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. 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 you cool.

Also, Nolah Mattress is advertised as selling for a third of the price of in-store memory foam mattresses. Is this a comfortable, value alternative to memory foam? Read on for my full review.

You Might Want To Pick The Nolah If:

  • You Are A Side Sleeper– If you are under 200 lbs and sleep on your side, you should love this mattress. You should feel great pressure relief when you are sleeping on your side. The AirFoam layer is quite soft and I felt little to no pressure on my shoulders and hips.
  • You Tend To Sleep Hot– Memory foam mattresses sometimes have problems with trapping heat. With the Nolah, this isn’t the case. The Air Foam is designed to dissipate heat, so you won’t be sleeping hot.
  • You 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 you quite a while.

Get $125 Off Nolah with coupon code “MATTRESSCLARITY

You Might Not Want To Pick The Nolah If:

  • You Are A Stomach Sleeper– You may require something firmer if you sleep in this position. You might need more support on your hips and this mattress doesn’t really give that. Overall, the Nolah is softer than average, so you may want to look for something firmer.
  • You Are A Heavier Person– If you are 200 lbs or more, you may want to look elsewhere. The top air foam layer is very soft, so you could press right through that and engage with the firmer layers beneath (especially when on your side).

Construction Overview

  • The mattress is 10” tall.
  • The cover is a made of a polyster/Viscose blend. It is very thin and pretty soft.
  • The first layer is 2” of a proprietary AirFoam. It’s very soft and immediately responsive.  The company claims it relieves pressure better than memory foam.  What I can say is that for me it did relieve pressure very well.
  • Then there is 1” of Avena foam. It’s like latex but will give you some bounce. It also transitions you to the much firmer base layer.
  • Finally, the support layer is 7” of a high density base foam.
  • The Nolah Mattress is Made in the USA.

Get $125 Off Nolah with coupon code “MATTRESSCLARITY

Construction Takeaways

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

Firmness and Feel

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 you from sinking too far into the mattress. It is quite easy to move around on the mattress and shouldn’t feel “stuck.”

On my side, I felt little to no pressure on my shoulders and hips. However, on my stomach and back, I did feel my hips sinking in a bit. The Nolah is definitely a good choice for side sleepers.

If you are over 200 lbs, you may have a different experience than I did. You may press right through that soft top layer right through to the support layers beneath. You may feel the Nolah to be firmer than I did.

Motion Transfer

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

During my test, the glass barely moved. I saw little to no motion transfer on the Nolah. If you sleep with a partner, you shouldn’t feel them moving around at night.

The Nolah Mattress could be a good option for couples.

Edge Support

The Nolah is an all foam mattress, 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.  However, 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. This makes it a good choice for couples.

You can see the edge support in the photo below.

Marten’s Take

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

“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. For me, 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 on in that position. On my back, I did feel some nice support. It was pretty good in that position for someone my size.”

Marten’s experience confirms what I would expect for a heavier sleeper. 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. If you sleep on your side and weigh under 200 lbs., you should get the pressure relief you need.
  • Though it is a foam mattress, you shouldn’t be sleeping hot. The air foam doesn’t trap heat like most memory foam, and even dissipates heat. The cooling cover also stops you from getting too hot at night.
  • Considering the durable foam materials, I would have expected the Nolah Mattress to cost more. It is really a value mattress with great, long-lasting, construction.
4.5 Reviewer
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.
Value (Price)4.5
Doesn't Sleep Hot4.6
Motion Transfer4.5
Edge Support4
Company Reputation4.3
Return Policy/Warranty4.8
Overall Sleep Experience4.6

How To Unbox This Mattress

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

Carefully cut the away the first layers of plastic until the still-compact mattress can be laid down flat.  Then, pierce through the final layer of plastic and the Nolah will expand. Simply clear away the excess plastic and allow your mattress to breathe and fully expand.


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

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

Also, if you are heavier and sleep on your stomach, you may need a firmer mattress to give you 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.

Get $125 Off Nolah with coupon code “MATTRESSCLARITY

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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 100 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 4 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. When he isn't testing sleep products, he enjoys working out, reading both fiction and non-fiction, and playing classical piano. He enjoys traveling as well, and not just to test out hotel mattresses! Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.

68 thoughts on “Nolah Mattress Review: A Value Alternative To Memory Foam?

  1. Thanks for this review. It’s really nice to get a detailed breakdown of how the mattress would work for different sorts of sleepers.

  2. This sounds like a great mattress!! I struggle with chronic pain and fatigue and I’m sure this mattress could help me get better quality sleep.

  3. I saw that this is a good mattress for side sleepers. I was shot in a car jacking incident years ago and developed side sleeping because I can’t lay on my back becuase I get back spasms and I can’t lay on my right side due to injuries on that side. I am so glad you offer give aways. because I am disabled and can not work. The money I recieve from disability pays for my rent and bills with not much left over. I can’t even save for my future or my daughters let alone trying to find a good quality mattress. I don’t sleep well, and I honestly know that a lot of it is me. But, my 20 year old mattress does have it’s drawbacks. Thank you for the opportunity to own one, and Enjoy life!

  4. Awesome review on the Nolah Mattress. It has some awesome features. Fingers crossed that I win. Thanks again for the opportunity and chance.

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