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Emma Premium review: A comfortable bed-in-a-box mattress

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1059
in king size

Emma’s new Original Hybrid brings full-sized pocket springs to the firm’s bed-in-a-box lineup


  • Comfortable for back and side sleepers
  • 200-night trial
  • Washable cover with carry handles


  • Sleeps warm
  • Chemical odour
  • Most supportive on a solid base

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. According to Emma Sleep, these delays have been caused by factors “not under [the brand’s] control”, and a spokesperson said that the process of transitioning “order management and fulfilment platforms” has led to these issues. We’ve also been told that resolving these issues is a top priority for Emma Sleep and the company is expecting to resolve the issues in the coming weeks. We will be sure to bring you more information as we receive it.

Emma’s latest mattress, the Original Hybrid, sees the brand combine its memory foam technology with traditional full-sized pocket springs. It claims this hybrid of modern and traditional materials offers the support and airflow of pocket springs alongside the comfort of memory foam.

Although it’s pricier than its predecessor, Emma’s Original Hybrid is a well-rounded comfortable mattress that should work well for both back and side sleepers. There are a few caveats, which I’ll come to below, but backed by a generous 200-night home trial, the Original Hybrid is a solid choice in a highly competitive market.

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Emma Original Hybrid Mattress review: What you need to know

Despite its name, the Original Hybrid isn’t actually Emma’s first hybrid mattress. Emma now produces a trio of beds, with this new and pricier Original Hybrid sitting alongside the Emma Original and the standard Emma Hybrid mattress that we reviewed in 2020. Where the older Emma Hybrid has a layer of micro pocket springs, this new Original Hybrid is distinguished by its use of full-sized springs.

The Original Hybrid sits 250mm tall and utilises both springs and memory foam layers. On top sits Emma’s breathable washable cover, followed by 20mm of open-cell Airgocell foam and 20mm of temperature-regulating Airgocell foam. Next up there’s 20mm of pressure-relieving visco-elastic memory foam and then the pocket-spring layer. The Original Hybrid features 120mm tall pocket springs, with a king size model packing 522 of them. Finally, its base is formed from 60mm reinforced HRX support foam.

The Original Hybrid is only designed to be slept on one side and so it never needs flipping and unlike some of its rivals it doesn’t need rotating either. For mattress longevity you may still wish to turn it head to toe every few months and fortunately there are handles either side to help you manoeuvre it.

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Like all of Emma’s mattresses, the Original Hybrid can be used across all styles of base, solid and slatted, although Emma recommends slats that are no more than 7.5cm apart. Should you be in the market for a new frame, Emma produces a range of frames ideally suited to pair with its mattresses.

As with all bed-in-a-box mattresses, the Emma Original Hybrid comes with a home trial – indeed, you can return the mattress for a full refund within the first 200 nights if you’re at all dissatisfied. While it’s not quite the longest trial period around, it’s highly competitive and allows you to try the mattress risk-free for more than six months.

Emma Original Hybrid Mattress review: Price and competition

At the time of writing the Emma Original Hybrid is available in four sizes, starting at £699 for a single, £899 for a double, running up to £1,059 for a king and £1,159 for a super king.

The obvious alternative is the firm’s older hybrid, simply named the Emma Hybrid. This features a more basic construction, with fewer foam layers and uses a micro-coil comfort layer in place of the Original Hybrid’s full-sized pocket spring support layer. Crucially, it comes in slightly cheaper at £809 for a double or £919 in king size.

As for rivals, the Otty Pure Hybrid Bamboo & Charcoal mattress is £800 for a double and £900 for a king. The Pure Hybrid offers a similar level of firmness, uses 2000, taller 160mm pocket springs and I also found it notably cooler than the Emma Original Hybrid. Its trial period is shorter, though, at 100 nights.

Eve Sleep’s identically named Original Hybrid is also worth considering. It’s priced at £769 for a double and £869 for a king, and sizes run from single to super king. I found the Eve Original Hybrid to be firmer and so perhaps less well suited to side sleepers, but cooler than the Emma. Like the Otty Pure Hybrid, Eve’s trial period only runs for 100 nights.

Bed-in-a-box mattresses are frequently discounted and so it’s always worth checking on current pricing and any available deals when weighing up your options.

The best alternatives and where to find them:

READ NEXT: This month’s best mattress deals

Emma Original Hybrid Mattress review: Performance and comfort

Like all bed-in-a-box mattresses, the Original Hybrid arrives at your door rolled, vacuum-sealed and boxed. Once the seal is broken, the mattress quickly expands and takes on a more traditional mattress shape. Emma recommends leaving the mattress up to six hours before sleeping on it but says it could take up to 48 hours for the mattress to round out fully.

Bed-in-a-box mattresses can often suffer from a chemical off-gassing odour when first shipped, and the Emma Original Hybrid is no exception. I left the windows open while it expanded throughout the day but found the chemical smell still hung around for a day or two. Having reviewed more than my fair share of mattresses, I’ve grown quite used to the new-mattress smell, but if you have a particularly sensitive nose you may benefit from letting it air in a spare room for a couple of nights.

Mattress firmness can be highly subjective with the same mattress feeling different depending on your weight and the type of bed frame you choose to pair it with. With that said, Emma advertises the Original Hybrid as having a medium firmness and I’d tend to agree. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the firmest, I’d personally rate it at around a 5.5 while on a sprung slatted base and a touch firmer while on a solid base. I found it a little stiff when it first arrived, but after a few nights it settled, softened and became noticeably more comfortable.

I tested the Emma Original Hybrid on both a solid and sprung slatted base and found it comfortable across all sleeping positions. I did find, however, that its character noticeably changed depending on the base. It was decidedly more supportive on the solid base, with the base layers feeling tighter and more resistive. I found that the solid base provided the best combination of comfort and support while laying on my back. By contrast, while used on a sprung slatted base, the mattress felt a little looser and squashier. Although less supportive across my back, ultimately the sprung slatted base proved more comfortable for side sleeping as it offered a little extra give around my hips and shoulders.

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Light sleepers will be happy to hear that the Emma Original Hybrid works well at isolating movement. Essentially this means that if you’re sharing the bed with a partner, your movements don’t translate to vibrations across the surface of the bed, allowing both of you an uninterrupted night’s rest.

Where the Emma Original Hybrid stumbles somewhat is with temperature regulation. Memory foam and hybrid mattresses have a bit of a reputation for being overly warm, and that holds true here. Having recently reviewed the rival Eve Original Hybrid and Otty Pure Hybrid mattresses, I found the Emma to be the warmest of the three, with the top layers holding on to a lot of body heat. While a light duvet would likely go a fair way toward solving this, it’s certainly something to be aware of if you prefer to sleep cool.

Emma Original Hybrid Mattress review: Verdict

The Emma Original Hybrid Mattress is a good all-round option, providing a great balance between comfort and support across all sleeping positions. While I found it a touch warm and personally preferred the support offered while paired with a solid-based bed frame, it’s still a good option for those in the market for a medium firmness bed.

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At £1,059 for a king, the Original Hybrid faces fierce competition, with rivals Eve, Otty and Simba all pitching hybrid mattresses at a similar price point. However, with a generous and risk-free 200-night trial on offer, the Emma is well worth your consideration.

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