For my Emma mattress review, I decided to take a different approach.
There are already hundreds of reviews on different 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 — what better way to test it, than to actually sleep on it? And it wasn’t a free sample either, so 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:
- Cheapest price for a mid-range memory foam (but make sure this is the right type of mattress for you)
- Mainly positive reviews on Trustpilot
- Medium-firm softness, ideal for many
- Fast delivery (in a box)
- Although it’s cheaper than some others, it’s not really “cheap”
- Some possible long-term sagging issues reported
Voucher for Emma Mattress: 20% off
I’m not saying that you should buy an Emma 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.
Don’t forget to check out all my voucher codes for mattresses here.
What is the Emma Mattress?
Emma (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.
The top cover and side cover is made of 100% polyester. Polyester is very durable and hydrophobic which means it dries very quickly. Emma has used hollow polyester fibres which regulates humidity very effectively. The grey underside is made of 87% polyester and 13% polypropylene which makes it extra resistant to abrasion. The 3d-mesh texture supports air circulation has non slip properties.
The Emma mattress cover includes 4 side handles, 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 us 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 big bonus.
Emma claim that their mattress should last for around 10 years, and there is a warranty to back that up (but be aware of the pitfalls of mattress warranties).
A big plus when compared to brands like Simba: Here, the outer cover is fully removable and machine washable at 40 degrees Celsius, which is also not too common in the UK online mattress industry. We 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.
Is the Emma Mattress any good?
More than one year on, and 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 firm, 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.
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.
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 spring mattress with 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.
Emma Mattress reviews: A summary
Having looked at places like Trustpilot, where Emma are rated 4.4 out of 5, it’s obvious 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.
What is inside the Emma 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.
The Emma Original also comes with some thoughtful extras, such as the removable and machine-washable cover, and handles for rotating (you don’t have to flip it). At full price, it sits comfortably at the cheaper end of the mid-range market. But there’s usually a decent discount to be found, helping the Emma Original mattress completely undercut the competition. It’s outrageous value for money.
Like many of the mattresses I have reviewed, 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. We think it’s the best mattress you can buy.
How firm is the Emma mattress?
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 every brand claims this.
There’s no overarching definition 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 is known to be a softer hybrid mattress than most. If you’re looking for a fairly firm mattress then the Emma is a good bet. Here’s just one example feedback I found that mentions this, too… It isn’t just me, clearly!
If you are in any way concerned about the firmness of the Emma and want something a little softer or suited to those specifically with ongoing back pains, then I suggest to also read these reviews:
- Ergoflex mattress – designed specifically for backache sufferers
- OTTY mattress – fairly soft compared to others, and fairly cheap too
- Brook + Wilde mattress – customise the amount of firmness/softness you want!
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
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.
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.
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.
What about a trial period?
Luckily, the Emma 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.
Renewed Emma mattresses: Good or bad idea?
Sadly, a lot of unwanted mattresses end up in China or India and are burned (yes.. burned) rather than recycled. It’s a worldwide problem so it’s great to hear that Emma 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 mattress: Sizing
Thankfully, 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:
|SIZE||DIMENSIONS||PRICE (excl. discounts)|
|Single mattress||90x190x25 cm||£299|
|Small double mattress||120x190x25 cm||£449|
|Double mattress||135x190x25 cm||£499|
|Kingsize mattress||150x200x25 cm||£579|
|Super kingsize mattress||180x200x25 cm||£649|
Update: Emma now offer an Emma Cot mattress for toddlers read my review here but if you are looking for a mattress for your kids then read this first.
Please note: These prices above 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 you buy one?
tl;dr: the Emma 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 are on a tight budget, you may want to consider cheaper alternatives for less than £200 – but overall the Emma is a decent middle-market mattress that is perfect for most people’s everyday standard needs.