The Emma Premium is a firm mattress, but it is one that has delivered excellent results in our tests and real-world use. This a fantastic mattress if you want something that’s firm but still comfortable.
- Offers great support
- Long trial period
- Very comfortable (eventually)
- The firmness will take some adjustment if you’re coming from a soft mattress
- Multi-layer designMultiple layers make for a comfortable mattress in all conditions
- Removable topThe top layer can be removed and washed
Emma is one of the bigger mattress-in-a-box names. This Premium option sits in the middle of the brand’s range and comes with a multi-layered design.
The Emma Premium is a firm mattress, but it is one that has delivered excellent results in mytests and real-world use. It is comfortable, dissipates heat well and offers plenty of support.
Sizes and Trial Period
- 200-night trial
- Free returns
- Various sizes from UK Single to Super King
The Emma Premium mattress comes in the typical range of sizes covering both standard UK and EU sizing. It’s available in UK Single (90x190cm), UK Small Double (120x190cm), UK Double (135x190cm), UK King (150x200cm) and UK Super King (180x200cm).
On the EU sizing side, it is available in EU Single (90x200cm) along with EU Double (140x200cm) and EU Queen (160x200cm).
All the mattresses are offered with free delivery plus a 10-year guarantee. There’s also a 200-night trial offered, so you can test and try out the mattress for yourself and see whether it suits your space and sleeping style. I recommend taking advantage of this, as mattresses are an important purchase, and everyone sleeps slightly differently. If you decide against the mattress after the 200-night trial (or before), collection is free.
Emma also offers an old mattress removal service that can be selected before checking out.
Design and Layers
- Multi-layer design
- Washable top layer
- Very tall and thick
The Emma Premium mattress arrives in a large box and is wrapped in plastic. You’ll certainly need a couple of people on hand to help get it out of the box and the plastic, especially if you plump for one of the larger sizes, which can weigh 30kg+.
Once unwrapped and laid out, the mattress needs to be left to properly expand as it comes so tightly packed and rolled up. Emma suggests you leave the mattress for between two and six hours to properly expand. I would say it took more like 12 hours to properly bed in, although it was fine to sleep on after about six hours. Don’t unpack the mattress immediately before wanting to go to bed.
There was quite a strong odour from the mattress to begin with, from off-gassing. This is caused by Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS) used in the manufacturing process, and released as the mattress is unsealed. This was especially noticeable at the start and for the initial few nights. It quickly disappeared after about a week.
I have reviewed the UK king size, and it’s a very thick mattress – this is the same even if you choose one of the smaller sizes. This is important to note when you’re buying fitted sheets, as some of the ones I had for a previous king mattress were too small and wouldn’t stay in place for more than a few nights.
The Emma Premium mattress comprises six layers. At the very top, there’s a breathable cover that acts a little like a mattress topper. In fact, while I used a mattress topper previously, the thicker layer here made adding anything on top unnecessary and a little bulky. The cover also helps regulate temperature and can be washed.
Below the outer cover is a foam layer made of Emma’s Point Elastic Airgocell tech. This is again designed to help regulate temperature by absorbing and evaporating sweat. Next up is a layer of memory foam that moulds itself to the shape of your body and then there’s a foam layer Emma claims helps alleviate pressure.
Next are the springs, which sit in five different supposedly to focus on the head, shoulders, lower back, thighs and feet. Finally, there’s a base foam layer designed to keep the spine aligned.
Due to how the mattress is designed, the Emma Premium can’t be flipped in the traditional sense, as the top layer always needs to be at the top. Emma also claims that due to the design, there’s no need to ventilate or even rotate it manually as this is all done inside.
Comfort and Support
- Very firm
- Remains comfortable, especially after a bedding in period
- Great support
I have now been sleeping on the Emma Premium mattress for over 12 months, an excellent amount of time to properly judge its quality. You’ll also find some synthetic tests below.
My opinion of this mattress has changed substantially over time. To begin with, both myself and my partner found it oddly uncomfortable. During the first few nights and weeks, I struggled to find a comfy position and often woke up with much sorer limbs than I had with our previous, much softer mattress.
A few months on, once I had gotten used to the firm nature, my opinion changed. The soreness went, and I managed to find a comfortable spot. Still, if you prefer a softer mattress, this very well might not be the option for you.
To test mattresses, we take measurements in various positions to see how far it sinks. For instance, sitting on the edge of Emma Premium I measured a drop of just 4.5cm – that’s less than the 5.5cm measured on the Simba Hybrid Pro. This really shows the mattress provides strong support all over.
Next, I measured how much of a drop there was when sitting up in bed. This is a firm mattress and there was a drop of just 3cm, the same as we recorded on the Simba Hybrid Pro. Sitting up in bed, reading or scrolling on an iPad is comfortable and there’s plenty of support.
In a traditional sleeping position lying on my back, the mattress dipped 4cm on my hips and 1cm on my shoulders – this once again highlighted how firm this mattress is. Shifting onto my side, the mattress dipped to 3cm on my shoulders. As a comparison, a softer mattress might dip to around 7cm at the same points.
To judge the mattress with two people sleeping next to each other, I placed an accelerometer where the other person would sleep to measure movement. Measuring movement during turnover, the graph below shows how movement is transferred from one side of the bed to another, with bigger spikes showing more movement. It’s not a bad result at all: movement is not quite as well insulated as on the Simba Hybrid Pro, but far better than on an old, soft pocket-sprung mattress.
Next, I measured movement when getting into bed. Here, far less movement was transferred to the other side of the bed, showing one partner can get in and out of bed without disturbing the other.
- Dissipates heat well
- Comfortable on warmer nights
As we’ve mentioned in other mattress reviews that use a memory foam layer, they can often get quite hot, at times too hot to comfortably sleep on. I have generally found the Emma Premium to be warmer than a mattress without memory foam, although the sheer amount of layers designed to try and combat overheating does seem to make a difference.
To test the Emma Premium’s heat performance, I used a standard test we conduct on every mattress. First, I laid on my back on the bed for 10 minutes, using a thermal camera to evaluate heat retention by timing how long to it took the mattress to return to an ambient temperature.
Once the 10 minutes was done, I got up and it took around two minutes for my heat outline to start disappearing. After three and a half minutes my outline looks very similar to the other side of the bed. My outline was just about gone after four minutes. This shows good heat dissipation.
Should you buy it?
You should buy if you want a firm mattress: This is a firm, supportive mattress that takes a little bedding in. It’s worth it though, as get used to it and you’ll be very happy.
You shouldn’t buy if you want the comfiest mattress: While the Emma Premium is comfortable, the firmness of it will be an issue for some. You don’t sink into the mattress and it stays very rigid
The Emma Premium mattress is often available at greatly reduced prices meaning the general RRP is probably not what you’ll need to pay if you keep an eye out. Whatever you spend on it, it’s a very good mattress that offers excellent support while doing its best to keep cool.
It is quite firm and takes a while to find a comfortable sleeping position, but if you stick with it you’ll be rewarded with an excellent night’s sleep regardless of the outdoor temperature.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every mattress we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main mattress for the review period
We use a thermal camera to see how quickly the mattress can dissipate heat for a comfortable night’s sleep.
We measure how far we sink into the mattress in various positions to measure support levels.
We use an accelerometer to measure how movement from one person is transferred to the other side of the bed.
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Yes – it comes rolled up inside a box.
Yes, the top layer can be unzipped and washed.