Emma Hybrid mattress review: a softer option for side sleepers

The pressure-relieving Emma Hybrid adds a layer of springs to Emma's mega-popular Original – but does that make a difference? Here's our review

Emma Hybrid mattress
(Image credit: Emma)
T3 Verdict

The Emma Hybrid mattress combines the support of memory foam with a traditional spring layer. It's on the softer end of the spectrum, which makes it great for side sleepers, but if you need more support under your hips and back, we'd still recommend the Original.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Good value for money

  • +

    Relives pressure points

  • +

    Great for side sleepers

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    A little lacking in hip support

  • -

    Doesn't have the 'bounce' you'd expect from a hybrid

  • -

    Sleeps warm

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In this Emma Hybrid mattress review, I took a look at the springs-and-foam model from the one of the top sleep brands. To give this mattress a proper test, I slept on ir for over seven months, and here's my verdict.

Before we get into the review, let's talk about the background of the Emma Hybrid mattress. The Emma Hybrid was in fact this now-major brand's first ever mattress. A year after its launch, the memory foam Emma Original (opens in new tab) swooped in to steal the limelight, and for a while, the brand discontinued the Emma Hybrid.

In 2021, a new hybrid joined the party: the Emma Premium (opens in new tab) (for a while, confusingly, known as the Emma Hybrid Original). This model has a similar makeup to the Hybrid discussed here, except the springs are much taller, and it's more supportive, with better airflow and (sadly) a higher price tag.

The Emma Hybrid discussed here was then retired from the official UK range, although you can still (at time of writing) buy it via certain third party retailers. If you have your heart set on a hybrid, check out how this brand matches up against one of its major competitors in our Emma vs Simba mattress (opens in new tab) showdown.

Emma's memory foam Original ranks right at the top of T3's ranking of the best memory foam mattresses (opens in new tab), and is a regular in our overall best mattress (opens in new tab)  list – so how does this re-addition to the Emma family match up? Read on for my in-depth Emma Hybrid review – and if you do decide to buy, head to our Emma mattress discount codes and deals (opens in new tab) page for the best prices (or our general cheap mattress deals (opens in new tab) page for savings on a range of top mattress brands).

Emma Hybrid mattress review: design & features

The Emma Hybrid is made up of five layers, which combine to offer a dreamy night's sleep – or that's the theory anyway. Sitting at the top is the patented Airgocell foam – a layer of open-pored, breathable foam designed to absorb and wick away any moisture, so you don't wake up sweaty.

Below this are the pocket springs – the layer that differentiates the Emma Hybrid from the Original. These are designed to offer support as well as aiding air circulation to keep you cool.

Emma Hybrid mattress

Top to bottom: Top cover, Airgocell foam (blue), pocket springs,  memory foam (pink), HRX foam, bottom cover  

(Image credit: Emma)

Next come two layers of foam. There's layer of pressure-relieving memory foam that adapts to any sleeping position, designed to distribute the pressure evenly across the whole mattress, and ensure your spine stays aligned while you slumber. And there's a chunky layer of HRX foam, which is zoned to provide support in the places you need it most.

Finally, there's the two-part cover, which is removable and washable. On the top; breathable, elastic fabric to keep you cool while you sleep. On the bottom; a 3D mesh that wicks moisture away as well as having non-slip properties to stop the mattress from shifting around on your bed frame. All sizes are 25cm deep.

Emma Hybrid review: firmness & comfort

There's no indication on the Emma website of how firm this mattress is meant to be, but I found it on the softer end of the spectrum, and would rate it around a 6.5 for firmness (with 10 being the firmest). There also isn't really the 'bounce' I'd expect from a hybrid mattress – I can't feel the springs when sleeping or when pressing down directly on the mattress. If you're looking for a truly 'hybrid' feel, you could try the Emma Hybrid Original, which has much bigger springs. If you have a bit more to spend, I'd also recommend checking out the luxe Eve Premium Hybrid (opens in new tab).

Now let's focus on the most important thing – how comfortable is the Emma Hybrid? The answer is: it depends on your sleeping style. The softer feel is good for side sleepers, as it won't put unnecessary pressure on your shoulder joints. The movement isolation is excellent: it stays put if you're prone to wriggling to try and get comfy, with no creaking or bouncing about (if you have a bed mate, they'll probably be grateful for this, too).

Emma Hybrid mattress

The Emma Hybrid is on the softer end of the spectrum, and is seriously comfortable

(Image credit: Emma)

However, if you like to lie on your front or back, you might find the Emma Hybrid feels a little unsupportive under your back and hips. I found this became more of an issue after a few months sleeping on this mattress, and it's especially noticeable if you have sprung slats on your bed, which I do (you might get away with it if your bed has a fixed base). We found the Emma Original (opens in new tab) provided more support.

The top memory foam layer is a good level of firmness, providing a cosy feel and moulding slightly around the body without giving to much of a 'sinking' feeling. It's still easy enough to move around on. Another slight down-side here is that it does tend to trap heat, so perhaps one to avoid if you're prone to overheating at night.

Emma Hybrid review: price

At full price, a single Emma Hybrid mattress costs £479; a small double is £649; a double £699; a king £749; and a super king £849. It's roughly £50 more than the same sized Emma Original, to account for additional layer included here. 

Across most sizes, this puts it in the lower-middle of the price range for hybrid mattresses from leading brands – check out the comparison chart below for the full breakdown.

  • Emma Hybrid: £479 (single); £699 (double); £749 (king); £849 (super king)
  • Simba Hybrid: £549 (single); £749 (double); £849 (king); £949 (super king)
  • OTTY Hybrid: £374.99 (single); £599.99 (double); £699.99 (king); £799.99 (super king)

However, it's worth being aware that if you keep your eyes peeled, it's relatively easy to pick up a cheap deal. Emma itself has offered some hefty discounts since it relaunched the Emma Hybrid, and there are also bargains to be had when buying via retailers such as John Lewis and Amazon.

Emma Hybrid review: delivery & returns

Like many of the most popular mattresses right now, the Emma hybrid is delivered in a box – this one measuring 45x45x110cm. So even if, like me, you live in an awkward basement flat, it's relatively easy to maneuver into your bedroom for 'unfurling'. Delivery is free within the UK, and currently no-contact – you won't be asked to sign for delivery.  With memory foam mattresses, some report an unpleasant chemical smell when first unboxed, but we didn't have any issues like this with the Emma Hybrid.  

Emma Hybrid mattress

The Emma Hybrid is delivered in an easy-to-maneuver box

(Image credit: Emma)

Emma usually offers a 100-night trial, but that's currently extended to 200 nights, from the day you receive your new mattress. This is to give you enough time to fully adjust to your new mattress, which can take up to six weeks. If, after that time, you find you're not getting on with your mattress, Emma will organise it to be picked up for free and you'll get a full refund. You'll be pleased to hear you don't have to try and get it back into the original box for this. Finally, there's a 10-year guarantee for added peace of mind. 

Verdict: Should I buy the Emma Hybrid mattress?

The Emma Hybrid is a very welcome re-addition to Emma's range of quality mattresses. It's another great quality mattress from Emma, with a comfy top layer and great movement isolation. Being softer than some competitors, it's especially well suited to side sleepers. 

There are a few caveats, though. It's not the most supportive under the hips, which might be an issue for back or front sleepers (although everyone is unique, of course) – if you fall into that camp, we'd recommend going for the Emma Original instead. This is also a hybrid that doesn't really feel like a hybrid, so if you're looking for a bit of bounce, there are better options around for that from the likes of OTTY and Eve.

Alternatives to consider

A good alternative to the Emma Hybrid mattress is any mattress from the Emma mattress range. The closest to its makeup and price is probably the Emma Original which is regarded as the UK's bestselling and most awarded mattress, so you can be sure you're getting a quality model there.

If you'd prefer a different brand, I'd suggest hybrid mattresses which sit in the lower-middle price range, just like the Emma Hybrid. For example, the Simba Hybrid and Otty Hybrid are similar prices and have many things going for them. For example, the Simba Hybrid (opens in new tab) is comfortable, supportive and great for side sleepers, and the Otty Hybrid (opens in new tab) has excellent edges, a luxurious feel and is an affordable price.

Ruth is currently on secondment as Sleep Editor for Tom's Guide and TechRadar. The role is an extension of her work on T3, where she ran the site's Wellness channel, which includes sleep, relaxation, yoga and general wellbeing. She was also Outdoors editor, reviewing and writing about everything from camping gear and hiking boots to mountain bikes, drones and paddle boards. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy, for fear of getting smothered in the night.