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Emma original mattress review: The memory foam bed-in-a-box that even Goldilocks would love

We put it through its paces, evaluating the design and performance

Sarah Young
Thursday 19 August 2021 13:46
<p>It’s made from three layers of foam that mould to the shape of your body   </p>

It’s made from three layers of foam that mould to the shape of your body

A good night’s sleep starts with a great mattress, but with so much choice out there, knowing which one to invest in can leave you feeling even more worn out.

It makes sense then that those seeking an effortless purchase should turn their attention to one of the leading bed-in-a-box brands: Emma.

Now available in 26 countries, the German company has become a household name since its inception in 2015. It now has three mattresses under its belt; two of which – the hybrid (£809, Johnlewis.com) and original hybrid (£899, Emma-sleep.co.uk) – are made using a combination of memory foam and pocket springs.

But it’s Emma’s only fully memory foam mattress that we’re interested in here. Unlike its comrades, the original (£699, Johnlewis.com) ditches the layer of pocket springs and instead use three layers of pressure-relieving foam, designed to mould to the shape of your body, absorb your weight and relieve pressure on your joints.

But, what’s it really like to sleep on? And what type of sleeper does it suit best?

Read more:

How we tested

We took on the tough job of putting the Emma original mattress to the test over the course of a few weeks by, well, sleeping on it. We made sure to take into consideration a number of factors, from how the mattress was delivered to how easy it was to assemble and if it managed to support our body while snoozing on our front, back or side.

Emma original memory foam mattress

Buy now £699, Emma Sleep

  • Sizes available: Single, small double, double, king, super king
  • Mattress depth: 25cm
  • Material: Memory foam
  • Trial period: 200 nights
  • Guarantee: 10 years

Design and features

The Emma original mattress has a combination of adaptive foam layers that provide a pressure-relieving foundation, which the brand claims is perfect for all body types.

Inside the 25cm-deep mattress, you’ll find a bottom layer (the thickest of them all) made from “HRX” (high resiliency extra) foam that helps provide stability and keep your spine evenly aligned in any position.

Next, comes a layer of what the brand calls “visco-elastic” memory foam that has been developed by astrophysicists. It claims to contour to your body and distribute pressure, which Emma states helps reduce motion transfer while you’re sleeping. You’ll then find a layer of “airogocell” foam, which is designed with open pores to enhance airflow and help keep your body cool and dry, followed by a temperature-regulating top cover that’s moisture resistant and machine washable.

Read more: How to choose a mattress for the best night’s sleep

While all this sounds great, the proof is in the pudding when it comes to a mattress and that’s why Emma offers all of its customers an impressive 200-night trial. But that’s not all. Because the brand has so much faith in its British-made mattresses, you’ll also get a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers everything from cracks and dents to foam damage.

Comfort and performance

We were impressed from the first moment this mattress arrived on our doorstep in a cardboard box that we could, fairly easily, haul up the stairs and into our bedroom. Once we tore our way into the box, we were equally pleased to find clear instructions and a branded safety cutter to help us open up the vacuum-packed plastic the mattress was stored in.

As soon as we unrolled the mattress and shifted it onto our bed (£449, Made.com) – which was pretty painless thanks to the handles on each side – it instantly began expanding and, unlike many new foam mattresses, which can have a slight chemical smell to them, we found that the original had little-to-no off-gassing. While it took just minutes to expand to its full 25cm height, Emma recommends leaving the mattress to breathe for a few hours. So we not-so patiently got on with our day, pyjamas at the ready.

As soon as nighttime arrived, we gladly hopped into bed and noticed a difference straight away. Compared to our previous mattress, the budget-friendly, pocket-sprung hyllestad from Ikea (£265, Ikea.com), the memory foam layers in the original made it feel far bouncier and, while it is described as being medium-firm, we found it to be softer than expected – in a good way. You get that instant squishy sensation that comes with a full memory foam mattress as it moulds to your body, but not so much that you feel as though you’re being enveloped by it. Then, all night, that’s where you remain, cushioned and supported, whether you’re sleeping on your front, back or side – trust us, we tried them all.

Read more: Emma vs Simba – Which hybrid mattress is best?

If you’re a particularly fussy sleeper and find that the mattress isn’t quite to your taste, the good news is that Emma will send you a free comfort layer, either firm or soft, so you can adjust it. We also found motion transfer to be minimal, which anyone that sleeps next to a significant other who likes to toss and turn throughout the night will be pleased to hear.

After testing it for a few weeks in particularly warm weather, we can also attest to the mattress’s ability to keep sweat at bay. The fancy extra layers of breathable foam really do work and we found that both our body and the mattress were left dry and cool – a feature that we predict will come in handy when the heating’s cranked up come winter, too.

We also loved that the original is a no-flip mattress, meaning you never need to worry about turning it over. However, if you do wish to rotate it every now and then, you can do so and there are handles to help – these prove particularly convenient when it comes to changing the sheets as well.

The verdict: Emma original mattress

While buying a new mattress is a notoriously difficult task, the Emma original is one we’re sure even Goldilocks would enjoy. It’s firm enough to ensure your key pressure points are supported – great news for back sleepers in particular – but it doesn’t compromise on comfort, leaving you to enjoy a particularly luxurious sleep every single night. We’re also huge fans of how practical it is, with speedy delivery, easy set up and a removable cover that you can chuck in the washing machine should you spill your Sunday morning cup of tea.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on mattresses and other bedding offers, try the links below:

From memory foam to pocket sprung, these are the best mattresses of 2021 to shop now

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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