemical flame retardants, lead, and mercury.
We use 2D and 3D sensory mapping tools to measure the pressure relief our sleep testers get from each mattress we evaluate. We do this by putting a sensory pad on the mattress for our testers to lie down on. As they do, the pad reads the data on how much pressure builds up in key areas like hips and shoulders and generates a color coded pressure map our team can read as the testers move around.
The Nolah Original provided excellent pressure relief to all our sleep testers, regardless of their weight or preferred sleep position.
Each of our testers said they felt that the Nolah Original did a decent job of staying cool during the night. Overall, our data shows that the mattress rates ‘good’ for temperature neutrality.
Foam mattresses – especially memory foam beds – tend to trap body heat, which is why people who sleep hot generally prefer innerspring mattresses or hybrid beds that promote airflow through the mattress to disperse heat. The Nolah Original’s top AirFoam comfort layer is constructed to allow better airflow than memory foam. The Tencel cover also helps to wick away moisture.
To test the Nolah Original’s edge support, each of our testers took turns sitting on the mattress edge as if they were getting in or out of bed. The Nolah Original’s edge sank somewhat under each tester as they sat, which is typical for all-foam mattresses.
We also asked our testers to lie down near the mattress edge to test for edge compression and to see if they felt they might roll off. Although they felt some compression along the edge, none of our testers experienced a sensation of “roll-off.”
Our testers found that the Nolah Original is nearly silent when bearing weight. That’s because as an all-foam, non-adjustable mattress, there are no innersprings, air chambers, or mechanical parts to generate noise when sleepers move around.
This makes the Nolah Original an excellent choice for light sleepers who wake up from noise when they or their partners change sleep positions.
The Nolah Original’s multiple foam layers, while more responsive than memory foam, lack the bounce found in latex and innerspring mattresses. The bed’s less-than-optimal edge support also hinders sexual activity, since it limits the usable surface area. On the other hand, the Nolah Original is very quiet, which can be a plus for discretion and privacy in a shared living space.
Now, let’s take a closer look at our sleeper ratings for the Nolah Original Mattress.
The right firmness, mattress thickness and construction can feel different for each sleeper, based on their body weight and their preferred sleep position. That’s why we evaluated the Nolah Original with members of our testing team with different sleep styles and body types.
Lightweight Sleepers – Less than 130 lbs.
Overall, our tester and user data rates the Nolah Original as very good for lightweight sleepers in all sleep positions. This is in line with the performance of many foam mattresses, because foam comfort layers tend to provide more conforming and pressure relief for lightweight sleepers than firmer options.
For example, our lightweight sleeper said the Nolah Original provided great support and pressure relief, especially for back and side sleeping. The upper AirFoam comfort layer provided good conforming and temperature neutrality, and it promoted proper spinal alignment in all sleep positions.
Average Weight Sleepers – 130 to 230 lbs.
Overall, the Nolah Original rates very good among side and back sleepers, but only good for stomach sleepers in this weight range. Stomach sleepers did not receive adequate support to keep their hips from sinking too deeply into the mattress.
The Nolah Original delivered excellent pressure relief and good temperature neutrality, but some sleepers in this weight range may find the mattress too soft. The bed’s medium feel provides adequate but not optimal support for sleepers in this group. Some sleepers on the heavier end of this weight range may sink through the comfort layers into the high-density foam base layer.
Heavyweight Sleepers – More than 230 lbs.
Based on our testing, the Nolah Original earned the lowest scores from heavyweight sleepers in all sleep positions, never earning a score higher than ‘good.’ The fact that heavier sleepers are more likely to sink into the support layer plays a part in this rating.
As we mentioned at the start of this section, though, personal preferences certainly come into play when selecting a mattress, and those who prefer a softer mattress may still find the Nolah Original comfortable. However, support and spinal alignment are not ideal on this mattress for heavyweight sleepers, who often prefer the robust support offered by hybrid beds.
Pricing and Discounts
- Twin $499
- Twin XL $599
- Full $699
- Queen $899
- King $999
- California King $999
How Does the Nolah Original Mattress Compare to Other Beds?
Comparing similar mattresses can help you find the best possible choice for your sleep habits, weight and personal preferences. Here, we help you out by comparing the Nolah Original Mattress to Nolah’s luxury Signature model and to other foam mattresses made by Nolah competitors.
Nolah Original vs. Nolah Signature
Nolah’s Original model and its premium Nolah Signature Mattress both use an all-foam construction. They’re both designed with AirFoam comfort layers that provide excellent pressure relief. The Nolah Original and Signature offer similar performance when it comes to motion isolation and noise, again thanks to their foam components. We recommend both models for lightweight and average weight sleepers.
Both mattresses have medium (5) feels. The Signature measures 2 inches thicker than the Original, so sleepers may receive a bit more cushioning from the former, but both are very similar in terms of firmness.
The Signature is constructed using four foam layers compared to the Original’s three. This drives up the price-point a bit. Shoppers on a budget may want to consider the Nolah Original, since both beds feel roughly the same and perform at comparable levels.
Nolah Original vs. Nectar
The Nectar Mattress and the Nolah Original Mattress are both all-foam mattresses with similar price-points that earn high scores in our pressure relief, motion isolation, and noise categories. While the Nolah Original performed best for lightweight sleepers regardless of preferred position, the Nectar only stands out in the lightweight category for back sleepers.
On the other hand, the Nectar outperforms the Nolah Original in support for average weight and for heavyweight side and back sleepers. This may be because the Nectar mattress has a slightly firmer feel than the Nolah Original.
Nolah Original vs. Tuft & Needle Mattress
The Tuft & Needle Mattress is slightly firmer than the Nolah Original, with one comfort layer over a 7-inch high density foam base. Because it’s a 6.5 on the firmness scale, compared to the Nolah Original’s 5.5 rating, the Tuft & Needle performs better for average weight side and back sleepers than it does for lightweight sleepers. Neither mattress delivers optimal support for heavier sleepers, but the Nolah Original outperforms the Tuft & Needle for heavyweight side sleepers.
Both these mattresses, like most foam mattresses, offer good pressure relief, limit motion transfer across the mattress, and are very quiet. They perform equally well in terms of temperature neutrality because they use polyfoam instead of memory foam, which tends to trap more body heat. The Tuft & Needle has a lower price-point than the Nolah Original, making it a strong value for average weight sleepers on a budget.
Nolah Original vs. Layla
The Layla Mattress is a flippable mattress that’s medium-soft on one side and firm on the other. Like the Nolah Original, the Layla does a good job of supporting lightweight back sleepers and average weight side sleepers. The Layla offers better support than the Nolah Original for average weight back sleepers, due in part to the firmer comfort layer option. The Nolah Original, meanwhile, provides better support than the Layla to lightweight side and stomach sleepers.
Even though the Layla’s comfort layers are made of memory foam, the mattress performs as well as the all-polyfoam Nolah Original for temperature neutrality. That’s because the Layla’s comfort layers are infused with copper gel, which is designed to conduct heat away from sleepers. Because it’s all-foam, the Layla does well with motion isolation and pressure relief, and it’s quiet. It’s rated as more durable than the Nolah Original, due to the quality of the memory foam used.
Nolah Original vs. Bear Mattress
The Bear Mattress is another three-layer all-foam option that performs well in terms of pressure relief, motion isolation, and quiet. Like the Nolah Original, the Bear Mattress rates well for average sleepers and not as well for heavyweight sleepers, who may need more support. However, the Nolah Original rates higher than the Bear for lightweight sleepers.
One unique feature of the Bear Mattress is a cover made with Celliant, unlike the Nolah Original’s Tencel cover. Celliant is a patented fabric that absorbs body heat from sleepers, converts the heat to infrared energy and reflects it back to the sleepers’ bodies. This can be helpful for athletes who want to recover faster from workouts.
Nolah Original Mattress FAQ
Sleep Trial 120 nights
Shipping Free to contiguous U.S.
Made In USA
Where Can I Buy the Nolah Original Mattress?
Nolah mattresses are sold exclusively online.
Where Do They Ship?
Nolah ships mattresses to the 48 contiguous U.S. states only.
White Glove Delivery?
Nolah does not offer White Glove delivery.
Old Mattress Removal?
Nolah does not offer old mattress removal.
Full Delivery Policy
Nolah mattresses ship free via UPS and arrive within 10 days of order. Nolah mattresses are made to order, which requires 3 to 5 days.
Returns are free. Nolah will send a driver to remove the mattress for donation or recycling.
Trial Period and Warranty Details
Nolah’s 120-night trial lets customers to fully experience the mattress before committing. The trial offer includes a 30-night break-in period, during which the mattress can’t be returned. After the first 30 nights, customers can return the mattress until the 120th night.
The Nolah Original Mattress comes with a lifetime warranty for the original buyer. The warranty covers defects in the production of the mattress only.
8.5 out of 10 owner experiences show customers have had a positive experience with Nolah, irrespective of whether they liked their mattress.
Nolah launched in 2015.
Nolah has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Nolah does not operate any brick-and-mortar locations.
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