One of the very few downsides of bed-in-a-box mattresses is that you can usually only buy them online. That means you have to drag it from your doorstep into your bedroom and onto your bed before you can be sure it’s for you.
But with the Emma select smart – which is sold across Furniture Village’s 54 UK stores – you can now try before you buy. If you like it, they deliver it three to five working days later or, if you decide to buy it online, take note that, unusually, you cannot buy it directly from Emma.
Another plus side of this mattress is the price point. In fact, besides the Emma original (£384.45, Emma-sleep.co.uk), it is their cheapest mattress yet. And, as with all three mattresses in the new select collection, it’s available in both medium and firm.
If you do want to consider the whole range, there’s the Emma helix (mid-range with extra breathable airflow channels) and the Emma diamond (top-of-the-range, featuring graphite infused foam which is good on cooling).
How we tested
As Emma’s mattresses are the most popular bed-in-a-box mattresses on the market, we were very excited to test it. So out came the PJs ready to test the medium over the course of three weeks. In particular, we wanted to know whether it really is value for money and to investigate just what kind of sleeper it suits.
- Sizes available: Single, small double, double, king, super king
- Mattress depth: 21cm
- Material: (Aquagel visco) foam and pocking springs
- Trial period: 100 nights
- Guarantee: 10 years
Design and features
This is a hybrid mattress, meaning it is made up of both foam and coils, providing the best of both worlds to result in a breathable mattress with enough give and comfort right up to the edges and which helps keep back and joint pains at bay.
As with most hybrids, it has several layers, in this case a 13cm HRX-foam core with pocket springs (for body support), a 3.5cm layer of adaptive visco-elastic foam (for pressure relief) and a further 2cm layer of AquaGel foam (a cushioned mix of gel and foam to help with body contouring). There’s also a fully removable, machine washable (at 40 degrees) cover – hallelujah to this, as it’s such an obvious hygienic benefit yet one that’s missing with many mattresses.
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We liked that there’s no need to turn it (especially as we usually wind up pulling the mattress right off the bed while trying to do so), although the manufacturer does suggest rotating it every three months. It can go on any kind of bed base – divan or slatted.
Comfort and performance
One of the best things about this mattress is that it doesn’t matter how tall, short, big or small, you are – it still offers great support and the same goes for whatever position you like to sleep in. So whether you’re a back, front or side sleeper, there’s a feeling that it’s stabilising all the key pressure points, and that goes on right throughout the night.
A great all-rounder, then, which in turn means it’s also a great option for a spare bed (lucky guests). And because Emma mattresses are particularly good when it comes to durability, you’re not likely to wind up with a saggy mattress a few – or even more – years down the line.
It’s comfy too – with just the right touch of “sinkability”, cosiness and slight moulding around the body to give you that “ahhh” feeling when you get in at the end of a long day. We particularly noticed the comfort factor when lying on our side – often the time when we feel pressure from the mattress on our shoulder joints, yet didn’t with this one. However, it’s not as noticeably bouncy as Emma’s higher-priced mattresses, which might put some people off.
We’ve come to learn that with any mattress containing foam, there are a few potential red flags. One is what it’s like to turn over on, either when you’re trying to get comfy or during your sleep. We’ve tested many a mattress where we feel we’re actually getting stuck in the process or, conversely, feel we’re being bounced about. With this one, we were relieved to find it was seamless.
But you might find your sleeping partner is ever so slightly disturbed, especially if she or he is a light sleeper. No great shakes – and it wouldn’t have put us off buying it – but it’s something to consider for particularly restless sleepers or partners who get easily annoyed at such things. There are definitely other mattresses that do better on absorbing movement.
The other thing to consider with foam mattresses is warmth. Foam is notorious for heating up as your body heats up. Before you know it, you’ve woken up in the night feeling clammy and we’ve tested several where we’ve felt morning can’t come soon enough so we could jump in the shower. Not so with this one, though – it feels breathable and dry, and that’s coming from someone going through menopause.
Foam mattresses often have what’s called off-gassing too – a chemical whiff that can stay for several days. With this mattress, it’s very faint and had gone within 24 hours.
The verdict: Emma select smart mattress
With the Emma select smart mattress, the brand have come up trumps with an option for smaller budgets that suits just about every kind of sleeper, especially side sleepers. We were particularly impressed with the level of support, especially at this price point, but do bear in mind that there are other mattresses with more bounce and an overall more luxurious feel, and you might want to think twice if your partner is prone to waking up when you move around.
If a new mattress is not in the cards for you right now, you can easily add extra comfort to your current one with one of our best mattress toppers
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