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Emma Original VS Emma Hybrid: 7 Key Differences

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Written By Connie

CPD Sleep Consultant

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29 April 2024 15 min read

Emma Original vs Emma Hybrid – which one's the better mattress? Well, you're about to find out!

Emma Sleep is a world-renowned company and a household name in the mattress industry. Almost all of their products are award-winning, so you probably won't make a mistake whichever one you decide to buy.

However, when has that ever stopped us from trying to figure out which one's the best. Today, we're pitting two of their best-sellers head-to-head, and only one of them could be the winner.

Emma Original is widely considered to be the best mattress Emma has ever made. It was UK's top-selling mattress two years in a row, not to mention the most awarded one. As of 2021, the design has been slightly refreshed and updated, so we wanted to see how it stacks up against its hybrid counterpart.

Emma Hybrid is another of Emma's award-winning mattresses, only this time – we have some mini pocket springs in the mix.

Are miniature pocket springs enough to make the difference, or are you just better of going all-foam? The answer to that, and many other questions, will be available in just a few minutes.

So, without further ado, here's Emma Hybrid vs Original mattress battle!

Emma Original VS Emma Hybrid comparison table

MattressEmma OriginalEmma Hybrid 
TypeMemory foamHybrid
Height 25 cm25 cm
Number of layers34
Firmness 67
Support 88
Good for Back and side sleepersBack and side sleepers
Temperature regulation67
Motion isolation 1010
Cover99% polyester, 1% elastane99% polyester, 1% elastane

Overall Comfort

Comfort is a very subjective thing. What some of you might find perfect, the others might find too soft, firm, warm, bumpy – you name it. So, it will be quite hard to say which one's comfier, but we'll try.

an image of emma original mattress on a bed frame

Emma Original has a Halo memory foam comfort layer right underneath the cover, followed by the Point Elastic Airgocell layer.  The Halo foam layer is a perfect addition to a memory foam mattress because it perfectly adapts to your body shape. The Airgocell layer, on the other hand, is an open-pored layer designed to remove heat and moisture. The Aergocell foam layer is pretty good at what it does, and when you factor in the HRX foam base supporting these two, you get yourself a pretty comfy mattress for most sleepers and sleeping positions.

an image of testing of emma hybrid mattress

Emma Hybrid sports the exact same Airgocell foam layer, with the addition of a 2 cm thin steel micro-coil layer and a pressure-relieving viscoelastic memory foam underneath it. This does make for an overall difference in comfort and support, but not big enough to call it better than the original.

Comfort-wise – we'll call this a tie. Nine out of ten for both the Emma Original and the Emma Hybrid.

Support

Emma Original is one of the most supportive memory foam mattresses you can buy. With that being said, it is probably not supportive enough for heavyweight stomach sleepers. However, neither is the other Emma mattress – Emma Hybrid. Both of these are medium-firm mattresses, so they will be good for some stomach sleepers, but not for all of them.

an image of emma original mattress structure

Both come with a supportive HRX foam base with zoned support. The HRX foam base makes up the most of this mattress, and its strategically cut zones offer sufficient support in all the right places, making both of these Emma mattresses ideal for side and back sleepers.

an image of emma hybrid structure of layers

Now, we would've given Emma Hybrid a slight edge in this department due to the additional 2 cm of mini pocket springs, but the lack of edge support (about which we talk more in our Emma Hybrid mattress review) on this one makes it a tie. Eight out of ten across the board.

Temperature regulation

If you've ever slept on memory foam mattresses, you know that it isn't the most fun experience during the summer. A memory foam mattress composed out of several layers of memory foam can't be very breathable, and that's the sad truth.

An illustration of Emma Original mattress breathability & temperature control.

Both of these are pretty decent in this department due to excellent efforts from Emma for their Airgocell foam, but still, if you want a completely cool and dry sleeping environment during the summer, you're much better off going with a traditional pocket sprung mattress. They're not ideal for hot sleepers, but they're not that bad, especially for (almost) all-foam mattresses.

However, Emma Hybrid takes a small win in this round due to mini pocket springs which allow for some extra breathing room. The heat will find its way away from your body a little bit easier with Emma Hybrid mattress. A six out of ten for the Original, and seven out of ten for the Hybrid.

Overall stability

Mattress stability is directly tied to the mattress structure and is determined by how stable and calm the mattress is while you're moving around at night. A stable mattress will be responsive, a bit bouncy, supportive around the edges, but most importantly – motion-isolating.

Both of these mattresses excel in this category. Due to high-quality foams and ingenious structure and design, both of these are perfectly motion-isolating and responsive. A true gift for a restless sleeper. A perfect ten for both of these.

an image of emma original layers illustration

However, since Emma Hybrid mattress struggles a bit with support around the edges, we are inclined to give this win over to the Original, which does not have an edge support problem.

If you're wondering how does edge support affect stability, just try and sleep next to the edge of a mattress that isn't firm around the edge, and tell us if you feel stable.

an image of emma original mattress structure

Another reason why we're inclined to name Emma Original as the winner is the fact that the Hybrid becomes slightly softer when used on a bed frame with a slatted base. As for the overall stability, a perfect ten for the Original, and an eight and a half for the Hybrid.

Structure

As we've said a minute ago, the structure of a mattress great affects the mattress's performance – in more ways than one.

These mattresses might feel similar, but once you remove the mattress cover, they're quite different.

Emma Original mattress is a 3-layered mattress if you exclude the UltraDry Original cover from the picture. We start off with a Halo memory foam layer, the same foam you'd find in Emma Hybrid mattress, designed to adapt to your body's shape for improved spinal alignment and enhanced pressure relief. Then we have the Point Elastic Airgocell foam – an improved version of the Airgocell foam previously used for the Original. Finally, we have a thick layer of supportive HRX Supreme foam with 5 adaptive cut-out zones for stability, comfort and overall support.

an image of emma original structure illustration

Emma Hybrid mattress on the other hand is a 4-layered hybrid, once again excluding the removable temperature-regulating top cover. First, we start off with the Airgocell layer for improved temperature regulation. Then we have a thin layer of micro pocket springs designed for adaptive comfort and additional air circulation. Underneath it, we can find a layer of pressure-relieving viscoelastic memory foam for reduced motion transfer and enhanced pressure relief. Finally, all of that is supported by a slightly thinner HRX cold foam base.

an image of emm hybrid mattress structure illustration

Sizes

Seeing how both of these mattresses come from the same manufacturer, whichever one of these two you decide to select as your new mattress – you'll be able to get them in any size you want.

Both of these come in all standard UK sizes. They're both available in:

However, due to different structures, the weight of the mattress will differ, with Hybrid being a tad heavier.

Delivery & trial

Once again, seeing how both Emma Original and Emma hybrid mattress come from the same company – their delivery and trial options are exactly the same.

As for the delivery process, Emma Sleep works with DPD, UPS, and Rheenus to deliver your new Emma mattress to your doorstep straight from the Emma warehouse. The delivery is free for the UK mainland, but there could be some charges applied for international orders.

An image of a woman opens up Emma mattress delivery package.

Both of these mattresses come with a staggering 200-night trial, allowing you to test your mattress for over six months. If you don't happen to like or enjoy the mattress, you can return it to Emma completely free of charge.

As for the warranty, both the Original and the Hybrid come with a 10-year manufacturer's warranty, guaranteeing durability, longevity, and the quality of these mattresses.

What are the 7 key differences between Emma Original & Emma Hybrid?

Now that we've compared the two mattresses, let's get in a little bit deeper to identify some of the key differences between the two. Understanding these differences will help you decide which one of these two is better suited for you and your needs.

1. Original has 3 special layers, whereas Hybrid has 4 layers

If we were to slice right through these two mattresses, we would immediately notice a major difference between them.

Emma Original comes has a 3-layer construction – a 3 cm thick Halo layer, 3 cm thick Point Elastic Airgocell layer, and the 19 cm deep HRX Supreme base layer.

an image of emma original's layers

On the other hand, Emma Hybrid starts off with a 4 cm thick Ultra-breathable Airgocell memory foam layer, followed by the 2 cm thick steel micro-coils layer. Underneath it, we can find 3 cm thick pressure-relieving viscoelastic memory foam lying on top of the 16 cm deep HRX foam base.

The differences between all of them will be highlighted below.

an image of an illustration of Emma Hybrid mattress' structure

2. Original enhances spinal support and alignment while the Hybrid enhances support for the lower back and legs

The first difference we notice is in the different support levels, or better yet, different support priorities.

Emma Original comes with a Halo Memory foam layer that adapts to your body's shapes and curves, allowing you to experience body-hugging comfort, pressure relief, as well as improved spinal alignment.

By adapting to your body's movements and curves, the Halo layer, in addition to the HRX base, provides every part of your body with tailored support, leaving your spine in the optimal position throughout the entire night.

Emma Hybrid on the other hand focuses on the lower back and legs the most. This is mostly due to the HRX foam base, but the micro-coils and viscoelastic memory foam also help.

Since the cut-out zones are focused on the shoulders, hips, knees and lower legs – you will get the best possible support in those areas. Naturally, this also means that your spine will be properly aligned, so don't worry about that.

3. Original has five adaptive cut-out zones, whereas Hybrid has three adaptive cut-out zones

One of the main differences between these two mattresses lies in the HRX cold foam base.

Emma Original has a High Resiliency Extra Supreme foam base with five adaptive cut-out zones.

The new and improved HRX base is slightly more durable than the previous one, possibly adding up to an extra year of use with proper care. The zones are strategically placed underneath the pressure points for improved bodyweight distribution and pressure relief. As such, Emma Original's base is perfectly tailored towards side sleepers.

Emma hybrid mattress with 2000 mini pocket springs

Emma Hybrid comes with a fairly similar HRX base, only this time we have a previous generation foam with three cut-out zones.

The cut-out zones are also strategically placed underneath the core pressure points, but the cut-outs are wider and further apart, which is one of the reasons why this mattress is slightly firmer than the Original. It's still virtually perfect for side sleepers, but further apart cut-outs in the hip area make it slightly better for the lightweight stomach sleepers.

4. Original doesn’t have steel micro-coils, whereas Hybrid does

Arguably the main difference between the two lies in the micro-coil layer that Emma Hybrid has that the Original does not.

Depending on the size of the mattress, you can expect up to 2,000 individual steel micro-coils inside of your new hybrid mattress. Thanks to these mini pocket springs, Emma Hybrid is slightly better at two things – pressure relief and temperature regulation.

micro-coils-of-Emma-Hybrid-mattress

The additional 2 cm of steel micro-coils allows for improved breathability by pulling the absorbed heat away from the memory foam and dispersing it out, instead of sending it back to you.

As for the pressure relief, seeing how each spring can move independently from one another, you will get to enjoy tailored support and pressure relief regardless of the position you sleep in.

5. Original offers 3cm Halo Memory Foam while Hybrid offers 4cm Ultra-Breathable Airgocell Foam

The upmost layers of these two are now different, although both of them used to have an Airgocell layer as the layer closest to the sleeping surface.

The focus of the Halo memory foam layer is comfort and pressure relief, while the focus of the Airgocell layer is mostly towards keeping things cool and breezy. That is one of the reasons why Hybrid is better suited for hot sleepers.

Emma-Hybrid-mattress-in-a-bedroom

Another difference is obviously the depth. At 4 cm, Hybrid has more area to absorb heat and moisture, as well as improve on the airflow. When you factor in that you have 2 cm of coils underneath it, you get why Emma decided to go with this layout.

On the Original, we have 3 cm of Halo foam, which is just enough to provide you with pressure relief and contouring, but still not too much so that all the heat gets absorbed by the uppermost layer of the mattress.

6. Original modes uses 3cm Point Elastic Airgocell Foam whereas Hybrid model offers 3cm Pressure Relieving Visco-Elastic Memory Foam

Until Emma redesigned their Original mattress, both of these mattresses had viscoelastic memory foam as their comfort layer lying on top of the HRX foam base.

As of lately, the new and improved version of the Emma Original mattress has a Point Elastic memory foam layer in place of the old viscoelastic layer.

As you can probably tell by the name, the new layer is a mash-up of the viscoelastic foam and the open-pored design of the Airgocell foam, which means that the new layer is both capable of reducing motion transfer and absorbing and dissipating heat and sweat.

an image of Emma Original & Emma Hybrid suitability for all sleepers

The Hybrid mattress, on the other hand, has already solved the breathability issue with their coils and Airgocell layer on top, so they only have to worry about providing sufficient support for the coils, which is the reason for viscoelastic foam.

As you know, viscoelastic materials perform well under stress and seeing how coils will press directly onto the surface of the foam – you'd want it to be as durable and resilient as possible.

7. Original features 19cm Zoned Cold Foam, whereas Hybrid uses 16 cm Supportive Cold Foam.

The final difference between the two lies in their HRX foam bases. We've already discussed the cut-outs and slight differences in the actual foam, but the most noticeable difference between the two is the thickness.

Emma Original comes with a deeper base, standing at 19 cm. Hybrid on the other hand comes with a 16 cm deep base.

The difference in thickness of these two layers is probably there for two reasons.

A couple sleeping in Emma Hybrid mattress

The first reason would be that Emma wanted the Hybrid to keep the 25 cm profile, as that is widely considered to be the perfect depth for a mattress.

The other reason would probably be heat retention. Slicing off a few centimetres off of an HD base and assigning it to an open-pored foam definitely makes the difference in overall breathability.

However, that came at a cost. Losing those three centimetres meant that you would end up with a slightly softer mattress when you use it on a slatted base. The difference isn't extreme, but it's definitely noticeable.

Advantages & disadvantages of Emma Original

Now, let's take a look at a brief overview of all the advantages and disadvantages of Emma Original mattress.

Advantages
Disadvantages
an image of a woman sleeping on Emma Original mattress

Advantages & disadvantages of Emma Hybrid

Now, let's take a look at a brief overview of all the advantages and disadvantages of the Emma Hybrid mattress.

Advantages
Disadvantages
an image of a happy family on Emma Hybrid mattress

Emma Original is best suited for…

With all this being said, it is safe to say that Emma Original is one of the best mattresses on the market.

There is virtually nothing wrong with this mattress, other than a few minor issues. All in all, there is a good reason why this is UK's number one selling mattress, and that's quality.

On that note, Emma Original is best suited for…

Emma Hybrid is best suited for…

Emma Hybrid mattress is another mattress that you can't really go wrong with.

Apart from a few minor drawbacks, you're looking at a premium mattress that does many things just right, and as such, it would be a welcome addition to pretty much any bedroom.

On that note, Emma Hybrid is best suited for…

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FAQs about Emma Original vs Emma Hybrid

Now that we've gone over pretty much every single aspect of these two Emma mattresses, it is time for us to answer some FAQs.

Is Emma Hybrid firmer than the Emma Original?

Yes. Emma Hybrid is slightly firmer than the Emma Original, making it slightly more suited towards all sleeping positions.

Which lasts longer: Emma Original or Emma Hybrid?

Both of these mattresses are very durable and should last you upwards of eight years with proper care. As for which one should last longer, we'd give a slight edge to Emma Original due to its new and improved HRX base.

Do Emma Original and Emma Hybrid come with removable covers?

Yes. Both of these mattresses come with removable, machine-washable covers.

How to wash Emma Original and Emma Hybrid mattresses?

All you have to do is unzip the removable cover and wash it in a washing machine at 40 degrees Celsius.

Do Emma Original and Emma Hybrid come rolled?

Yes. Both of these mattresses come rolled up in a 45 x 45 x 110 cm box.

Are Emma Original and Emma Hybrid good for the summertime?

They're good for UK summers since the temperatures rarely reach 30 degrees Celsius, but if you live somewhere rather hot – we'd suggest adding a cooling topper during the summer.

Is Emma Original good for side sleepers?

Yes. Emma Original is a very good choice for side sleepers.

Is Emma Hybrid good for side sleepers?

Absolutely. Emma Hybrid is a good choice if you prefer to sleep on your side.

Should back and front sleepers sleep on Emma Original?

It depends. Back sleepers should generally enjoy Emma Original. However, stomach sleepers might want to look for something a bit firmer, especially if they're on the heavier side.

Is Emma Hybrid suitable for back and front sleepers?

Back sleepers will certainly enjoy the Hybrid, and so will a solid number of stomach sleepers. However, heavyweight stomach sleepers will want to look for something a bit more supportive.

Recommended reading:

About the author

Connie
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant I know how important sleep is. And as a combination sleeper, I have found it difficult to get products to suit my sleep style. I have more than 2 years product testing experience with The Sleep Advisors which means I have slept on, with and under more than 500 products with varying degrees of success. This is added to more than 2 years experience as a product reviewer for Closer, Heat and Grazia magazines, so I've got a rigorous process. I love sharing my sleep testimonials with our readers and hearing their experiences too.
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