Emma Mattress Review – Hybrid Version

Disclaimer: This is my personal honest review of my Emma Hybrid Mattress. The mattress was supplied to me for free after I requested a mattress for review purposes. Emma made no requirements in any way and have had no input on my review at all. They have allowed me an affiliate link which means if you buy via my link I get small commission and you pay no extra.

Emma Version:

Please note that this is the review for the Emma Hybrid (with springs). My review for the Emma Original (no springs) can be found here.

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The Company

The company behind the Emma Mattress is Emma Matratzen GmbH, a German company but with a base in the UK. See my review of the Emma Original to read more on the company.

The Headlines:

Dont Worry Sleep Happy, 1500 Mini Pocket Springs, Airgocell top layer, bed in a box, 200 night trial. Free pickup if you don’t want to keep it. 10 year warranty.

Regional Differences

Emma sell across Europe including Germany, UK, Austria, Switzerland, Netherland, Poland and France. The mattresses differ by country as well as there being several different versions. My review is for the Hybrid UK Emma mattress which is the one with the mini conical pocket springs. The one Emma now call the original is the one without pocket springs. This is rather confusing since it was the pocket sprung mattress with which they came to the UK market originally.

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The Mattress

A bed-in-a-box mattress means Emma comes in a big oblong box and is rolled and vacuum packed. You remove the mattress from the box and using the included safety blade you remove the plastic covering. Leave the mattress to expand for a few hours (48 hours is best) before sleeping on it.
This is the hybrid Emma mattress as sold in the UK, the one with the mini pocket springs. Don’t confuse the many different versions Emma have across Europe. At the time of this review Emma have two mattresses in the UK. They are the hybrid with the mini pocket springs (this mattress) while the other (original) is a firmer mattress with foam only, no springs. Emma have changed how they described these mattress in early 2018. At that time the original was the pocket sprung mattress and the non spring mattress which they now call the original was called the second gen. In the UK the original was actually the hybrid.
The hybrid Emma mattress features Airgocell on the top layer which is a trademark name for their version of a polyurethane foam. The micro springs work in conjunction with the comfort layers adding bounce and durability. Memory foam under this helps with contouring and the firm base provides the support. The standout feature is the mini pocket springs which are larger than those on Simba and thus give the mattress a different feel. Elastane in the top cover helps add elasticity. The cover is removable and washable.
Pocket springs are springs that move individually and are only connected by the material that covers them.
Emma although a German company state the mattress is assembled in the UK and they work with UK foam manufacturers. However they also state
The high quality foams used to create Emma are created right here in the United Kingdom and are later combined with the top-most support of the conical spring layer. The processed materials are all fine, durable and produced at top quality mills throughout Europe.
So this seems to suggest some materials used are sourced outside of the UK. This most likely is the cover because they also say:
Emma upholstery fabric is manufactured to the highest quality standards in one of the most respected knitting mills in Europe. It is removable and washable.

Emma Mattress
Emma Mattress - EU Single

Cover:

What struck me was although Emma features blue throughout its branding the actual cover is once again the bland grey and white seen on so many mattresses (with a navy blue stripes around the edge). The good news is that while the cover is 100% polyester it does include 1% Elastane which gives the cover a stretchy feel. A nice feeling cover with a breathable surface. This top cover is fully removable from the rest of the sides and rear by way of a top zip and can then be machine washed at 60 degrees. This is a big plus, not just removable but removable without having to lift the mattress. There are handles on the side of the mattress. It is more common to find handles on the underside but I personally prefer the side placement. Of course even better would be handles both sides and underneath. However many mattresses have no handles at all which makes moving the mattress very difficult without damaging the foam.

Top Layer:

3.5 cm (1.4 inches) Airgocell (open cell polyfoam). Density: apx 43 kg/m3

Almost all modern polyfoams used in mattresses are open cell as is Airgocell. There are many advantages to having open cell rather than closed cell for a foam mattress including better air circulation and a more cushioning feel.
The 3.5 cm for this comfort layer is a reasonable enough depth in this price range. It does feel soft and sticky to the touch and consistent with the gel like qualities they talk about on the website. Its also remarkably similar in feel to the top layer on Simba called Simbatex. Although Simba is synthetic latex and Emma is polyfoam the feel is very similar. This is a responsive foam and the fact that it has spring directly under it mean you wont have any problems with a stuck feel or lasting impression of your body during the night.
So is Airgocell really any different to a standard high density open cell polyfoam? Emma tell me Airgocell has larger pores than a standard polyurethane foam giving it a larger air density. This would translate as sleeping cooler as its insulating properties would be increased. Pores are contained within the cells.

Second Layer:

2.5 cm (1 inches) apx 1500 Conical micro pocket springs

So this is really the headline feature. apx 1500 conical micro pocket springs in a king size (based on my single count of 810), so less in the smaller sizes. They are boxed in with foam, encapsulated, which is quite normal because springs give poor edge support and the boxing reinforces the edges. This helps lessen the falling off the edge feel as you lay near the edge. The boxing is 9cm wide on all edges.

Pocket springs means each spring is an individual spring acting alone in response to the weight above. However they are connected by the material they are wrapped in.
They add noticeable bounce and a noticeable push-back to the Airgocell layer above. They give the Emma Hybrid Mattress a sense of spring which gels quite well with its overall soft feeling.

Emma Mattress Mini Pocket Springs
Emma Mattress Mini Pocket Springs

Third Layer:

2.5 cm (1 inch) Visco Elastic Memory Foam. Density: apx 50 kg/m3

The memory foam layer. placing the memory foam this far down the mattress means heat retention isn’t the issue it can be with a top layer memory foam mattress. Not being in contact with your body heat in the way a top layer would it isn’t quite as effective at pressure relief but does at a slow molding effect and helps with motion transfer (by reducing it). This of course is true of all mattresses that place memory foam this far down. Memory foam layers when not on top of the mattress add some extra contouring by molding to your shape but not returning to shape as fast as polyfoam or latex thus more contouring. It also adds a level of dullness to the feel of a mattress.

Base Layer:

16 cm (6.3 inches) polyurethane cold foam. Density: apx 30 kg/m3

While of lower density it will be much firmer than the layers above. It does not get as much compression/decompression as other layers and so density is less important here.
Emma call this cold foam and that’s exactly right. However note that most high density polyfoam is created this way. The curing requires relatively small amounts of heat and so is often called cold foam. They also call this HRX foam, they are not alone in using that term. I can only assume it is meant to sound like a high resilience foam and is a marketing term.
Notable is the zoning. This is the cutting of channels in certain areas to allow for more give and is known as castellated foam. There are 3 sections that are zones giving a total of 6 different zones. Of course the channels are at the shoulder and hip levels. The zoning is at the top of the base layer which is good and more effective than zoning at the bottom of the base layer.

Emma Hybrid Mattress Overall:

Total height with cover: 25 cm (9.8 inches)
Average density: 38 kg/m3

Emma Hybrid Mattress - No Cover
Emma Mattress Layers
The containing box will weigh about 3 kg.
Based on weighing my own Emma Mattress would equate to the following weights.
UK single 16.5 kg
EU single 17.5 kg
UK double 25 kg
EU double 27 kg
UK king 29 kg
EU king 31 kg
UK super king 35 kg

Emma Hybrid Mattress Overview

I received my Emma Hybrid mattress for free. Delivery is made by UPS, DPD and Rhenus. The website states you only need to wait a few minutes before sleeping on the mattress which seems rather optimistic. In reality it is best practice to let the mattress air for 48 hours. This allows the mattress to fully expand before undergoing any compression decompression and also allows time for the off-gassing. This is the release of the chemicals that will turn to vapor in the early days of unwrapping. This is totally normal for all foam mattresses, even natural latex. So what does Emma bring to the table to differentiate itself from the huge options when it comes to a new mattress. They start with Airgocell layer. This at heart is a polyurethane foam layer. The real USP is the 1500 conical pocket springs below this layer. While not unique by any means the combination of polyfoam over micro springs over memory foam is a little different. A zoned base layer, handles on the side and removable washable cover all add up to a different package from the crowd. The company while German based does assemble and deliver the UK mattress from within the UK.
Emma Mattress Branding
Emma Mattress Branding

Tests and Analysis:

Edge support:

Edge support is not great generally on foam mattresses. Even worse is having pocket springs right at the edge. Emma, as does Simba and Otty, boxes the springs for reinforcement at the edge. However softer mattresses are always at a disadvantage when it comes to edge support and Emma has the same edge support as the likes of Simba Original placing it behind the firmer mattresses such as Otty and Ergoflex. However the differences are not that great and they all dip significantly the closer to the edge you get when sitting on it. Sleeping and rolling to the edge is not really a problem as your weight is spread out over the whole mattress.

Score: 7.5/10 for edge support

Firmness (sinkage):

Emma Hybrid is one of the softest mattresses I have tried along with the HÜGGE and Una.
Just a bit softer than the Simba original and Nectar. However there is a sense of springiness thanks to the micro pocket springs that mask this to a degree.

Firmness 6/10

Cooling:

The biggest factor in how hot or cool a mattress will sleep is the top layer and cover. The cover here should be no problem as its a thin stretchy breathable cover similar to that used on many mattresses. The top layer is the Airgocell polyfoam which Emma say has larger than normal pores in the open cells meaning more air and better cooling. You also have the benefit of the mini pocket springs just below the top layer which will help with added air flow for better cooling. Polyurethane top layers will always be better than a memory foam top layer but behind a natural latex or wool top layer for cooling.

8/10 for cooling

Spot Relief (point elasticity):

This surprised me a little. Having slept on the Emma Mattress for a while now I did find it reasonably supportive for a softer mattress, those springs doing a good job of pushing back on you giving a feeling of support even though you are sinking in significantly. I expected this to translate into good point elasticity as that’s how it feels to sleep on. However in my testing using a variety of weights the amount of foam affected outside of the area of contact was among the low end of mattresses I have tried. It is a good option for side sleepers with shoulder problems but point molding is slightly behind some others although they tend to be the firmer mattresses.

6/10 for spot relief

Mattress for Sex/Bounce:

Another highly subjective rating. My criteria for a decent mattress for sex would be good bounce without being like a trampoline and still being reasonably comfortable. Bounce however is the overriding number one factor. Emma has a little more bounce than you might expect for such a soft mattress. Something of the middle ground between a softer mattress but with decent bounce.

7/10 for Sex

Weight Capacity:

The recommended weight capacity of the Emma mattress is above average at 130 kg (20.5 stones). This is per person on a double or one person on a single.

Motion Transfer:

This is normally the flip side of the bounce score, the more bounce the the more motion gets transferred generally. This is how much motion you will feel if your partner moves heavily while you are laying still. Emma Hybrid is excellent for motion transfer so if partner movements is a problem for you the Emma Hybrid mattress is a decent option.

8.5/10 for motion transfer

Type of Sleepers this mattress suits:

Most foam mattresses are suitable for back sleepers as long as the individual ensures they choose a firmness level that suits their weight and maintains their spine in alignment. Emma will suit average individuals looking for a softer feel but with lots of push-back from the springs.
Being a soft mattress with extra zoning at shoulder levels makes this a great mattress for side sleepers of normal weight. Just remember stomach sleeping requires a flatter profile which is why firmer mattresses are often the way to go for stomach sleepers to keep the back from sinking in.

Score: Back, 7.5/10, Side 9/10, Stomach 5/10.

Price:

Like the new car industry advertised prices often do not tally with the actual price you will pay. The online mattress industry almost runs on the promise of a discount to that advertised although it is harder to find the discounts with some than others. Emma is one of the companies that seem to have a permanent discount running. You do not need to seek it out, the website always shows a code at the top of the homepage. The amount does vary a little but it is always a significant amount and always on show.

Average price: £737

Materials/Design:

There is definitely some nice design aspects here. Most noticeable for me is the machine washable cover which is fully removable with a top zip so no need to lift the mattress. Handles on the side are another big plus for me. Not to be sniffed at is the almost total lack of initial smell (see what I did there?). The foams are of decent enough density for this price level and in line with most rivals and better than some. Mini pocket springs are also an interesting feature. I am still unsure if this is a new spring or the same as always because mine are 3 cm high while everyone else is saying they are 2 cm high.

8/10 for Materials and Design

Off-gassing/Smell:

On first unwrapping there was a slight smell with my nose close up to the foam but this gradually reduced after airing and use.

7/10 for smell

Comfort:

Again a highly subjective criteria and one for which giving a score would be very misleading in my opinion. Comfort will differ greatly simply as a personal preference and I can only relay how I personally found it. I have general lower back pain on a softer mattress normally because I need a good degree of support as found on a firmer mattress. I do like a soft mattress but by morning I will have a lower backache which makes the point about comfort alone without support a little pointless. I certainly like my first hour on Simba and Leesa with their soft cradling feel, but my hips simply sink in too far putting my lumbar region in a strained position. Emma on the other hand while not as cradling as those two while still being as soft does have the support that lessens that problem. So while Emma is a little on the soft side for me it is far more forgiving when it comes to back sleeping. Side sleeping and my shoulders are not quite so happy because of the springs push back. It is still comfortable to me though, it is a pleasant sleep. For front sleepers the push back will be a good thing as you need a firmer surface to keep your back aligned. So even for me as someone who finds this level of firmness just too soft I still find Emma comfortable.

Zoning:

6 zones. There are channels cut into the base layer at the hip and shoulder areas for more give.

Summary:

Itemout of 10
Edge Support7.5/10
Firmness6/10 (soft)
Cooling8/10
Spot Relief6/10
Sex/Bounce7/10
Motion Transfer8.5/10
Back Sleepers7.5
Side Sleepers9
Stomach Sleepers5
Priceav: £737
Materials/Design8/10
Smell/off-gassing7/10
Zoning:yes, 6 zones in base layer

Prices:

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TypePrice
Single£519
Double£729
King£799
Super King£899

General Mattress Notes:

Overview:

Overall I have a positive view of the Emma mattress. As long as you understand mini pocket springs are to add spring and durability to the layer above and not for support further down the mattress then you will know what to expect. The boxing is of the springs is due to them not being great on the edge of the mattress.
Easy to live with given the side handles, machine washable and top zip removable cover and low weight compared to similar mattresses.
Note they say it is fine to use the mattress with an electric blanket.

Base:

As always needs to be pointed out with these mattresses, they have an incorporated base layer making it easy to place anywhere and on any surface other than a slated base where the slats are too wide apart and allow the foam to sink through. It also means you can only rotate but not turn the mattress.

Iterations:

My original Emma Hybrid Mattress had layers of top layer 4cm, second 3cm,  third layer 3cm, base layer 15cm.
My current Emma Hybrid has a configuration of top layer 3.5cm, second 2.5cm,  third layer 2.5cm, base layer 16cm

Emma Hybrid vs Ergoflex 5G

Airgocell polyurethane on top for Emma Hybrid vs high density memory foam for the Ergoflex. Emma Hybrid feels softer while Ergoflex has that memory foam sinking feeling and is a bit firmer in feel. Emma has more bounce while Ergoflex is better for motion transfer.

Emma Hybrid vs Eve

Eve is firmer and is fully CertiPur certified for low levels of harmful chemicals. Emma hybrid is a very soft mattress in comparison and feature micro pocket springs under its top layer. Emma may sleep cooler thanks to more air flow around the springs and use of Airgocell polyfoam on top.

Emma Hybrid vs Otty

Mini pocket springs vs full size pocket springs. The mini pocket springs on Emma are the second layer down and are mostly for comfort although they do add a degree of support too. The full size springs on Otty are solely for support and to hold your body up. Otty ultimately offers better support but a firmer feel.

Emma Hybrid vs Simba

These two mattresses are direct competitors to each other. Both offer a similar level of firmness, both have similar layer configurations of polyurethane foam (emma)/synthetic latex (Simba) – micro pocket springs – memory foam – polyurethane foam base layer. Emma has more bounce while Simba is better for spot relief. Emma is cheaper. Emma might sleep slightly hotter compared to the latex on top of Simba.