Buying a mattress isn’t always easy. There are so many options to consider, and many of the mattresses appear quite similar.
If you are choosing between the Nolan and Leesa mattresses, I have broken them down based on construction, firmness, and other factors. This mattress comparison will go through the construction of both mattresses in detail and highlight the main takeaways consumers should know about before making a decision.
- They are both all-foam mattresses that are both the same height at 10″ thick.
- They have similar polyfoam base layers that are pretty standard for all-foam mattresses.
- The Nolah is softer than the Leesa by a noticeable amount.
- Their top layers are made of different proprietary foams with different feels.
- The memory foam-like AirFoam is on the first layer of the Nolah, while memory foam is in the second layer of the Leesa.
- The Nolah is 10” tall and features three separate foam layers.
- The cover is thin and fairly soft, and it doesn’t really affect the overall feel of the mattress significantly.
- First, there are 2” of a soft and responsive AirFoam, which is memory foam-like but it is more responsive and also doesn’t trap heat.
- Next, there is 1” of a latex-like Avena foam, which prevents sleepers from sinking in too far into the mattress.
- Finally, there is a 7” high density base foam support layer that is fairly standard for bed-in-a-box mattresses.
- The Leesa is 10” tall and also features three distinct foam layers.
- The cover is thin and soft and also doesn’t affect the feel of the mattress too much.
- Next is a 2” layer of a cooling Foam.
- Then, there is a 2” layer of contouring memory foam, which gives the mattress additional pressure relief and lumbar support.
- The support layer is 6” of a Core Support Foam Base that is pretty similar to the base layer used in the Nolah.
- Both mattresses have soft, thin covers and neither should stop people from engaging with the mattress.
- The mattresses are the same height with similar base layers that should support roughly the same amount of weight.
- The comfort layer on the Leesa is thicker than it is on the Nolah by approximately one inch.
- The first layer of the Nolah is AirFoam, which is designed to relieve pressure and dissipate heat. It feels similar to memory foam, so people will sleep more “in” the mattress instead of “on” the mattress.
I felt like the Nolah was a 5.5/10, softer than average. It is one of the softest mattresses I have reviewed. I thought the Leesa was more like a 6.5/10, about average.
With the Nolah, I definitely sink into the mattress, and it feels best when I am on my side. It has more of that sinking-in memory foam feel. I definitely felt like I was sleeping “in” the mattress. However, heavier people may press through and feel the firmer support layers.
With the Leesa, I felt better support on my back and stomach. It had more of a balanced foam feel and it was easier to move around on the mattress than it was on the Nolah.
See how the Nolah mattress responds to pressure in the video below.
Watch how the responsive Leesa mattress may be a better choice if you want to move around easily at night.
The Nolah performs a bit better with motion isolation because it has more of a memory foam feel.
This cuts down on the motion you may feel from your partner while you are trying to sleep, so it should be the better choice for couples.
See how the Nolah cuts down on motion transfer in the video below.
The Leesa could also be a good option for couples. You shouldn’t your partner’s movements on your side of the bed.
The Leesa features better edge support than the Nolah. It is a firmer mattress, so it doesn’t collapse as much when I sit near the edge.
This allows me to use more of the surface area of the mattress, and I don’t feel like I am going to fall off the mattress when I lie near the edge.
You can see the edge support differences in the photos below.
Marten is a staff writer for us and 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 two mattresses and how appropriate they are for heavier sleepers:
I thought the Nolah was a 7/10 and the Leesa was approximately a 7.5/10.
I felt that the Nolah was considerably firmer than Joe did, because I push through the thinner comfort layer and feel the firmer layers beneath.
I felt some pressure on my side on both, especially compared to Joe, but it wasn’t too intense.
On my back on both, I felt good overall support, but on my stomach, I didn’t feel good support on either.
The Leesa is the firmer mattress of the two so, if you’re my size and a stomach sleeper, this is the better choice out of the two.
While our numbers were different, Marten and I agreed that the Nolah is the softer of the two mattresses. I am not surprised that Marten, being a larger person, pushed through the comfort layer of the Nolah and felt pressure on his side.
Who Should Pick Nolah:
- Side sleepers- The AirFoam relieves pressure very well, perhaps even better than most memory foam mattresses. When I was on my side, I felt very little pressure on the shoulders and hips. However, if someone is a heavier person, they may press through the soft upper layer and feel the firmer layers beneath.
- People who prefer a softer mattress- This the softer of the two mattresses so, if someone is a back sleeper who wants less firmness, this could be the better pick.
- Those who like more of a memory foam feel- If someone prefers the feeling of sinking into their mattress, they are going to get that with the Nolah. If someone likes sleeping more “in” the mattress rather than “on” it, this could be the choice for them.
Who Should Pick Leesa:
- Stomach and back sleepers- This is the firmer of the two mattresses, and I think it gives better overall support in these positions. I definitely felt my hips sinking in a bit too far when I was on the Nolah, but not so much with the Leesa.
- Heavier side sleepers- With the Nolah, people have more of a chance of bottoming out and feeling the firmer support layer underneath. With the Leesa, it is less likely that people will push through the soft layers down to the firmer layers beneath. Heavier people may find this to be a better fit when they are on their side.
- Those who prefer a balanced foam feel- If someone doesn’t like the feeling of slowly sinking into their mattress, they may prefer the Leesa. This mattress has more of a balanced foam feel that makes it easier to move around.
Taking a closer look at these two mattresses, they both have features that could benefit different types of sleepers. The softer Nolah should be better for side sleepers who like a classic memory foam feel, while the Leesa should work for stomach and back sleepers who prefer a balanced foam feel. Also, if you are a heavier person, the Leesa may also be a good choice if you sleep primarily on your side.
Please leave any specific comments or questions about the Nolah and Leesa in the comment section below.
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.