Nolah Original Mattress Review By A 25 Year Mattress Industry Veteran

My Nolah Original Mattress review takes a close look at this American made all foam mattress that contains three specialized layers in varying thicknesses. Priced at $1014 in queen size and $1224 in king size, you get a lifetime warranty, and a 120 night no questions asked in home trial.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced option and you don’t prefer a firmer mattress, and like it more on the medium side without sinking or having to dig your way out in the morning, it could be a good option. Let’s look at the details.

After spending 25 years as a mattress designer and manufacturer myself, I created a wide variety of all foam mattresses.

Colorado based Nolah has eight production facilities around the USA, allowing them to ship quickly to you, and reducing any chance of package delays and damage.

The quality of materials used is high, particularly their polyurethane foams, all of which are Certi-Pur.US® rated, meaning low levels of VOC’s, formaldehyde, heavy metals, and PBDE’s.

Background And Overview Of The Nolah Original Mattress

Nolah is an online company that manufactures and ships their own lineup of mattresses, delivering directly to a customers door. The company launched in 2015, and gained ground for offering a not-so-rock-hard mattress option, while other online mattresses companies were struggling to offer a good side sleepers all foam mattress option.

The company offers five mattresses, including two all foam mattresses, the Nolah Original, which is 10″ tall,and the Nolah Signature, at 12″ tall. The Nolah 15″ Evolution, and the Nolah Natural 11″ mattresses contain foam layers along with a pocketed coil system built into the bottom part of the mattress.

In this Nolah mattress review, we will focus on the most affordable option, The Nolah Original Mattress.

The Nolah Original mattress is made of three layers of foam surrounded by an outer covering (1 in cross section pic) made with Tencel® fibers, a plant based material. What I find unique about this Tencel® stretch knit mattress covering is the quick “snap-back” when you pull on the material.

Ideal For: Hot sleepers, side and back sleepers, pressure and pain relief.Considerations: Not ideal for belly sleepers. Not ideal for bigger bodies (over 275lbs.)

This feature helps keep the mattress tight, minimizes motion transfer, and makes turning easier and more effortless.

Directly underneath the outer covering, a 2″ Nolah’s patented AirFoam® (2) provides pressure relief and contains millions of microscopic air bubbles that give way to yielding softness while still pushing back to provide lift and suspension of your body.

Our testers and myself agreed that the AirFoam® layer is what likely gives The Nolah Original Mattress its more medium than firm sensation.

We noticed that while you don’t have a tendency to dig into the mattress even while on your side, it feels buoyant, slightly squishy, but not springy.

We all agreed that if you want something firmer and more resilient, you may want to look at the firmer Nolah 15″ Evolution model instead. Right underneath the 2″ AirFoam layer, Nolah includes another 2″ layer(3) of what they call transitional foam which is firmer and designed to be more of a support layer that pushes weight and pressure away from the body.

At the bottom, as found in most all foam mattress designs, a 7″ layer of high density foam (4) delivers solid support and prevents caving in. Note that in almost all other 100% foam mattress options I’ve reviewed, this base layer of foam is generally 6″ thick. It’s a little more support where the mattress needs it the most.

How The Nolah 10″ Original Scored In My 10 Point Test

I reviewed The Nolah Original 10″ Mattress in a simulated bedroom environment with solo sleepers and couples (mattress placed on solid deck surface of platform bed, queen size). All of the ratings were based on averages of the subjects who participated, and data for reviews was also obtained by evaluating actual owner reviews found on different third party review web sites.

1. ComfortInviting, yielding and slightly body cradling. More medium than firm9
2. Supportsupports spine, notable pain relief, minimal pressure on side9
3. Solo Sleeperreally good, minimal sink8
4. Coupleslow motion transfer, not great over 450lb total8.5
5. Edge Supportexcellent for all foam10
6. Intimacyengaging, good grip9
7. Motiontad bouncy, but lively8.5
8. Cost/Valuevery high value for cost9.5
9. Trial/Warrantyphenomenal10
10. Shipping/Deliveryeasy, fast ship10
Overall rating 9.2/10, really great product. Avoid if over 450lb. combined weight for couples.

Remarks And Cons: At around $1000 for a queen, The Nolah Original 10″ Mattress easily compares to Tempur-Pedic and other brands costing way more. The cooling capacity of this mattress is worthy of recognition too. I liked the stretch knit, washable cover, too. Downsides: Bigger bodies consider other options, perhaps 12″-14″ memory foam mattresses brands.


1. Overall Comfort: 9 out of 10

Since The Nolah Original 10″ Mattress is available in one level of firmness, has initial feel that is soft and body contouring, and I’d say it falls at about 5-6 on the conventional used 1-10 firmness scale, with 10 being extremely rigid and firm. A tightly made retail store innerspring mattress will fall at about a 7, so this mattress is just a bit more immersive.

Note that you can buy an upgrade version which includes several additional layers of supportive foam inside, giving it a slightly more supportive feel and it might be a better option for couples and for side sleepers over 180 lbs. It’s a reasonably priced upgrade running an additional $70 in either queen or king.

2. Support: 9 out of 10

The Nolah 10″ Original Mattress is very supportive, and we found little sinking in when on your side or back. The only thing I’m concerned about is weight, so couples with combined weights of 350 lbs. that are side sleepers or tend to snuggle in the middle might consider another Nolah model, such as the 15″ Evolution which contains a pocketed coil system inside.

The AirFoam layer near the top might be stressed when used by larger sleepers or couples. I find that all foam mattresses are productive for maintaining spine alignment also, so long as the underlying support layer has a slightly higher density, which The Nolah Original does provide.

3. Solo Sleeper: 8 out of 10

If you are on the hunt for a really luxurious mattress that you are going to keep a while, and you want to make a mattress investment that will last a solid 8 years (ever wonder how often you should replace a mattress) rather than just a yearly purchase, this mattress should likely be a strong consideration.

For the money, at $804 in queen, and $944 in king, it’s what I would consider a value even though you’re getting a bit better overall quality as well. Tad firm if you are petite, but good spine support.

Ideal For: Couples, light sleepers, hot sleepers, shoulder pressure, side sleepers.Considerations: Not ideal if you want a really firm mattress. Not ideal for bigger bodies (over 275lbs.)

For people who sleep alone, its a great option, though I’d recommend spending the few extra bucks to upgrade it if you are a side sleeper over 180lbs.

One downside, and this holds true with most bed in a box mattress options is that as a solo sleeper, you might need to get a buddy to move and maneuver your compressed mattress, which is going to be wedged inside of a tight box, to get in on your bed frame. Our girl on site though, had no issues moving our queen size sample from the box onto the platform frame we used to review it.

But- The Nolah Original 10″ Mattress in queen weighs only 70lbs., and a king weighs 87lbs., and if you are by yourself, it’s manageable, much more so that in the lovingly edited videos which show couples or two guys manhandling their scrunched up mattress out of the box.

4. Couple Experience: 9 out of 10- so long as combined weight is less than 350lbs

Keep in mind that we reviewed a queen size The Nolah Original Mattress and also sampled many online reviews as well as conducted our own testing for couples. For an all foam mattress it performed well, but not as great as we’d like when you sandwich two bigger bodies together in the middle.

You can expect much more of a floating experience on the upgraded version if you are a bigger couple, but for couples up to 275lbs. combined, it hits the sweet spot we think.

From a comfort perspective, couples writing online reviews responded highly to snuggling and spaced apart sleeping, describing the mattress with positive comments. I’ve reviewed hundred of foam mattresses that are the typical variety of “bed in a box” style where couples find it difficult to find a mattress where there is a tradeoff between settling on too firm an option to keep from collapsing in the middle.

5. Edge Support: 10 out of 10

Surprisingly, The Nolah Original Mattress offers really great edge support, consider it’s only 10″ tall. For the money, it performed really well. For older people transitioning a lot out of bed it might work because of its shallower height than other bed in a box brands that can be as tall as 12″.

People with disabilities might consider another brand if you need much firmer edge support. You can also check out my Best Mattress For People With Disabilities page for enhanced information.

6. Sex And Intimacy: 9 out of 10

Generally, more bouncy surfaces like Natural Latex Mattresses are preferred as are mattresses with better immersive qualities, allowing for better “grip” on bodies, as sliding around on a mattress during intimacy is generally a negative factor. The Nolah Original Mattress gets pretty impressive comments when it comes to sexual activity in bed, including not being too bouncy and allowing a good level of immersion to minimize sliding around.

7. Bounce, Liveliness, And Motion Transfer: 8.5 out of 10

Pretty good, actually. We found that for the money, The Nolah Original Mattress was highly responsive and did not offer a “dead feel”, often found in cheaper memory foam mattresses that sell, for under $500.

Many people want a mattress with a lot of bounce and spring action to it, as it is much easier to turn on surfaces that are highly responsive.

8. Cost vs. Value Delivered: 9.5 out of 10

At $804 in queen, it’s not the least expensive mattress with a three foam combination setup, but because I think it offers really great pressure relief, and I loved the way it kept my spine straight while on my side and back, I’m giving it some bonus points.

I have scoliosis, bone spurs, and other damage from snow skiing, and it takes the right chemistry in a mattress to dull the pain. The 2″ layer of “AirFoam” tucked right under your body next to the cover, without padding it with thick pillow top layers probably adds to the benefit I observed.

This mattress is what the industry calls a “smooth top” meaning the outer covering is thinner, and you get immediate body contact with the materials underneath that are there for comfort, pressure relief, and support.

9. 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.

Really great live chart by the wy: NO BOTS on the chat line. Genuine human beings. That alone is worth a healthy five stars!

10. Shipping And Delivery Experience 10 out of 10

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.

The boxes are double layered cardboard and the mattress is double bagged after being gently rolled and inserted into the box. Weighing 70 lbs. in queen, and 87 lbs. in king, the product is pretty manageable by one person or a team of two. Nicely packaged, slick looking box.

Ideal For: Couples, light sleepers, hot sleepers, shoulder pressure, side sleepers.Considerations: Not ideal if you want a really firm mattress. Not ideal for bigger bodies (over 275lbs.)