Emma Mattress Review

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48 comments

For my latest Emma mattress review, I decided to take a different approach.

There are already hundreds of different review websites out there. It didn’t seem worth just repeating the same points again – you can easily Google them if you want.

I set out to approach it a little differently: I actually bought an Emma Original mattress for myself. Most other reviewers do NOT actually test the product themselves, or they get free ones given to them. Obviously, this isn’t ideal if you want an unbiased review.

What better way to test it, than to actually sleep on it? As it wasn’t a free sample, I am not duty bound to be polite about it. I can be as honest as I like – and that’s how I prefer things 🙂

So let’s start with the basics:

What are the Pros & Cons of Emma Original?

Pros

  • Cheapest price for a mid-range memory foam
  • Mainly positive reviews on Trustpilot
  • Fast delivery times (UK)
  • Been around for years

Cons

  • Some possible long-term sagging issues reported
  • The Emma Original Plus is sometimes cheaper
  • Off-gassing possible for a while
  • Quite soft. Try firmer hybrid mattresses if you have back/hip issues

Emma Sleep (the company) actually sell different many different mattresses now in the UK. You are very likely looking for a review of the Emma Original. This is the mattress I am testing here.

Emma’s Original has a long history, and has been on sale in the UK for almost 10 years now.

It’s a memory-foam based mattress, that is made in the UK. There are already quite a few memory foam brands to choose from – for example, Simba, Eve, Nectar and so on. So, should you opt for Emma?

The cover is machine washable – but not waterproof.

Covers & Materials

The top cover and side cover is made almost of 100% polyester. Polyester isn’t “natural”, but it’s durable and hydrophobic which means it dries very quickly.

Emma has used hollow polyester fibres here, which regulates humidity effectively. The grey underside is made of 87% polyester and 13% polypropylene which makes it extra resistant to abrasion.

This mattress, like most memory foams, isn’t flippable so don’t sleep on the grey side. 🙂

The Emma Original mattress cover includes 4 side handles. Now, many of the mattresses I have reviewed don’t have handles for easy maneuvering so this is a big plus. A mattress with handles gives it a thumbs up from me when it comes to practicality. Can you remember the last time you moved home and had to drag your mattresses up the stairs? Not fun, so having to avoid that in future is a bonus.

Emma Original Versus the Rivals

PositivesNegatives
Emma OriginalExcellent pressure relief and comfort, good motion isolation. Been around for years. Fairly affordable.May be too soft for some, and a few reports of sagging issues.
Nectar Memory FoamGood motion isolation, excellent pressure relief and comfort, and a lifetime warranty. Very affordable.Some users report off-gassing odours and slow responsiveness.
Simba Simbatex FoamGreat motion isolation, great pressure relief and support. Firmer than most.May not be suitable for side sleepers, and is more pricey.
Eve OriginalExcellent pressure relief and support, very affordable.May be too firm for some users. Initial odour and off-gassing. Poor edge support.

Emma claim that their Original mattress should last for around 10 years, and there is a limited warranty to back that up (but be aware of the pitfalls of mattress warranties, more on this later).

Another big plus when compared to some other brands like Simba is that the outer cover is fully removable and machine washable at 60 degrees Celsius, which is also not too common in the UK online mattress industry.

I would however still always recommend a mattress protector that way you protect your mattress, in the long run, the Emma mattress protector is a great place to start.

Why You Can Trust WhatMattress

We're completely independent from any mattress company. We've spent countless hours curating and reviewing mattresses that anyone can buy in the UK, and have been doing so since 2018.
Mattresses tested:
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Total hours testing:
602
Pillows tested:
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Total hours testing:
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Duvets tested:
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Is the Emma Original mattress any good?

Generally, yes.

☝️ More than one year on, I still think the Emma Original is one of the best mattresses you can buy in the UK right now. It’s comfortable, but fairly soft, and yet provides fantastic support no matter what position you sleep in – making it a particularly good choice for people who move around a lot at night.

If you like to sink in to your mattress and like the feeling of memory foam ‘hugging’ your body then the Emma Original is a good bet.

There are some drawbacks though.

Looking at the reviews on places like Trustpilot, it is obvious that some users are having issues with bolster / side sagging. This is when the outer edges of the mattress start to go all soft and make sleeping on the edge of the mattress impossible.

Emma (Hybrid) being tested

The longevity of brands like Emma or Eve (compare the two here) are only going to be as good as the memory foam they are made of, and sagging is an occasional issue with all memory foams. In other words, it is not unique to the Emma brand. If you are looking for better bolster support then a hybrid mattress might be the way to go – it combines a pocket spring and a memory foam mattress, giving you the best of both worlds.

The other thing you should be aware of is the new mattress smell – it seemed quite strong for me, when I unpacked my Emma Original, taking up to 5 days to fully dissipate. It’s a lot easier in summer as you can keep the windows open.

What about the Emma Original Plus?

Emma have also launched the Emma Original Plus mattress recently in the UK. Just to make things a bit more confusing! 🙂

This is a very similar, but upgraded version of the Emma Original. You can do a side-by-side comparison of the two mattresses here, including the differences.

I do usually recommend the Emma Original Plus if you can get it cheaper than the Emma Original. It improves on some of the shortcomings (you get more layers essentially. Often it’s available for less money, so it’s a no-brainer.

The problem is that you have to time it right, to get the best discounts.

PriceThicknessNumber of LayersFeatures
Emma Original£429+25 cm3 layersRemovable and washable cover
Emma Original Plus£579+28 cm5 layersZoned support, extra layer of foam, and removable and washable cover

Emma Original Mattress review: Overview

Having looked at websites like Trustpilot, where Emma are rated 4.4 out of 5, it’s obvious to me that most of their customers are satisfied with their purchase.

However, the problem with most of these review sites is that they are only reviewing the short-term product usage, i.e. within a few days or weeks of usage. Indeed, some of the reviewers are creating their reviews before they’ve even unpackaged the mattress! This is all very well, but I really think we need more longer-term reviews for all mattress brands.

Rated 4.4 out of 5 on Trustpilot

 

How much does the Emma Original cost in the UK?

At full price, it sits comfortably at the cheaper end of the memory foam mattress segment. And there’s usually a decent discount to be found, helping the Emma Original mattress completely undercut the competition. It’s outrageous value for money frankly, if you can get a discount.

Prices for the Emma Original mattress in “Single” start at £499, but few will pay this. Why? Because often prices will be heavily discounted. For example right now Emma are offering the Emma Original at £249.50 or 50% off.

Top Memory Foam Mattresses: Comparison

A comparison of the best UK memory foam mattresses
BEST IN TESTNectar Memory FoamEmma OriginalSimbatex FoamSimbatex EssentialEmma Original PlusErgoflex 5G
WhatMattress User Rating4.6 4.4 3.2 4.5 4.3 3.9
Trustpilot Rating4.3 4.1 4.4 4.5 4.3 4.8
Price£374.50£499.00£407.00£367.00£274.50£488.00
More infoMore infoMore infoMore infoMore infoMore info
Read my reviewRead my reviewRead my reviewRead my reviewRead my reviewRead my review

Like many of the mattresses I review, the Emma Original is a bed-in-a-box mattress.

In other words, you buy it online and it arrives at your door, vacuum-packed in a conveniently sized box. It takes just two hours to expand into shape. Add together the luxurious comfort, competitive price and its incredible review results, and there are some very compelling reasons to choose the Emma Original. Here at WhatMattress, we think it’s the best budget-friendly memory foam mattress you can buy.

Best Rated Mattresses UK (2024)

  1. Simba Hybrid Luxe — Best for comfort, with wool layer
  2. Nectar Memory Foam — The comfiest, affordable memory-foam mattress
  3. Emma Premium — Best cheaper hybrid around. Full stop.
  4. OTTY Original Hybrid — Still going strong
  5. Eve Original Hybrid — Still a classic, made in UK
  6. Tuft & Springs Solitaire 2000 — Pricey but high-quality

The top all-round mattress in the UK according to WhatMattress users in 2024 is Simba Hybrid Luxe. It's surprisingly affordable, and out-performs all other hybrid mattresses in terms of comfort. It also doesn't sag as much as other rival hybrid mattresses, even after a couple of years of testing.

How firm/soft is the Emma Original?

Quick note: If you’re suffering from orthopaedic problems then be sure to read my top 5 mattresses for that here.

The EMMA Original claims to be “medium firm”. But if you’re even slightly familiar with mattresses, you’ll know that almost every brand claims this.

There’s no official measure of firmness, and no industry-specific scale. So in other words, any mattress brand can claim to be as hard or soft as they want. And not surprisingly, most of them opt for the one that appeals to most people: “Medium-firm“.

One thing I did notice with my Emma mattress is that it took a few nights to get used to it.

I was coming from the OTTY Pure, which of course feels quite different, being a hybrid. But all you should know is that, if you’re looking for a fairly soft mattress then the Emma Original is a good place to start.

If you are in any way concerned about the firmness of the Emma and want something a little firmer or suited to those specifically with ongoing back pains, then I suggest to also read these reviews:

But ultimately the best course of action is to see a specialist sleep expert. The internet is a great tool but it never replaces real-life advice from a professional.

Emma Mattress: About the Foam Layers

Cutaway of the Emma Original

1. Top Comfort Layer (3cm)

The so called “comfort” layer is built from Emma’s own trademarked Airgocell® foam, and this is the same stuff inside the Emma Pillow. In layman’s terms, this is basically a proprietary foam with more air pores than your traditional polyurethane (PU) foam. Emma claims that this works to reduce heat i.e. wick away hotter temperatures away from your body.

Additionally, this layer has quick pressure responsiveness to conform to your body’s movements. The intent behind the foam structure is to give you a cool, soft cloud-like feeling. Yet still allowing the other two layers to provide support and pressure relief.

Emma mattress review: The memory foam looks a bit weird

2. Middle Memory Foam Layer (2cm)

Unlike the top layer, this intermediate layer has slow responsiveness. This distributes the pressure equally to contour your body. This visco-elastic memory foam layer purpose is to provide relief especially for those with back problems. Memory foam has a reputation of causing overheating during the night but its positioning under the top cooling layer helps to reduce this.

The memory foam is also a great transition layer balancing the support from beneath with the softness from the above layer, thus allowing your body to smoothly feel the benefits from all the layers.

Emma Mattress Review: Foam cutaway

3. Supportive Base Layer (19cm)

A decent-quality mattress always has a firm and sturdy foundation, that is the base layer. With Emma, the foam base layer has shoulder and hip zoning. This sounds fancy but it is basically just cut out channels in the foam (also called castellated foam). The zoning is located near to your hips and shoulder areas are to allow for more give/sinkage to ensure the best spinal alignment possible.

Emma Original Review: What about a trial period?

Luckily, the Emma Original mattress comes with a 200-night risk-free trial which allows anyone to return it within that time frame and receive a full refund. Simply contact customer service and they will handle the rest. Note that sometimes this changes and they reduce it down to 100 days, so be sure to double-check this before you buy.

(Tip: Make sure you read my review on the drawbacks of these lengthy trial periods)

If you don’t get on with your Emma mattress, then the 200 night trial means you can just hand it back if you don’t want it. But what happens to your Emma mattress if you return it? I spoke with Emma staff, and they confirmed that they give them away to charities like the Red Cross or Debra. That’s certainly more positive than I thought – I was expecting them to go to landfill, but it’s great that Emma have been able to negotiate with charities to have their unwanted mattresses repurposed.

More from WhatMattress...

“Renewed” Emma mattresses: Good or bad idea?

Sadly, a lot of unwanted mattresses end up in China or India being burned (yes… burned) rather than recycled.

It’s a worldwide problem, so it’s great to hear that Emma Sleep actually re-use their unwanted mattresses. Note that you can also find second-hand / returned Emma mattresses on places like Groupon and Living Social every so often – for example like this one.  I must emphasise though that if you buy a reconditioned/returned Emma mattress then you will NOT be covered by their trial period.

The benefit of buying an unwanted mattress is that it’ll be significantly cheaper, but there are some big drawbacks too. If you decide that Emma mattress isn’t right for you, and you’ve bought a reconditioned item, you’re essentially stuck with it.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve bought a returned Emma mattress and how you’re getting on with it.

Emma Original mattress: Sizing

Thankfully, all Emma mattresses are available in a wide range of UK sizes.

These are UK spec, not EU spec, so will fit nearly every bed in the UK:

SIZEDIMENSIONSPRICE (excl. discounts)
➡️Single mattress90x190x25 cm£299
➡️Small double mattress120x190x25 cm£449
➡️Double mattress135x190x25 cm£499
➡️Kingsize mattress150x200x25 cm£579
➡️Super Kingsize mattress180x200x25 cm£649

Update: Emma now offer an Emma Cot mattress for toddlers – read the review here.

Plus, if you are looking for a mattress for your kids then read this first.

Discount Code for Emma Mattress: 20% off

I’m not saying that you should buy an Emma Original mattress, but if you are thinking about it seriously, then it makes sense to get money off off. You can come back to this later if you prefer.

Exclusive:10% off -10% OFF
Exclusive:10% off
Get 10% off when you buy any size mattress from Emma. Some items excluded, see the Emma UK website for terms.
Valid until 31 March 2024

Don’t forget to check out all my discount codes for Emma mattresses here.

Please note: The prices listed are BEFORE any discount. Here’s 20% off, which will reduce the single mattress price, for example, from £299.00, down to £239.20.

Conclusion: Should I buy an Emma Original in 2024?

tl;dr: the Emma Original mattress is very comfy, well priced, and is delivered in a nice box via fast shipping. It’s also made in the UK, although Emma are ultimately a German company.

If you enjoyed my Emma mattress review then be sure to check out the similar Eve Original review here.

Finally, if you are on a limited budget, you may want to consider cheaper alternatives for less than £200 – but overall the Emma Original is a decent middle-market mattress that is  perfect for most people’s (standard) needs.

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What is the Emma Mattress?

Emma Sleep (the company) actually sell different types of mattresses. But for the sake of this review, you are very likely looking for a review of the Emma Original. This is the mattress I am testing here.

What is inside the Emma Original mattress?

Made up on three layers of memory foam (25mm of Airgocell foam on top to relieve pressure and aid ventilation; 20mm of memory foam for pressure relief and support; and a firm 195mm foam foundation), this medium-firm mattress has been designed to suit all types of sleeper.

What about a trial period?

Luckily, the Emma Original mattress comes with a 200-night risk-free trial which allows anyone to return it within that time frame and receive a full refund. Simply contact customer service and they will handle the rest.

This post contains affiliate links. Learn more.

How we reviewed this article:

Edit History:

Our experts continually monitor the mattress & sleep tech space, and we update our reviews & articles when new information becomes available.

  • 5th January 2024
    Current Article - By Carrie Taylor
  • 12th January 2024
    Checked & Reviewed - By Morag Park, Ph.D.
  • 26th September 2020
    Copy Edited - By Carrie Taylor
  • 27th February 2024
    Reviewed - By Carrie Taylor

48 comments on “Emma Mattress Review

  1. If I could give this company zero stars, I would.

    In my experience, after being a long-time customer of their mattresses, Emma Sleep has gone downhill rapidly recently.

    I have waited 4 months for them to deliver a divan bed and headboard.

    Not only did they sometimes not even turn up on the days scheduled, but when they did, the products delivered were damaged.

    After countless emails and phone calls, I managed to get my money back, and they are picking up the junk they delivered, probably to landfill it.

    If you want a poor quality bed, with zero customer service, this is company for you. If not, shop somewhere else, there’s plenty of choice.

  2. I ordered an Emma mattress (Emma Original Hybrid V2), I tried it for four nights and it was too soft for me and I got a very bad backache which I never had before. I requested a return and refund on 24/11/2023. After that they send me a wrong receipt which was 100 euros cheaper, and they stopped responding to my emails, and after 45 days, still there has not been any collection nor refund. I do not recommend this company, its products, nor its customer service.

  3. I looked but couldn’t agree with the cost even with the discounts .
    I got one from another site fir half the price delivery in under 5 days

  4. We’ve had our Emma mattress almost 3 years and we are now seeing a change in the comfort. It was very good, medium firm and very supportive when we first started sleeping on it. Now, we feel
    like we are rolling together in the middle. I like to sleep at the edge of the mattress and I feel like I have to climb out of the centre to get there! Of course the dip is not that deep, but it feels that way. It has been rotated and there is more of a ridge in the middle when we are sleeping on the other end. I don’t think they guarantee will cover these changes, but we are disappointed. It is only 3 years old.

  5. Never got my mattress, unfortunately deliveries are made by DPD so good luck. Where I live they’re so unreliable as to say I knew as soon as I had realised there would be issues.

  6. i really appreciate all these comments – but now left wondering if Emma is the one for us after too many negative comments from people. 🙁

    1. Hi Chris, I think it’s important to put it into perspective. Emma has sold tens of thousands of Emma Original mattresses in the UK, obviously the vast majority of customers are happy with them and don’t complain.

  7. My first order to Emma was for the complete package, bed, hybrid mattress, head board. After not hearing anything from them for 5 weeks but seeing they had taken payment from my account immediately, I contacted customer services, to be informed, they had lost my complete order. They offered to refund me immediately or for me to reorder, as I had done a lot of research on the Emma products, I reluctantly agreed to reorder. I finally received everything exactly 2 calendar months from date of first order. All the items look to be of excellent quality, the bed was not the easier thing to put together but it all looks very good. Just had our first night’s sleep in it and it is very comfortable, so will reserve judgement on it, once we have slept on it for a few more months.

  8. If you “sleep hot” (hardly ever need to wear anything other than underwear in bed) then just avoid memory foam mattresses. All that stuff about gel foam, wicking, ghost tech, phase changing, etc to combat getting too hot from memory foam mattresses – none of it works.
    You can’t take heat away from something then just have it disappear magically.
    Memory foam mattresses are just too dense for some people – me included.
    I literally have sometimes been laid in bed having got too hot – taken the cover off – and then I just have my top half too cold and bottom half too hot. Rubbish.

  9. I’ve had mine for over a year now and I still love it. Still in perfect shape. Really comfy and I no longer moan and groan with stiffness when getting up in the mornings.
    One drawback is that the cover on the mattress bobbles even though it’s covered by a sheet. Despite this, I’d still give it 5 stars.

  10. Hi, We purchased two single EMMA mattresses from Lidl on black friday but after 6 weeks my wife and i find them to firm, are we coverd by there 100 night money bach guarantee ?, if so who do we get intouch with, Lidl or EMMA ? I have also herd EMMA do a comfort layer, firm or soft, how do you get these. Thanks ,Frank

  11. Ours is 3 years old. I’m 19 stone and my husband is 29 stone. We have a ridge running down the length of the mattress and when we roll together it’s horrible. You cannot lie in the middle of the bed as it’s too uncomfortable. We took the topper off as its too hot. Overall we are not too impressed but are on the shapely side so perhaps this is why. Just my two sense.

    1. Don’t think it’s anything to do with your weight. I’m on my own weigh 11stone 7lbs .I can’t sleep in the middle of the bed as the long ridge runs down the length of the mattress. I paid 375 pound for it .but out of the trial period .supposed to be medium firm .I have a constant pain in my upper arm on the side I sleep on obviously it’s too firm .I try sleeping on my other side but end up back on original side looks like il need to bite the bullet and buy another mattress NOT AN EMMA

  12. I brought my mattress in October, it was absolutely fantastic when I received it only to find after a month the memory foam started going soft on one side. I got in contact with Emma support, I followed everything they asked me to do with a few pictures to support what I had said. The final time I contacted them or rather my last contact, the asked me to turn the bed round so now the soft side is on the other side. I did this and it worked to an extent. I think that it’s a bit of a stretch for them to describe the mattress as firm, it is quite soft.

  13. One year later we have a mattress with two softer dips where our bodies lie .. it is rubbish .. wake up on a Sunday morning debating who gets to lie on the mound .. just rubbish

      1. I’ve just tried claiming on the 10 year guarantee.
        They want photographs of the dip which they say has to be at least 2.5 cm
        I’ve tried over and over telling them there’s no dip, so I can’t photograph it. But it’s definitely much softer on one side than the other. My husband rolls towards the edge and has to constantly correct himself.
        Emma don’t want to know. Just bang on about pictures.

        1. I had exactly the same problem – it was as if they would try anything to not honour the guarantee. Eventually persistence paid off and they agreed to change it.

  14. Do not believe in the 200 night guarantee, I have been trying to get them to collect a super king for a month! I bought it direct from the company and requested to return it after only 3 days! Not a company I will ever recommend!

    1. I got a replacement within my 200 days and the service was done over christmas ordered 23rd and was delivered around 6th january, and my other one just went today. Quick and easy service actually best customer service i have had.

  15. I bought directly from Amazon what seems like a legit Emma store, but it came sagged in the middle (8 cm vs 15 on the sides) and won’t fully expand after 4 days. Still waiting for reply from Emma (they said sure to high load can take up to 3-5 days :/), but will be returning it somehow.

  16. I bought a new mattress from ebay. The company had mattresses from Emma which had been unrolled but not used before return. It was just before lock down. The zip broke after 6 months. Ebay returns/complaints were not active during lockdown. I contacted Emma several times but all they asked was where did I buy it. I sent them the invoice but they never responded at all. So I sewed it up and can’t wash it now without repeating the process. Emma’s customer service is non existent and I doubt their returns policy works too. VERY DISAPPOINTING The mattress itself is OK but creates hillocks and bumps. It’s OK if you are completely still when you sleep but if you move it’s like climbing a hill.

    1. Carol, I am afraid this is pretty much industry standard practice: If you buy a returned mattress (from Emma or any other brand) then it won’t have the same customer protections or return policies. Currently most of the Emma mattresses on eBay are ‘returned’ or reconditioned, not new.

  17. Please do not buy Emna matress.
    I bought it through living social and its a foam Matress, 7 weeks later I am still trying to return it and get refund as its not what they advertised.
    They refuse to refund me as said it should never being delivered to Ireland??? I bought it through living social and woucher as crowd who is refund me.
    They stopped answering emails.Fint be scammed by Emma who washed their hands of I.

      1. It is definitely a renewed mattress with much lower price. You can’t expect to receive the same promise and guarantee as the people who are paying the full price while you only pay half or even less… I think they only offer two-week trial period and 6 months guarantee for the renewed mattress. That is why you are not refunded…

        1. Hi
          If the Emma mattress comes vacuum packed in a box and you want to return it how do you get it back in the box to return it and does someone call to your house to collect it.
          Regards
          MJ

    1. Thank you for your feedback. I was literally about to press ‘purchase’ on a similar site which does not state that the Emma mattress has been renewed anywhere in the description. Obviously the price was too good to be true!

  18. Sorry but 1.5 yrs into having the Emma original and there is a huge dip on the side I sleep in which makes it lumpy and uncomfortable now. I am around 15 stone.
    I think if you are this kind of weight you should AVOID

    1. I have the same problem. I have had mine 2.5 years and there’s now a slight, but definitely discernible, sag in the middle. They’ve asked for photos but as the dip is less than 2.5cm deep I’m not sure what kind of remedy I’m entitled to. It hurts my back now though.

    2. I am 20 stone but after sleeping on an Emma mattress for 2 years I am having exactly the same problem. It is like sleeping on the side of a mountain!! The mattress is rotated once a month but this has made no difference. It is now being replaced and I certainly would not purchase another Emma.

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