With its exceptional motion isolation, the all-foam Emma Original is a great option for couples
- Long warranty
- Excellent value
- Great motion isolation
- No bounce
- Poor edge support
UPDATE: Since publishing our review, Expert Reviews has noticed a recent influx of negative customer reviews for Emma Sleep on Trustpilot, with many customers complaining of delays to shipping and a lack of communication over when deliveries will happen. A spokesperson for Emma has informed us that the brand is working on resolving these issues, and estimated delivery times on Emma’s online store have been updated accordingly.
The Emma Original is the all-foam offering from a brand that is, by now, a household name in the online mattress market. If you’re not familiar with the bed-in-a-box concept, the mattress arrives at your door conveniently vacuum-packed and boxed up, and, once unboxed and unrolled, can be ready to sleep on in a matter of hours.
The Emma Original is an all-foam structure which has been designed to provide the ideal balance of comfort and support to all kinds of sleepers and body types.
It’s no surprise that this award-winning foam mattress remains a bestseller – it’s not just comfortable, it’s also affordable. It’s a superb choice for anyone who shares a bed, as its motion-transfer isolation is fantastic. But with so many other options on the market these days, I’ve given this mattress a thorough test to see whether it lives up to the hype and is still a worthwhile investment in 2023.
Emma Original mattress review: What you need to know
The Emma Original is a medium-firm mattress that is probably around a six out of ten in terms of firmness. It may feel a little hard at first, but a few nights should give it enough time to soften up a bit and allow it to mould to the contours of your body. Although there’s no specific weight limit to the Emma mattress, heavier sleepers may find that it’s a bit too soft.
The Emma Original is made up of three layers of memory foam neatly wrapped up in the soft-to-touch, moisture-regulating cover, which can be removed and machine washed.
During testing I tried this mattress out on both a solid and slatted bed frame. While Emma claims that the Original can be used on any type of frame, it did feel more balanced and even when using a solid base. When used on a slatted base I found it started to dip and didn’t quite spring back as quickly.
Emma also offers a generous 200-night trial period, as well as free delivery and returns, and its mattresses come with a ten-year warranty. While its sleep trial doesn’t rival the 365 nights offered by Nectar and Eve, it certainly does take some of the stress out of buying a mattress online.
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Emma Original mattress review: Price and competition
The Emma Original is one of the most competitively priced bed-in-a-box mattresses on the market. It comes in four UK and four EU sizes, with prices starting at £311 for a UK single and rising to £624 for a super king.
This is much cheaper than the Eve Original, which also has a three-layer, all-foam design but starts at £499 for a single, rising to £849 for a super king. And the Nectar memory foam mattress is even more expensive, starting at £949 for a single and rising to £1,449 for a super king. As previously mentioned, Eve and Nectar both offer 365-night sleep trials compared to Emma’s 200 nights, but, that said, 200 nights is still plenty of time to decide whether or not a mattress is for you.
The Emma Original also comes with a ten-year guarantee, which is pretty standard these days, and a testament to how durable these types of mattresses really are. It’s also worth noting that, with plenty of promotions and offers being run throughout the year, there is always a deal to be had and it’s unlikely you’ll ever pay full price.
Emma Original mattress review: Design and key features
The Emma Original mattress is composed of three layers of memory foam: A 19.5cm base layer of “High Resiliency Extra Supreme Foam” to prevent sag and limit motion transfer, with five adaptive contour zones intended to distribute body weight evenly and reduce pressure points. Then a 2.5cm second layer of “Halo Memory Foam” that claims to offer enhanced pressure relief and targeted spinal alignment by adapting to your body shape. An upper third layer of 3cm of “Point Elastic Airgocell” foam has been designed to help regulate temperature.
This is all encased in a soft-to-touch cover that’s not only removable but also machine-washable, so you can keep your bed fresh and clean. The clever zip design allows you to remove only the top part while the bottom stays in place. You can remove the bottom, but it’s fiddly and awkward and, since you’re not sleeping on it, it shouldn’t need a refresh.
This mattress doesn’t need to be flipped, which is good news since its weight ranges from 15kg up to 37kg depending on which size you opt for. However, unlike some of its rivals such as the Eve Original, it does have handles on the sides which makes setting up the bed and adjusting it a lot easier.
Emma Original mattress review: Comfort and performance
The Emma Original is shipped in an easy-to-move box and comes vacuum-packed, which means that, when you open the package, you’re likely to experience some off-gassing. While there was a chemical smell initially, it dissipated within the two hours it took for the mattress to expand, though I did leave the bedroom windows open during this process, which definitely helped.
The Emma Original is really comfortable to sleep on. As a side sleeper, the foam actually did a great job of supporting my neck, shoulders and hips while still keeping my spine straight, so I didn’t wake up with any aches or pains. Although the mattress didn’t immediately spring back to its original form when I got up, there wasn’t a great deal of sinkage either.
As I tend to sleep hot, I wasn’t really relishing the prospect of sleeping on an all-foam mattress but, surprisingly, I didn’t overheat once during the testing period (although the mattress did feel hot to touch when I got out of bed). However, it should be noted that I did test this mattress during colder weather, so come the summer, this could still become an issue.
One thing that did let this mattress down was the lack of edge support: I sleep close to the edge of the bed and, while I didn’t feel like I was going to fall out, after only a few nights I could definitely feel the mattress starting to slope.
However, it quickly redeemed itself with superb motion isolation – anyone who has to share a bed with a restless partner will know how essential that is – I slept soundly on this mattress while my partner moved around, getting in and out of bed several times. Even the dog managed to jump up onto the bed undetected several times during the testing period.
Although this mattress is classed as a medium firm, it definitely feels much softer, but not so soft that you disappear into it and are unable to move. It still felt like I was sleeping on top of the mattress, rather than sinking in, and while it doesn’t have quite the same bounce as a hybrid, moving around was still easy and comfortable.
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Emma Original mattress review: Verdict
If you’re looking for a comfortable mattress at a reasonable price point, then look no further than the Emma Original. Whether you prefer to sleep on your side, back or stomach, this mattress offers exceptional support and pressure relief so you won’t wake up with aches and pains in the morning.
Hot sleepers can also breathe a sigh of relief because, despite its all-foam construction, this mattress doesn’t get unbearably hot. The side support could be better, but that’s really only a problem for those who sleep right on the edge of the bed.
This is a medium-firm mattress, with an emphasis on medium, as it does have some softness to it. Those that want more bounce might be better suited elsewhere, though – perhaps with a hybrid mattress.
However, this is also a low-maintenance mattress, with no flipping or rotating required, and it’s easy to keep clean thanks to the removable, machine-washable cover.
Buying the Emma Original feels almost risk-free and, with the generous 200-night trial period and a ten-year guarantee, it’s definitely a mattress that will leave you sleeping soundly.