Going home for the holidays is always a welcomed activity — home-cooked meals, cozy movie nights, quality time with family ... the list goes on and on. But there's one thing that was less than ideal: sleeping in my childhood bed. Don't get me wrong, it served me well through adolescence. But once you get used to a plush "grown-up" bed, the bed you slept in as a kid loses its luster.
Luckily, as an editor in the home space, I have the means to try out a new mattress, so I called in a favor to a friend. (In this case, my friend was Nolah, the mattress and bedding company.) They graciously sent me the Nolah Evolution 15" mattress. Here's my honest review.
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(While I did receive the Nolah Evolution 15" mattress in exchange for an honest review, all of the following thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced by Nolah in any way.)
What is Nolah?
First things first — let's learn a bit about the brand. Nolah is an online mattress company that first launched in 2015. The company offers five mattresses, three bed frames, and a variety of bedding, blankets, and pillows. Its mission was to reimagine the traditional memory foam mattress by creating something without harsh materials or chemicals that didn't overheat. The result is the brand's proprietary Nolah AirFoam, which is 100% temperature neutral since it doesn't contain the viscoelastic chemicals found in typical memory foam. It sleeps cooler than any other memory foam mattress (with or without cooling gel), and in performance tests, it shows four times less pressure on a sleeper's hips and back when compared to traditional memory foam mattresses.
Since the brand is also direct to consumer, it offers all of its mattresses for a fraction of traditional prices. All but one are less than $2,000 and are frequently on sale for even less.
The Nolah Evolution 15" review
The mattress I tested is called the Evolution 15". I chose it because I was looking for a mattress with about medium firmness. I like mattresses that feel soft and cozy but find that if it's too soft, my back ends up hurting. I also liked that this one also offered a pillow-top that more closely matches that of traditional mattresses. The Nolah Evolution also includes what the brand calls "HDMax Tri-Zone coils," which are said to offer targeted back support and responsive pressure relief, plus graphite-infused AirFoamICE in the topper, which provides cushioning and cooling.
The shipping and delivery couldn't have been easier. It does arrive in a box, which may turn off some people, but it definitely makes it easier to handle and get it into the room you're planning to keep it in. I was out of town when the mattress was delivered, so my neighbors grabbed it for me. The fact that it was in a box made it way easier to move it around.
- Very comfortable
- The perfect level of medium firmness
- Made with organic cotton
- 120-night trial period
- Very tall; can be too tall for some
- The edges aren't as reinforced as some may like
Pros of the Nolah Evolution 15"
Although it did come in a box, it popped up to full size very quickly, and I was able to sleep on it that night (as opposed to other brands that ask you to wait overnight for it to fully expand). I didn't find that mine had a strong smell compared to others I've tried. It's definitely a large mattress — 15 inches is in the name, after all — but it felt even taller than what I pictured. I don't mind that at all, but if you prefer to have a more low-profile bed or if you have a tall bed frame, you may want to keep that in mind.
For me, the comfort level is beyond even my highest expectations. Maybe it's just that I was used to a very old mattress, but it is so, so comfortable — I never want to leave it! I also occasionally do have a sore back (likely from sitting at a desk all day), and this makes my back feel supported and rested in the morning. It's soft and cozy like I prefer, but it's still firm enough to offer support.
The cooling pillow-top is another great feature. While I have been testing it during the winter months only — so I can't truly judge it during the hottest time of the year — it does trap less heat than other mattresses and doesn't leave me overheated at all. A lot of the reviewers also comment that they love the cooling features and find that they can sleep better and longer since purchasing it.
Cons of the Nolah Evolution
This is an interesting con to point out, but I do feel it's worth mentioning. The edges of this mattress don't feel all that structured, so you almost slip off the side when sitting on it. I have the queen size, so maybe with a king or larger, it wouldn't feel as noticeable. It's not a deal breaker by any means but something that differs from the mattress that I had before.
The price is also worth mentioning, as it's not necessarily budget-friendly. The queen size will run you $2,299; however, the brand regularly runs sales and promotions, so you can typically score a better price. The queen is currently on sale for $1,609 with your choice of a weighted blanket or pillow thrown in as a free gift. The price is not entirely a con, but it might not be feasible for every shopper.
Is the Nolah Evolution 15" worth it?
I think the Nolah Evolution 15" is 100% worth it if, like me, you are interested in finding a mattress that sits right on the line between firm and soft but helps with a sore back. Nolah also offers a 120-night trial, so you can try it and return it if for any reason you're not satisfied — a win-win in my eyes. Plus, right now it's almost $700 off, so you really can't go wrong.