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|Nolah is a plush foam mattress that's ideal for side sleepers or anyone that wants maximum pressure relief.|
|Casper is the original bed-in-a-box mattress. It has a neutral feel and is suitable for all sleeping positions.|
Casper and Nolah are two of the most sought after bed-in-a-box mattresses available online. They, along with other mattresses, are ideal for side sleepers, and also have a lot in common in terms of construction.
Both Nolah and the original Casper mattress are constructed entirely of foam, and have a (mostly) neutral-foam feel. They’re both going to be best for petite to medium body types, and are very efficient at deadening cross-mattress motion (i.e. these are good beds for light sleepers).
We want to note that Casper recently released two hybrid models called Casper Hybrid and Wave Hybrid, which means the beds are constructed with a combination of foam and coils. Coils make a mattress more supportive and durable, so we think they’d be great options for those with heavier body types.
In this post, we’ll discuss what’s different about these mattresses, and which one might be better for you. For anyone that’s under a time crunch, here’s the gist of what we’ll be discussing in the sections below.
Nolah and Casper both follow a pretty standard bed-in-a-box model in that they offer free shipping, a trial period, and free returns. Both beds ship inside a cardboard box about the size of a dishwasher. All you need to do is drag the box into your house, tear off the plastic wrapping, and wait for the beds to inflate.
Typically, the will take their intended shape in about 30 seconds, but you should give them a solid day to fully expand. This is really common and is the case with most of the mattresses we’ve reviewed. Here’s a video of the unboxing process.
The trial period works similarly for both brands. Casper allots you 100 nights to test the bed, and Nolah gives you 120 nights. The only wrinkle is that Nolah asks you to test the bed for 30 nights before you hit the “Eject” button and return the mattress. We see a similar policy with about 50% of all online mattress brands. They want to make sure that you’ve given your body enough time to adjust to the new mattress.
If you do decide to return the bed, both brands will give you a complete refund inside the trial window. This is fairly standard whenever you’re buying a bed online (unless you get an Amazon mattress), so don’t get too excited. Still, it’s nice to see that Nolah and Casper are so confident that you’ll like their respective bed that they’re willing to accommodate free returns to prove it.
As for warranties, Casper offers a 10-year warranty, and Nolah offers a 15-year warranty, which actually is five years longer than you’ll typically see with mattresses, regardless of where you purchase (i.e. online or in-store). The warranties cover things like defects and manufacturing errors. You can read more on Casper.com and NolahMattress.com.
Nolah might not be as popular as Casper, but there is a particular mattress shopper that will absolutely love this bed. In this section we’ll cover the major reasons why you’d get Nolah over Casper.
The Nolah Original 10 is a softer mattress that is going to be best for side sleepers. It’s a bit softer than Casper and feels a tad more like a memory foam mattress. That said, there’s no stuck-in-the-mud feeling the way there is with Novosbed or Zinus, and you won’t have any issues rotating between sleeping positions.
Nolah Original 10 is a nice blend between a memory foam and neutral-foam mattress, although it technically uses a proprietary foam called Nolah AirFoam. It’s soft, airy, and very comfortable.
When you lay on the bed, it contours to the shape of your body without sucking you in the way a true memory foam bed would. It sort of cradles you and provides a soft, fluffy cushion. Nolah is one of those beds that makes you say “aahhhhh I really like this.” It’s immediately comfortable, assuming that you’re not looking for a firm mattress.
As an FYI, firmness is a relative term. We rate Nolah at between a medium-soft and medium, but extra petite individuals will likely find it to feel firmer than that. The inverse is true for heavier people that weigh more than 250 lb—they’ll find that Nolah is even softer than a medium-soft. The point is that soft/firm should be considered on a spectrum, which is why in the graphic above we show Nolah’s firmness rating as a range.
Nolah also happens to be the more affordable of the two mattresses. A queen size mattress from Nolah will run you about $950 before any discounts, whereas Casper charges nearly $1,200 for the same size bed. After you apply a coupon, Nolah typically drops down to about $825 and Casper comes down to about $1,100
Keep in mind that this depends on the season and which mattress deals the brands are offering. Having said that, in many cases, Nolah ends up being the more affordable alternative.
Although this has nothing to do with the mattress itself, we do want to touch on Nolah’s partnership with the Defenders of Wildlife. For every Nolah mattress purchased, Nolah will donate some of their profits to the Defenders of Wildlife, and make you an honorary wild animal adopter.
At checkout, you can choose between 20 different animals that are native to the United States, and you’ll even receive a certificate in the mail with your name and your new “adopted” animal. You can read more about the wildlife adoption program on NolahMattress.com.
Casper, as a company is worth nearly $1 billion. You don’t build a company like that with subpar products. In this section we’ll discuss what’s so special about the original Casper mattress and why it’s worth your consideration over Nolah.
While Nolah is a soft mattress, Casper is basically a true medium on the soft/firm spectrum and has a neutral feel. Casper does use memory foam, but only a thin strip and it’s one of the middle layers. As such, Casper just feels like a neutral, unassuming, comfortable slab of foam.
Given the firmness rating of Casper, it is a suitable option for all sleeping positions (back, stomach, side, and any combo of the three). Therefore, if you’re a back or stomach sleeper that’s choosing between these two beds, Casper is the better option.
You still get a good amount of pressure relief with Casper, but the bed is a little firmer than Nolah. We see Casper as the safe pick—the bed you get if you don’t want to do anymore research. Maybe you’re sick of reading reviews or maybe you’re in a hurry. Either way, Casper is one of those beds that just tends to work for a lot of people. It’s a really nice, comfortable, accommodating mattress.
Even though we’ve already discussed the feel of the Casper mattress, there’s something under the hood that’s interesting and worth taking a second to explain. With the Casper Wave mattress, they introduced a design that puts more support under your trunk and hips and more pressure relief under your shoulders.
Apparently this Zoned Support System was a success because in early 2018 they updated the original Casper mattress to incorporated it.
The Zoned Support System is subtle, but we really appreciate that Casper added it to the mattress. If you were to tear open the bed (like we did, but you should not), you’d see three different strips of foam in the second layer. The blue strip is a little firmer and more supportive, while the grey foam is a little softer. Again, it’s subtle, but nice to have.
This comparison really comes down to personal preference on things like feel, firmness, and price.
We can’t tell you what to do or think—all we can do is try to provide both sides. It’s not that one mattress is objectively better than the other. It’s all about what you want in a bed.