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Soft Foam Mattress
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|The Nolah Original 10 mattress is best for side sleepers and has a mixed foam feel that lands somewhere between neutral-foam and memory foam. Nolah is a wonderfully comfortable bed if you want something that's softer.|
Memory Foam Mattress
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|The Nectar bed has a dense memory foam feel, can accommodate all sleeper types, and has some great company policies. In all likelihood, it is probably the most popular memory foam mattress sold online right now.|
Before we get into the post, here are a few highlights for anyone that likes to skim:
Of course we can’t fit everything we want to say in a short YouTube video, so continue along to get a little more in depth with Nolah and Nectar.
Nolah and Nectar are two bed-in-a-box mattresses with a price tag almost nobody can scoff at. Sure, you could spend over $1,500 on a luxury mattress, and there would be nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with saving a few bucks and purchasing a quality but budget-friendly mattress. In addition to their affordable mattresses, people really enjoy how Nolah and Nectar go above and beyond the expectations of the average online mattress company. We’ll get into the specifics shortly, but first we want to give you a quick rundown on the background of both companies.
Nolah is based in Colorado and everything from the mattress design process to the manufacturing is done right here in the United States. So if you’re a particularly patriotic American, Nolah might stand out to you a little more than Nectar. We’ll be focusing on Nolah’s Original 10 mattress, but we should also note their 12” Signature Mattress. It’s a little more expensive, but in turn you’re getting a thicker, more luxurious and supportive bed.
We think Nectar has one of the best values on the market for a quality memory foam mattress. We’d say it’s equally as popular as Nolah, and the brands are fairly even competitors. They cite quality overseas manufacturers as the reason for their low prices, but Nectar assures that each mattress is constructed in a premiere environment with high standards under the supervision of industry experts. So ultimately, we think your decision will be based on what kind of feel and firmness you prefer, your sleeper type, and the kind of company practices you value most.
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What you see on the outside of your mattress is important, but right now we want to focus on the materials underneath Nolah’s soft brown and white cover. It’s what’s on the inside that matters, right? Similar to many other bed-in-a-box mattresses, Nolah is 10” thick and composed of three materials.
The base layer is 7” of high-density foam and provides the bulk of your mattress’s support. Next, is a 1” transition layer made of soft poly foam to provide a cushion between the firmer support foam and the main layer on top.
The main layer is a type of proprietary foam (fancy jargon for foam made specifically by the company for the company) called Cooling Nolah AirFoam. It’s more of a neutral open-cell foam to allow good airflow and temperature regulation.
Due to the soft transition foam and Nolah AirFoam, the mattress is incredibly cozy and comfortable. We’d describe the feeling as neutral, with a slight memory foam feeling peeking through. Even though Nolah doesn’t use memory foam, we think it’s soft and pressure relieving like memory foam is. However, it’s much more responsive than traditional memory foam so you don’t get that deep viscous feel memory foam is known for.
On our scale from softness to firmness, we rated Nolah in between medium and medium-soft. That means it’s a great bed for side sleepers or combo sleepers, and your hips and shoulders will be thanking you each morning for the easing pressure relief they received the night before. We’d even go as far as to say Nolah is one of the best mattresses for side sleepers.
If it’s a great bed for side sleepers, how will back and stomach sleepers like Nolah? Our answer is that it depends. If you’re petite then you can probably get away with sleeping on most mattresses out there.
However, if you’re a strict back sleeper or stomach sleeper over about 160 lb or 180 lb, this bed might not be the best for you. If you primarily sleep on your back or stomach, you want a slightly firmer mattress like Nectar to keep your spine aligned and prevent your hips from sinking into the bed.
In terms of pricing, Nectar is the more affordable mattress. If you compare MSRPs for a queen size, Nectar costs around $800, while Nolah goes for around $1,000.
However, Nolah does offer large discounts regularly. You can typically expect to receive a $100-$135 discount off your purchase. The company even throws in free pillows from time to time. You might want to check the green discount box above to see what the current promotion is.
Nectar doesn’t usually offer a traditional discount since their beds are already priced so affordably but Nectar does usually toss in two free pillows with each mattress purchase.
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When we took off Nectar’s cover and cut through the thin knit layer underneath, we saw four different layers. It’s 11” thick, which is slightly taller than Nolah, and it also begins with a thick support foam layer.
The next slab of material is a proprietary foam called Adaptive Hi Core Memory Foam, but to you it’ll feel like dense memory foam. It acts as a transition layer, so you don’t feel the support foam layer on the bottom, and it contributes to the overall memory foam feel of the bed. Next comes a slab of gel-memory foam, with another layer of gel memory foam quilted into the cover above it. So that’s three layers of memory foam back-to-back-to-back.
If we haven’t drilled it into you yet that Nectar has a prominent memory foam feel… Nectar has a prominent memory foam feel. It feels pretty dense and you don’t sink into the foam right away like other memory foam mattresses. You slowly descend into the mattress after about 4-6 seconds, once the memory foam begins to soften from your body heat. Once it does, you feel the foam contour to your curves and it feels like the mattress giving you a cozy hug.
It was a little harder to give this bed a solid rating since it’s different from other memory foam mattresses we’ve tested out, but we came to a general consensus that it lands somewhere between medium and medium-firm. We think this mattress would be great for back and stomach sleepers because it’s firm enough to keep your hips and spine in proper alignment.
Since you sink into the mattress and the material molds to the shape of your body, we think this mattress would also be a viable choice for side sleepers. However, if you’re an extra petite individual—around 100 lb for example—a Nectar mattress might be a little too firm for you to sleep on your side. Since your body isn’t pressing into the bed very much, you won’t feel the pressure relieving memory foam as much as you’re intended to.
If you’re a combination sleeper, you should keep in mind that it’s a little difficult to switch positions on a memory foam mattress because your body is settled in one place, and the foam isn’t very quick to respond. So it will take a moment to readjust as you switch from your side to your back, and it might be somewhat disruptive to your sleep.
Hopefully we gave you some insight on which mattress would be more suitable for you and your preferences, but if you’re still processing all this information and you still aren’t sure if you should choose Nolah or Nectar, you can ask yourself these simple questions.
If you have any other mattresses you want to put head-to-head, we have an entire section of our website dedicated to mattress comparisons that we encourage you to check out. Also make sure to stop by our Mattress Coupons page to stay up to date on the day’s best mattress promotions.
We know you like to read about company policies about as much as you like to read an instruction manual or fold socks, but it’s important to know what you’re signing up for when you purchase a mattress.
First things first, you’ll get free shipping and free returns with both Nolah and Nectar. Most bed-in-a-box brands are the same way, but there are a few luxury brands out there who charge their customers a hefty return fee. Although, we’ve received a few complaints from folks claiming their Nectar mattress took a little longer to arrive, so keep that in mind if you end up deciding on Nectar.
When your Nolah or Nectar arrives at your home, it’ll be compressed inside a box (or a bag in the case of Nectar) about the size of a small dresser. After you unbox your mattress you’ll want to give it about 24-72 hours to inflate into its intended size. It may look ready to go once it expands after removing it from its plastic wrap, but trust us when we say to give it a day or two. The foam will get a chance to fully form, and your mattress will get a moment to off-gas after being confined in such a small space for several days.
Online mattress companies know you’re going out on a limb purchasing a mattress before you see or feel it, so their solution is to offer their customers a reasonable risk-free trial period. Nectar will give you an entire year (365 nights) to test out your mattress and Nolah will give you 120 nights. That isn’t to say Nolah has a lousy trial period, four months should be more than enough time for most people to make a decision and it seems to be the average trial period for most bed-in-a-box companies.
Most customers choose to keep their mattress, and if that’s the case then your Nolah or Nectar will be covered by one of their warranty policies. Compared to a “forever” warranty, Nolah’s 15-year warranty may seem like nothing, but it’s still longer than the average online mattress warranty. We usually don’t advise you to use your mattress longer than 10 years anyway, unless it’s tucked away in a spare bedroom. With that being said, it never hurts to have extra security and it shows how Nectar really stands behind their product.
If you love animals as much as we do, you’ll appreciate Nolah’s commitment to protecting wildlife all over America. For every mattress they sell, they’ll “adopt” one wild animal like a bear, shark, arctic fox, or another beautiful creature native to our nation. So you can rest assured if you purchase from Nolah, an animal in nature is reaping the benefit. You can read more about Nolah’s social commitment on their website.
We want to dive a little deeper into why a mattress might feel different to somebody who’s 100 lb versus somebody who’s 250 lb. When you lay on a mattress, your weight determines how much pressure your body is going to exert onto the bed. The more you weigh, the softer a mattress is going to feel. Since Nolah and Nectar are two all-foam mattresses, we don’t think they’re the best options for heavier individuals who weigh around 250+ lb.
If this describes your body type and you want your mattress to be as supportive and long lasting as it’s intended to be, we suggest you take a look at the hybrid mattresses on our Best Mattresses For Heavy People post.