The Nolah Signature is Nolah’s flagship product, combining 12” of plush, thick layering with deep support and extra cooling features. It’s flippable and includes AirFoam™ technology and organic materials throughout. I’m here to find out if all of the extra work pays off for the Signature!
Below, I will take an in-depth look at how the Nolah Signature is built, how it feels to different sleepers, and how it performs using a series of demanding tests. What’s the point? So you’ll know for sure whether it’s the bed for you!
Let’s get started with my full review of the Nolah Signature. Short on time? Skip ahead to my review summary and come back later for more.
Nolah Sleep is on a mission to create “tomorrow’s mattress.” The company focuses on using proprietary foams instead of latex or memory foam, in search of a better balance between pressure relief and support. It also partners with Defenders of Wildlife to adopt an endangered animal for every mattress sold. Nolah donates and recycle returned mattresses, and even the shipping box is eco-friendly!
This review will focus on the 12” Nolah Signature. We’ll test its major features and its feel. You’ll also get a comparison of the Signature to Nolah’s original mattress and the original Purple, another bed with proprietary technology (its hyperelastic polymer grid).
Now that we’ve seen what the Nolah Mattress brand is all about, let’s start digging into the Signature by going through its build! Below, I will go through the layers one by one.
What is the Nolah Signature Mattress Made of?
The flippable 12” Nolah Signature mattress features an organic cover and four layers of “air foam” and poly foam. Air foam is a memory foam alternative that endeavors to provide sleepers with the material’s deep pressure relief without sleeping hot or limiting support. Does the bed deliver? Let’s find out!
[Note: The Signature flips, so keep in mind that we are talking about the Nolah Signature with the soft side up.]
Cover – The Nolah Signature starts off with an organic cotton cover. It’s cozy and a bit thicker than the standard polyester cover we often see from bed-in-a-box beds.
Soft Comfort – After the cotton cover, the Nolah moves into 2.5” of its proprietary air foam. Like memory foam, air foam has a slow response to pressure and allows comfortable sinkage and body contouring. However, AirFoam is more open cell than memory foam, trapping less heat to sleep a bit cooler.
Transition – After the soft layer of air foam, Nolah uses a 1.5” layer of alt-latex poly foam to transition the sleeper from its soft top into its firmer support base. Its quicker response to pressure allows for cradling support without losing the pressure relief of the air foam layer above.
Support – For foundational support, the Nolah Signature uses 7” of high-density poly foam. Its quick response to pressure supports the layers on top of it and gives the bed its shape.
Firm Comfort – Finally, the Signature places 1” of air foam underneath the HD poly foam to provide a bit of pressure relief for the firm side of the mattress. With the soft side up, sleepers won’t feel this layer through the 7” of HD poly foam. With the firm side up, sleepers get a bit of pressure relief and a firmer feel, because the air foam lies directly on top of the super firm 7” poly foam layer.
Thoughts: I believe that strict side sleepers will like the soft side of the Nolah because of its transitional poly foam layer and plush, breathable air foam. This combination makes the mattress quite adaptable for sleepers who prefer different levels of firmness.
And that’s what the Nolah Signature is made of! Now-how can we expect this mattress to feel? Let’s move into the real experience of the Nolah to see if this is the right bed for you.
How Does the Nolah Signature Feel?
To determine feel, I first test for Firmness. The scale I use here has a range between 1 (softest) and 10 (firmest), with 6.5 as the industry standard for medium firmness. I test firmness with colleagues of different body shapes, types, and sizes, averaging our responses for the number you see below. The Nolah Signature flips, so it will have two scores.
I gave the soft side of the Nolah a 5.5/10 for firmness. This is a bit softer than the industry standard, which has a few advantages. Strict side sleepers should enjoy the pressure relief in the hips and shoulders, which can turn into problem areas on firmer mattresses. The mattress does balance its levels of support relatively well even with its soft profile, so it retains enough mobility for combo sleepers.
I gave the firm side of the Nolah a 7.5/10. This is significantly firmer than the industry standard. You lose the deep sink of the soft side, but you gain a lot of support in the hips on the stomach position. I can definitely recommend the firm side of the mattress for strict stomach sleepers, because the 1” of air foam still provides enough softness before the supportive HD poly foam layer.
Testing the Nolah Signature
I have three other tests to judge the performance of the Nolah for Pressure Relief, Bounce, and Motion Transfer. These tests tell me how the bed performs in different situations. Let’s move into Pressure Relief first, explain why this is important and how the Nolah did, then we’ll move into the Bounce and Motion Transfer tests.
My Pressure Relief test consists of laying out a color-coded map on the Nolah Signature. The map has four colors — blue, green, yellow, and red — that represent the scale as pressure increases around the body. Blue means no pressure, while red means high pressure.
I test for pressure relief on my back, side, and stomach. Testing in every major position also allows me to test the bed for combo sleepers who love switching positions during the night!
Back – The Nolah Signature shows all blue when lying on my back, which is what I expected to see! When I’m on my back, my body generally distributes its weight evenly. I did sink into the mattress, but not so much that I felt stuck.
Side – Moving onto my side, I paid special attention to my shoulders and hips. These are trouble spots for strict side sleepers, who usually require a bit of pressure relief and sinkage to keep the joints from jamming. The Nolah’s pressure map showed only a bit of dark green in these areas. Dark green is closer to blue than to yellow, so I don’t believe side sleepers will experience pressure buildup over the course of a night.
Stomach – Switching to the stomach position, I was happy to see an all-blue map again. Although there are no areas of high pressure, I also check for support in the hips here. If the hips sink too far into the mattress (i.e. too much pressure relief), uncomfortable back bowing and spinal misalignment may occur. I can definitely say that strict stomach sleepers should turn the Nolah Signature on its firm side to ensure proper hip support.
My Bounce test lets me look at the mobility of a mattress. Mobility means that combo sleepers will have an easier time switching positions. Sleepers who are used to innerspring or hybrid mattresses may also just prefer a bouncier bed. The test consists of dropping a 10 pound steel ball onto the Nolah Signature and observing the bounceback.
I was not too impressed with the bounciness of the Nolah Signature. Because air foam has characteristics closer to memory foam than to coils or springs, its slow response to pressure tends to absorb bounce rather than allow for bounceback! Combo sleepers who change positions often may end up feeling stuck in the mattress, which is something to keep in mind.
If you sleep with a partner, you may want to pay special attention to my Motion Transfer test! I bounce the same 10 pound ball from heights of 4”, 8”, and 12”, picking up any motion transferred with a seismometer on the other side of the bed. The test helps me simulate how the Nolah isolates or transfers motion from a restless sleeper to a partner. Ideally, I want to see motion isolation.
I found that the Nolah Signature isolates motion quite well. The same air foam comfort layer that absorbs bounce obviously absorbs other kinds of motion! Couples with a restless partner should enjoy this feature.
The Nolah Signature vs
Its little brother the original Nolah and another bed with uniquely special features, the Purple! It’s always good to compare a luxury product to its sibling to see what you’re really getting, and even better to compare proprietary features to see what innovation works best for you.
- The Nolah original is 10” to the Signature’s 12” and uses Nolah’s AirFoam™ tech as well.
- The Nolah original is not flippable, and its profile is closer to the softer side of the signature. With that in mind, I’d recommend the Nolah for side sleepers and people who need pressure relief.
- The Nolah original’s price range ($489-$994) is lower than the Nolah Signature ($749-$1469).
- Check out my full original Nolah review here!
- The Purple uses a proprietary hyperelastic polymer grid to help it sleep cool and provide zoned pressure relief for different parts of the body.
- Overall, the Purple has a medium-firmness feel in multiple positions and good bounce/mobility.
- The Purple’s price range ($649-$1299) is lower than the Nolah Signature ($749-$1469).
- Check out my full Purple review here!
So we’re almost at the end of our Nolah Signature review! Here, I’ll sum up the major takeaways to help you can make the most informed buying decision. Here are my pros and cons all condensed together into a nicely digestible list.
Nolah Signature Mattress Recommendations
- The Nolah Signature provides strict side sleepers with plenty of pressure relief on its soft side.
- Couples with restless sleepers should benefit from the Nolah’s great motion isolation.
- If you love a classic memory foam feel, but also like sleeping cool, you will probably love Nolah’s alt-memory foam AirFoam™.
Nolah Signature Mattress Complaints
- The Nolah Signature doesn’t have a lot of bounce to it. AirFoam™ has great sinkage, but it also absorbs bounciness much more than a hybrid or an innerspring mattress.
- Strict stomach sleepers will need the firm side of the Nolah to support the hips, but there may be better mattresses for stomach sleepers from companies that specialize.
- Trial – 120 Nights
- Warranty – Lifetime
- Shipping – Free
How Much Does the Nolah Signature Cost?
|Twin||39" x 75" x 12"||45 lbs||$999|
|Twin XL||39" x 80" x 12"||47 lbs||$1,099|
|Full||54" x 75" x 12"||59 lbs||$1,299|
|Queen||60" x 80" x 12"||71 lbs||$1,499|
|King||76" x 80" x 12"||90 lbs||$1,699|
|California King||72" x 84" x 12"||89 lbs||$1,699|