When the market is flooded with fantastic options, some of which appear quite similar to each other, I find it near impossible to select a mattress. Luckily, I’ve managed to narrow it down to two premium brands. To make this easier for both of us, I’m going to put the brands head to head in an Emma vs Dormeo showdown to hopefully determine which is the best mattress.
Should I Buy Emma or Dormeo?
Emma and Dormeo have their share of mattress options. Instead of trying to compare the brands as a whole, or pick and choose the best features from all the mattresses, we’re taking two: the Emma Hybrid Mattress and the Dormeo Octaspring Hybrid Plus Mattress.
With our contenders chosen, here are the basic things t consider when choosing between this pairing;
Choose Emma If:
- A mattress with some bounce sounds enjoyable;
- You want something designed for the UK market;
- A lack of EU sizing is fine;
- You need a long sleep trial of 200 nights;
- A machine-washable cover sounds fantastic;
- You find a standard 10-year warranty to be fantastic;
Choose Dormeo If:
- You want extra breathability;
- You want a mattress with a very high customer rating;
- A shorter sleep trial is adequate, at 60 days;
- A standard 10-year warranty is wonderful;
- You want a variable, zone-tailored support;
- A medium support mattress that feels soft is highly desirable;
- You need as little motion transfer as possible in a mattress.
What's Happening Inside the Mattresses?
Although they’re both hybrids, these mattresses have interesting and varied interior constructions. Let’s look at that.
There’s a lot that goes into the Emma mattress, and it’s not your typical hybrid. For example, the coils are much smaller and closer to the surface and provide minimal support—but you’ll see as we break it down in detail.
A Moisture-Wicking, Removeable Cover
A removable cover makes everything easier. Mattresses aren’t easy to clean, so being able to thoroughly wash the top cover makes everything feel far more hygienic.
As the cover wicks moisture, it’s especially good that it’s removable and washable. This brings a sense of security to people with night sweats or otherwise hot sleepers—you know your mattress will keep you feeling dry, and you can ensure it won’t hold bacteria from perspiration.
Underneath the cover, there’s a foam that brings both comfort and breathability. It’s a pleasant surface to sleep on, but it’s also great at keeping air flowing so you don’t overheat.
The microcoils also aid in breathability, as there are gaps between the coils that let air circulate. Every time you move the warm air is squeezed out, giving room for the cooler air to flow in.
Alongside that, the coils provide some comfort and minor support. They’re tiny, in a very thin layer close to the surface, unlike most coils you’ll find in hybrid mattresses. The main support comes from somewhere else—but that’s after we’re finished with the three comfort layers.
ZeroGravity Memory Foam
The third comfort layer comes from comfort foam, but thankfully, it’s slightly altered—it’s a more breathable version of memory foam.
This layer is made to relieve pressure. As you lie on the surface, the Airgocell and microcoils are thin enough to sink under your pressure, caught by the memory foam. The memory foam has no solidity and contours to the pressure placed on it, giving you some extreme relief while it’s at it.
HRX Supreme Foam
Of course, that memory foam is supposed by HRX supreme foam so you don’t sink too far into it. This is the part of the mattress that provides the most support. It’s a dense foam that’s medium-firm.
The comfort layers on top of it help get your body in a comfortable, aligned position, and the HRX comes in to keep you on the surface. However, this layer adds some support itself as there are areas for your hips and shoulders to sink further than your spine. This keeps you aligned, and adds some firmness to parts of the mattress which helps relieve back pain.
Dormeo also has a complex internal construction, but the manufacturers don’t provide a layer-by-layer description of what’s inside. So, instead of going in order, what’s below is just what you’ll find in the mattress overall.
A Stretchy Cover
At least we can guess where the cover is—right on top, there’s an award-winning cover that stretches more than the average mattress cover. This makes it feel softer, which customers enjoy.
Customers also enjoy how the cover is removable and washable. It’s not moisture-wicking like Emma’s, but it’s more focused on comfort rather than other functions.
There’s memory foam in this mattress, 11 centimetres of it to be exact—but it’s difficult to say whether this includes the Octosprings, which will be detailed later.
The memory foam is likely placed between various layers of the mattress, but this is unconfirmed, unfortunately. It’s also unclear whether or not this is regular foam or a more breathable version.
Despite the mystery, the foam provides comfort and pressure relief whether it’s in the (confirmed breathable) Octosprings or in layers on its own.
The pocket springs provide much of the medium support in the mattress and are likely sandwiched between layers of foam. The manufacturers don’t state how large the springs are, or how much of the overalls support they add, but here’s what’s for sure:
- They’re pocket springs so they reduce motion transfer;
- The springs work with the Octosprings to provide tailored, zoned support;
- They let air circulate.
Octosprings are the mattress’s namesake and star. They’re like regular springs, only made of memory foam—the memory foam is full of holes to ensure breathability, though. The manufacturers tested the air circulation using dry ice and the test went well.
As well as breathability they’re plenty supportive. The foam is constructed in five layers with springs of different sizes, providing support tailored to different parts of your body. Each Octospring moves in all directions compresses wonderfully and springs back into shape just as easily.
With Emma coming in at 25 centimetres thick and Dormeo at 27, there’s not much difference. You won’t feel much difference either—the main thing that matters here is the height of your bed frame. Measure how far it is from the ground with your current mattress. If you like your current mattress’s height then select the mattress that’s the best match.
With one mattress medium-firm and the other just medium, you’re getting different levels of support as well as varying feels here. The internal constructions lead to sensations and interactions that make these mattresses from your typical one.
Because of the microcoils so close to the surface, Emma feels softer than it is. The first three layers are primarily soft, so with every move, you feel your body sinking into it, but not too far. It’s fantastic.
Still, you have that firmness once you reach the bottom layer and let your shoulders and hips fall into those excellent, supportive grooves. This provides the stability you need, alongside wonderful pressure relief.
Here’s where the interesting part is: as your heavier parts sink into the grooves made for them, it puts pressure on the surrounding foam. Elements of the mattress shift and tighten up the foam between the grooves, making it firmer.
The firmer foam between the grooves works to support your back. People with back pain and other issues are often told to use a firm mattress to help with that, and that’s exactly what Emma does if you sleep on it in correct alignment.
Like Emma, the Dormeo also works well for back pain and fills the needs of someone needing a firmer mattress. The Dormeo is less firm than Emma, and it feels even softer thanks to the cover, but the Octosprings are magic.
As the Octosprings target your body, aligning it perfectly and supporting it where it needs it, some of those springs are firmer than others. As you have more firmness under your back than you do your feet, this gives an illusion of a firmer mattress and it functions like one too.
Neither mattress goes out of its way to provide edge support, but the Emma mattress is better than Dormeo in that regard. At least with Emma, some parts of your body are deeper in grooves than others which serves almost as an anchor when you’re on the edge.
Dormeo’s Octosprings rotate in all directions. So, if you’re on the left edge of the bed and lean too far left then the mattress can easily sway that way and you end up on the floor.
Emma is mainly foam, which dampens motion transfer considerably. The only layer you have to worry about is the coils, and even then you’re not getting much of a transfer at all. The coils are small and the fabric surrounding them reduces vibrations, so your regular movements won’t disturb your partner.
As there’s a slight bounce to the mattress there can be motion transfer, but that’s only when you move harshly and in a way that bounces the mattress.
It’s the same case with Dormeo: foam lacks transfer, and the springs don’t have it. Except with Dormeo, the pocket springs and Octosprings don’t have a bounce factor. Any bounced from the pocket springs is cancelled out by all that memory foam.
You could say that Dormeo has less motion transfer than Emma, given the lack of bounce—if you need the absolute zero, then Dormeo is fantastic for you.
Breathability and Temperature
Neither mattress has active cooling achieved via infusions or layers dedicated to cooling, and only cooling. They opt for breathability instead.
Emma has three layers designed to keep you cool and dry:
- A moisture-wicking cover;
- Breathable foam layer;
- Coils that circulate air with every move.
This should be enough to keep anyone cool and comfortable.
Dormeo’s manufacturers claim that the mattress has eight times more breathability than other mattresses. This is down to how airy the Octospring layer is. While nobody can prove that, the manufacturer has performed and proven tests showing how well air circulates. This should stop you from overheating, leading to a pleasant night.
Emma vs Dormeo: An Overview
Putting these back together, it’s time to see who these mattresses are best for, and why.
Emma suits almost anyone. The one group it’s not great for is people with heavier shoulders, or perhaps heavier hips, than the rest of their body. That body part will sink too far into the mattress and pull your spine out of alignment.
Outside of that, you’ll be fine—so long as you like a bouncier feel, that’s the main preference point that might turn some people off. Keep in mind it’s not excessively bouncy, but it’s enough to make the mattress jiggly if you actively move up and down. This is great for kids and fun-loving adults, and it thankfully doesn’t rid the mattress of its firmness.
The mattress is plenty firm, enough, in fact, to support heavier people and people with back pain, both of whom need a firmer mattress. As your shoulders and hips sink into the pressure-relief grooves, the grooves spread out and make the other parts of the mattress firmer. This provides enhanced back support.
The higher the back support, the better the mattress is for back pain. Plus, the firmer the mattress is, the more weight it can take without sagging too far and becoming uncomfortable. The result is a mattress that should work for you no matter what.
It’ll especially work well if you sweat at night, as the cover wicks moisture which can then be washed away. Emma may also prevent that sweating thanks to the airflow through the Airgocell foam and microcoils.
If you find Emma isn’t doing enough for you then you can send it back within 200 nights. You’ll get a refund and the whole process will be hassle-free.
- Fun for people who like some bounce—kids may enjoy it;
- Long sleep trial;
- Great support for heavier people and bad backs;
- Moisture-wicking, washable cover;
- Breathable upper layers.
- Not great if you dislike bounce;
- People with disproportionately heavier shoulders or hips won’t have adequate spinal alignment.
Like Emma, the Dormeo mattress caters to all groups, except for people who want something bouncy. There’s no bounce in the Dormeo, but the surface does feel soft and somewhat squishy as you nestle into it for the night.
As it has five body zones that are tailored to support you where you’re heaviest and lightest, it’s suitable for people with aches and pains that need special relief. It’s also suitable for heavier people who like to sink deep into the mattress.
The combination of Octosprings and coils are strong enough to support higher weights—so long as you don’t mind snuggling into the mattress more than a lighter person would.
If you try the mattress and you don’t like how it feels, that’s fine. Return it within 60 days and you’ll get a full refund with no problems. Although, given the breathability and the washable cover, you might want to at least try to make the mattress work for you.
The washable cover is a major convenience and the breathability is among some of the best in the mattress industry. So, if the mattress being too soft is your problem, get creative. Consider a firm mattress topper, place a board under the mattress, and have a bed base with sprung slats. Pairing at least two of these adds the most firmness.
Once you like the feel, then you can avail of the mattress’s fantastic performance. People who overheat at night should pay particular attention to making the mattress work for them, given how well air circulates through the Octosprings.
- Fantastic for people who sleep hot;
- Eases aches and pains;
- Can support a heavier person;
- Washable cover;
- Decent sleep trial.
- Some people dislike the softer feel;
- The sleep trial is much shorter than Emma’s.
Emma and Dormeo are quite different, but their most distinctive differences aren’t that numerous. They’re both breathable and supportive, they work for back pain, and they work for groups that usually need a solid, firm mattress. With this pairing, it comes down to preference.
If you want something ultra soft that’s a perfect medium support-wise, then choose Dormeo—you can’t go wrong.
However, if you want a slightly bouncy feel and you like your support on the firmer side of medium, then Emma is best. Emma also has a moisture-wicking cover, and that may positively influence your decision too.