Emma Original mattress review – tried and tested

Tested by sleep experts, our Emma Original mattress review puts this affordable bestseller through its paces to see if it really offers a good night's sleep

Emma Original Mattress with blanket on mattress close up
(Image credit: Emma Sleep)
Ideal Home Verdict

The Emma Original is a memory foam, medium-firm mattress. It delivers on promises of body support and cutting down on partner disturbance, and goes the extra mile when it comes to comfort. It's a little warmer than expected, but it is still a superb choice if you want to invest in your sleep routine.

Reasons to buy
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    Especially comfortable for side sleepers and cushioning pressure points

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    Very little motion transfer

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    Mattress-in-a-box delivery useful for homes with awkward access

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    200-night sleep trial

Reasons to avoid
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    Lacks breathability which can lead to overheating

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    Lack of springs can mean it's too soft for heavier-weight or front sleepers

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    Some reviewers note indentations if the mattress isn't regularly rotated

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Emma Original mattress is the best-selling memory foam mattress from the German Sleep brand that we've all become more familiar with in the last few years. It's everything you want from a new mattress, with comfort and support ensured - and if you don't feel that this really is one of the best mattresses out there, then you can alternatively get your money back after a 200-night trial. We think that makes it absolutely worth a try.

If it's affordability as well as quality you need, then the Emma Original is probably the mattress to have on your radar from Emma, as it's a lot less to invest compared to the Emma Premium mattress which I've also reviewed. 

The Emma Original has an RRP of £536.00 for a king size, compared to £698.85 for a Premium in the same size, though it has to be said that those prices can often be massively reduced thanks to frequent sales and by taking advantage of Emma Mattress discount codes.

I set out to see if the Emma Original is really the mattress you should invest in, evaluating the value for money alongside all of the important stuff - quality of sleep, sleep disturbance and how difficult it was to get to sleep. Here's how I got on with Emma's most awarded mattress yet. 

Emma Original Mattress review: the details

Emma Original Mattress cross section

(Image credit: Emma Sleep)
  • Type: Memory foam 
  • Construction materials: Airgocell foam, memory foam, HRX foam
  • Memory foam: Yes
  • Sizes: Single, Small Double, Double, King, Super King
  • Comfort level: Medium Firm 
  • Height: 25cm
  • Side handles: Yes
  • Manufacturer sleep trial: 200 nights 
  • Manufacturer warranty/guarantee: 10 years

Emma Original mattress review: what the brand says 

The Emma Original is the mattress that the brand claims has it all, starting with the price point. While it's not as kitted out as the Premium, it is a lot more affordable, and therefore it's already probably ticking more boxes for more customers. 

For your money, Emma Sleep thinks that you get unbeatable quality with the Original. To break it down layer by layer, the Original has the same machine-washable, soft cover as the Premium. Then you've got a layer of temperature-regulating foam, which is designed to keep things breathable for you as you sleep. 

Then there's the memory foam that should keep your body feeling supported, along with the HRX base layer. On this layer, there are cut-outs which are meant to reduce pressure on your body and make sure your weight is distributed evenly. 

This Emma Original is a medium firm, and Emma Sleep has handily ranked all of their mattresses according to firmness so that you can assess which one is going to suit you. 

On a scale of 1 (to mean soft) and 10 (to mean maximum firmness), the Original scored a 5, while the Premium scored 6.5. The Hybrid is medium soft, and therefore scored 3.5. The very medium firmness of this mattress is another reason it's probably a crowd-pleaser, as it feels like people often shy away from a mattress that is advertised as more firm.

Emma Original mattress review: Ideal Home testing

Molly Cleary
Molly Cleary

Sleep position: side and back Tension preference: medium firm Sleep problems: lower body aches Height & weight: 5ft 6 & 70kg (myself) 6ft 1 (my partner) Average sleep time: 8 hours Molly is the Ecommerce Editor for Ideal Home covering appliances and cleaning. For this Emma Original mattress review, she's branching out into the world of sleep to see if this much-hyped product lives up to expectations. 

She prides herself on being able to sleep almost anywhere and through anything, though she has to have a solid eight hours a night to avoid crashing and burning the next day. She's a side sleeper usually but also sleeps on her back.  

By comparison, her partner sometimes has difficulty getting to sleep and more regularly gets up during the night, which is good for reasons of comparison, but proves a bit difficult when sharing a sleeping space. He's also a side sleeper who sometimes sleeps on his back. 

Unboxing and delivery

The convenience of the mattress-in-a-box service is perfect if you haven't sorted out what you'll do with your old mattress yet, or if you need some time to rearrange your room around it. 

 I kept my mattress in its box for two days whilst I did that, but you can do it longer if you need to (say if you were moving house and wanted a compact way to move it). Emma Sleep does not recommend leaving the mattress in its box any longer than four weeks after delivery. 

Unboxing of Emma Original Mattress

(Image credit: Future)

I've previously tested the Emma Premium in a King size, so manoeuvring this Emma Original mattress in a double size was a doddle by comparison. The delivery driver kindly delivered the mattress up to the door of my first-floor flat, and from there it was easy enough to shift the box by balancing it corner at a time into the bedroom.

Everything is thought out with receiving an Emma Mattress - there's even a box cutter included so that you can get started with the process faster. There's a fair bit of plastic wrapping around the mattress to keep it in the rolled-up shape, but it's hard to see how else Emma would package this mattress up. A QR code on the top of the box will direct you to the Emma website for detailed setting-up instructions.

I set the Emma Original to inflate on top of my old double mattress just in case it wasn't ready by the time I was ready to sleep. Luckily, the Original, like the Premium took just four hours to emerge from its slightly sad-looking out-of-the-box form into something that looked good enough to sleep on. I got rid of my old mattress and fitted the Emma Original to my bedframe for that night. 

I'm not very sensitive to smells, but I'm aware that mattresses in a box can have a kind of plastic-y smell, so I employed the help of my housemate to judge if there was anything offputting about unwrapping the mattress and she agreed that it wasn't really noticeable. If you're especially sensitive it might be a good idea to open and window and air everything else anyways. 

Unboxing of Emma Original Mattress

(Image credit: Future)

The mattress is a nice height, at 25cm tall. My housemate thought that the old mattress was still stacked onto the new one thanks to how tall it is. I love that the exterior cover is washable and that there are handles to help with the process of moving the mattress around. 

In the first six months you'll need to rotate the Emma Original every month, and then once every three months after that, so ease of manoeuvrability is really important for that.

Emma Original Mattress: first impressions 

After sleeping on the Emma Premium for a while, the first night sleeping on the Emma Original was a noticeably softer, more comfortable experience on first try. Emma Sleep state that on a scale of firmness from 1 to 10, they rate the Original at a 5 (medium) and the Premium at a 6.5 (medium-firm), making it the perfect mattress for the average sleeper. 

I found there was a less difficult adjustment phase with the Original. It felt softer to sit on as well as lie on, and the shaping of the mattress to my body felt a bit less intense.  

Emma Original mattress testing at home

(Image credit: Future)

With the Premium, I did feel the firmness and the shaping of the mattress more acutely at first (resulting in some achiness), which is probably due to the fact it has an increased number of layers that need to mould to all areas of the body. 

The Original was definitely comfier, though it might be missing that extra support in the long run, as the Premium can mould to head, shoulder, lumbar, pelvic and lower leg support, while the Original only targets three body parts - the brand don't specify which. 

Emma Original mattress testing at home

(Image credit: Future)

I found getting off to sleep on the Emma Original much easier even from the first sleep too. After I tested the mattress for a number of weeks, I then moved the mattress into my spare room, and my housemate found that drifting off was much easier for her too - describing it as a 'dreamy' night's sleep. 

I found with the Original that you can really feel the benefits of the all-foam design, as you feel like you're enveloped by the mattress. In the first few weeks, it was still a little warmer than my old mattress (and that's considering that I'm a cold sleeper) and overall more snug than I'd like when I wake up in the middle of the night. 

How comfortable is the Emma Original mattress?

Comfort: The Emma Original gets full marks from me for comfort. In my head when I picture memory foam, I think of sinking uncomfortably far into a mattress, never to be found again. That's not the case here. It's a subtle kind of cushioning that feels very supportive from the first minute you lie down, but there's still a sturdiness to the mattress. Emma Sleep say that it's a 'body-hugging' mattress, and I'd agree, it is unbelievably comfy. 

Emma Original mattress testing at home

(Image credit: Future)

Motion transfer: I'd previously been sleeping on an old, spring-heavy mattress with tufts. It wasn't great when it came to motion transfer and after a while, it felt like there were dips that I slipped into during the night, which was not so comfy. With the Emma Original, there's no sign of that. It feels solid all the way across, meaning those sorts of sags haven't been created, and hopefully won't be in the future. My partner can be a restless sleeper sometimes, and I find that I can feel movement a lot less when sleeping on this mattress. It means that I can sleep undisturbed for longer.

Emma Original mattress testing at home

(Image credit: Future)

Temperature regulation: I'm a cold sleeper, but I would say that sleeping on the Emma Original was a bit warmer initially than I was used to. It wasn't as hot as I found sleeping on the Emma Premium, but still a little toasty. Now that I'm used to it, it's not really noticeable, but it did mean I had to make some changes to my sleeping routine, including switching out to linen bedding to make things a bit more breathable. 

Emma Original Mattress review: user reviews

I've been testing the Emma Original for a few weeks, and haven't noticed any signs of sagging or dipping. A selection of John Lewis user reviews, however, share issues of sagging that have created 'valleys' within their mattresses after a while. 

One user shared that after 'two years of being a side sleeper the mattress has significantly sagged making it very uncomfortable'. It's not to say that this is given with the Emma Original, but worth mentioning in order to provide a balanced view. 

If you do experience issues after purchasing, then Emma Sleep state that you should be able to resolve any issue under the 10-year guarantee if you 'send our customer service team a photograph of the damage and we will swap it for a brand-new mattress'.

Final verdict: is the Emma Original worth the money?

After sleeping on it for a few weeks, I can see why the Emma Original is the go-to choice for mattress shoppers. Its supreme level of comfort is something that I imagine will tick everyone's boxes, and its level of firmness takes no time to get used to, which means you'll be sleeping more soundly from the first night on this mattress.

I can sometimes experience pain in my hips from sleeping on my side too long, but I never had a hint of trouble when sleeping on the Emma Original. I'd recommend it for side and back sleepers for that reason, and for those looking for respite from being woken by their bed partner turning in the night too.

Price-wise, due to the fact that the Emma Original is a lot more affordable than the Premium, it's the one I'd opt for from Emma Sleep if I was investing my money. The Premium does feel a little more supportive, but for value for money and pure comfort, the Original is pretty unbeatable. 

Molly Cleary
Kitchen Appliances Editor

Molly is Ideal Home’s Kitchen Appliances Editor and an all-around baking and cooking enthusiast. She joined the team in September 2022 as an Ecommerce Editor after working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She's been reviewing products for 4 years and now specialises in weighing up kitchen essentials' pros and cons, from air fryers to bean-to-cup coffee machines. 

She's always been a keen reader, so after graduating from the University of Exeter in 2020 she was thrilled to find a way to write as a full-time job. Nowadays, she spends her days at home or the Ideal Home test facility trying out new kitchen innovations to see if they’re worth a space on your worktop. Her most beloved and hard-working appliance is her Sage coffee machine though she also takes the title of Ideal Home’s in-house air fryer expert after writing about them religiously over the past few years.

When she's not thinking or writing about kitchen appliances, she loves getting around London exploring new places, going for a dip at the Ladies’ Pond and consuming every bit of pop culture she can get her hands on.