When it comes to spending money, most of us enjoy spending on things we’re interested in; fast cars, nice watches or a luxury getaway. These items can easily cost considerable sums of money, with their relative impact on your life and wellbeing often somewhat small. Why is it then, that when it comes to spending money on the areas that really make a difference to your everyday wellbeing, spending is typically frugal?
A high quality mattress can make a big difference to the quality of your sleep, yet they often get overlooked or ignored as a purchase because they’re not an ‘interesting’ buy. Why is it that a car, where you may spend 2 hours a day, can have 10’s of thousands of pounds justified on its purchase, yet a mattress, where you spend ~8 hours a day, is often dropped to the bottom of the list?
In fairness, this is exactly how I used to feel – a mattress is just a fabric bag filled with springs, my current one provides a good night’s sleep, so what’s interesting about trying something new? Except that’s not the mattress landscape we find ourselves in today, with numerous, high-tech foam based offerings battling it out against the traditional, sprung mattresses. MSF thought it was about time we saw what all the fuss was about, so reached out to Emma Mattress, a UK based manufacturer which specialises in sophisticated foam mattresses.
Arrival By Post
The first difference between a spring and foam mattress is the purchase route. Thanks to their ability to be vacuum packed, foam mattresses can be delivered direct to your door in a courier friendly box – handy! The box itself is surprisingly compact (considering it contains an entire mattress), but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s lightweight; there’s still a considerable amount of material maintained within and lifting the mattress upstairs is best handled between two.
Inside the box, the mattress is essentially rolled into a long sausage, tightly held by a thick plastic sleeve. Removal of the sleeve is an easy process, thanks to the thoughtful inclusion of a cutting blade in the box. A moulded plastic guard ensures the blade is held away from the mattress cover, stopping any accidental slips causing damage during unpacking.
The mattress, blade and information leaflet are all that’s to be found in the box. Once released from its plastic wrapper, the mattress will begin to inflate and take shape. According to the manual, it’s ready to sleep on within a few minutes, although be aware the fresh mattress gives off a gluey, plasticky odour during its first few days of freedom.
Sleep & Comfort
Before covering the mattress in bedding, it’s worth discussing how well clothed it already is. The top cover feels incredibly soft and premium to the touch, with apparent temperature regulating properties to boot. The grey lower cover contrasts very nicely and feels as durable as you could ever need it to be – grab handles can be found around the periphery too which make manoeuvring the Emma that little bit easier. Conveniently, the zip running the periphery of the cover allows you to easily remove the white upper portion for washing – a welcome aid to bedroom hygiene.
The foam inner is constructed of three main layers: An ‘airgocell’ upper layer provides breathability and initial squish, with the memory foam layer underneath providing pressure distribution and further contouring-comfort. Finally, the bulk of the mattress is made from ‘HRX’ foam, a firm lower-layer designed to provide counter-pressure and lower-back focused support. This HRX layer also has additional cooling channels cut through it to stop you overheating at night. These cooling channels are very welcome, as many memory foam mattresses restrict your body’s ability to ‘breathe’ to such an extent they can become a very sweaty place to be!
Lying in the Emma for the first time, you can really feel the design intent of the three-layer system. The softer top and second layer allow you to sink into the mattress just enough to spread the pressure over your body, with the firm under layer providing ample support and stopping you from sinking in too far. It strikes a very nice balance, with overall squishiness hitting the sweet spot for me. Everyone has different tastes mind you, which Emma cover well by offering a 100 day money-back guarantee.
Of course, a good mattress won’t necessarily shine after a single night – likewise, a terrible mattress may only show its true colours after a few weeks. For that reason, I used the Emma as my sole mattress for a full month before writing this review and am pleased to say the initial impressions carried through. It’s certainly a big step up from my previous sprung mattress, or any other mattress I’ve slept on during the last year for that matter, with the result being a month of pain and ache free sleep.
It’s always difficult to gauge these things accurately – I never struggled with sleep previously but I’d definitely say it’s providing a boost to the quality of sleep I’m able to achieve. I never find myself waking from discomfort, which couldn’t be said of the previous mattress I’d used. I’d previously been put off foam mattresses after a few experiences of overheating in their suffocating squish, but the combination of cooling channels and breathable materials in the Emma really seem to work – I didn’t find myself overheating during my time with the mattress.
Memory foam, or foam technology for mattresses in general, may not be anything new, so I sadly can’t preach about how the Emma is a total game changer. However, as a cocktail of foams packaged together, the Emma is a very compelling buy. It looks and feels high quality, can be delivered direct to your door and is easy to unpack and ‘install’. The thoughtful addition of a zipper for the top cover, the grab handles and small knife in the box are excellent examples of the attention to detail that has gone into this product.
There’s little, if anything to dislike then – and even if you do, Emma have you covered with their 100 day money back guarantee. A 10 year guarantee backs up any purchases, whilst prices sit between £429 for a single and £799 for a king. To my mind the mattress easily justifies its cost, making it a sure-fire MSF recommendation.
Check out https://www.emma-mattress.co.uk for more information.