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? In my experience, it was a very comfortable mattress, but read on for my full review.

$125 Off

Nolah has a VERY comfortable mattress that is especially good for side sleepers.  You can get $125 off the Nolah by clicking the link below and using code MATTRESSCLARITY.

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.

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.
$125 Off

Nolah has a VERY comfortable mattress that is especially good for side sleepers.  You can get $125 off the Nolah by clicking the link below and using 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.  The AirFoam makes the Nolah mattress one of the most comfortable mattresses you can find.
  • 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.

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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.

84 thoughts on “Nolah Mattress Review – A Value Alternative To Memory Foam?”

  1. I am about 170, and a side sleeper. I just purchased a purple, but every night I wake up with hip pain. I then switch over to the other side, and wake up again in about 2 hours with hip pain on that side. I am using there stretchy sheets because they said that would help, and it did a little. I have been using the bed for about 40 days now, and am going to return it because I simply can’t sleep with the hip pain.

    I am now looking at three beds, the Nolah, layla, and tuft and needle mint. Which one, or is there another one that may be better.


  2. I am a 40 y.o. woman, 5’2″ and weigh about 100 lbs. I am mostly a side sleeper and occasionally on my back. My previous mattress was a 15 year old plush pillow top. I had been suffering from back and shoulder pain. Based on this and other reviews, I decided to purchase the Nolah Original 10″. I have been sleeping on this new mattress for about a month now. I do sleep very well and no longer have shoulder and back pain (also attributed to 6 weeks of weekly chiropractor visits). However, a small part of me misses that super plush pillowtop feeling and think I would like it even better if it were a tad softer. But that being said. I’m not sure there’s a mattress out there that would meet this need as well as have the warranty, return policy and price point as the Nolah.

  3. I am 5’1″ and weigh 135-145, depends on how much I eat or exercise. I am a side sleeper with arthritis in my shoulders and neck. I do not like to lay on a hot bed. I want to be able to turn over in bed without crawling out of a hole. What do you suggest? I’ve read so many reviews that they are all blurring together. Nolah, Purple 3, ???

  4. Hi, I am considering buying one of these nolah beds. I’m 155lbs and I sleep in every position but most often wake up on my side. I really enjoy soft beds but worry about feeling like I’m sleeping in a pit, because I don’t like that. What bed would you recommend?

  5. Hi Joe, my wife and I purchased the Nolah mattress in March of 2018 and we’re very happy with it. However we feel like we may sleep better if it were even softer, so we’re thinking about putting a 2 inch foam topper on top of the Nolah mattress. Do you have advice about whether there’s anything heretical about putting a foam mattress topper on top of a foam mattress?

  6. Nolah has a terrific Holiday sale until XMAS day. $300 off the 12″. When I spoke with a CSR, she mentioned that one could flip the 12″ if one found it too soft. Anyways, I’m 5’11” and 195 and my gf is 5’6″ and 138#. Seems like either the 10 or 12 would work. Your thoughts? And thank you for your excellent site.

  7. Hi there! I am considering the 12″ Nolah & can’t afford to make a purchase mistake. I suffer from chronic pain & multiple site spasms, etc., from a 360° horse accident. I have not slept much in 4 yrs. and am desperate for a new mattress. I hope this will help remedy my sleep problem. I am under 110 lbs. & need pressure relief for hips & shoulders. My current bed hurts me & I wake up every 2 hours, then can’t get back to sleep. Hoping this will help to properly align my damaged neck. I would like to hear from a few more injured, lightweight sleepers before making a final decision. PS: yes, am a side sleeper

  8. This review is the reason I bought this mattress I bought the 12 inch mattress though and should receive it on Monday. I am a side sleeper who sleeps hot and I am well under 200 pounds so I have decided to give this a try. I looked at several before making my decision and what did it was price and the fact that give to the world wildlife fund

  9. Hi Joe,
    My wife and I are looking for a new mattress. We are both side sleepers. I’m 6’1″, 165 lbs. and my wife is 5’5″, 120 lbs. We have seen your review of the best mattresses for side sleepers and are leaning toward the Nolah 10″. However, I also see that Nolah makes a 12″ mattress. Any thoughts on how the 12″ mattress compares to the 10″ for a couple like us?

    • I would just get the 10″. I weigh about what you weigh and really loved it on my side. The 12″ would be better for heavier sleepers. You both should be good on the 10″.

  10. Hi Joe,
    I’m a 185 lbs side sleeper, and my wife is a 190 lbs back sleeper,so it’s been difficult trying to decide on a bed that would work for both of us. My top pick was the purple 3, but I’m hesitant to shell out that much money without trying other options first. I’m thinking of trying the Nolah first, but are there any other better options that you would suggest given our scenario?

  11. I love this mattress. I got it for my daughter and I am seriously considering getting one for myself. I was originally planning a hybrid for myself. I purchased the single side 10″. It does a fantastic job in every position. I am a combination sleeper primarily my side and stomach. My hips are supported enough for my back to stay suppprted. The foam pushes up into my lower back when on my back. On my side I don’t feel pressure. We are both light but I feel those that are bigger would be fine as well. I’ve tried many mattresses in store and was very pleasantly surprised how fantastic this is. Thank you for the recommendation!!!!

  12. We just got our new King sized 12″ mattress and while it is as comfortable as our Queen 10″, we’re not so happy with it. The new cover isn’t very durable: it tears when you look at it funny. The mattress was in an empty room, moved aside for the frame to be placed, and then set on the frame. In that process, the cotton cover ripped. This, of course, voids the warranty so we’re stuck with an expensive damaged bed.

  13. We’ve had this mattress for a year and it now sags in our sleeping areas. The sagging causes hip and spine pain. Contacting Nolah, they deem this to be “perceived”, so they will not honor their warranty. Stay away from this mattress unless you’re okay with buying a new one every year.

    • In the scientific and legal community this is call burden of proof: Nolah doesn’t have to prove that the mattress is still properly functioning, you have to prove that it isn’t. This shouldn’t be to hard to do though. Get yourself a heavy weight (the heavier the better) and attach a tape measure to it. Place the weight in various places and take pictures proving it sags more in the sleeping areas.

  14. I currently have a Saatva mattress. I am Irish and an extremely hot side sleeper living in Southern California. I need to keep my thermostat at 67 degrees to feel comfortable and get any sleep at all. The Saatva definitely sleeps cooler than our old memory foam but it’s a little firm for me and I feel more like I am sleeping on top of the mattress. My wife feels it’s too firm as well. That being said, staying cool is my top priority. Is the Nolah going to be a better option for staying cool than the Saatva?

  15. Thanks Joe, I think I have come down to 3 choices: the Purple, or a hybrid either the tomorrow sleep or wink bed. . Any thoughts?

  16. Hey! Your reviews are really helpful! That being said, we bought a Purple back in Feb. and it hasn’t been great for my husbands shoulders. We’re thinking of returning it, so I’m back at reading reviews and searching. How do you think the Nolah compares to the Purple? It looks like it’s good for side sleepers…?
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

  17. Hi Joe, I have a Nolah mattress and have slept on it for about 90 days. I will be requesting a return by the company. I am a side sleeper and love the pressure relief on my hips and shoulders but feel like I sink too deep into the mattress. This makes rolling over or changing positions very difficult. I am 6 feet and 225lbs. Any suggestions on a mattress for side sleepers with pressure relief without that deep sinking feeling? Thanks for your help

  18. I have been through the online mattress ringer, but even with wife complaining lets go back into a retail store, I feel too ripped off going back to that retail model. My wife and I are both tall and fairly thin and side sleepers. We tried the Helix to start because we could customize it as I like a little more firm (my side came in super firm and her side I could sleep on but she couldnt). We tried an Alexander Hybrid in Medium. It was good for two months and then foam started breaking down and my hips sank in too much to be a comfortable side sleeper bed. We then got a Wink bed. It is really more like a 6.5 on firmness scale. We put a 2 inch latex topper on top of it to make it kind of tolerable (but I really think it would be too firm for all but very heavy side sleepers), but after 7 mos its now sitting out in garage and we ordered this Nolah. We like it as a side sleeper and have slept better on it than any of these other online mattresses but major complaint is a lack of bounce / spousal relations mattress. Its not as bad as a Tempurpedic we had bought and tried 8 years ago, but its worse than all the mattresses above. I think the Nolah’s support will hold up ok (e.g. foam wont break down too bad and start sagging), but too early to call on that. Hard to find comparison reviews out there that are unbiased, so hope this helps

  19. I like that it doesn’t sleep hot, but wish it was a little softer/plusher on top. Too bad they don’t make a version with thicker Air and Avena foam. Do you know of a mattress like Nolah, but is a little softer?

  20. Thanks for your website, we did find it helpful. We dec46ided on and received a Layla and chose the firm side. After a week it still seems to soft for us. We will more than likely return it and would like your thoughts on a firmer mattress in the under $1000 category

  21. Thank you for helping me decide on a new mattress purchase with your extensive research. I am a 54 yr old female and I am sleeping on a 9-year old mattress. I am a side sleeper and have been having issues with hip/leg pain that keeps progressively getting worse which I am attributing to my old mattress. I chose the Nolah because I am looking for an affordable mattress that is great for side-sleepers, sleeps cool and can be used with my current foundation. I just ordered the Nolah today in Queen and I am very excited to receive it. Thank you so much for all of your help!!

  22. After reading the top picks for side sleepers and looking at each individual website/price, I think I will try a Nolah. I have a cali king bed. currently a foster and sterns pillow top that i bought second hand and it was comfy at first. I started to toss and turn and my neck/back hurt. my chiropractor suggested new pillows at first, and after trying that, we think it is my mattress. The number one thing that sold me on Nolah was that a portion goes to help animals. silly to some, but I knew that was the bed for me.

  23. I’ve had my Nolah mattress for a week now. Customer service and the shipping/delivery process was great. Off-gassing was minimal- I un-boxed it and set it up in the afternoon and by the time I went to bed I didn’t notice any smell. It doesn’t sleep hot in the slightest for me- and I’m coming from years and years of sleeping on innerspring mattresses. It is very comfortable, and I will stick it out for this initial 30 day period, but I think it’s going to be too soft for me. I’ve realized that I sleep on my back much more than I sleep on my side. The first 2 nights were really comfortable, but the last several nights I’ve woken up during the night and in the morning with back pain. I’m thinking I might need something more firm? The other thing is I wish it had a little higher profile- I don’t get why so many of these mattresses are 10″ deep instead of 11″ or 12″. It’s a great value but even aesthetically it looks and feels more like a “spare bedroom” mattress instead of one I will want to sleep on long term.

    • It’s definitely on the softer side and has awesome pressure relief, which makes it great for side sleepers. I agree that if you sleep mainly on your back, you might want something firmer.

  24. I bought this mattress and can tell you that it’s VERY comfortable. The first night I slept on it, I didn’t wake up at all! I slept all the way through until time for my alarm to go off. I slept very soundly and very comfortably. No over heating at all! This was an excellent choice for me, a confirmed side sleeper.

  25. We just purchased a king size mattress and slept on in for the first night, last night. We previously had a store bought pillow top before and I can tell the Nolah is a great mattress. Usually I toss and turn because my hips and shoulders are in pain from the pillow top mattress. Not this morning. Both my wife and I are side and back sleepers. I weigh 210 and she weighs 125 and the mattress conforms and supports our bodies perfectly, does not suck you into it, does not make you sweat, and has a slight bounce to it with almost immediate recovery. I recommend this to anyone that sleeps like we do, on our sides and back. The price is the lowest we have found as well.

  26. Only concern is the 10″ thickness. I’m 6’2″ 220 side sleeper and partner is 5’10” 180 side sleeper…would we be better considering a deeper mattress like Loom and Leaf or Amerisleep in your opinion? Otherwise the Nolah seems like a great value.

  27. Thanks for reviewing the Nolah- you’re one of the few websites that I found that had it reviewed and it caused me to consider it. I bought it and love it. I am a side and back sleeper and I’ve found it works great in both positions. Additionally, it has relieved pain from my lumbar disk herniation which alone makes it worth the investment. Honestly, I haven’t slept this well in years. Absolutely no pressure points. I don’t have to work to find a comfortable position- as soon as I lay down, it’s instant comfort. I was a little worried when I first got it because it feels a little soft on top compared to other mattresses I tried in stores, but it has been the perfect balance of plushness and firmness.

  28. our current mattress is 24 years old and for the last four or five years I have been having extreme hip pain during the night. I am a side sleeper and my husband is a side- and back-sleeper. He LOVED our current mattress (not sure the brand but it is firm) when it was new, doesn’t seem to have any issues with aches and pains in the morning, so I expect he’ll resist getting a new mattress for fear that it won’t measure up to the one we have. I, on the other hand, hate the hip pains that I have each night and think a softer mattress that tackles pressure points would be great. I have even tried a 4″: memory foam topper on it for a couple of years – doesn’t really help. Your suggestions? We don’t need to worry about budget, but don’t want to spend a fortune either 🙂 Your suggestions will be most welcome!

  29. Your reviews have helped me in consideration for purchasing a bed in a box. Thank you for taking the time to research and write about your findings to help others like myself. I truly appreciate all you do to help others. Thank you!!!

  30. I’m looking at getting a hybrid foam mattress and my husband sleeps hot so I was drawn to this one. My question is – I am light, only 115 pounds. Are softer mattresses better for me since it will give enough to allow me to sink a bit? I was originally interested in the Purple mattress but am not sure its for me since I think you mentioned that lighter sleepers won’t get much “hug” from it – but will float more on top of it. Would this be better at giving me a bit of a “hug”-type feel? I mostly sleep on my back, but do sometimes switch to my stomach if I’m having trouble falling asleep.

  31. Joe, this looks great for two of my concerns, sleeps cool and as I am a dedicated side sleeper with major pressure point in hips and sometimes shoulders. However, I can not find any info on weight limitations. I am 6’2″ and 245lbs with the lower body of of a 170lb runner with no hip/butt padding at all and have the upper body of a 300lb beer guzzling redneck with broad shoulders. I am concerned it will not provide enough support being less than 11 inches. I am also considering the Helix and Novosbed as well as the Amerisleep Colonial. Any advice?

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

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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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