Sometimes choosing a mattress feels like an impossible task, and I honestly dread it, but it gets so much easier when I take the time to analyse them, almost like an Emma vs Tempur battle. With everything laid out on the table, choosing a mattress is almost a breeze, so long as you know what you’re looking for.
Should I Buy Emma or Tempur?
We’re comparing the Emma Hybrid Mattress and Tempur Sensation Mattress. Both brands have other mattresses on offer, but to make it easier we’ve chosen these two.
Specifically, we’re choosing the Tempur Sensation Elite—although the Supreme and Luxe are also options with the Tempur Sensation.
Choose Emma If:
- A mattress with a little bounce makes you happy
- You need a cover that wicks moisture
- A 200-night sleep trial is best
- You want something great for heavier people
- A washable cover is a must
Choose Tempur If:
- A shorter 100-night sleep trial is fine
- This washable cover appeals to you
- You can afford to pay a lot for a luxurious feel
- Foam-only is fantastic
- Material developed by NASA makes you ecstatic
Looking Inside: How Are They Made?
With one hybrid and one pure foam, these mattresses have quite different constructions. Let’s compare them and what their best features are.
Emma is transparent about what’s going on inside. There are lots going on for comfort and support.
A Removable, Moisture-Wicking Cover
A moisture-wicking cover is ideal for someone with night sweats, or who bathes right before bed. Emma’s cover takes all the dampness away and keeps you cool and comfortable. In the morning you can remove the cover and put it in the washing machine.
You may not need that mattress’s moisture-wicking properties, after all, thanks to the breathable foam under the top cover. Airgocell is named after its purpose: keeping air circulating through the cells.
Outside of that, it’s a tremendous, cushy sleep surface that feels fantastic.
Underneath that thin layer of foam, you have a thin layer of coils. Coils are usually large and provide the main support in a mattress, but here they add to the comfort. The tiny coils create a bounce that’s enjoyable for some people, but they’re also supportive—yet not so supportive that they cause pain.
Alongside the sensation, there are gaps between the coils. This lets air move between them every time you move on the mattress, adding a third coolness factor.
ZeroGravity Memory Foam
A layer of memory foam adds some support to the mattress as it contours to your shape and aligns your spine. It’s also comfortable, as it’s not rigid and feels like a third comfort layer to enhance your sleep.
The memory foam also takes the pressure away from the microcoils, making it even more definite that you won’t feel them while sleeping.
HRX Supreme Foam
As most hybrid mattresses provide support through large coils, it’s a nice change to see one that uses foam instead. HRX Supreme foam is exclusive to Emma and it’s wonderfully dense, providing a solid surface to sleep on.
However, this surface isn’t too solid. It won’t ruin the spinal alignment that the other layers can provide. This is because there are grooves that allow your shoulders and hips to sink further into the dense foam, keeping your spine in line and giving your heavier body parts the extra pressure relief they need.
If you worry about rotating the mattress and losing the area for your shoulders, don’t—this shoulder-supporting area is present on both ends of the mattress. Your feet won’t feel it, but when you rotate the mattress your shoulders certainly will.
Tempur’s manufacturers don’t go as in-depth as Emma’s but provide decent information on the three layers of foam and the cover.
Like Emma, Tempur has a washable cover. It doesn’t wick moisture, but it still needs a good wash as frequently as your sheets do if you want to keep things clean.
Regularly washing your mattress cover also makes it easier to keep your mattress clean overall. Deep cleaning it is just a pain, and it takes forever to dry, so take preventative measures and throw that cover in a wash under 60 degrees.
With the washable cover nice and clean, the longest part of the process will be the air drying.
The first layer of foam under the cover is 7 centimetres of plush foam that feels almost squishy. There’s zero support here, it’s all about comfort and a wonderful night’s sleep. It makes the mattress feel softer than it is, if you like that feeling.
Dynamic Support Technology
You need some direct support under all that softness, so these 4 centimetres add that. The foam is dense and with zero comfort, but you don’t feel how sturdy it is thanks to the layer on top.
Finally, a blend of comfort and support, 14 centimetres of Durabase make up most of the mattress. It’s the perfect blend of firm and compressible—a true medium-firm base for the support you need.
The blend is so perfect that many people report it cures their back pain, which is usually a job reserved for fully firm mattresses.
Both of these mattresses are 25 centimetres thick, which is on the thinner end of the standard thickness range, but still not bad. This is enough to support you, stop you feeling your bed frame, and keep you from feeling the individual layers within the mattress.
If you want something thinner or thicker than the Tempur comes in 21 and 30-centimetre thicknesses.
These are both medium-firm mattresses, but they don’t fully feel that way. They still provide the medium-firm level of support, but the sensation can help you pick which mattress you prefer.
Emma is interesting. You get medium-firm support, but it behaves like something firmer. This is because when your shoulders and hips sink into those slight gaps mentioned earlier, that pushes the rest of the foam together, making it behave as something denser.
This leads to a combination of gentle support under your heavy body parts and firmness under your back where you need it most.
Meanwhile, the mattress doesn’t feel firm—it feels like a bouncier version of medium-firm. All you feel when you sit on it are the springy coils and the comfortable upper foam layers. Then, you lie down and you reap the rewards of a firmer mattress without compromising comfort.
Tempur also has medium-firm support that doesn’t act or feel medium-firm. Customers report that Tempur cured their back pain, which is something that many experts state that firm mattresses do. For a medium-firm mattress to achieve this it’s fantastic, but then again this is a luxurious brand—you’re not just paying for a lump of foam, you’re paying for a high-quality experience.
Part of that high-quality experience is the feel. You won’t feel like this mattress is rigid or too firm in any regard. The top comfort layer is soft, letting you feel like you’re sleeping on a much fluffier, squishier mattress than you really are. That’s excellent for masking any hint of firmness for people who want to feel like they’re sleeping on a clump of feathers.
Neither of these mattresses has dedicated edge support, especially not the Tempur which is unfortunate. Tempur’s supportive foams should be enough to stop the mattress from sinking and letting you fall off if you get close to the edge, but staying further from the edge is wise.
With Emma, the shoulder and hip zones should anchor you, but there’s still no dedicated edge support. Again, best to sleep away from the edge.
Neither mattress has a huge amount of motion transfer, if any. Tempur is the best at keeping your movements tied to one place. As it’s pure foam, the motion is absorbed and won’t ripple across and disturb your partner.
With Emma it’s mainly the same, considering the mattress is almost all foam, but you have to remember there are some springs there. The microcoils move individually and the fabric around each coil dampens vibrations from movement.
So, regular nighttime movement won’t cause motion transfer. However, if you move harshly then the coils will bounce and may cause some transfer.
Breathability and Temperature
Emma has better temperature control than Tempur, but neither mattress is bad. Neither mattress goes out of its way to boast about keeping you cool, but as these are excellent brands it’s definitely there.
Emma does more in the way of active cooling compared to Tempur, although the layers aren’t infused with substances designed to disperse heat like with some other brands. With Emma, breathability is key in the top two layers, while the cover wicks moisture. This should be plenty to stop you from overheating.
Air circulates through the coils every time you move, leading to a refreshing experience through the night.
Tempur doesn’t have active cooling in the foam. It just ensures it’s breathable and that the viscoelastic foam in the construction doesn’t reflect heat. Viscoelastic foam is what’s used in traditional memory foam and usually makes sleepers very hot.
It’s a mattress that’s more of a comfortable temperature, and neither heats or cools you at night. Using wool bedding will help you stay cool if the mattress doesn’t do a good enough job of it, though.
Emma vs Tempur: An Overview
With the mattresses’ various attributes on the table, let’s examine what those add up to when looking at the pair from an overall perspective.
- 200-night sleep trial
- Fair warranty
- Washable cover that wicks moisture
- Suitable for heavier people
- Works well for back pain
- Fun fur kids
- Not great for people with heavier shoulders
- Imperfect if you dislike a bouncier feel
Right from the start, going in with Emma is a risk-free investment. It has a 200-night sleep trial so if any of its features don’t hold true for you then you can get a refund and return the mattress with no problem.
Once acquired, the mattress is suitable for most groups of people. For example, people with back pain usually need a firmer mattress, but when your shoulders and hips sink into the grooves made for them, the rest of the mattress feels firmer. That makes it an excellent choice for someone with aches and pains.
Another group that needs a firmer mattress is heavier people. If you’re heavier then you sink into your mattress more than a smaller person, making medium-firm feel more like medium-soft. If you’re heavier on most mattresses you won’t always get the best performance out of it either.
With Emma, the performance is still there, so if you’re heavier and want a medium-soft mattress, this is one you can try. Your spine will remain aligned thanks to those grooves, and the comfort factor is still there. Although, if you have heavier shoulders than hips, you should avoid the mattress or your spine won’t be so well aligned after all.
As well as comfort the mattress also provides some fun, with the bouncy feel of the microcoils. If you have a child who likes to sit in bed and bounce around then this could be an excellent mattress for them.
Having a washable cover it’s also great for a child who likes to sneak food into their room and frequently spills it in bed. For adults, the washable cover works well for people with night sweats, and as it wicks moisture that makes it further applicable.
The mattress’s breathability should help you tackle those night sweats, though, and if you notice the cover doesn’t work then contact the manufacturer. The mattress’s faults are covered under a 10-year warranty if needed.
- Washable cover
- Long sleep trial
- Excellent standard warranty
- Breathable foam
- Gets rid of back pain
- Soft feel
- Too expensive for some people
- Not for people who dislike a softer sleeping surfer
Like Emma, the Tempur mattress is fantastic for people with back pain. This isn’t because it feels firmer—Tempur provides the perfect medium-firm support with a softer feel—but customers rave about how this cured their back pain.
Unfortunately, though it cures back pain as a firmer mattress would, it’s not suitable for all groups who usually need a firmer mattress. As this is foam, heavier people will sink right in, and there’s no bounce to help you deal with sinking into the foam. You’ll have a tougher time getting in and out of bed with it.
However, if you’re light and want to nestle into soft foam, then by all means avail of this mattress. It’s squishy, almost cloud-like, but not distractingly fluffy or soft. It’s more of a snuggly-feeling mattress providing more support than the surface sensation would suggest. The denser foams underneath save the day with that.
When you hear that the mattress is all foam you may worry that it sleeps hot, though, and it doesn’t. The foam is all breathable, and the cover is washable in case the foam isn’t breathable enough for you. While the cover won’t wick moisture, you can certainty wash out any sweat that’s dried into it.
If the breathability continues to not work for you then you can return the mattress within 100 nights. You can, of course, return it for any other reason too. You could also contact the manufacturer if you think the lack of breathability is a fault. If the manufacturer determines you got a faulty mattress then you’re covered by warranty.
But really, with this luxurious mattress, you shouldn’t be finding any faults in it. Customers love it, reporting that it works well and is definitely worth its high price. The feel and support are wonderful and with a risk-free sleep trial, you really can’t go wrong when purchasing Tempur.
Emma and Tempur are incredibly similar. They both work for people with back pain, which medium-firm mattresses usually don’t. Although, Emma excels at working for heavier people, so it has that advantage. Plus, the cover wicks moisture, so it has that going for it too.
For the most part, these mattresses are extremely similar, so it’s mainly up to preference when it comes to which one you pick.