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Emma Original mattress review: Now less than HALF PRICE this Black Friday

Matt Breen
29 Nov 2021
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
580
inc VAT for king size mattress

The Emma Original is an excellent medium-firm mattress that accommodates a variety of sleeping positions

Pros 
Supportive
Very comfortable
200-night trial
Cons 
Not the coolest mattress to sleep on
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Despite its name, the Emma Original isn’t the company’s first bed-in-box mattress, at least not in the UK. That title goes to the Emma Hybrid, which, as its name suggests, employs a combination of pocket springs and foam.

Instead, the Emma Original is constructed entirely from foam, like rival mattresses from Eve and Nectar. The company claims the new mattress is the product of its latest research and customer feedback and that it suits all types of "sleeper", offering high levels of both durability and support.

READ NEXT: Best mattresses – our guide to the best pocket sprung, foam and hybrid mattresses

Emma Original mattress review: What you need to know

The Emma Original’s construction is very simple, comprising only three layers of foam. On the top, there’s 25mm of “Airgocell” foam, which aims to relieve pressure while promoting ventilation. Next, there’s 20mm of memory foam that provides pressure relief and support.

Finally, the mattress has a firm foam foundation. This final layer is the thickest at 195mm, with the aim of ensuring the mattress keeps you adequately supported, regardless of your and sleeping position and weight.

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The three layers are encased in what the manufacturer calls a “climate regulating” cover, which splits into a breathable top cover and a grey side cover. Unlike most of its rivals, the top section of the Emma Original’s cover is removable and machine washable, so you can keep the mattress clean more easily at all times. The Emma Original also bucks another trend among its bed-in-a-box competitors in that it has handles on its sides, which make turning and moving the mattress much easier.

The mattress' unique layering means that you should never flip it and unusually the company website doesn’t even recommend turning it during the break-in period. Doing so certainly wouldn’t do any harm, but the lack of instruction to that effect suggests the company is confident in its durability.

Emma claims its Original mattress is suitable for people weighing anywhere between 50kg and 130kg and it’s guaranteed for ten years. Originally the mattress was backed by a 100-night money-back guarantee, but Emma has since extended the trial period on its Original mattress to 200 days. Should you not get on with it in this period, the company will pick it up and refund you in full.

Emma Original mattress review: Price and competition

When we first reviewed it, the Emma Original was one of the most expensive bed-in-a-box mattresses, before the brand cut the prices of its mattresses down to a very competitive level.

However, the cost of materials has seen the pricing of the Emma Original increase over time. A double, for example, is now set at £699 (previously £649 and, before that, £549) while a king-size original will cost you £799.

With this in mind, the Emma Original is beaten on the price front by Nectar, which will cost you just £669 for a king-size. On the other hand, it remains more affordable than some of the other bed-in-a-box mattresses we've reviewed, such as the Simba Hybrid (£939 for a king-size). Elsewhere, it's matched on price by its rivals, including the Eve Original and the Otty Hybrid.  

When thinking about prices, however, it’s important to bear in mind that many of these bed-in-a-box brands offer regular discounts. So, there is a good chance that, at any given time, you won’t need to pay full price for your mattress.

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Emma Original mattress review: Comfort and performance

As with all bed-in-a-box mattresses, the Emma Original comes vacuum packed, rolled up and boxed. After sliding it from its cardboard box and using the cutting tool provided to remove it from its polythene bag, the mattress quickly rises to its full size. Typical of most memory foam mattresses, the Emma let off a rather pungent chemical smell for the first few days out of the bag but this disappeared quickly after that.

At first, when I pushed my hand into the Emma Original I was surprised by how much softer it felt than some of the hybrid bed-in-a-box mattresses I’ve tested recently. Compared with the Otty and Eve Hybrid, which both have firm, pocket-spring foundations, the Emma Original’s all-foam construction let me push some way further before meeting significant resistance.



As you’d expect, this also translates to it a less firm feel when lying on the Emma Original. I’d score it no higher than a 6 or 6.5 for firmness where 10 is the firmest rating. To my surprise, though, the mattress provided adequate levels of support in all sleeping positions.

Indeed, where some less firm mattresses allow your hips to drop too far when you lie on your front or back, I didn’t find this to be the case with the Emma Original. Instead, my hips remained supported and I could also feel its comfort layers gently pushing against my lumbar when lying on my back.

And, because it’s that little bit softer, it’s easy to make the case that the Emma Original is better suited to people who sleep on their side than some of its firm competitors. That’s because, simply put, the mattress has to accommodate more of your hips to maintain a neutral spine when sleeping this way.

The only downside to the extra sinkage, coupled with the fact the Emma Original is made entirely from foam is that the mattress does sleep noticeably warmer than its hybrid rivals such as Otty. Having said that, the mattress’ cover and top comfort layers did a good job of ensuring that I never woke feeling damp or clammy and I didn’t notice any significant change in the levels of support as the bed warmed up, either, which can be a problem with some foam mattresses.

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It’s worth pointing out here that I weigh around 75kg, so if you’re much heavier or lighter than this, you’ll likely find it feels softer or firmer respectively.

Similarly, although the manufacturer says it’ll work on any bed base, the platform you use can also change the way the Emma Original feels. Although I found there to be adequate support on a sprung, slatted base (unlike the Eve Hybrid), the mattress felt noticeably bouncier and less stable when set up in this way compared to using a solid platform.

Emma Original mattress review: Verdict

The Emma Original is an incredibly versatile bed-in-a-box mattress. Regardless of whether you sleep on your back, side or front, or indeed a combination of all three, it offers excellent levels of support and comfort. Not only that, but it’ll work with any type of bed base and never needs to be turned or rotated.

If you like a firmer feeling mattress or you get very warm at night, it might not be the right mattress for you, though; have a look at traditional pocket sprung mattresses instead or perhaps hybrid foam mattresses. Otherwise, it’s easy to recommend the Emma Original, especially for couples who are struggling to find the right compromise in terms of firmness.