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Nolah vs. Bear Mattress Comparison

Shopping for an online mattress? Our comparison puts the Nolah and Bear mattresses head-to-head to illuminate which one is the best mattress for your sleep position and comfort preferences.

Comparing the Nolah Mattress & Bear Mattress

The Nolah and Bear are both all-foam mattresses made in the U.S. and delivered to your doorstep in a box. The Nolah is made with a proprietary foam blend that’s responsive and breathable, while the Bear is made with a combination of memory foam and polyfoam, similar to the Casper and Nectar mattresses. To compare these big brands side-by-side, check out the best memory foam mattresses.

You’ll like the Nolah if you prefer a medium-firm mattress that has a bit more cushioning. It’s also a good mattress for side sleepers, couples and those who don’t like to sink slighty into their mattress, without feeling stuck. We recommend the Bear Original to back sleepers, petite stomach sleepers and those who overheat at night.

Differences

  • Nolah AirFoam does a better job of reducing motion transfer from one end of the mattress to the other.
  • The Bear mattress is made with memory foam that has a firmer feel than the AirFoam on top of the Nolah, making it the best mattress for back sleepers.
  • The Nolah is a better choice for side sleepers, while the Bear better suits back sleepers and lightweight stomach sleepers.
  • Bear and Nolah have different pricing: we consider Nolah to be a mid-range mattress and Bear to be a budget mattress. If you are looking for a mattress on a budget, check out our picks for the best affordable mattress.

Similarities

  • The Nolah and Bear mattresses both incorporate cooling features. The Bear has graphite and gel-infused foam, while the Nolah has breathable AirFoam. During our testing, we found the Nolah to sleep temperature neutral.
  • Both of these beds keep your spine in alignment, which is important for preventing back pain. If you’re currently suffering from pain build-up, see our recommendations for the best mattress for back pain.
  • The Bear and Nolah mattresses both performed well in our responsiveness tests, meaning they adjust quickly to your changes in sleeping position.

Nolah Original 10"

Who Should Buy this Mattress? 

  • Couples
  • Side sleepers
  • Combination sleepers
Firmness

6

Trial period

120 nights

Warranty

15-year limited warranty

Price

$$$

Who the Nolah Mattress is Best For 

Best For…

  • Couples who want to minimize disruptions from movement across the mattress surface
  • Side sleepers who need a softer mattress with more pressure relief
  • Combination sleepers who want a foam mattress that doesn’t have the slow sink of memory foam

May Not be Best For…

  • Stomach sleepers who need extra support near the lumbar region
  • Shoppers who want a mattress that will last over a decade

Read our full Nolah mattress review to learn more! 

The Original Bear Mattress

Who Should Buy this Mattress?

  • Hot sleepers
  • Athletes
  • Back sleepers
Firmness

7

Trial period

100 nights

Warranty

10 year warranty

Price

$$

Who the Bear Mattress is Best For 

Best For…

  • Hot sleepers who want extra airflow and cooling features in the foam layers
  • Athletes who need a mattress that helps them recover by targeting sore muscles with Celliant technology
  • Back sleepers of all body types who want a blend of contouring, support, and pressure relief

May Not be Best For…

  • Side sleepers with heavier body types, since the firmer foam probably won’t provide enough pressure relief
  • Those concerned about off-gassing, since the memory foam will likely have a temporary “new foam” scent after it’s unboxed

Read our full Bear mattress review to learn more! 

Deciding Between Nolah & Bear

Firmness / Feel

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 very firm. Your body type affects how soft or firm a mattress feels to you. Generally, mattresses feel softer to plus sized sleepers and firmer to petite sleepers.

The Nolah and Bear mattresses are both medium-firm, but Nolah is on the softer end of the 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 or average-weight back sleeper. The Bear mattress is better for back sleepers, heavier side sleepers and lightweight stomach sleepers. For firmer mattresses that will feel more supportive underneath the body, see our suggestions for the best mattress for heavy people.

Motion Isolation

Motion isolation is a measurement of how well a mattress absorbs motion before it spreads to the other side of the bed. 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.

Foam blend 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 better mattress for couples.

Edge Support

Edge support is important if you plan to use the edges of the bed to get ready or if you like to lie right along the edge of the mattress. 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, but they each provide excellent edge support. One doesn’t necessarily do better than the other in this area.

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 since the Bear uses firmer, denser foam in its comfort layer.

Spine Alignment 

Did you know that good posture is just as important while you’re sleeping as it is while you’re awake? Sleep experts call good sleeping posture “spinal alignment.” A mattress keeps your spine in alignment if it stays in its natural “S” curve regardless of your sleeping position

Memory foam and dense polyfoam tend to do a good job of evenly distributing your body weight, and that’s true for both the Nolah and Bear mattresses. With that said, the Nolah does a great job of keeping your spine aligned, while the Bear still performs well.

Durability 

Mattresses typically last between seven to 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 the warranty policy. 

Temperature 

Overheating at night can lead to disrupted sleep and groggy mornings. While it’s true that memory foam has a reputation of 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. For other mattresses that incorporate specific cooling features, see the best mattresses for hot sleepers.

Nolah Mattress Construction

Cover Botanic Origin TENCEL cover
Comfort Layer  Nolah AirFoam
Transitional Layer High-resilience foam
Support Layer High-density base foam
Mattress Thickness  10”

The Nolah mattress is covered in white TENCEL fabric that’s made from sustainably sourced wood fibers. TENCEL is soft, breathable and moisture-wicking, so you should stay cool and dry on the mattress surface. The top layer is made of Nolah AirFoam, a proprietary polyfoam that’s designed with the responsiveness of latex in mind. It sleeps cooler than traditional memory foam, but it has a conforming memory foam feel

Next, high-resilience transition foam eases your body weight into the core of the mattress. The support layer is a simple high-density polyfoam that supports the top layers and your body weight.

Bear Mattress Construction

Cover Breathable fabric cover
Comfort Layer  Graphite-gel memory foam
Transitional Layer Responsive transition foam
Support Layer High-density support foam
Mattress Thickness  10”

The Bear mattress is designed with athletes in mind. Bear infuses the mattress cover with 13 minerals and proprietary materials in order to enhance the restorative Celliant properties of the fabric. Celliant fabric is a performance textile that can help aid in muscle recovery. The comfort layer of the mattress is a 2” layer of CertiPUR-US certified memory foam infused with graphite, which draws out body heat and keeps you cooler while you sleep.

The transition layer is made with Bear’s “hybrid foam” that specializes in responsiveness and body contouring. At the bottom of the mattress is a base layer of high-density foam that improves mattress durability and prevents excess sinkage.

Sizing & Price Comparisons 

Mattress Size  Nolah Mattress Price  Bear Mattress Price 
Twin $649 $500
Twin XL $799 $600
Full $899 $700
Queen $1,149 $800
King $1,249 $900
Cal King $1,249 $900

For the best price on a new mattress, see our Nolah Mattress Coupons and Bear Mattress Coupons. Check out Bear and similar brands in our Best Mattress Under $1,000 list.

Shipping and Returns for Nolah & Bear

Nolah Mattress: 

The Nolah mattress is made to order, which can take one to five days, and shipping takes another one to five business days, depending on where you live. Shipping is free, and so are returns during the 120-night trial period. You need to wait 30 days after delivery to request the return, or you can opt out of the trial period and receive a $100 discount instead. After your mattress is picked up, you’ll get a full refund.

The Nolah Lifetime warranty is prorated, meaning replacements for defective mattresses cost $75 for shipping and a percentage of the original mattress price after 15 years of ownership. Specifically, you’ll be asked to pay 50 percent during years 15 to 25 and 60 percent after year 25. 

Bear Mattress: 

The Bear mattress is shipped for free, but there may be an extra charge for deliveries to Alaska and Hawaii. You can expect your bed-in-a-box delivery to arrive one to five business days after leaving the factory. Alternatively, you can request a “signature required” delivery.

The trial period lasts for 100 days, starting on the day of delivery. After sleeping on the bed for 30 days, you can request a free return and receive a full refund. Your mattress is protected by a limited 10 year warranty. During the 10 years, you may be eligible for free repairs or a replacement mattress if it develops any covered defects. For more details, see our breakdown of the Bear mattress warranty.

More Nolah Mattresses

Nolah Evolution

The Nolah Evolution 15 is a hybrid mattress with luxury additions, including graphite-infused AirFoamICE and a cooling ArticTex cover. An 8” layer of pocketed coils enhances durability and edge support

See our Nolah Evolution mattress review to learn more.

Nolah Signature 12

The Nolah Signature mattress has a flippable construction with a soft side and firm side. It’s made with the same responsive AirFoam as the Nolah Original mattress.

Read our Nolah Signature mattress review to learn more.

More Bear Mattresses

Bear Hybrid

The Bear Hybrid mattress is constructed with cooling, gel-infused foam and supportive pocketed coils. Its medium-firm feel is designed for side sleepers and combination sleepers.

Check out our Bear Hybrid mattress review to learn more.

Bear Pro Mattress

The Bear Pro is an all-foam mattress with copper and gel infused comfort foams. Copper has cooling and antimicrobial properties that keep the mattress clean and temperature-neutral

See our Bear Pro mattress review for more information.

Our Final Take

Nolah and Bear look similar on paper, but Bear feels firmer and sleeps cooler, 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. Pricing is also an important consideration when buying a new mattress, and the Bear is the more budget-friendly option. 


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