Nolah and Bear are two popular mattress companies that incorporate unique technology into their mattresses to solve common mattress issues. Nolah has a proprietary foam that relieves pressure very well. Bear’s mattress is made with athletes in mind, and uses materials intended to help with recovery. In this article, I’ll run through the similarities and differences so you can make an educated decision.
- Both are all-foam mattresses that are 10” thick.
- Both use special materials to ensure people will sleep cool.
- Both have a similar base support foam.
- Both offer free shipping and generous sleep trials.
- Both are in the same price range
- Nolah is softer owing to its proprietary AirFoam.
- Nolah has a soft viscose cover.
- Bear has more of a memory foam feel and Nolah has more of a responsive feel.
- Bear’s cover is made with Celliant, which is said to help athletes recover more quickly.
- Bear has a shorter trial period (100 nights, to Nolah’s 120 nights).
Nolah’s website offers specific details about the construction of its mattress. The picture below gives a visual breakdown of the layers. Here’s a layer by layer breakdown:
- A thin, soft, breathable viscose enwraps the mattress but doesn’t affect the feel too much.
- The soft top layer is comprised of 2 inches of proprietary “AirFoam,” which can relieve pressure better than memory foam while also being temperature neutral, according to some studies.
- 1 inch of Avena foam underlies the AirFoam layer. Avena foam is latex-like and gives the mattress good bounce and response. It is also highly durable, so this mattress should last a long time.
- A pretty standard base layer of 1.8 lb. density polyfoam anchors the layers above.
Bear has a few unique aspects to its construction. Here’s how the mattress comes together:
- The Celliant cover of the mattress is the main feature that makes it appealing for athletes. Celliant is used in some athletic clothes. The fiber incorporates thermoactive minerals said to convert convert radiant body heat into infrared energy, which the fiber sends back into the body. These infrared rays are known to have positive effects on the body.
- The top layer of the mattress is a special memory foam made with graphite gel to better disperse heat and prevent you from sleeping hot.
- The next two layers are two 1 inch layers of what the company calls response foam. It is a highly durable polyfoam that gives the mattress some bounce and prevents you from sinking too far into the mattress.
- The base layer is 6.5 inches of 1.8 lb. density polyfoam and is similar to the Nolah base layer.
- I think both mattresses should be about equally durable.
- The Nolah is especially responsive to pressure and has more give than the Bear.
- Bear feels a bit denser than Nolah and you won’t sink into it as much.
- Nolah has a more sleeping “in” the mattress feel, while Bear has a more sleeping “on” the mattress feel.
- Bear is firmer overall by a noticeable amount.
Nolah is very soft and responsive to pressure, and slow to spring back after you press into it. Bear’s responsiveness is somewhere between the softness of memory foam and the springiness of latex. Watch the videos below to get a better idea.
Motion Transfer Differences
Both mattresses isolate motion very effectively. The videos below demonstrate exactly how they perform, but overall both are good options for couples.
Pick Nolah If:
- You’re a side sleeper who wants a little extra softness – The proprietary foam is very soft and has a lot of give, making it a great option for side sleepers.
- You like sinking into your mattress — You sleep “in” the Nolah mattress more than you sleep “on” it.
Pick Bear If:
- You’re a stomach or back sleeper — The Bear is a little firmer and will give you a little more spinal support.
- You don’t want to sink into your mattress — You sleep “on” the Bear, not “in” it.
I hope this review was helpful. There are some pretty substantial differences between these two mattresses, but they’re both great choices. Please share any specific questions you have in the comments.
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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