Nolah Mattress Review – A Value Alternative To Memory Foam?

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Nolah is an online, direct-to-consumer retailer of bed-a-box-mattresses that has had great success on the market. Their flagship Nolah Mattress makes use of a proprietary foam that has some very interesting properties.  It is immediately responsive, relieves pressure very well, and is also designed to keep people sleeping cool.

Also, Nolah Mattress is advertised as selling for a third of the price of in-store memory foam mattresses.  The marketing messages all sound fantastic, but consumers want to know how the mattress will sleep for them.  This review will cover everything consumers need to know about the mattress, including a breakdown of the construction, firmness and feel, and so much more.

Up To $300 Off

Nolah has a VERY comfortable mattress that is especially good for side sleepers.  You can get up to $300 off the Nolah by clicking the link below.

Who Might Want To Pick The Nolah:

  • Side Sleepers– If someone weighs under 200 lbs and sleeps on their side, they should love this mattress and feel great pressure relief when they are sleeping on their side. The AirFoam layer is quite soft and I felt little to no pressure on the shoulders and hips. Plus, it’s one of the best soft mattresses so it has a great feel.
  • Combinations Sleepers- The Nolah is one of the best mattresses for combination sleepers! it can support sleepers in all sleeping positions.
  • Those Who Tend To Sleep Hot– Memory foam mattresses sometimes have problems with trapping heat because of their chemical nature. With the Nolah, this isn’t the case because it doesn’t use memory foam in its construction. The Air Foam is designed to dissipate heat, so people won’t be sleeping hot.
  • People Who Sleep With Pain- The Nolah has made it to several of our lists “best of” lists for pain relief, including the best mattresses for back pain and the best mattresses for hip pain. If you’re looking for pain relief, the Nolah may be a good fit.
  • People Who Are Looking For A Durable Mattress At A Value Price– The mattress is well constructed and, unlike many mattresses at this price range, is quite durable. This reasonably priced mattress should last people quite a while, making it an excellent overall value.

Nolah mattress review

Who Might Not Want To Pick The Nolah:

  • Stomach Sleepers– People may require something firmer and more supportive if they sleep in this position. They might need more support on their hips and this mattress doesn’t really give that. Overall, the Nolah is softer than average, so people may want to look for something firmer if they sleep mainly on their stomach.
  • Heavier People– If someone weighs 200 lbs or more, they may want to look elsewhere. The top air foam layer is very soft, so people could press right through that and engage with the firmer support layers beneath (especially when on their side).

Nolah mattress feel

Construction Overview

  • The mattress is 10” tall and features a simple construction with three separate foam layers.
  • The cover is a made of a polyster/Viscose blend, which is very thin and pretty soft and also doesn’t affect the overall feel of the mattress too much.
  • The first layer is 2” of a proprietary AirFoam, which is very soft and immediately responsive.  The company claims it relieves pressure better than memory foam, and I can say is that it did relieve pressure very well.
  • Then there is 1” of Avena foam, which is like latex but will give sleepers some bounce and also transitions people to the much firmer base layer.
  • Finally, the support layer is 7” of a high density base foam, which is a pretty standard base layer in the industry.
Up To $300 Off

Nolah has a VERY comfortable mattress that is especially good for side sleepers.  You can get up to $300 off the Nolah by clicking the link below.

Nolah mattress for side sleeping

Construction Takeaways

  • The Nolah is available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King, basically any size a consumer would want.
  • The soft upper layers relieve pressure very well, making it a great choice for side sleepers, especially lightweight ones.
  • The Avena foam makes sure people don’t sink in too far and feel stuck in the mattress and also makes it easier to move around on the mattress and switch positions.
  • The Viscose used in the cover wicks moisture and helps dissipate body heat, helping people sleep cool throughout the night.
  • Also, many memory foam owners complain of sleeping hot, but the AirFoam does not trap heat. It is actually designed to dissipate heat, so people shouldn’t be sleeping hot with this mattress.

Firmness and FeelNolah mattress firmness rating

The top 2” of AirFoam is very soft so, for me, the mattress was softer than average, about a 5.5 or 6/10.

At the same time, the AirFoam is immediately responsive and the Avena foam transition layer stops sleepers from sinking too far into the mattress. It is quite easy to move around on the mattress and people shouldn’t get the feeling of being “stuck.”

When side sleeping, I felt little to no pressure on the shoulders and hips. However, on my stomach and back, I did feel my hips sinking in a bit because the mattress is definitely on the softer side. The Nolah is definitely a good choice for side sleepers, especially people who aren’t too heavy.

If someone is over 200 lbs, they may have a different experience than I did. They may press right through that soft top layer right through to the firmer support layers beneath and may feel the Nolah to be firmer than I did as a result.

Motion Transfer

The Nolah is an all foam mattress, so I expected the Nolah to perform well with motion isolation.

During the tests, the glass barely moved, and I saw little to no motion transfer on the Nolah. If someone sleeps with a partner, they shouldn’t feel them moving around at night.

The Nolah Mattress could be a good option for couples who don’t want to be disturbed by their partner’s movements.

Edge Support

The Nolah is an all foam mattress that is softer than average, so I didn’t expect it to have the best edge support. The foam layers definitely compressed as I sat near the edge of the mattress, but I didn’t feel like I was going to fall off.

Also, lying near the edge, I didn’t feel like I was going to be ejected from the mattress, which makes it a good option for couples.

People can see the edge support in the photo below.

Nolah mattress edge support

Marten’s Take

Marten is a staff writer for us has a much different body type. He is 6’7″ and weighs about 230 lbs (I am 5’9″ and 160 lbs.). Here is what he thought about the mattress and how appropriate they are for heavier sleepers.

“For me, I definitely thought it was firmer than Joe did, especially on my side. My weight pressed through the soft upper layer and felt the support and transition layers beneath (which are much firmer).

That being said, I felt some nice pressure relief on my shoulders and my hips and thought the firmness is more of a 7 or 7.5/10.

On my stomach, I felt my hips sinking in a good amount, so it wasn’t the best in that position. On my back, I did feel some nice support and thought it was pretty good in that position for someone my size.”

Marten’s experience confirms what I would expect for a heavier sleeper, namely that he pressed through that soft upper layer and hit the firmer layers beneath. Someone Marten’s size may have trouble with pressure relief, especially on their side.

What Makes This Mattress Stand Out

  • This is a very comfortable mattress, and if someone sleeps on their side and weighs under 200 lbs., they should get the pressure relief they need.  The AirFoam makes the Nolah mattress one of the most comfortable mattresses one can find.
  • Though it is a foam mattress, people shouldn’t be sleeping hot at night. The air foam doesn’t trap heat like most memory foam, and even dissipates heat, and the cooling cover also stops people from getting too hot at night.
  • The Nolah is one of the best mattresses for lightweight sleepers.
  • Considering the durable foam materials, I would have expected the Nolah Mattress to cost more, so it is really a value mattress with great, long-lasting, construction.

How To Unbox This Mattress

The Nolah is a bed in a box mattress, which means it will come compressed and shipped straight to the shopper’s door. People will want to begin by removing the rolled up Nolah mattress from its box and then, preferably with another person’s assistance, position the roll on the bed.

People should then carefully cut the away the first layers of plastic until the still-compact mattress can be laid down flat.  Then, people should pierce through the final layer of plastic and the Nolah will expand. Then people should simply clear away the excess plastic and allow the mattress to breathe and fully expand.

Overall Rating

4.1 Overall
Nolah is a very comfortable mattress made with proprietary foam and Avena foam. It's a bit softer than average, so I think its a great fit for side sleepers. Sold only online, its a strong value and has a unique donation proposition that I think will resonate with a lot of mattress shoppers.
Edge Support
Motion Transfer
Trial Period

The Nolah Mattress honestly relieves pressure better than most mattresses I have tried, so for someone my size, under 200 lbs, it is a great choice for side sleepers.

However, if someone is heavier than 200 lbs, they may not get the same pressure relief. The top AirFoam layer is very soft, so people may press through it, down to the support layers beneath.

Also, if someone is heavier and sleeps on their stomach, they may need a firmer mattress to give them the proper support.

The Nolah Mattress comes with a 120 Night Trial Period and a 15 Year Warranty. Also, for every mattress purchased, Nolah will donate a percentage of proceeds to wildlife conservation.

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.

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