Bear vs. Nolah Mattress Comparison

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The Nolah and Bear are both all-foam mattresses made in the USA and delivered to your doorstep in a box. The Nolah is made with a proprietary foam blend that’s responsive and breathable. The Bear is made with a combination of memory foam and polyfoam, and is designed with athletes in mind.

You’ll like the Nolah if you prefer a medium-firm mattress that has a bit more cushioning. It’s also a good choice for side sleepers, combination sleepers, and those with back pain. We recommend the Bear Original to back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and those who like the contouring feel of memory foam.

We test each and every mattress firsthand. If you want to know more about how we do it, you can read up on our testing methodology

Nolah vs. Bear Overview

The Nolah is an all-foam mattress that’s made from adaptive AirFoam and polyfoam layers, which gives it a medium-firm feel. The Bear mattress is also an all-foam mattress, but it’s designed specifically for athletes with its memory foam and polyfoam layers. Here’s a brief overview of each mattress’s strong points.

Nolah is best for…Bear is best for…
CouplesStomach sleepers
Side sleepersAthletes
Combination sleepersBack sleepers

Who Should Choose the Nolah Mattress?

  • Couples: Couples and light sleepers will experience fewer disruptions from movement across the mattress surface, thanks to the Nolah’s excellent motion isolation.
  • Side sleepers: The Nolah offers enough pressure relief to keep most side sleepers comfortable.
  • Combination sleepers: Combination sleepers are unlikely to feel “trapped” in the springy, responsive AirFoam atop the Nolah.

Who Should Choose the Bear Mattress?

  • Stomach sleepers: Stomach sleepers weighing under 230 lbs will stay lifted on top of the Bear Original, which keeps their hips raised and their lower back supported.
  • Athletes: The Bear’s Celliant technology is meant to improve muscle recovery related to an active lifestyle.
  • Back sleepers: Back sleepers of all body types will experience a comfy blend of contouring, support, and pressure relief on the Bear.

Nolah vs. Bear Mattress Video Comparison

Since both are foam mattresses, you have to wonder: how do they differ from each other? In this part, we talk about the most distinct similarities and differences between the two mattresses. 

Nolah vs. Bear: Top Similarities 

  • Motion isolation: Surprisingly, the Nolah AirFoam does a better job of reducing motion transfer than the memory foam on top of the Bear.
  • Firmness: The Bear mattress is made with memory foam that has a firmer feel than the AirFoam on top of the Nolah.
  • Sleeping positions: The Nolah is a better choice for side sleepers, while the Bear better suits back sleepers and stomach sleepers.

Nolah vs. Bear: Top Differences 

  • Cooling features: The Nolah and Bear mattresses both incorporate cooling features. The Bear has graphite- and gel-infused foam, while the Nolah has AirFoam with tiny pockets that improve airflow.
  • Good spinal support: Both of these beds keep your spine in alignment, which is important for preventing back pain.
  • Responsiveness: The Bear and Nolah mattresses both performed well in our responsiveness tests, meaning they adjust quickly to your changes in sleeping position.

Nolah vs. Bear: Firmness & Feel Differences

How do the Nolah and Bear mattresses measure up against each other when it comes to sleeping on them? In this section, we answer that and more by tackling how each mattress performs for different types of sleepers.

What’s the Firmness Of the Nolah & Bear Mattresses? 

Mattress firmness ratings tell you how soft or firm a mattress will feel to the average sleeper. Mattresses range from 1–10 on the firmness scale, with 1 being super soft and 10 being extra firm. Your body type affects how soft or firm a mattress feels to you. Generally, mattresses feel softer to heavyweight sleepers and firmer to petite sleepers, though it depends on the mattress construction and materials.

The Nolah and Bear mattresses are both medium-firm, but Nolah is on the softer end of the medium-firm spectrum and Bear is on the firmer end. That means you’ll likely sleep more comfortably on the Nolah mattress if you’re a side sleeper and the Bear mattress if you’re a stomach sleeper. Both beds are considered some of the best mattresses for back sleepers.

What Do the Nolah & Bear Mattresses Feel Like?

Contrary to how foam mattresses are, the Nolah Original is a foam mattress that sleeps cool thanks to its TENCEL cover and AirFoam construction. It does an excellent job of responding to movement because of its thick foam base, which makes it a very supportive mattress. We noticed a slight sinking feeling, but we don’t think you’ll have any issues if you move around in your sleep. 

The Bear mattress has a balanced foam feel that provides stable support and pressure-relieving properties. It’s a bit firmer than the Nolah mattress, which means that you won’t likely sink into the mattress. Though it has a memory foam top layer, you won’t feel the “hugging” sensation – instead, you’ll feel like you’re sleeping on top of the mattress.

What’s It Like to Sleep On the Nolah & Bear Mattresses?

The Nolah falls into the softer spectrum of foam mattresses, which makes it an excellent choice for most side sleepers. We also recommend it to back and stomach sleepers because of the adequate support and cushion it provides to the back and hips. Since it’s also very responsive, combination sleepers who toss and turn will sleep comfortably. However, heavier folks should take caution as they may find the mattress to be too soft and unable to maintain a neutral spine alignment.

On the other hand, the Bear mattress will be comfortable for most sleeping positions, except for side sleepers. Since it’s on the firmer side, most side sleepers (especially those below 230 lbs), will find it too firm to provide the needed cushion for their hips and shoulders. We recommend the mattress most for back sleepers and stomach sleepers as its firmer nature provides ample support to keep the spine aligned. 

The Nolah vs. Bear Mattresses By Body Type

Nolah Performance By Body Type & Sleeping Position:

Lightweight (< 130 lbs): 545
Average-weight (130–230 lbs):435
Heavyweight (> 230 lbs): 324

Bear Performance By Body Type & Sleeping Position:

Lightweight (< 130 lbs): 552
Average-weight (130–230 lbs):543
Heavyweight (> 230 lbs): 323

1 = Very poor, 2 = Not good, 3 = Fair, 4 = Good, 5 = Excellent

Average-Weight Sleepers (130–230 lbs)

Both mattresses offer good back support for neutral spine alignment for average weight back sleepers, but we think the firmer Bear mattress outperforms the Nolah in this regard.

For average weight side sleepers, the Nolah should be your pick. Side sleepers will probably find the Bear mattress to be too firm and hard on their joints, which may lead to joint pain.

The Nolah and Bear mattress can both keep average weight stomach sleepers’ spines in line with their shoulders, but we think the Bear mattress does it a bit better than the Nolah.

Average weight combination sleepers will find both mattresses comfortable and supportive, thanks to Nolah’s responsive AirFoam layer and the Bear’s firm nature.

Heavyweight Sleepers (> 230 lbs)

Heavyweight back sleepers will feel like they sink in too much with either mattress. The Bear performs slightly better than the Nolah when it comes to back support, but we recommend more supportive mattresses, like the ones in our list of the best mattresses for back sleepers.

Despite being a firm foam mattress, we think that most heavyweight side sleepers will find that the Bear mattress is the optimal firmness for comfort and pressure relief. On the other hand, we don’t recommend the Nolah mattress since it doesn’t quite offer enough support.

Heavyweight stomach sleepers may find both mattresses to be too soft to provide enough support to keep the hips elevated. The best mattresses for stomach sleepers should be more supportive and have a firmer feel.

Most heavyweight combination sleepers may encounter issues when they move around in their sleep, but because of the Bear’s firmer feel, it has an edge over the Nolah in this aspect.

Lightweight Sleepers (< 130 lbs)

For lightweight back sleepers, we can definitely recommend either mattress. They offer great spine support and adequate cushion to prevent excessive sinkage.

Lightweight side sleepers will probably prefer Nolah over Bear, mostly because of its softer feel and more cushioning nature.

We think both mattresses offer a good deal of support for lightweight stomach sleepers, preventing their hips from dipping far too forward and keeping them neutrally aligned.

Lastly, we think lightweight combination sleepers will be happy and comfortable with either mattress since they’re both very responsive and adaptive to movement changes.

Differences In Mattress Construction 

Both are all-foam mattresses, stand 10” thick, and have three foam layers. However, their overall components have different features and are made from different materials. Here’s how they compare:

Nolah Mattress Materials Bear Mattress Materials
TENCEL Mattress CoverBreathable Celliant cover
2” AirFoam2” Graphite-Gel Memory Foam
1” High-Resilience Foam2” Responsive Transition Foam
7” High-Density Base Foam6” High-Density Support Foam


The Nolah cover is made from TENCEL fabric, an eco-friendly and sustainable fabric that’s breathable, soft to the touch, and able to wick away body heat. The Bear has a patented Celliant cover, which Bear claims to aid in muscle recovery and improve performance by redirecting infrared light into your body to improve blood flow.

Comfort Layers

Nolah’s comfort layer is made from responsive AirFoam, which contains air pockets that stimulate great airflow and provide features for pressure relief and contouring. Bear has a graphite gel memory foam layer that’s injected with graphite gel that absorbs body heat and keeps you cool.

Support Layers

Both mattresses have high-density support foam base layers that act as sturdy foundations for each mattress. The Nolah’s base layer is thicker than the Bear’s by 1”.

Nolah vs. Bear Pricing

SizeNolah PricesBear Prices
Twin XL$$
California King$$

For exclusive discounts on both beds see our Nolah mattress coupons and Bear mattress coupons.

Nolah vs. Bear Mattress Performance Ratings & Differences


Overheating at night can lead to disrupted sleep and groggy mornings. While it’s true that memory foam has a reputation for sleeping hot, the Bear mattress sleeps cooler than the Nolah. That’s due to graphite and gel infused in the top layer and the cooling technology in the mattress cover. The Nolah mattress also sleeps cool, but not quite as cool as the Bear.

If you often find your sleep disrupted by overheating, you should look for a mattress that stays temperature neutral or actively promotes cooling. All-foam beds may not keep you from overheating, so we suggest looking into the best cooling mattresses.

Motion Transfer

Motion isolation is a measurement of how well a mattress absorbs movement before it spreads from one side of the bed to the other. This performance category is most important for couples, but it’s also relevant to anyone who may be joined by children or pets during the night.

Polyfoam and memory foam mattresses usually do a better job of minimizing motion transfer than innerspring mattresses. Even though Nolah and Bear are both all-foam beds, the Nolah mattress does a better job in this category, so it’s the best mattress for couples in this comparison. 

Edge Support 

Edge support is important if you plan to use the edges of the bed for sleeping or sitting. Some mattresses add extra-firm foam or coils around the perimeter of the bed to enhance edge support. 

Neither Bear nor Nolah has reinforced edges, so predictably, they provide only average edge support. When lying down, we didn’t feel as though we’d roll off the mattress, but there was significant sinkage while sitting on the edges of these beds.

Pressure Relief 

Pressure relief is a measurement of how well a mattress keeps stress off of pressure points. It’s especially relevant for side sleepers since they put a lot of weight on their shoulders and hips. 

The Nolah and Bear mattresses provide average pressure relief, though the Nolah offers a little more relief for pressure points. The Bear earned excellent pressure relief scores, but it doesn’t allow sleepers’ curves to sink as deeply into the foam. 

Pain Relief 

Both mattresses scored high when it comes to providing pain relief for back and stomach sleepers. However, they both also struggled when it comes to pain relief for side sleepers. Our pressure maps showed that side sleepers may experience pressure build-up around their hips area, which may eventually lead to joint pain.


Mattresses typically last between seven and 10 years before they start to lose support. Foam tends to deteriorate faster than steel coils or latex, so foam beds don’t last quite as long as hybrid and latex beds. Still, the Nolah and Bear mattresses are fairly durable, and if they develop any defects, they may be eligible for repair or replacement under their warranty policies.

Shipping, Returns, & Warranties 


Nolah offers free shipping across the contiguous 48 U.S. states. They also have a long 120-day sleep trial that comes with free returns and a full refund (but only after 30 days). Each mattress comes with a Nolah Lifetime warranty that provides complete coverage for 15 years, with prorated repair costs after.


Bear also offers free shipping in the contiguous U.S. and a 120-day sleep trial. They also give you a Lifetime warranty that covers material and design defects but only under certain conditions.

Other Nolah Mattresses

This mattress is no longer available for purchase. To help you find your next mattress, check out our list of the best mattresses available on the market now.

This mattress is no longer available for purchase. To help you find your next mattress, check out our list of the best mattresses available on the market now.

Other Bear Mattresses

This mattress is no longer available for purchase. To help you find your next mattress, check out our list of the best mattresses available on the market now.

This mattress is no longer available for purchase. To help you find your next mattress, check out our list of the best mattresses available on the market now.

Haven’t made a decision yet? Check out these other comparisons:

Our Final Take

The Nolah and Bear mattresses look similar on paper, but the Bear provides more support and body contouring, while Nolah does a better job of isolating motion and cushioning pressure points

If you’re a hot sleeper, then the Bear may be your best bet, but if motion transfer is your biggest concern, then the Nolah is the better choice. Side sleepers should opt for the Nolah, while stomach sleepers will fare better on the Bear. Both beds are excellent choices for back sleepers and those with back pain, but not ideal for heavyweight sleepers weighing > 230 lbs. 

Pricing is also an important consideration when buying a new mattress, and the Bear is the more budget-friendly option ($995 for a Queen size Bear vs. $1,149 for a Queen size Nolah). However, the Nolah comes with a Lifetime warranty and a longer trial period.

Nolah & Bear FAQs

Where is Nolah Mattress Manufactured?

Nolah is a mattress company that’s based in Colorado. Their mattresses — from the materials down to the construction — are all sourced and manufactured in one of their eight factories across the U.S.

How Long Will a Bear Mattress Last?

According to Bear, they designed their mattresses to last around 8 to 10 years, which is the ballpark figure for many foam mattresses. Of course, this highly depends on the daily wear and tear the mattress experiences.

Do You Have to Flip a Bear Mattress?

No, Bear mattresses are built to be slept on one side only. It has different layers that are constructed in a certain way. You can rotate the mattress, though.