Mattress Type: All-Foam
Firmness: Medium – 6.5
Price Range: £449 – £899
As the UK’s most awarded mattress (a title they love brandishing), the Emma Original has quite the expectation to meet – but does it live up to the hype? In short, yes.
The Emma Original is the German company’s only all-foam model in a trilogy consisting of two other hybrid mattresses: the Emma Hybrid and, confusingly, the Emma Original Hybrid. Rating for firmness at 6.5 out of 10, the Original is considered medium-firm and generally suits all sleeper types within the 50 – 130-kilogram range.
At a 25cm profile, the Emma Original comprises a modest 3 layers of foam – each with unique comfort and support properties to ensure the sleeper stays cool, avoids motion disturbance, can change position, and feel adequately supported throughout the night.
Our team at What-Mattress genuinely found it difficult to find faults with the Emma Original Mattress, so we took to the internet to dig deeper into what other average customers and professional testers had to say. Naturally, some negative points have been expressed, such as sleeping hot and weak edge support – but these views are few and far between.
It must be said that Emma to an incredible job of making it nigh-on impossible to not give their mattress a go. Not only do they support their product with a 10-year guarantee, but they also offer a risk-free sleep trial for 200 nights so you can be absolutely sure of your purchase. In addition to being priced exceptionally competitively, further financial hesitation is alleviated by interest-free payment plans. In fact, we rate the Emma Original mattress as the best bang-for-buck all-foam option on the market today.
Read the rest of our review to discover how the Emma Original fairs in terms of cost, construction, and performance. We also address some frequently asked questions at the end.
The Emma Original is constructed of 3 interdependent layers of foam and encased in polyester mesh. Each foam layer plays its own role to comfort and support the sleeper through various uses of materials, structures, and densities. Meanwhile, the cover is designed to provide a protective & breathable sleep surface. Here, we breakdown the construction in detail.
Emma Original’s elasticated sleep surface is made from 99% polyester and 1% elastane in order to fit the mattress perfectly.
The sidewall of the mattress is covered in 100% polyester, while the underside is made of 87% polyester and 13% polypropylene. Special hollow fibres are used in the cover that regulate humidity and keep moisture away, but one of the best parts is the inclusion of… handles!
Despite not needing to flip or rotate the mattress, two handles on either side make general manoeuvrability a great deal easier for when it comes time to move the mattress for whatever reason. We also love that the top cover is removable and machine washable. More about the cleaning of this mattress can be found in the FAQ section of this article.
Emma’s 3cm layer of proprietary ‘Airgocell’ foam is intended to absorb moisture and keep air flowing throughout the night. The open-pored structure of this foam enables heat to escape and cooler air to passage through, which helps reduce heat retention.
In addition, the layer conforms to your body movement with quick pressure responsiveness. The overall purpose of this foam is to provide that cool, conforming comfort, while allowing the next two layers to provide pressure relief and support.
The 2cm middle layer of the Emma Original mattress is made from visco-elastic memory foam designed to contour to the body and distribute pressure evenly across the surface. The foam here has a slower responsiveness to pressure and acts as a transitional layer between the comfort and support functions of the mattress.
The mattress is supported by a 19cm HRX foam, providing enough counter pressure to keep spinal alignment. This base layer also implements zoned pressure relief in the form of castellations in the shoulder & hip areas. These grooves also act as an additional means of channelling cool air into the mattress and an outlet for hot air to escape.
Medium – 6.5
Top: 99% polyester, 1% elastane
Side: 100% polyester
Bottom: 87% polyester, 13% polypropylene
Open-pore Airgocell foam (3cm)
Visco-elastic memory foam (2cm)
Zoned cold foam (19cm)
The Emma Original is priced decidedly competitively for likewise all-foam mattresses. However, its low price and high-performance marks it out as perhaps the best value-for-money all-foam option in the UK’s bed-in-a-box market today.
In addition to free delivery, returns are also free of charge should you decide to make a return within your 200-night trial. What’s also free is the interest on monthly instalments thanks to 0% credit from DivideBuy – you can learn more about Emma’s financing options here.
Dimension (cm) W x L x H
90 x 190 x 25
120 x 190 x 25
135 x 190 x 25
150 x 200 x 25
180 x 200 x 25
Like all brands in the online mattress industry, Emma offer sizable discounts on a regular basis. We try to keep up with the latest promotions as best we can, however it’s always recommended that you double check with the retailor themselves – and you can do so with Emma by clicking the ‘check price’ button below.
Generally speaking, heavier individuals will find a mattress to be softer as they are able to compress the sleeping surface and sink enough to feel the effects of additional comfort & support layers. Lighter individuals on the other hand tend to find the same mattress to be firmer as they don’t sink deep enough into the reflex layering to benefit from its pressure-relieving qualities.
In this section we take an objective approach to measuring how well the Emma Original mattress performs in six key areas, but keep in mind that your experience may differ depending on your weight, body shape, and sleep position.
All-foam mattress types tend to perform well in this area as energy generated by the movement of a sleep partner is muffled by the foam, whereas on innerspring or even hybrid mattress there is an ability for motion to resonate.
Emma Original’s all-foam construction results in great isolation of motion and testers claim that disturbance from a fidgety partner is largely minimized – albeit not entirely absent. In other words, you will know if your partner is moving, but it shouldn’t disrupt your slumber
The relief of pressure in the Emma Original is firstly provided by the top layer of Airgocell foam, which responds quickly to your body’s imprint in order to offer immediate comfort around common pressure-points.
Visco-elastic memory foam in the second layer responds more slowly to pressure so that it can take to your body profile and hug you in place, whilst also acting a comfortable transition before the higher density base foam by distributing weight across its surface.
Dedicated zones in the support core allow for your hips & shoulders to be relieved of pressure in an otherwise more solid foundation.
Emma deploys quite a few cooling techniques on their Original mattress in the form of both materials and physical structures of the foam layers.
The cover of the mattress is designed to be breathable and the open-pore cell structure in the Airgocell foam layer allows fresh air to circulate. Grooves spanning the width of the base layer facilitate the extraction of hot air whilst also acting as a gateway for cool air to enter.
It must be said that Emma does a much better job than some other all-foam options do in this department. However, despite these noble efforts, the Emma Original still suffers the same natural issues with heat retention that most all-foam mattresses do. If sleeping hot is particularly a concern for you, then we recommend looking into hybrid mattresses instead.
One of the few areas that the Emma Original has been criticised is in its support around the edges of the mattress.
Edge support is important for sleepers to feel secure when maximizing the surface area of the mattress throughout the night, and it is particularly beneficial to combo-sleepers who tend to move about from one position to another. Mattresses with weak edge support may lead to the sleeper rolling off the side of the bed and don’t provide the resistance needed for everyday uses, such as sitting on the edge to put your shoes on.
Emma hasn’t built in any structure to tackle this key area specifically, which is reflecting in some poor feedback from real-world users.
The feeling of being stuck in place is a common problem with all-foam mattresses, as too much sinkage and foam conformity can give off a ‘quicksand’ effect wherein you feel that you are sleeping in the mattress as opposed to on top of it.
Those sleepers who prefer less restrictive sleep surfaces, such as combo-sleepers who tend to move around frequently, will be happy to find that the Emma Original allows for fairly decent ease of movement. This can be credited to the transition layer of foam, which prevents the sleeper from sinking in too deep.
All mattresses that are vacuum sealed and delivered in a box give off a weird chemically smell when first opened due to the release of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are used in the manufacturing process. This process is called ‘off-gassing’ and whilst unpleasant, these chemicals cause no harm whatsoever to your wellbeing and the smell should disappear fairly quickly if the mattress is left in a well-ventilated room.
Testers report that the Emma Original has this familiar new mattress smell, but that it fades quickly and was gone completely after several days of airing.
With a medium firm feeling and all-foam construction, the Emma Original provides an optimum balance of both comfort and support to side-sleepers within the 50-to-130-kilogram weight range.
Foam layers 1 & 2 contour around the sleeper’s profile to give great pressure relief but have enough resistance in order to maintain proper alignment for the spine. Zoned castellations in the base foam provide the necessary relief for extruding body parts like the shoulders & hips of the side-sleeper without sacrificing overall stability.
Back-sleepers between 50 & 130 kilos will feel sufficient lumbar support from the Emma Original’s collective foam layers, but the base layer’s zoning is largely to credit as it offers enough counter pressure to keep spinal alignment.
Those who weigh outside of the aforementioned range may find some misalignment if they are too light for their hips to sink in deep enough or if they are too heavy that their hips submerge too far. However, the average weight sleeper should experience a comfortable & supportive rest whilst on their back.
Similarly to back-sleeping, the Emma Original mattress provides both comfort and support to average weight people who sleep on their front. The Airgocell comfort foam does a superb job of conforming around the body whilst the transition and base layers provide support in all the right places to keep your spine in line.
There is the possibility for sleepers outside of the recommended weight range to experience the same misalignment as mentioned above.
Emma mattresses are available online through the Emma-Sleep.com website, as well as via authorised sellers such as John Lewis.
Emma are offering free, zero contact delivery for all orders. Depending on your location and the products ordered, either DPD, UPS, or Rhenus will provide a specific time window for delivery, but Emma strive to dispatch the items within 1 to 3 working days.
Premium delivery is available and can be applied at checkout, though it becomes free if you also purchase an accessory item. This service means that delivery will take place at your convenience within a 3-hour time window on a specific date of your choice.
Delivery will be carried out by a two-man team who will leave the box on the doorstep of your building. At this time, the couriers are not permitted to enter your premises.
For a charge of £39, Emma offer a removal service to pick up your old mattress. This option must be selected at checkout as it cannot be added retrospectively or purchased separately. The old mattress will be picked up at the same time that the new mattress is delivered (except for those of you in Northern Ireland), which makes the logistics much easier – all you need to do is bring the outgoing mattress to the front door.
Emma offer a ‘sleep now, pay later’ finance option to allow you to spread the cost of your mattress over monthly instalments. Depending on the value of your order, instalment plans can be chosen from 3 to 12 months. A 60-second application with DivideBuy will provide an immediate decision enabling you to complete your purchase. To pay for your order this way, it needs to be at least £50 after any applied discounts.
Starting the day you receive your order, Emma offer a 200-night sleep trial on their mattress and accessory products. You are not expected to keep the plastic packaging on the mattress as the trial should resemble real-life conditions but do try to keep it in good condition so that it can be offered a second life as a refurbished mattress. Emma recommend giving the mattress at least 3-4 weeks before making a decision to cancel your trial, as a new mattress may take some getting used to.
If you would like to make a return, simply head to the returns portal and they will arrange a pickup for you at zero cost. A refund can be expected up to 14 days after the order has been collected and processed.
More information on Emma’s 200-night trail can be found here.
Emma assure the quality of their mattresses by offering a 10-year guarantee on dimensional stability and durability of the core materials – more of what this means can be found within their terms & conditions. In essence, it covers cracks, dents or other damages to the foam that have occurred despite proper use and handling of the mattress.
The guarantee does not cover or extend to normal wear and tear or any condition resulting from misuse or abuse of the product. Also excluded is standard softening of the foam from regular use, damage caused by mould, odour, mildew, discolouration caused by abnormal care (such as liquid spillage, improper ventilation, or excessive humidity). If faults or damages have occurred due to the mattress not being unboxed within 6 weeks after delivery or if the mattress has been transported outside of the UK, then the guarantee no longer applies.
The guarantee starts the day that the mattress is received, and defects can be reported via email using their contact form. A replacement mattress will be sent to you, free of charge.
Emma state that their mattresses are low-maintenance and are able to lay on any surface, be it the ground, on a box spring or on a slate frame. The most important thing is that the surface is clean and dry. Emma also caveat that they recommend slats are no further than 7.5cm apart if you choose to use a slat frame.
Once cut free from the vacuum packaging, the mattress should start to inflate immediately and be ready to sleep on within 2 hours. However, it is not an issue if the mattress takes an extra couple of days before reaching the optimal 25cm height.
The mattress should be unboxed no later than 4 weeks after arrival.
The cover of your Emma Original mattress can be unzipped in order to separate the top and bottom sections and then put in the washing machine at 60°C. Since the cover uses special fibres with high dampness release, it will only be a little clammy coming out of the machine.
You can also spot-clean the mattress by hand using a gentle washing detergent.