Nolah Original 10″ Mattress
The Nolah Original 10 is the first mattress that Nolah offered before expanding its lineup to several different beds, including the luxurious Nolah Evolution Hybrid. This Original 10 uses a classic, three-layer all-foam design that competes with other popular brands such as Casper and Leesa.
Video: Nolah Original 10
First Impressions of the Nolah Original 10
In my six years of testing mattresses, I’ve unboxed three different versions of the Nolah Original 10. The foam layers have remained the same with all three models, but the cover design has changed significantly.
This new iteration of the cover is my favorite thus far, as it gives the mattress a more premium look that matches the Nolah Original Hybrid, which was released in 2023.
Upon unboxing this latest version, I wasn’t sure if the fundamentals of the previous versions had changed at all, but once the bed firmed up after about 6 hours, it was pretty clear based on its firmness and feel that the Nolah Original 10 didn’t change under the hood.
It still had an interesting, hard-to-pin-down feel and the same slightly softer than a medium firmness profile.
Nolah Original 10 policies
Nolah Original 10 mattress ships right to your door at no extra cost in the contiguous United States inside of a box. Unboxing a mattress is a quick and easy process; we’ve done it hundreds of times at CNET and it’s actually fun — especially for a mattress like this that isn’t all that heavy.
I recommend unboxing it with two people because it can be challenging solo, especially for larger sizes like queen and king.
Nolah gives customers an in-home trial period of 120 nights. The trial begins once the mattress is delivered, so make sure you get it unboxed as quickly as you can. Nolah does ask customers to try out any mattress for at least 30 nights before initiating a return because it can take time for your body to adjust to a new bed, no matter how well-suited it is to you and your sleeping preferences.
Also, if you’re confident you’ll love a mattress from Nolah, you have the option to waive the trial period completely and save an additional $75 on your purchase.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this option because a trial period is important to ensure the bed actually works for you, but it’s something we haven’t seen from any other brand.
Within the trial period you can return the Nolah Original 10 and get a refund, but unlike most brands, Nolah will charge you $99 to return a mattress.
The return price isn’t paid upfront but it’ll be taken out of your refund. For example, if you spent $950 on a queen size Nolah Original 10″ mattress, you’ll get $851 back. This is atypical, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more brands start implementing a similar policy. This is here to help offset the cost of the mattress pickup process, which you can learn more about here.
Nolah goes above and beyond the usual 10-year warranty and opts for a “Lifetime” warranty. Like pretty much any warranty that lasts longer than 10 years, this warranty is tiered and offers more protection in the first 10 years in comparison to the years after, but a lifetime warranty does mean that Nolah has confidence in its mattresses.
Construction and feel
The Nolah Original 10 is roughly 10 inches thick, which is where the “10” in the name comes from. It’s constructed with three different layers of foam. The support layer is a 7-inch layer of dense foam, which is common for mattresses that don’t use coils for support.
Above the support foam is a 1-inch layer of “CoreComfort” support foam, which functions as a transition layer between the dense support underneath and the primary comfort layer above, which is a two-inch-thick layer of Nolah’s proprietary “AirFoam.” The AirFoam top layer is similar to classic memory foam: When you lie down on it, you’ll sink into it, and it will conform to your body’s shape nicely. It’s much more responsive than most memory foam, though, so when you remove pressure from it, the foam will snap back into its original shape. You shouldn’t get any of that “stuck in the mud” feeling some people feel when sleeping on memory foam.
The feel of the AirFoam, in combination with the transition layer below, gives the Nolah Original 10 mattress what we call a mixed or blended foam feel. Personally, I find this mattress to be very comfortable, and I think people who like the idea of memory foam but have had negative experiences with memory foam beds will enjoy this mattress’ feel.
One wrinkle to the Nolah Original 10 is the “hybrid” version. (Not to be confused with the Nolah Original Hybrid, which is an entirely different bed that uses pocketed coils for support.) This is a version of the Nolah Original 10 that uses different foam layers for support, which is designed to mimic the additional bouncy feel provided by a mattress with coils.
I haven’t seen this construction feature from any other brand (Nolah also uses it in its Signature 12 mattress), and it isn’t something I’d recommend for most people because it mitigates the primary benefit of both hybrid beds and all-foam beds.
The increased bounce of the “hybrid foam” means the motion isolation isn’t nearly as good as the regular model, which all-foam beds excel at, and it also doesn’t provide any added durability either by having real coils.
I could see some people going for it, but there is also an added cost to the “hybrid foam” version of the Nolah Original 10, so I would advise sticking with the base model or looking at one of Nolah’s true hybrid offerings.
Nolah Original 10 firmness and sleeper types
During our testing process, we found the Nolah Original 10 to be just shy of a medium on our firmness scale, somewhere between a medium and a medium-soft (a 3 to 5 out of 10).
This means that this mattress is in a nice sweet spot for strict side sleepers and combination sleepers who favor their side. In general, side sleepers should seek out softer mattresses to help relieve pressure on their hips and shoulders. Side sleepers who sleep on beds that are too firm can cause hip and shoulder pain over time and even be negative for spinal alignment.
Keep in mind that firmness is subjective based on a person’s body weight, and we try to rate firmness for the average-sized individual.
If you are more of a back or stomach sleeper, I would recommend looking for something firmer, because you’ll likely find this mattress too soft and it could cause or exacerbate back pain.
Nolah Original 10 performance
There’s no additional edge support reinforcement along the borders of this mattress like you’ll find on some higher-end hybrid mattresses or a bed like the Original Purple. I found the edge support of the Nolah Original 10 to be just OK.
I didn’t feel much of a roll-off sensation when putting my weight on the edges of the bed. It could become an issue over time, though, because after several years, beds tend to soften and that could weaken the edge support.
During our testing, we found the motion isolation to be quite good on the Nolah Original 10, thanks in large part to its all-foam design. These types of beds perform better across the board at deadening cross-mattress motion.
If you’re a light sleeper who shares a mattress, this should be a solid option to help ensure you don’t want to get up too often in the middle of the night.
The Nolah Original 10 falls into the temperature-neutral category. There’s nothing in the mattress that will work to actively cool you down, like the cover found on the Nolah Evolution Hybrid, but the foams are nice and breathable. The cover is made of tencel fiber, which will help wick away moisture.
According to Nolah, its AirFoam layer is much more breathable than standard polyurethane foam, but I didn’t observe a significant difference between this bed and comparable mattresses we’ve tested.
Sleeping temperature has more to do with your sleeping environment than the bed itself, and most beds these days don’t contribute much to sleeping warm.
Nolah Original 10 mattress pricing
Nolah follows the mattress brand model of setting high retail prices and then offering heavy discounts throughout the year. We watch mattress prices constantly and I can’t remember a time when the Nolah Original 10 wasn’t on some kind of sale.
The retail prices of the Nolah Original 10 are a little steep, in my opinion, but once you factor in discounts, it competes with other three-layer all-foam mattresses pretty well — usually coming in just below $1,000 for a queen size. Nolah will usually include two free pillows with any mattress purchase.
Make sure you check out our mattress deals page for the most up-to-date pricing and discounts on the Nolah Original 10 or any other bed you’re interested in. Mattress pricing can change rapidly, and we’re always doing our best to keep the pricing up to date.
The Nolah Original 10 fits a nice niche in the online mattress landscape. Its three-layer foam design is a style you can find with several other mattresses like the Casper Original, Leesa Original, Tuft and Needle Mint and Nectar, but it manages to be different in several ways.
Its unique top layer gives it a feel that’s somewhere between a responsive soft foam and a memory foam that I think a lot of people will enjoy. It’s also slightly softer than many of its competitors, so it’s a more compelling option for side sleepers specifically looking for a softer mattress to help with pressure relief.
I think side sleepers looking for a foam mattress at an affordable price will gravitate toward the Nolah Original 10.
Other mattresses from Nolah
Nolah Signature 12: This bed is similar to the Nolah Original 10, only it’s thicker, softer, more plush and more expensive. It uses virtually the same materials with thicker comfort layers and is closer to a medium-soft on our firmness scale, making it a compelling option for strict side sleepers looking for tons of pressure relief.
Nolah Evolution 15: The main hybrid option from Nolah and their most popular mattress. It features a luxurious pillow-top design that provides a “hotel style” comfort that I think is almost universally comfortable. It comes in three different firmness options and it should work for everyone regardless of their preferred sleeping position.
Nolah Natural 11: This mattress is a bit of a departure for Nolah because instead of using AirFoam, it uses natural latex foam as the primary comfort layer, along with coils for support. It has a handful of certifications for the organic cotton and wool found in its construction. It is roughly a medium on the firmness scale, and it has a quintessential responsive latex feel.
How does the Nolah Original 10 compare to similar mattresses?
Nolah Original 10 vs. Nectar
The Nectar mattress is popular because of its classic memory foam feel and affordable price. Both the Nolah 10 and the Nectar mattress use three layers of foam in their construction, but the Nectar mattress is roughly 2 inches thicker.
The biggest differences are in the feel, a classic memory foam with Nectar and the unique, blended foam feel of Nolah that has some memory foam characteristics. The other difference is that Nectar is significantly firmer, so it’s a better option for back and stomach sleepers.
Nolah Original 10 vs. Casper Original
The Casper Original is another popular mattress that a lot of sleepers love for its almost universally comfortable soft-foam feel and accommodating medium firmness profile. The Casper Original is slightly thicker than the Nolah Original 10, and the difference in feel is noticeable, with Nolah having a more memory foam type quality. Nolah is a bit more affordable after the discount, but both are in the same pricing tier, overall.
The Nolah Original 10 is more geared toward side sleepers specifically, while the Casper should work decently well for any sleeping position.