It’s difficult to know what to look for when choosing the right mattress, so I’ve written a simple way of comparing two mattresses side-by-side to see which one is right for you (and your partner). Below, I’ve compared the Emma Original Memory Foam Mattress vs. the Nectar Memory Foam Mattress to see which fairs the best.
- Emma vs Nectar Comparison – Quick Facts
- Emma vs Nectar: Firmness rating
- Emma vs Nectar: Price
- Emma vs Nectar: Layers and textures
Emma is a ‘mattress-in-a-box company’, where their mattresses are all made in Britain. There are 2 mattresses available from Emma, the Emma Original Mattress the Emma Hybrid. The Emma Original is made using high quality foam, while the hybrid is a mix of foam and pocket springs. Both mattresses generally score highly with customers, and you can find more information here. To make sure the comparison is fair, I’m using the Emma Original Mattress.
You’ll no doubt have heard a lot about Nectar, after all they’re one of the highest rated online mattress companies available in the UK. They create mattresses using two layers of memory foam for ultimate comfort, and a sturdy base. It comes with a cover that focusses on cooling you won’t get too warm. The Nectar mattress also has ergonomic support to help relieve pressure on the hips and shoulders and offer correct support for the spine.
Nectar offers a unique trial offer within the industry too, which sets them apart from many others.
Emma vs Nectar Comparison – Quick Facts
|Type||Memory Foam||Memory Foam|
|Cover||(100% polyester) with handles and machine washable||100% polyester – NOT machine washable|
|Top layer||Airgocell® (3 cm)||Adaptive® Cooling Technology|
|Layer 2||Memory Foam (2 cm)||Open Cell Memory Foam (3cm) ?|
|Layer 3||Polyfoam Base (19 cm)||Memory Foam (6 cm) ?|
|Layer 4||NA||7 Zone Supportive Base|
|Depth||25 cm||25 cm|
|Max weight (2 people)||21 stone||46 stone|
|Delivery||Free, 2-5 working days||Free, 10 working days|
|Trial||100 nights||365 nights|
|Price (before discount)
||£299 – £649||£349 – £649|
|Discounts?||Yes – Emma discount here||Yes – Nectar discount here|
|Full Emma Mattress review||Full Nectar Sleep review|
So which is best?
I’d have to go with the Nectar mattress on this one, purely based on the after care. Choosing a mattress is really personal, and the fact they offer 365 days trial with free returns makes this very simple. My only negative is that they recommend the cover isn’t washed, however you can purchase a mattress protector for it to get around this.
Emma vs Nectar: Firmness rating
First up, let’s take a look at firmness.
Both mattresses come with the same 6.5 rating, so if you are looking for a mattress that is semi-firm, then either of these will suit your needs.
If you are looking at buying the least-firm (soft) mattress then consider these other brands:
- Eve mattress
- Casper mattress (no longer sold in the UK)
Emma vs Nectar: Price
Usually Emma would be cheaper than Nectar, but at the time of writing this they have offers on making some sizes cheaper.
Emma is currently £299 in the UK for the single Emma mattress (Original). The Nectar mattress costs £349 (single) which is clearly more expensive. That said, the Emma Double is £499, but with Nectar’s current offer this is £449, so over £50 cheaper.
In the interest of fairness though, it’s important to point out that without any offers Emma comes in quite a lot cheaper than Nectar overall. Without offers the Nectar single would be £599 and the double would be £699.
There are also discount codes available but for comparison’s sake, I don’t compare prices after using a discount code, only the RRP. However, make sure to check here for the latest Emma and Nectar vouchers first.
Emma vs Nectar: Layers and textures
The Emma Original mattress is made up of 3 layers:
- Airgocell® – This claims to be an “open-cell polyfoam” which has greater air pockets than regular polyurethane foam i.e. normal memory foam. We have tested this here.
- Memory foam – Memory foam has the ability to relieve the pressure with its gradual wrapping around the body. This layer conforms to the shape of the user’s body to create comfort – it is claimed – in any position, whether that is on your side or back or even for front-sleepers.
- Bottom layer – The bottom layer of the mattress is also the thickest, and although it’s often not shown on promotional photos, it is really important. The Emma mattress is “castellated” ie. it has cut-outs, and isn’t just one big standard rectangular block of foam. This is claimed to improve back support for those who need a mattress but have back problems.
PS: Although they are both named after women and begin with “E”, don’t get confused with Emma and Eve, as I used to…! They are completely different brands and not related at all.
Inside the Nectar Hybrid mattress, you will find 4 unique layers which are very similar to those from Emma:
- Adaptive® layer – A custom-design to take away heat from the body and circulate fresh air as you move
- Smart Memory Foam – Responds to your body to take away heat & moisture, which helps to regulate your body temperature.
- Pressure Relieving Memory foam layer – A memory foam that provides comfort and support in key areas of your body.
- 7 Zone Supportive Base – Used to ensure a perfect night’s sleep with 7 different zones of support around your body.
In a rush? Quick-view:
I’d recommend this mattress if:
- You want a mattress that responds to your pressure points, using a combination of foams and zoned support.
- You’re not a particularly light sleeper. The motion transfer in Emma mattresses can wake some lighter sleepers.
- You like to sleep in many positions, although the Emma is particularly supportive for side sleepers.
- You like the slightly softer feel of an all foam mattress
I’d recommend this mattress if:
- You want a mattress that helps you stay cool. The Nectar uses two types of memory foam and a 7-zoned support base to ensure cooling is a priority to aid a good nights sleep.
- You sleep on your side or back and want a mattress that responds to pressure in a faster manner than most foam mattresses.
- You’re of a light to medium build, as some users of a heavier build report that the mattress can be prone to sinkage on one side over time.
- You’re unsure about memory foam. This is the perfect mattress to trial and offers you the flexibility of a whole year to see if this is the right mattress for you.
Ratings & Reviews
It’s always worth considering more opinions, not just mine. So I have taken a look at the relevant complaints and reviews for both Emma and Nectar, and summarised them below. Note that these are just for the UK, I don’t bother to look at overseas reviews because often the products sold overseas are very different.
Emma – Rated 4.4 /5 on Trustpilot
Nectar – Rated 4.3 / 5 on Trustpilot
Looking at some of the drawbacks and negatives of the Emma Mattress, it looks like some of the reviews mention that there is some sagging after a year or so. This isn’t an uncommon complaint but it should be borne in mind that the majority of customers are happy and see no need to complain about it. That said, it is a fairly wellknown drawback of regular memory foam. If you are concerned about this, then consider a firmer pocket spring mattress.
However as above, it’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of reviews – for both Nectar and Emma – are positive.
Conclusion + results
So… which is best mattress out of the Emma Original vs the Nectar mattress?
Although they are similar in a lot of ways, and the Emma offers good technology, I would go for the Nectar.
My reasons are as follows:
- Nectar memory foam technology seems more advanced than Emma
- Nectar is a medium to firm mattress but adapts well to various weights
- The year-long Nectar trial sold it for me
That said, both mattresses are a great choice. They are both made in the UK, come with a good trial length, and will be delivered direct to you in a vacuum packed box.
UPDATE: Emma also now do a Hybrid mattress in the UK…! For a comparison of the Emma Hybrid vs Simba Hybrid read our comparison & review here.
If you are looking for a hybrid mattress rather than a regular memory foam-only, I would also recommend the OTTY Pure. This is a fairly cheap mattress similar to Simba but without the high cost.
Which mattress offers a cooler sleep?
For a cool nights sleep, we recommend the Nectar. Both are good, but Nectar technology focuses on allowing constant air flow through the foam and cover to keep you cool.
Are all covers machine washable?
No, some covers are not machine washable. For example the Emma Mattress can be washed, however Nectar do not recommend washing the covers, and instead buying a mattress protector.
How long do I have to test my mattress?
Every mattress comes with a different trial period. This can vary quite a lot, such as the Emma Mattress offering a 200 night trial, while Nectar offers a full 365. I recommend checking what trial period you get before purchasing.