Nolah Signature Mattress Review: A 25 Year Mattress Manufacturer Tests And Rates The All Foam 12″ Memory Foam Alternative
I tested and scored the all foam version of The Nolah Signature Mattress. It is available in a hybrid option as well with coils. The all foam option is 12″ tall, and is designed to deliver maximum pressure relief with the brand’s “AirFoam”.
Essentially, it is a memory foam mattress, though feels cushier and more responsive, with less sinking in and without the typical “dead memory foam” or wet sand feel you can find in a lot of less expensive brands.
I’ve got shoulder and hip pain from snow skiing injuries, and noticed that while on my side (my preferred sleep position) I experienced really excellent pressure relief.
On my back, the Signature felt buoyant and uplifting, a little bit like a latex mattress. The top layers are a bit more bouncy than other memory foam options, which also make it easier to turn on.
A common complaint I find from memory foam mattress owners is the difficulty they find turning and changing positions, often causing them to wake up during the night.
I will stress though that many memory foam mattresses I’ve reviewed can often feel hard, and while they are effective at motion transfer, they don’t offer effective support, especially for couples and individuals with bigger bodies.
For an all foam mattress, I also found that it offered respectable edge support, which is often lacking in mattresses without a pocket coil interior.
It doesn’t sleep hot, probably due to the organic cotton covering, which is lightweight, not overpadded, and actually kind of stretchy, so it moves with your body, and won’t get snagged or buckled.
Test Results And Detailed Overview Of The Nolah Signature 12″ Mattress
The The Nolah Signature is ideal for people with the following preferences:
- Hot And Warm Sleepers– due to a thinner and stretchy organic cotton outer covering, and the breathability of the “AirFoam” layers, which has 25% more air bubbles mixed into the foam. You can read more about memory foam here. Typically it’s very dense (the reason you experience that melting sensation) and can trap air creating severe hotspots. I found that the Signature slept cool and comfy,
- Cost Factor: Nolah gets around all of the middleman costs by using 8 factories in their network to manufacture and ship directly. The Signature sells for $1169 in queen, and $1332 in king size.
- Back Sleepers– a thinner and breathable organic cotton cover with 5″ of comfort foam layers in near direct with your body helps fill in void areas like between pelvis and rib cage, and effectively moves weight away from your body. Excellent pressure relief.
- Side Sleepers– It’s a solid choice for side sleepers with shoulder or back pain, without creating pressure hot spots beneath your body that also trap heat. Couples who are side sleepers might also appreciate it.
The Nolah Signature might not be the best choice if you are:
- Stomach Sleepers– I’d recommend checking out something with a lot of latex inside. It’s a tad more flexible for belly sleeping, and will immediately bounce back and won’t keep your spine in a sway back position.
- People looking for a super firm mattress- I’d rate the Signature at about 6/10, 10 being very hard (a carpeted floor) 3 being like a spongy innerspring mattress, and 1 being marshmallows. A firmness of 6 is medium to medium firm, without feeling like you bottomed out.
We’re going to get into what makes this mattress tick, layer by layer below, but first, here’s what I experienced after resting, reading, napping, and sleeping on The Nolah Signature for several days:
Our Results: The Nolah Signature 12″ All Foam Mattress Scored A 9.4 Out Of 10- Here’s Why:
Overall Comfort– initial feel, level of immersion, initial body contact experience 9
Support– spine alignment, pain relief, pressure relief in 30 minutes or less 9
Solo Sleeper– overall impressions with comfort, ease of turning, back and side 10
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: superior cooling, factoring in the organic cotton stretch knit cover 8
Sex– as reported by online reviews and voluntary reporting- great edge of the bed sex 9
Bounce, Motion Transfer, And Liveliness-just right, quiet motion transfer 10
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 9
Overall Rating Of The Nolah Evolution Mattress: 9.4 Excellent+
Notes: Who got our sample? We donated our sample to Habitat For Humanity in Mandeville, Louisiana, after testing.
ANALYSIS OF MY RESULTS FOR THE NOLAH SIGNATURE 12″ MATTRESS
1. Overall Comfort: 10 out of 10
The Nolah Signature is available in one level of firmness that most people will find comfortable and supportive, with no need for metal coils for added support. I will advise that individuals or couples over 450 lb to opt for a firmer mattress, which you might be able to find on this page.
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 of both the plush and medium firm mattress whether on side, back, or belly, 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 Nolah Signature is really great at helping you relax muscle groups, joints, and connective tissue which prevents pain and inflammation during sleep.
I scored this option higher because the Signature really helped with my shoulder and hip pain. Because there is a “beefier” series of comfort layer between your body and the firmer and denser foundation layer, you simply don’t collapse into the mattress, especially if you are over 100lb. or so.
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 both upper layers of comfort foam and 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 Nolah Signature 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 Evolution Mattress review and setting up a queen size myself (weighs 115 lbs.) I’d advise getting one other person to help you. A king size weighs 145 lbs.
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 dampening high density foam layers and a pocket coil system built with just the right amount of tension, The Nolah Signature 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 Signature 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 Signature Mattress 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 Signature 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 Signature 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 Signature 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.
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 Signature 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 $1132 in queen, and $1339 in king, I consider it to be an excellent value.
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.');