Emma vs OTTY: which mattress is best for you?

T3 compares Emma and OTTY mattresses to figure out which is the top option for you

OTTY vs Emma
(Image credit: Future)

OTTY vs Emma is a tough choice if you're shopping for a memory foam mattress in the UK, but T3's head-to-head comparison will help you choose.

On one side, we have the Emma Original mattress, a fantastic memory foam mattress that's regarded as one of the best bed-in-a-box options in Europe. Squaring up against the Emma Original is the OTTY Hybrid: a top-quality hybrid bed-in-a-box that's picked up a stack of enthusiastic reviews in the UK and comes at a significantly cheaper RRP than the competition.

If you can't decide which of these is the best mattress for you, don't worry because T3 has tested them both, and in this article, we'll compare everything that matters about the OTTY Hybrid and Emma Original so that you can make the right decision. Both Emma and OTTY come with a 100-night trial, which takes a lot of pressure off deciding which mattress to go for; if you don't get on with either mattress, you can get a full refund and your mattress will be collected for free. Our OTTY vs Emma comparison will give you all the information you need to make the best choice, first time.

But before you buy, make sure you check out our guides to Emma deals and Otty discount codes and deals, so you don't miss out on a bargain.

Emma vs OTTY: design

The main difference between the Emma and OTTY lies in the materials: the Emma Original is a purely foam mattress; the OTTY Hybrid combines foam and pocket springs. Both mattress are 25cm deep, and both manufacturers make their mattresses in a range of UK and EU sizes.

Emma Original

The Emma Original comes in five UK sizes (single, small double, double, king and super king), three EU sizes, and has been designed to suit all body types and sleeping styles. It consists of three layers of pressure-relieving foam, starting with 30mm of breathable "Airgocell" foam. This prevents you from overheating throughout the night, and also reduces motion transfer, so you won’t notice a restless partner. 

The second two layers provide support. There’s 20mm of memory foam, which contours to your body, cushioning pressure points – like shoulders, hips and knees - and keeping you comfortable in any position. Underneath, a firm base layer of polyfoam gives the necessary counter pressure, providing additional shoulder and hip zoning to support your lower back and ensure correct spinal alignment. Finally, there’s a removable and machine-washable cover on top. This has been designed to help regulate your temperature as well.

The Emma Original doesn't need flipping or turning, although it's a good idea to turn it head-to-head regularly for the first few months. It's also suitable to be placed on any surface: the floor, a box spring or slat base are all fine – just make sure slats are less than 5cm.

OTTY Hybrid

The OTTY Hybrid comes in six UK sizes (single, small double, double, king, super king and emperor), three EU sizes, and is designed to suit all body types and sleeping styles – but is particularly good for side sleepers. 

It consists of five layers, and is 56% spring to 44% foam. On top, a cool blue gel-infused memory foam layer will cushion you, while regulating your temperature - keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Next, a cushioning HD Reflex foam layer provides additional comfort; followed by 2,000 encapsulated pocket springs. These are a generous 14cm deep for better back and joint support (many competitors’ springs are just 2.5cm) – and the space created between them is designed to enable better airflow and reduce overheating. At the base, a high-density foam layer creates additional support.  

It's also with noting that this mattress has a hypoallergenic cover, so it’s ideal for those who suffer from allergies. Like the Emma, the cover is machine-washable at 40 degrees.

The OTTY Hybrid doesn't need flipping – but it does need to be turned head-to-toe once a month for the first year to help prolong its life – and it's suitable for use on the floor or any flat bed frame. 

Winner: Emma

The Emma Original marginally takes the lead on a design front, for the sole reason that it has handles. This makes it easier to manoeuvre than the OTTY Hybrid, which currently only comes with handles if you order the super king size. (Although we're told all OTTY mattresses will have handles by the end of the year.)

However, it’s impossible to judge which mattress has the better construction. The Emma and OTTY use different materials and layers to try and achieve the same thing: namely, a mattress with superior comfort and support that will work for everyone – no matter your body shape, size or sleeping style. And both do that well. Whether you choose the Emma or OTTY shouldn’t come down to design alone: comfort and price need to factor into your decision.

Emma vs OTTY: price

Mattress prices have gone up quite a bit over the past couple of years, thanks to increases in the price of foam and other materials. Consequently the OTTY Hybrid is now quite a bit more expensive than the Emma Original, starting with the OTTY Hybrid single at £749.99, against the Emma Original single at £499.

  • Emma Original (RRP): single - £339, double - £499, king - £559, super king - £659
  • OTTY Hybrid (RRP): single - £529.99, double - £699.99, king - £799.99, super king - £899.99, emperor - £929.99

However, both brands run cheap mattress deals all year round, which lower costs significantly...

Winner: Emma

The Emma is officially priced more competitively than the OTTY – although there's not a massive amount in it. Both brands also regularly cut the price of their mattresses, which makes it very difficult to definitively decide which is cheaper: it might just depend which day you look. 

Emma vs OTTY: comfort, firmness and performance

As with all bed-in-a-box mattresses, both the OTTY and Emma arrive rolled up and vacuum-packed inside a box, and are easy to set up. Regardless of which brand you choose, there’s a chance they’ll initially let off a smell (it’s called off-gassing, and although the Emma Original mattress we tested didn’t have a smell, we know that some samples do).

This smell is perfectly normal and should only last a couple of days. Airing the room is a good idea, and we recommend you change your bedding after a day or two to help get rid of the smell sooner.

Emma Original

We rated the Emma Original as 6 out of 10 for firmness. It still falls into the medium/firm classification, but it feels a little softer than the OTTY. That’s likely down to the foam, which is both phenomenally comfortable and exceptionally supportive in all sleeping positions. You can feel the counter-pressure pushing you up to sleep on the surface of the mattress, while the memory foam cushions any pressure points. 

OTTY Hybrid

OTTY rates the Hybrid as 7 out of 10 on the firmness scale (with 10 being the firmest) – and we would agree. This places the mattress solidly within the medium-firm category. 

Overall, it’s extremely comfortable in all sleeping positions, gives excellent support and there’s a little more bounce to it than the Emma. We found it to be a little cooler than the Emma too. 

Winner: draw

Firmness is relative. Depending on your weight, you may find a mattress firmer or softer than someone else; and whether you like it is an entirely personal preference. However, while individuals may disagree on exactly how firm a mattress is, our tests showed the OTTY Hybrid to be a little firmer than the Emma Original.

If we had to split hairs, we found the Emma to be slightly more comfortable than the OTTY. However, the OTTY was incredibly comfortable – and we found it to be a little cooler than the Emma, too. 

Both are durable, well-made mattresses. However, the only way to judge firmness and comfort is to test these aspects yourself. 

Emma Original

The Emma Original is a little softer than the OTTY Hybrid

(Image credit: Emma Original mattress review)

Emma vs OTTY: the small print

Both companies offer a 100-night trial, which is the only way to really find out whether a mattress is for you or not. Both also offer free returns, so if you decide one isn't right, you can simply contact them: they'll refund your money and arrange for the mattress to be picked up . 

Both companies also offer a 10-year guarantee, which is valid from the day you receive your mattress.

The Emma Original guarantee covers: 

  • Cracks, dents or damage to the foam, which have arisen despite proper use and proper handling
  • Production damage to the zipper

The OTTY Hybrid guarantee covers:

  • Deterioration causing the mattress to have a visible indentation
  • Any physical flaw in the mattress that causes the foam material to split or crack, despite normal usage and proper handling
  •  Any manufacturing defect in the assembly of the mattress cover

Winner: draw

Both companies offer the same guarantee, same length trial period, as well as free delivery and returns.

Emma vs OTTY: which one should you buy?

OTTY vs Emma

(Image credit: Future)

The Emma Original and OTTY Hybrid are very closely matched. Both are highly supportive, breathable and very durable. The Emma is easier to set up and rotate, however, thanks to those handles. We think its overall performance just has the edge on the OTTY, and it's cheaper too.

However, if you tend to overheat at night you may be better off with the OTTY. If you prefer a slightly firmer mattress, too, we would also recommend the OTTY. (We don’t advise basing your decision on material alone: you may think you prefer pocket springs, or memory foam, but mattresses have moved on dramatically in recent years. It’s worth keeping an open mind and making the most of the 100-night trials.) 

Overall? We think the Emma Original just squeaks it in this OTTY vs Emma Original face-off.

Rachael Phillips
Rachael is a freelance journalist and content consultant who specialises in lifestyle, travel, entertainment, sustainability and slow living.