Nolah Original Hybrid Mattress Review By 25 Year Industry Expert
I personally tested and scored The Nolah Original Hybrid, which is an upgrade from the brand’s popular all foam Original model.
Overall, I think it’s a terrific side sleeper option because of it’s yielding feel, which is very effective at pushing weight away from your body.
As a mattress manufacturer myself for 25 years and an avid snow skiier with lots of injuries, I’m always eager to test out anything that can help with pain and pressure reduction.
This mattress combines a naturally sourced, cool to the touch Tencel covering (I used to use Tencel a lot-it doesn’t trap heat) with 2 layers of Nolah’s Air Foam and an additional comfort foam layer.
Both foam layers are CertiPUR-US® rated, so they don’t off gas VOC’s, and contain no heavy metals, PBDE’s and other nasty stuff that your nose shouldn’t be next to.
Features And Benefits Of The Nolah Original Hybrid
The Nolah Original Hybrid Mattress might be a good option to consider if:
- You want a bit of body immersion, and don’t like a dead memory foam or wet sand feel
- You are a side sleeper or back sleeper and experience shoulder or back pain
- You are a light sleeper and want minimal motion transfer with your partner
- You are a couple with combined weight of less that 550lbs.
- You like the feel of a traditional innerspring mattress
- Need cooling and prefer natural textiles
- Price is an option: At $1137 in queen, and $1332 in king, the value is there with this option
If you’re trying to find a mattress that is good at pressure relief, sleeps cool, and doesn’t have that “dead memory foam” feel that I hear a lot of complaints about, the slightly bouncy and livelier feel of this mattress might be worth a look. It is totally manufactured, assembled, and packaged in the USA, being vacuum packaged and rolled up prior to shipment.
My sample arrived within 5 days of ordering, and was delivered unscathed and unscuffed to my front door and was easy to unwrap and setup. My suggestion would be to get a second person to assist if you order a queen or king size.
Removing the still wrapped and rolled mattress and carrying it outside the shipping box is a lot easier, especially moving around corners or upstairs.
Once I setup the mattress, I let it fully expand for 24 hours. I measured the height and it fully expanded back to the 11″ factory height.
My immediate response after lying on the mattress was that it was inviting, body contouring but not with a trapped sensation, and that it was easy to turn on, despite being softer and cushier than typically all foam options with a memory foam top section.
Our Results: The Nolah Original Hybrid Mattress Scored A 9.5 Out Of 10- Here’s Why:
Overall Comfort– initial feel, level of immersion, initial body contact experience 10
Support– spine alignment, pain relief, pressure relief in 30 minutes or less 10
Solo Sleeper– overall impressions with comfort, ease of turning, back and side 9
Couple Experience- minimal sink in middle (1.5″), snugglers dream, quiet motion transfer 9
Edge Support– no sliding off, as experienced by 190lb test subject 9
Cooling Power: really good, didn’t get hot over 2 hour test, internal temp probes used 9
Sex– good bounciness and hugging, no sliding around- great for edge of the bed sex, too 9
Bounce, Motion Transfer, And Liveliness-just right, quiet motion transfer 9
Cost Value– 1-10 rating 10 being best bang for your buck- 10
Trial Period, Warranty, And General Customer Service Appeal 10
Shipping And Delivery Experience– ease of delivery, clean packaging, ship time, setup 10
Overall Rating Of The Nolah Original Hybrid Mattress: 9.5 Excellent
Notes: Who got our sample? We donated it to Habitat For Humanity Restore, after repairing and sewing up the area we exposed for inspection.
ANALYSIS OF MY RESULTS FOR THE NOLAH ORIGINAL HYBRID MATTRESS
1. Overall Comfort: 10 out of 10
The The Nolah Original Hybrid is available in one level of firmness, falling at bout 5/10 firmness wise. I’d call it comfortably medium, with not a real feeling of firmness about it. The pocket coil suspension underneath gives it a lot of pushback, resisting the tendency to get swallowed up and having to dig your way out.
One thing you won’t experience on this mattress is bottoming out, unless your total weight (either solo or with a partner) is over 300lbs. The pocket coils are quite supportive, and the overall feel is inviting, buoyant, and extremely easy to turn on. Edge of the bed experience, not sliding off, adds to my rating.
2. Support: 10 out of 10
Support is always the important consideration in all of my mattress reviews. The The Nolah Original Hybrid is really beneficial at relaxing muscle groups, joints, and connective tissue which prevents pain and inflammation during sleep-because you don’t spend a lot of energy “balancing yourself” as you sleep, especially on your side..
After sleeping on my sample, I noticed the following benefits immediately:
- A good level of suspension that prevented pressure points minimizing constant position change
- Excellent support while on my back, with pillowtop and comfort layers kept me from sinking in
- I sleep on my sides and back, changing position 6-7 times during the night. Easy to turn on, excellent choice for combination sleepers of people who change position a lot.
- Zoned layers in pocketed coil system provide better support for key areas like lower back, between shoulder blades, even legs and arms. This also helps to distribute load sideways rather than down.
3. Solo Sleeper: 9 out of 10
The The Nolah Original Hybrid is a terrific option for solo sleepers because of its three firmness options, and if you are of typical height and weight or have a bigger body, you’ll get the support you need. It’s an investment grade mattress that is about 50% of the price of retail store brands offering cooling, pressure relief, and the slightly springy yet immersive comfort it offers.
Another solo sleeper advantage is that because the mattress is gently pre-compressed and vacuum packaged, it is easily handled and setup using two people. You can opt for in home delivery on the web site, for $125. After conducting my Nolah Original Hybrid review I noted that a queen size will weigh about 125 lb and a king around 140lb, so get another helper if you need to haul the mattress up steps or into bedrooms.
4. Couple Experience: 10 out of 10
There’s a common complaint from couples when mattress shopping that drives them nuts? Without question, it’s motion transfer. For bigger couples, it’s really hard, and even the slightest movement can send jiggles and shakes through the top of a mattress.
By incorporating 3″ of combined foam comfort layers right up top, and a pocket coil system built with just the right amount of tension, The Nolah Original Hybrid resists motion transfer and is highly effective.
Checkout the real reason why we are all very sensitive to motion transfer in this NIH study. Evidence suggests that auditory levels when moving around at night become enhanced if one partner is sleeping restlessly.
Being mammals, evolution has wired us to respond to predatory alerts, kind of like cats, who sleep just below the fully alert level, to protect themselves. Not being cats, though, we require deep REM sleep to experience restorative sleep. So, it’s essential to invest in a mattress with minimal motion transfer.
5. Edge Support: 10 out of 10
Superior edge support can be found in The Nolah Original Hybrid largely due to the use of a perimeter high density foam edge around the entire perimeter of the mattress. This also makes this option terrific for people who are bedbound, disabled, or otherwise confined to bed for lengths of time.
You can check out my Best Mattress For People With Disabilities page for more mattress options on this topic, too. For full service setup with this mattress, the extra charge of $125 is well worth the price. Note that during my Nolah Evolution Mattress review, we found that transfer in and out compared to other hybrid brands was easier due to better edge support.
6. Cooling Capability: 10 out of 10
Using Nolah’s proprietary ArcticTex cover which contains heat dissipating fibers, along with a graphite infused layer of high resiliency foam right underneath the pillow top section, The Nolah Original Hybrid is cool to the touch. I noticed continued cooling for hours when lounging and testing out my initial perception of this pocketed coil hybrid.
We Sleep Deeper When Our Bodies Are Cooler
When you are hot, whether created by room temperature, menopause, or other medical conditions, falling asleep is much more difficult. this causes you to toss and turn which generates even more heat.
Your body will naturally lower your internal temperature by 1-2° F as you fall asleep, which is why you can’t easily fall asleep when you have a fever. If you are hot sleeper, you need effective cooling technology to help you get to sleep and stay there.
The Nolah Original Hybrid has multiple elements built in that help cool you down, and keep the immediate environment around you cool, too. It’s also ideal for couples and larger people that naturally sleep hot.
Another note: when I tested our sample, we kept our room temperature at about 68°F, which research suggests is ideal for your body and your brain.
If I had to single out one component or ingredient in my Nolah Evolution Hybrid Mattress review that really sets this mattress apart, it’s definitely the use of the brand’s Graphite Infused Air-Foam Ice™ layer which is strategically place near the top.
I noticed fast cooling and a super body contouring sensation while not feeling trapped or stuck in the middle of this mattress.
7. Sex And Intimacy: 9 out of 10
Note that most mattress review sites are not actually testing every mattress sample by pairing up reviewers to make love and record each datapoint- but- actual owners do write about it.
As a mattress designer myself, I’ve custom made mattresses for couples who specifically ask for a bedding option designed for optimal sex. What this usually meant was incorporating a comfortable and softer surface rather than too firm, the use of motion dampening and energy absorbing materials like memory or gel foams, and in some cases natural latex.
I gave The Nolah Original Hybrid high marks primarily because of actual owner reviews which offered the following value feedback to consider
- Not bouncy or jiggly, ideal motion dampening without having a typical “dead memory foam slab kind of sensation”
- Excellent support for edge of the mattress sex, with minimal sliding
- Cooling capabilities prevents overheating even when using cover-ups like sheets and comforters
- Just the right amount of sink- get firmer options for couples that weigh over 350 combined
- Really great for after sex cuddling
If you are looking for something with some serious bounce or spring back with minimal sinkage, you could consider Natural Latex Mattresses which are a bit springier allowing for better “grip” on bodies, however options might be limited for larger couples to keep from feeling trapped.
8. Bounce, Liveliness, And Motion Transfer: 10 out of 10
I found that The Nolah Original Hybrid delivers a pretty good level of subtle bounce, better described as responsiveness when it comes to motion transfer, which is a common complaint heard from larger couples, especially when there are light sleepers and restless sleepers in the mix.
Cons: If you like a bouncier mattress with some personality, it’s great. If you need serious motion transfer reduction, you may want to consider an all foam option
The pilowtop section, which has an organic cotton covering, has a lot of motion dampening ability, primarily due to the taught feel that the pillow top area has. It has just the right amount of tension to keep is a bit tighter up top. Generally, mattresses that use a sleeker fabric, such as the ArcticTex used in the Nolah Evolution, you’ll experience a bit more flexing and springiness.
9. Cost vs. Value Delivered: 10 out of 10
For the money, The Nolah Original Hybrid pricing is on point. I’ve seen Sealy, Serta, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses that cost a lot more ($3,000 and up for a queen) that don’t deliver what you get with this mattress. Selling for $1137 in queen, and $1332 in king, it is decent value and the craftsmanship of Nolah products is top shelf, in my opinion.
10. Trial Period, Warranty, Customer Service 10 out of 10
Saatva’s premium delivery and setup service, factory and fulfillment network of 15 strategically located facilities helped drive up my score for this category.
The turnaround time of 9-21 days to receive your mattress is acceptable considering each mattress is made to order and not rolled and compressed, collecting dust in a dusty warehouse. Customer service is something I thoroughly checked out too, with 6 different chat questions regarding pretty technical questions being answered rapidly and effectively. The best part about their customer service: NO BOTS on the chat line. Genuine human beings. That alone is worth a healthy five stars!
11. Shipping And Delivery Experience 10 out of 10
Overall, 10 out of 10, with excellent packaging and timely shipping. Your order will arrive within 9-12 days after the day you place your order. Nolah uses strategic shipping points around the country. Shipping and delivery is typically reliable with most online mattress companies, but with enhanced services, the ability to coordinate production and scheduling in home setup services takes some effort. I did it for years with my own online mattress companies.