Nolah is an online “bed-in-a-box” company that first launched in 2015. The company specializes in all-foam mattresses sold at budget-friendly prices. In this Nolah mattress review, we’ll take a closer look at the brand’s flagship model, the Nolah Original (also known as the Nolah Original 10).
The Nolah Original is constructed with a comfort layer of adaptive AirFoam, Nolah’s proprietary polyfoam material. The mattress has a medium feel that rates as a 5 on the 1-10 firmness scale, so you’ll feel noticeable contouring from head to toe. The mattress also contains a transitional layer of high-resilience polyfoam to prevent excessive sinking, followed by a high-density polyfoam support core. The cover is made from a breathable blend of viscose and polyester, and it has a soft hand feel. Altogether, the Nolah Original measures 10 inches thick.
Nolah offers another mattress model, the Nolah Signature 12. This is a flippable all-foam model featuring a medium soft (4) feel on one side and a firm (7-8) feel on the other. You might find this model more comfortable than the Nolah Original if you’re looking for a mattress with a feel that is softer or firmer than medium.
In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the Nolah Original in terms of construction and composition, prices, and performance across different sleeper categories. You’ll also find a detailed look at Nolah’s shipping, return, and warranty policies.
Please note: Nolah is currently offering a special version of the Nolah Original, dubbed the “Limited Edition 10.” This mattress is identical to the Nolah Original except for the cover, which is made of silky-soft Tencel lyocell fabric. Additionally, Nolah will make a $10 donation toward COVID-19 relief efforts with each purchase.
The Nolah Original is an all-foam mattress. The 2-inch comfort layer consists of AirFoam polyfoam, Nolah’s proprietary comfort material. Like other polyfoams, AirFoam adapts and conforms to the body but also feels somewhat responsive and bouncy on the surface. The mattress has a medium feel, but you shouldn’t sink too much if you weigh 230 pounds or less and sleep on your side and/or back.
The AirFoam has a relatively low density. This means the material conforms closely and feels fairly breathable. However, foams with lower densities tend to deteriorate somewhat quickly. As a result, the Nolah Original’s expected lifespan is a bit below average.
A 1-inch transitional layer of high-resilience polyfoam rests beneath the comfort layer. This material is much denser and more durable than the comfort layer of AirFoam. The transitional layer prevents you from sinking too deeply into the mattress.
Lastly, the Nolah Original’s support core is made of high-density polyfoam. This layer measures 7 inches thick and gives the mattress good overall stability to keep your body on an even plane. The mattress also has above-average edge support for an all-foam model thanks to its sturdy transitional and base layers.
The Nolah Original’s cover is crafted from a blend of viscose and polyester. The fabric is exceptionally soft and breathable. The Limited Edition 10 has a cover made from Tencel lyocell, another breathable fabric partially derived from plant-based material. The cover and $10 donation toward COVID-19 relief – along with current price-points – are the only differences between the Nolah Original and the Limited Edition 10.
The Nolah Original is an all-polyfoam mattress consisting of three individual layers and a viscose/polyester cover. The Limited Edition 10 – a special version of the Nolah Original – has the same foam components but a slightly different cover. A full construction breakdown of this mattress is listed below.
Viscose/polyester blend (Nolah Original)
Tencel lyocell (Limited Edition 10)
2″ AirFoam polyfoam
1″ High-resillience polyfoam
7″ High-density polyfoam
The Nolah Original’s price-point is on par with that of the average all-foam mattress. With each purchase, Nolah will donate $10 toward wildlife conservation organizations. The Limited Edition 10 version of the Nolah Original shares the same price-point. The Nolah Original has a lower price-point than the Nolah Signature 12.
Beyond its sticker price, you won’t pay anything extra for the mattress. Ground shipping is free for all customers, and Nolah issues full refunds and covers shipping costs for all mattress returns.
The table below lists width, length, and thickness dimensions for the Nolah Original in each available size, along with current prices. Unless discounted, prices for the Limited Edition 10 are identical to the Nolah Original’s in each size. Please note that some sizes for the mattress may not be available at this time.
|Twin||39" x 75"||10"||44 lbs.||$649|
|Twin XL||39" x 80"||10"||47 lbs.||$799|
|Full||54" x 75"||10"||58 lbs.||$899|
|Queen||60" x 80"||10"||70 lbs.||$1,049|
|King||76" x 80"||10"||87 lbs.||$1,149|
|California King||72" x 84"||10"||85 lbs.||$1,149|
The Nolah Original offers better motion isolation than many of its all-polyfoam counterparts. Polyfoam has adaptive qualities but it is also more responsive than memory foam, resulting in more bounciness on the surface. The AirFoam used in the Nolah Original has a fairly plush feel, allowing the material to absorb movement from sleepers and prevent motion from transferring across the surface of the mattress.
That said, the mattress does not completely eliminate motion transfer like memory foam or polyfoam with a greater density. You and your partner may notice some movements, but unless you are a particularly light sleeper, we don’t expect the mattress to cause significant sleep disruptions.
Additionally, the Nolah Original is completely silent when bearing weight. You won’t need to worry about squeaks, creaks, and other noises when your partner changes positions or gets in and out of bed during the night.
Generally, polyfoam does not alleviate pressure quite as well as memory foam. Polyfoam has some adaptive qualities, but memory foam’s slow response and deep body contour tend to reduce pressure more effectively. The AirFoam in the Nolah Original is a notable exception. Thanks to its medium feel and relatively low density, the AirFoam conforms consistently and evenly distributes your weight. At the same time, the foam is responsive enough to resist deep sinkage and keep your body on an even plane.
Side sleepers, in particular, can benefit from the Nolah Original. People who use this position often feel pressure due to poor spinal alignment brought on by a lack of support to the shoulders and hips. The AirFoam cushions these areas to promote alignment and alleviate pressure for side sleepers, as well as people who weigh up to 230 pounds.
In terms of temperature control, the Nolah Original outperforms many of its all-foam competitors. The AirFoam doesn’t absorb too much body heat. This is primarily due to the foam’s low density, which makes it more breathable than medium- and high-density memory foam and polyfoam materials. This should help the surface remain relatively cool.
That said, the Nolah Original may absorb and trap too much heat for some. This is particularly true for people who weigh more than 230 pounds. Because they will sink more deeply into the mattress, they may feel warm due to a lack of surface airflow. Those who weigh less than 230 pounds may sink less and feel more airflow, but even then the mattress may sleep too warm – especially if you tend to run hot on any mattress.
Edge support is another category where the Nolah Original performs slightly better than many of its all-foam counterparts. This can be partially attributed to the bed’s transitional layer made of high-resilience polyfoam. This ultra-durable material that is stronger and less resistant to sagging than the polyfoams used for transitional layers in other beds. This component works with the support core to reinforce the perimeter.
However, you’ll probably still notice some sinkage when getting on and off the mattress. The AirFoam is much softer and less dense than the other foam layers, meaning it will not stand compression as well. Weaker edge support can be especially problematic for people who weigh more than 230 pounds because it makes getting in and out of bed more difficult. This can also make sleepers feel less secure lying near the edges and confine them to the middle of the mattress.
Mattresses that sink deeply can be difficult to move across when getting in and out of bed or changing sleep positions. Many people liken this sensation to feeling trapped or stuck in the mattress. The Nolah Original does conform a bit due to its medium feel and adaptive comfort layer, but the AirFoam is responsive enough to prevent deep sinkage when you move around in bed.
Body type may affect ease of movement, though. We don’t expect people who weigh less than 130 pounds to struggle too much on the Nolah Original, but those who weigh 130 pounds or more will sink deeper beneath the surface and may experience more movement-related issues.
In terms of being suitable for sex, the Nolah Original has pros and cons. First, the good: the mattress provides great traction due to its gentle yet consistent contour. Many couples find that traction heightens the experience, and this also means you and your partner can remain in one area of the mattress without sliding across the surface. The Nolah Original is also quiet, making it a very discreet surface for these activities.
Although the AirFoam has some responsive qualities, it lacks the springiness many couples prefer for sex. For some, this can lead to uncomfortable sinking and restricted movement when changing positions. The bed’s edge support, while above average, may also be an issue because the perimeter still sinks a bit. Couples may not be able to utilize the entire surface of the bed, which is less than ideal for some.
If you and your partner prefer a bit of responsiveness from your mattress during sex, then the Nolah Original is a good option. If you prefer a very bouncy bed, we suggest a hybrid or innerspring (the best models for sex, according to most couples).
All mattresses emit a noticeable odor when new, but all-foam models like the Nolah Original are associated with the strongest and most persistent smells. When you unbox this type of mattress, the foam releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs), tiny particles that carry a chemical-like odor that many describe as plastic-like. The foam will eventually stop releasing odor and smell a bit better, but this process can take some time.
For the Nolah Original, expect off-gassing smells to persist for at least a few days after unboxing the mattress. The odors will eventually dissipate – but if you’re sensitive to smells, this break-in period may be unpleasant. You can expedite the airing-out process a bit by placing the mattress in a well-ventilated room for a day or two before sleeping on it.
Side Sleepers: Side sleepers will likely get the most out of the Nolah Original. The AirFoam is soft and adaptive enough to provide ample cushioning for the shoulders and hips, which can even out the spine and target pressure points throughout the body. At the same time, the high-resilience polyfoam transitional layer prevents most side sleepers from sinking too deeply into the mattress.
A side sleeper’s experience with the Nolah Original will largely depend on their weight. The mattress is best suited to those who weigh less than 130 pounds and prefer a softer surface feel. Side sleepers weighing between 130 and 230 pounds may also find the mattress comfortable, but there may be more sinkage around the shoulders and hips. For those who weigh more than 230 pounds, the mattress will probably feel too soft and sag too much. A firmer, more supportive mattress may be better instead.
Back Sleepers: Back sleeping – unlike side sleeping – promotes spinal alignment because the shoulders, back, and hips are evenly aligned. However, a mattress that feels too soft may sink too much around the torso, midsection, and waist. This can cause these areas to rest deeper beneath the surface than the head, neck, and legs. Neck, shoulder, and hip pain often follow.
The Nolah Original should be supportive enough for back sleepers weighing less than 130 pounds. The medium feel is a good match for this weight group because they are less likely to sink excessively. Back sleepers who weigh 130 pounds or more may feel differently. Despite the robust transitional and support layers, the AirFoam may be too soft to keep these individuals on an even plane. This will be even more of an issue for back sleepers who weigh more than 230 pounds.
Stomach Sleepers: Stomach sleepers are likely to run into the same issues as back sleepers when it comes to the Nolah Original. The mattress offers a comfortable contour and plush feel that may be very comfortable for stomach sleepers who weigh less than 130 pounds. However, those who weigh 130 pounds or more are more susceptible to deep sinking, added pressure, and aches and pains in the neck and lower back.
Like back sleepers, stomach sleepers typically need less contouring and more support to feel comfortable on a mattress. Most people carry a fair amount of weight in their chest and stomach. When you sleep face down, this weight can pull your body into the mattress – possibly to an excessive and uncomfortable degree. The best beds for stomach sleepers provide enhanced reinforcement for the torso and midsection.
|Under 130 lbs.||130-230 lbs.||Above 230 lbs.|
The Nolah Original and Limited Edition 10 are exclusively sold on Nolah’s website. These beds are not available through any third-party retailers or online marketplaces and Nolah does not operate any brick-and-mortar locations.
Nolah ships free to the contiguous U.S. Nolah does not offer expedited shipping, White Glove delivery, or old mattress removal.
The mattress is compressed, wrapped in plastic, and vacuum-sealed for shipping. For most locations, the mattress will ship within three to five days of the original order and reach the customer’s residence in another two to five business days. The mattress will be delivered curbside in a box, so you won’t need to be at home to sign for the package.
After the Nolah Original arrives, carry the box to the room where you plan to use the mattress. Unbox the bed, use a knife to carefully remove the plastic wrapping, and watch the bed expand. Expect the mattress to reach its full shape within 48 hours or less.
Nolah offers a 120-night sleep trial for the Nolah Original. This trial requires a break-in period of 30 nights, so you won’t be able to return the mattress until 30 nights have elapsed.
Nolah issues a full mattress refund for all returns within the 120-night window. Nolah will also arrange for a courier to pick up the mattress from your residence and transport it for recycling or charitable donation.
The Nolah Original comes with a 15-year warranty. This warranty is completely non-prorated, meaning you won’t pay anything – including shipping or transportation fees – to have a defective mattress repaired or replaced. However, please note the warranty will be voided if the mattress is used for rental properties or other commercial facilities.
The warranty covers sagging and body impressions in the surface that measure 1 inch or deeper. Other defects covered under warranty include manufacturing flaws that cause mattress materials to split or crack prematurely, or manufacturing flaws associated with the cover seams and/or zipper. Additional issues, such as normal wear and tear or physical damage from abuse or misuse, may not be covered under warranty.