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Nolah Signature 12 Mattress Review (2019)

Last updated on July 10, 2019

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Nolah touts its mattresses for their pressure relieving qualities. How does the Nolah Signature 12" perform in our tests for spinal alignment and pressure relief?

Short on time? Click here to jump down to the review summary

Note: The Nolah Signature mattress is a 12" memory foam and foam mattress that has both a soft side and a firm side. Also see our review of the Nolah Original 10" mattress, which includes a smaller amount of the company's AirFoam memory foam, but cannot be flipped.

If you’d prefer to watch rather than read, check out our full Nolah mattress video review.

Table of Contents

Nobody does more in-depth mattress reviews than GoodBed — which means there's a lot of information here! Use the links in this table of contents to quickly jump to the sections of this review that interest you most.

Summary Overview of GoodBed's findings and conclusions about this product
Materials & Construction Mattress Type, Layers, Cover
Comfort & Feel Ratings Softness, Cushioning Depth, Memory Feel, Bounce
Back Support + Pressure Relief Ratings By sleeper weight and sleep position
Feature Ratings Motion Isolation, Temperature, Edge Support, Ease of Repositioning, Natural vs Chemicals, Adjustable Base Compatibility
Price, Value & Longevity Cost, Discounts, Durability, Overall Value
Other Factors to Consider Delivery, Returns, Warranty
Bottom Line Who is the best/worst match for this mattress?

Summary: Is the Nolah Signature a Good Mattress?

The Nolah Signature 12" mattress is a memory foam over foam bed, but there are two sides to this coin: On one side, the mattress is softer, but flip it over and you have a firm mattress. While the dual-sided design is touted as a plus, it deserves some extra scrutiny. The difference between the Soft side and the Firm side is dramatic -- so you'll have a definite preference as to which side works best for you, and we can't envision a situation where you would be just as comfortable on the opposite side, unless you pass the mattress along to a family member that has very different preferences. For this reasons, we had questions around the value of this bed, which at $1,569 for a queen-size all-foam mattress, is not competitive with similar all-foam mattresses.

Between all the layers, you're getting 5" of premium comfort foams surrounding a polyurethane foam core. On its website, Nolah touts its beds as particularly suitable for side sleepers, and in our testing, we concluded that side sleepers of most sizes would indeed find good spinal support and very good pressure relief on the Soft side of the Nolah Signature. And we felt that individuals of a wide range of sizes and weights would get good pressure relief from this bed.

The Nolah bed features 2.5" on one side, and 1" on the other side of the company's AirFoam memory foam; it's a medium-responding foam, not as super-slow melting as you might find on a Tempur-Pedic mattress, but also not so quick responding that it doesn't feel much like memory foam at all. If you like a bit of that slow, melting sensation of memory foam, but don't want to feel stuck or in a sinkhole, we think the Nolah Signature mattress is a good blend.

We also felt this bed (along with the Nolah Original 10 mattress) would be a good choice for those who need great motion isolation; if you or your partner are sensitive to sleep disturbances, our tests revealed virtually no motion transfer from one side of the bed to the other. However, there's also almost no bounce at all, so if you like a bouncy/springy mattress, this isn't it.

Neither Nolah mattress is ideal if you like to sit on the edge of your bed, or if you often find yourself laying right on the edge of the mattress. As with many of its all-foam competitors, edge support isn't a highlight. Also, if you have a known issue of sleeping hot, or are concerned about overheating, all-foam beds like the ones from Nolah don't typically provide much air flow. While Nolah makes some claims that its AirFoam won't trap heat, we could neither prove nor disprove this claim.

From an eco-friendly perspective, both of the Nolah mattresses are made almost entirely of petroleum-based materials, although its foams are certified to the CertiPUR-US standard to ensure minimal off-gassing. The company itself does state that for each mattress sold, it makes a donation to Defenders of Wildlife to support that non-profit's environmental initiative to preserve wildlife in the United States.

Nolah supplies a lifetime pro-rated warranty for this bed. After the first 15 years, should you find damage that triggers warranty service, you'll receive a 50% credit based on the original purchase price. In our video review, we dinged Nolah significantly for its below-average policy regarding body impressions. To trigger warranty service, any impressions would have to be 1.5" deep at minimum, less generous by far compared to other foam beds. However, within a week after posting our video review, the company changed its policy to 1", which brings it right in line with most of its competitors.

Buyers get a 120-day trial, with free delivery and returns should you decide to return the bed. The company does ask that you try the bed for 30 days before returning, however.

Bottom Line: Who is the Best Match for a Nolah Signature 12" Mattress?

BEST if you:

  • Are primarily a back or side sleeper
  • Move around and reposition frequently
  • Like a blend of a floating vs sinking feeling
  • Need excellent pressure relief
  • Foresee a need to flip to a very different firmness level

NOT IDEAL if you:

  • Need excellent edge support
  • Prefer a mattress with some bounce
  • Have a history of 'sleeping hot'

Comfort & Feel

These are the "preference-based characteristics" of a mattress. No classification here is better or worse – they are strictly a matter of your personal preference.

Softness Level - Soft Side
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
5 Medium
Softness Level - Firm Side
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
2 Firm
Cushioning Depth - Soft Side
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
5 Average
Cushioning Depth - Firm Side
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
2 Very Shallow
Response Rate
(1=Slowest, 9=Fastest)
5 Medium recovery, no bounce

 

Back Support (by Sleeper Type)

No mattress will provide equally good spinal alignment (a.k.a., back support) for every sleeper. Here's what to expect in terms of spinal alignment on this mattress – by sleeper weight and sleep position.

Soft Side:

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 9 9 8
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 9 7
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 8 9 6
Heavier >250 lb Choose Firm side 9 6

Pressure Relief (by Sleeper Type)

The pressure relief offered by a mattress – especially important for side sleepers – will vary based on a sleeper's weight and body shape. Here's how we size up the pressure relief capabilities of this mattress.

Soft Side:

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 9 9
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 9
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 9 9
Heavier >250 lb 9 9

 

Other Features

These are the "priority-based characteristics" of a mattress. Ratings here indicate where this mattress has strengths or weaknesses – however the importance of these features will depend entirely on your personal priorities.

Motion Isolation 10 Exceptional
Stays 'Cool' 5 Average for a foam mattress
Edge Support 4 Below average
Ease of Repositioning 9 Excellent
Green Features 6 Foams have some safety certifications
Adjustable Base Compatibility 9 Excellent compatibility
Overall Value 7 Average value

Key Facts

Mattress Type

Memory Foam over Foam

Price (Queen)

$1,569

Delivery

Free delivery to door

Return Policy

120-day trial, full refund and pickup

Warranty

Lifetime (prorated). Indentation coverage: 1"+

Country of Manufacture

United States

Thickness

12 inches

Weight (Queen)

88 pounds


Materials & Construction

Mattress type:  Memory Foam over Foam

Made In:  United States

Mattress Thickness:  12”

Mattress Weight:  88 pounds (queen size)

 

What's in a Nolah Signature Mattress?

Overall, we classify the Nolah Signature mattress as a "Memory Foam over Foam" construction type. It is a 12″ thick mattress comprised of 4 layers (listed below from top to bottom, based on the Soft side up):

  • 2.5" AirFoam memory foam, 3 lb. density
  • 1.5" AirFoam transition foam, 3 lb. density
  • 7" polyurethane foam support layer, 1.8 lb. density
  • 1" AirFoam memory foam, 3 lb. density

The Nolah Signature mattress includes four types of foam stacked together. At the top, you have 2.5" of relatively slow responding, soft memory foam that provides the bulk of pressure relief. Under than is another 1.5" of AirFoam foam, but this layer doesn't have any memory feel. Rather, it's meant as a transition between the soft memory foam on top and the 7" block of standard polyurethane foam below. At the bottom is another 1" of memory foam. When you flip the mattress, that 1" layer of memory foam will be the comfort materials on the Firm side.

 

Cover

The four layers of the Nolah Original mattress are wrapped in a soft, tightly stretched cover made of what the company called "natural viscose." Viscose, alternatively known as rayon, is made from cellulose fibers derived from trees.

 

Comfort & Feel

There are three aspects that make up our assessment of comfort and feel. We call these "preference-based characteristics" because no rating here is better or worse – rather, the attributes that are most desirable to you will be determined solely by your personal preferences. We apply the same classification standards to each mattress so you can more easily compare apples to apples.

Softness ( what’s this )

Keep in mind that what mattress companies call “firm” or “soft” is a purely a preference. All mattresses should be supportive and promote healthy spinal alignment. Whether a mattress is fluffy and squishy (what mattress companies call soft or plush), or less so (what companies call firm), is purely down to your personal needs and preferences.

We classify the Nolah Signature 12 mattress, on the Soft side, as a Medium mattress on our scale. The feeling you get is a blend of floating on top versus sinking in. When flipped to the Firm side, we would rate it as a true Firm on our scale

Not sure what softness is best for you? Take our Mattress Match Quiz and find out.

Softness Level - Soft
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
5 Medium
Softness Level - Firm
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
2 Firm

 

Cushioning Depth ( what’s this )

This refers to how deeply you sink into the mattress or feel cradled or hugged, versus a feeling of floating on top of the bed. The Nolah Signature is a good blend of this, right in the middle, which we would call average, based on its Soft side.

On the Firm side of the mattress, however, cushioning is very shallow, which you can see demonstrated with our bowling balls below.

Cushioning Depth - Soft
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
5 Average
Cushioning Depth - Firm
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
2 Very shallow

 

Responsiveness ( what’s this )

Responsiveness refers to how quickly a mattress recovers its shape after being compressed. When you press your hand into the mattress, for instance, then remove it, does it take several seconds for the mattress to return to flat, or does it recover immediately?

The Nolah Signature mattress does have a 2.5” layer of memory foam, and when you compress it, your hand print takes several seconds to disappear (some describe this as a slow, melting into the mattress feeling). We did not find the sensation to be as slow-responding as, for example, something from Tempur-Pedic, but if you like a bit of that memory foam feel, but don't particularly like to feel like you're sinking in quicksand, the Nolah bed might be a good blend for you.

We also tested bounce, and like most foam mattresses, this is not a bouncy bed at all.

Response Rate
(1=Slowest, 9=Fastest)
5 Medium recovery, no bounce

 

Back Support & Pressure Relief

The two things that you should always be sure to get from your mattress are spinal alignment (commonly thought of as "back support") and pressure relief. Unfortunately, no mattress will deliver these two things equally well for all sleepers. In particular, spinal alignment and pressure relief capabilities will vary across sleepers with different weights, body shapes, and sleep positions. To help you determine how this mattress will perform for you, we break down our spinal alignment and pressure relief assessments by sleeper type.

In our evaluations, the Nolah Signature offered very good back support, but it really excelled for side sleeping and pressure relief. We primarily tested the mattress on its Soft side.

Spinal Alignment

The key to good back support is maintaining proper spinal alignment while you sleep. This means that the mattress should hold your spine in roughly the same position it's in when you're standing. The ability of a given mattress to do this will generally depend on your weight, sleep position, and body shape.

Here is how we break down the spinal alignment of the Nolah Signature 12" mattress:

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 9 9 8
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 9 7
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 8 9 6
Heavier >250 lb Choose Firm side 9 6

 

Back Sleepers:

Our 200-lb. tester felt well support on his back, with hips sinking in just enough, while the mattress reached up to support his lumbar area. And we felt that back sleepers of a wide range of sizes and weights would have a similar experience. We did question support for those heavier than our tester; we felt that heavier back sleepers would find better support on the Nolah Original 10 mattress, or on the Firm side of the Signature bed as long as they prefer the feel of a very firm bed.

Side Sleepers:

Side sleeping as well as pressure relief was a real highlight in our testing, and we felt that side sleepers of a wide range of sizes and weights would have a similar good experience in terms of spinal alignment and support as our tester. He felt his shoulders sinking into the soft top foam just the right amount.

Stomach Sleepers:

For stomach sleeping, we felt that for most people, including our tester, there was too much soft comfort foam to support him on while on his stomach. He preferred the support of the Nolah Original 10 in this position. Heavier stomach sleepers might flip the Signature Nolah bed and find better support, but with only an inch of memory foam heavier sleepers may find themselves quickly sinking through to the very firm support layer underneath.

 

Pressure Relief

When a mattress pushes back against your body with too much force in a concentrated area, the result can be pain, soreness, loss of circulation, excessive tossing, and other problems. In general, such "pressure points" are of greatest concern for side sleepers, since that's the position in which your body's weight is distributed over the smallest surface area. To find the right mattress for your needs, keep in mind that the pressure-relieving capabilities of any given mattress will vary depending on the sleeper. Factors like your weight and body shape (e.g., broader shoulders and/or hips) will determine how far you sink into the mattress, and the pressure relief offered by that mattress will vary widely at different depths.

Here's how we sized up the pressure relief of the Nolah Signature 12" mattress on its Soft side:

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 9 9
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 9
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 9 9
Heavier >250 lb 9 9

 

Overall, we found the pressure relief offered by the Nolah mattress to be excellent across the board, living up to its claims for side sleepers. Our tester didn’t experience any specific issues, and he didn’t feel that he ‘bottomed out’ or pushed through the mattress’s comfort layers and into the firmer support foam layer. And we felt that sleepers of a wide range of sizes and weights would also experience excellent pressure relief on this bed.

 

Other Features

Beyond the preference-based characteristics of comfort and feel, and the body matching for spinal alignment and pressure relief, a mattress will have a number of other attributes that can make it a better or worse choice for you. We call these "priority-based characteristics" because they are areas in which a mattress can be better or worse, but that will have differing amounts of importance to each sleeper. So, determining how much importance to give to these features will be entirely a matter of your own personal priorities. As always, we apply the same ratings standards to each mattress so you can more easily compare apples to apples.

 

Motion Isolation ( what’s this )

With a bowling pin standing upright on the Nolah Signature 12" mattress, we tested motion isolation by dropping our 16-pound bowling ball on the bed, as well as the whole weight of our 200-lb. tester. In both tests we're looking for whether the bowling pin wobbles or falls.

In both tests, the pin hardly moved, an excellent indicator that movements on one side of the bed are little felt on the other. For that reason, we felt the Nolah bed would be a good choice for couples who don’t want to feel their partner getting in and out of bed.

Motion Isolation Rating 10/10 Exceptional

 

Temperature ( what’s this )

Memory foam has a reputation for heat retention, and all-foam beds in general just don't allow for as much air flow as innerspring or hybrid mattresses. Some foam mattresses add cooling features to combat this. In the case of the Nolah beds (both the Signature and the Original), the manufacturer claims its AirFoam doesn't trap heat, a claim we can neither confirm nor disprove. Our tester did not have an issue with sleeping hot, but this isn't an issue he experiences on any bed.

If you don't have a known issue of sleeping hot, then we don't expect you'll have a problem on either Nolah mattress. But if overheating in bed is an issue for you, and you’ve experienced it with other mattresses, another type of mattress, such as a hybrid or innerspring mattress, which allows for more airflow, may be a better choice.

Stays 'Cool' Rating 5 /10 Average

 

Edge Support ( what’s this )

Foam mattresses aren’t typically very supportive along the very edge of the mattress—important if you like to sit on the edge of the bed, or if you tend to sleep along the edge. The Nolah Signature mattress wasn't an exception. Our tester noted he sank through the mattress when sitting on the edge, though he felt stable enough. When laying on the very edge of the mattress, he felt as if he was sliding off.

If strong edge support is a priority for you, there are better choices.

Edge Support Rating 4/10 Below average

 

Ease of Repositioning ( what’s this )

For those with mobility issues, ease of movement may be a priority. We evaluate how easy it is to change positions and move around on a mattress. Memory foam, where its hallmark feature is sinking into the bed, can sometimes hinder movement, but we did not find this to be the case with the Nolah Signature 12" mattress. Our tester had no trouble moving from position to position, but those with chronic mobility issues might look to a non-memory foam mattress in general

Repositioning Rating 9 /10 Excellent

 

Green Features ( what’s this )

For mattress shoppers concerned with the use of natural materials, sustainable manufacturing practices or the like, we offer our subjective evaluation of any efforts taken by the company to make the mattress more green, healthy, or safe. 

In the case of the Nolah mattresses, the company makes no claims about the use of natural materials. However all of the foams used are certified to the CertiPUR-US standard, which verifies that a material has low VOC off-gassing as well as a lack of chemicals and other substances regulated by the CPSC.

The company does state that for each mattress sold, it makes a donation to the Defenders of Wildlife, a non-profit that seeks to protect animals in the United States.

Green Rating 6/10 Foams have safety certifications

 

Adjustable Base Compatibility ( what’s this )

We tested the Nolah Signature mattress on top of our standard adjustable base. Here, we are looking for how well it conforms to the base, whether anything strange or weird results, and whether the mattress will be damaged by using it on such a base. The Nolah mattress is compatible with adjustable bases; the company even sells one of its own. We noticed good conformance, with just a little lifting at the foot, which is normal for any new mattress. We noticed no odd bulges or bunching.

Adjustable Base Compatibility 9/10 Excellent

 

Price, Value & Longevity

How Much Does a Nolah Signature Mattress Cost?

Prices shown are list prices. Remember that GoodBed keeps our site current with the best available discounts on all online mattresses, many of which are exclusive discounts for our readers. 

Size Dimensions Mattress  Adjustable Base GoodBed Discount?
Twin 38" x 75" x 11" $1,069 NA Yes
Twin XL 38" x 80" x 11"  $1,169 $799 Yes
Full (Double) 54" x 75" x 11" $1,369 NA Yes
Queen 60" x 80" x 11" $1,569 $949 Yes
King 76" x 80" x 11" $1,769 NA Yes
California King 72" x 84" x 11" $1,769 $1,498 - split king Yes

 

What Are You Getting?

The Nolah Signature is an 12-inch mattress made of memory foam over polyurethane foam in densities we would consider average. It is a flippable mattress, with a different firmness level on each side. It's a feature not seen very often.

 

How Long Will the Nolah Signature Mattress Last?

When it comes to estimating the comfort lifespan of a mattress, we tend to use foam density as our best, albeit imperfect, predictor of how long a foam will retain its shape and resiliency. In the case of the Nolah mattress, the foams used are about average, at 3 lbs. per square foot for the two AirFoam. (Memory foam densities typically range from about 2 lbs. to 5.5 lbs.) The support form is a standard 1.8 lb. density. Overall, the materials quality are not particularly notable, and we could not identify any factors that would lead us to believe this mattress would last longer than other all-foam beds.

 

Overall Value

Pricing for the queen size Nolah Signature 12" mattress is $1,569, a price that's above average when compared to other all-foam beds available today. Aside from the flippable design, we did not feel the mattress materials or features were standouts. We would call this bed an okay value, but definitely not great.

Value Rating 7/10 Average value

 

Other Factors to Consider

Delivery

  • Free delivery to door

Nolah includes free delivery, which is not particularly unusual among its competitors. The Nolah Signature bed comes in a big box; the queen size mattress weighs about 88 pounds.

 

Returns

  • 120-day trial period
  • Full refund, including free pickup within trial period

Nolah offers buyers a 120-day trial period. Returns within the trial period are free, with pickup of the mattress included. The company requires you to keep the mattress at least 30 days before initiating a return. See: Details on Nolah trial policy

 

Warranty

  • Warranty Length: Lifetime; pro-rated after 15 years
  • Indentation Coverage: 1” and above

One of the biggest, if not THE biggest complaints about any mattress from consumers regards body impressions—the inability of a mattress to spring back, eventually creating a low spot/sinkhole in the mattress. As such, mattress warranties all contain a term defining how big a sag or ‘body impression’ (measured when no one is on the mattress) is considered a defect, and thus covered under the warranty. The industry standard for memory foam mattresses is 3/4" to 1". Nolah has chosen to cover indentations that meet or exceed 1”. Practically speaking, that means any softening or sagging would need to be at least that deep before the warranty would offer you protection. See: Nolah warranty

 

Bottom Line: Is the Nolah Signature 12" Mattress Right for You?

The Nolah Signature 12" mattress is an excellent value, given its premium materials for the money. Here’s who we think the mattress is best for, based on our evaluation

BEST if you:

  • Are primarily a back or side sleeper
  • Move around and reposition frequently
  • Like a blend of a floating vs sinking feeling
  • Need excellent pressure relief
  • Foresee a need to flip to a very different firmness level

NOT IDEAL if you:

  • Need excellent edge support
  • Prefer a mattress with some bounce
  • Have a history of 'sleeping hot'

Is the Nolah Signature mattress right for you? Take our Mattress Match Quiz to find mattresses that fit your needs, based on your preferences and price range. 

Looking for more on the Nolah mattress? Visit NolahMattress.com.

 

Final Note

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