Nolah vs Helix: Which Should You Choose?

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Nolah and Helix are two popular mattress brands, but which is the best one for your unique needs? My Nolah vs Helix mattress comparison will help you figure that out!

I napped on both mattresses and put them through a number of tests. Keep reading to learn more about each bed’s firmness, feel, cooling features, pricing and more.

Product
Firmness
Score
Nolah Original 10" Mattress
Soft: 6/10
4.2/5
Helix Midnight Mattress
Medium-firm: 7/10
4.1/5
Product
Nolah Original 10" Mattress
Firmness
Soft: 6/10
Score
4.2/5
Product
Helix Midnight Mattress
Firmness
Medium-firm: 7/10
Score
4.1/5

Nolah vs Helix Overview

Nolah is known for its high-quality mattresses that contour the body and alleviate pressure. The Nolah Nurture is a great option for kiddos who need a flippable bed that can adapt with them as they grow, and the Nolah Evolution is a luxurious pick that’s great for combination sleepers. In this comparison, we’ll focus specifically on the bed that started it all: the Nolah Original

Helix Sleep sells 20 different mattresses, and to make the selection process easy, Helix created a sleep quiz that matches shoppers to their ideal bed. The Helix Midnight is the brand’s most popular model, so we’ll focus on this bed in this comparison. 

Who Should Get The Nolah OriginalWho Should Get TheHelix Midnight
Those looking for an all-foam mattressFans of hybrid mattresses
Fans of soft mattressesThose who want a medium-firm feel
Side sleepersBack and stomach sleepers

Read our full Helix mattress comparison to learn more about each model.

Nolah vs Helix: Similarities and Differences

Before we get into all of the details, let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between Nolah and Helix.

SimilaritiesDifferences
The mattresses fall within the same price range.The Nolah Original mattress feels softer than the Helix Midnight. 
Both beds isolate motion well.The Helix mattress has better edge support.
Both mattresses have generous sleep trial periods.The Nolah Original is an all-foam bed, while the Helix Midnight is a hybrid.

Firmness and Feel Differences

Mattress Clarity’s firmness scale ranges from one to 10, with 6.5/10 representing the industry standard of medium-firm. The Nolah Original mattress feels softer than average, coming in at 6/10 on our scale. This makes it a good choice for many side sleepers, because it cushions joints and helps alleviate pressure along shoulders and hips.

The Helix Midnight mattress comes in at 7/10 on our firmness scale, which is slightly firmer than average. This extra boost of support is helpful for many back and stomach sleepers because it helps keep the spine in the proper alignment.

Sleeping on the Nolah and Helix Mattresses

Because the Nolah mattress is softer than average, it’s a good choice for most average weight side sleepers. Lightweight sleepers should feel comfortable in all three sleeping positions because they won’t compress the foam very much. However, heavier people may sink through the foam layers, which can force the back to crane out of alignment and cause pain.

Nolah Original - Back Sleeping

The Helix Midnight mattress works well for many average weight back and stomach sleepers. Its supportive base layer helps keep the spine in the proper alignment, which can alleviate lower back pain. Some lightweight side sleepers may need more pressure relief, though. If you fall in this category, you may want to consider getting the Helix Sunset mattress instead. 

A man sleeps on the Helix Midnight mattress.

What Do The Nolah And Helix Mattresses Feel Like?

The Nolah Original mattress has a balanced foam feel. Unlike many all-foam beds, the Nolah Original doesn’t have a “quicksand” sort of quality. The proprietary AirFoam feels more responsive, which makes it easier to move around on top of the mattress. 

The Helix Midnight mattress has a balanced hybrid feel. It’s a bit more responsive than the Nolah Original, but it’s not as bouncy as a traditional innerspring mattress. You’ll feel like you’re sleeping “on top of” the mattress, rather than “inside it.”

Average Weight Sleepers – 130 lb – 230 lb

The Nolah Original mattress works well for most back and side sleepers who weigh between 130 and 230 lb. The soft AirFoam cushions joints, while the high-density base foam layer helps elevate the spine. Stomach sleepers in this weight range will likely feel their hips sink out of alignment, which can lead to lower back pain. We recommend checking out one of the best mattresses for stomach sleepers if you fall in this category. 

The Helix Midnight mattress works well for most average weight combination sleepers. The supportive coils help back sleepers maintain the proper spinal alignment, and the soft comfort layer offers pressure relief for most side sleepers. Stomach sleepers who weigh closer to 130 lb may not get the lumbar support they need and should consider getting one of the best firm mattresses

Heavyweight Sleepers – Over 230 lb

The Nolah Original is not a great choice for heavier people. Because it has a soft feel, heavier people won’t get the necessary lumbar support. This could cause the spine to crane out of alignment, which can lead to lower back pain. 

The Helix Midnight mattress is a decent choice for heavier back sleepers who weigh less than 300 lb, but it won’t work for everyone in this category. Heavier side sleepers will sink through the comfort layer and feel the coils at the bottom, which means they won’t get the pressure relief they need. Heavier stomach sleepers won’t get the hip support they need in order to maintain a straight spine. We recommend checking out our list of the best mattresses for heavy people for some more options. 

Lightweight Sleepers – Under 130 lb

The Nolah Original is a great choice for lightweight sleepers. People who weigh less than 130 lb won’t compress the comfort layer too much, so they should get the comfort and support they need. 

Lightweight sleepers should enjoy the Helix Midnight mattress—no matter the sleeping position. 

Mattress Construction Differences

Now, let’s take a closer look at how these mattresses differ when it comes to construction. 

Cover

The Nolah Original mattress has a Botanic Origin Tencel cover, which is made from sustainable materials. It allows plenty of room for airflow, so it’s a good choice for hot sleepers. 

The Helix Midnight’s Breathe Knit cover is comfy and cooling. You can also upgrade to a GlacioTex™ Cooling Pillow Top.

Comfort Layers

The Nolah mattress has two comfort layers. The first one is made with proprietary Nolah AirFoam. This material helps alleviate pressure along the shoulders and hips, and because it’s more responsive than traditional memory foam, it doesn’t trap a lot of body heat. Beneath this sits a layer of Supportive High-Resilience Foam, which is more supportive than AirFoam and acts as a transition layer. 

Nolah original construction

The Helix Midnight also has multiple comfort layers. First up: Helix’s proprietary Memory Plus foam. This material has a slow-moving feel, which helps alleviate pain along pressure points. Beneath this, you’ll find two layers of Helix Responsive Foam, which add more comfort and prevent sleepers from “bottoming out.”

A man pulls back the cover of the Helix Midnight Luxe

Support Layer

At the bottom of the Nolah mattress sits the Reinforced High-Density Core Foundation. This seven-inch layer is made with breathable foam that helps support the spine throughout the night.

The Helix Midnight mattress’s support layer consists of individually-wrapped coils. This not only gives the mattress a responsive feel—it also makes the bed particularly durable and breathable. 

Mattress Height

The Nolah mattress is 10” tall, and the Helix Midnight mattress is 12” tall.

Nolah and Helix Performance Differences

I didn’t just nap on these beds. I also tested their cooling features, motion transfer, edge support and more. Keep reading to see how they performed. 

Sleeping Hot or Cold

Many all-foam mattresses trap body heat, but that’s not as much of an issue with the Nolah mattress. Because of the proprietary AirFoam, the Nolah mattress feels more responsive and allows room for airflow. Unless you’re a particularly hot sleeper, you shouldn’t wake up feeling stuffy and uncomfortable on the Nolah mattress. 

The Helix Midnight mattress sleeps a bit cooler than the Nolah mattress, thanks to the breathable coils and Soft Touch cover. If you’re worried about overheating at night, Helix is the better choice. 

Motion Transfer

Couples may want to prioritize a mattress that eliminates motion transfer. If the bed shakes whenever your partner shifts sleeping positions, it could disrupt your sleep. 

Fortunately, the Nolah mattress isolates motion well. The thick foam absorbs movements and prevents it from traveling to the other side of the bed. When my coworker moved around on the mattress next to me, I didn’t feel their motion come over to my side of the bed. 

The Helix Midnight isolates motion well for a hybrid mattress, but because it has bouncy coils in its support layer, you may notice your partner’s movements during the night.

Edge Support

Edge support is another important element to consider if you share a bed with a partner. If a bed sinks near the sides, it will force both people to sleep closer toward the center of the mattress. 

The Nolah mattress has surprisingly good edge support. Many soft, all-foam beds sank whenever we sat near the edge, but the Nolah mattress’s reinforced foundation helped me feel stable and secure. 

Nolah Original - Edge Support

The Helix Midnight also has great edge support. The strong coils supported my hips and prevented me from rolling off the side of the bed. 

Helix Midnight Mattress - Edge Support

Durability

Both mattresses contain high-quality materials and should last a long time. However, because the Helix Midnight contains strong coils, we expect it to last a little bit longer than the Nolah. The Nolah mattress should last between seven and 10 years, while the Helix should last at least a decade.

Off-Gassing

Off-gassing, or the emission of a chemical smell, is a common occurrence with bed-in-a-box mattresses such as the Nolah and Helix. Both beds took about 48 hours to fully air out and expand. We recommend placing them in a well-ventilated room for a couple of days before sleeping on them. 

Noise

I didn’t hear any noise when I tested the Nolah and Helix mattresses. However, it’s possible the Helix mattress’s coils could start to squeak as the years go on. 

Sex

Couples looking for the best mattress for sex typically want beds that are responsive and easy to move around on. If this is a priority for you, I recommend the Helix Mattress. The bouncy coils will keep partners “on top of” the bed, rather than “inside” the layers. The Nolah mattress is a decent option because its foam layers are fairly responsive, but it’s not as easy to move around on. 

Nolah vs Helix Mattress Size Options and Price

Take a look at our charts below to learn more about Nolah and Helix’s size options and price points. 

Nolah

SizeDimensionsPrice
Twin38” x 75”$999.00
Twin XL38" x 80"$899.00
Full54" x 75" $999.00
Queen60” x 80”$1149.00
King76” x 80”$1349.00
California King72” x 84”$1349.00

If you’re looking for a more luxurious option, take a look at our Nolah Evolution Hybrid mattress review.

Helix Midnight

SizeDimensionsPrice
Twin38" x 75"$936.30
Twin XL38" x 80"$899.00
Full54" x 75"$1049.00
Queen60" x 80"$1199.00
King76" x 80"$1549.00
California King72" x 84"$1549.00

For more options, take a look at our list of the best hybrid mattresses

Company Policies

Now, let’s take a moment to look at Nolah and Helix’s company policies. It’s always smart to understand the fine print before buying a new bed!

Warranty Info

The Nolah Original mattress is backed by a lifetime warranty, which covers all manufacturing defects. It’s important to note that the warranty is voided if you don’t pair the mattress with the correct support system. For queen-size mattresses, this means it must be placed on a frame that has five or six legs. If you put it on a slatted base, the slats must be at least five inches apart. 

The Helix Midnight mattress is backed by a 10-year warranty, which covers manufacturing defects. 

Sleep Trial 

The Nolah mattress comes with a 120-night sleep trial period, which means you can try it out for about four months before issuing a return. However, Nolah requests customers try out the bed for at least 30 nights before returning it because it often takes a few weeks to get used to a new bed. 

Helix offers a 100-night sleep trial period, which gives customers about 14 weeks to try out the mattress before issuing a return. Like Nolah, Helix asks customers to try out the mattress for 30 days before returning it. 

Return Policy 

You can return the Nolah mattress between days 30 and 120 of owning it. Nolah will issue a full refund and pick up the mattress for you. 

Helix’s return policy is similar. If you issue a return between days 30 and 100 of owning the bed, you can get a full refund

Product
Firmness
Score
Nolah Original 10" Mattress
Soft: 6/10
4.2/5
Helix Midnight Mattress
Medium-firm: 7/10
4.1/5
Product
Nolah Original 10" Mattress
Firmness
Soft: 6/10
Score
4.2/5
Product
Helix Midnight Mattress
Firmness
Medium-firm: 7/10
Score
4.1/5

FAQs

Which mattress is better, Nolah or Helix?

The Nolah Original and Helix Midnight mattresses are both great, but they work better for different types of people. The Nolah Original mattress is better suited for side sleepers and lightweight people. The Helix Midnight mattress works best for back and stomach sleepers.

How long will the Nolah and Helix mattresses last?

Both mattresses have a long lifespan, but because of the durable coils, we expect the Helix mattress to last longer. The Nolah mattress should last between seven and 10 years, while the Helix should last at least a decade.

Can you flip the Nolah and Helix mattresses?

No, these are not flippable mattresses. Both beds have support layers on the bottom and comfort layers on top. If you flipped them, they wouldn’t feel comfortable.

Elisa Regulski

Elisa is the Editor of Mattress Clarity, where she analyzes sleep products and appears in review videos. A certified sleep science coach, Elisa's sleep tips have appeared in Readers Digest, Homes and Gardens, and 21 Oak. She earned a M.A in Mass Communication from Texas State University and a B.F.A in acting from Oklahoma City University.