How we test products
Our mission is to take the guesswork out of finding the perfect sleep products.
We've dedicated hundreds of hours to testing mattresses and sleep accessories, and rely on a team of testers of differing weights, temperature preferences, and sleeping positions to evaluate each product.
Tested products are granted the Sleep Hero tested stamp of approval, a mark of our review's reliability.
If we haven't personally tested a product, please be assured that we invest significant time and energy into scouring the UK market and researching the best recommendations, and we work with a team of sleep experts who review our articles, ensuring that the insights we provide are not only relatable but also reliable.
Emma pillow firmness
When it comes to firmness, the Emma pillow stands out among the crowd. 💪
Unlike Tempur pillow material, which provides a soft, sinking sensation, the foams in the Emma pillow are less adaptable.
The three foam layers that make up the Emma pillow include a gel memory foam layer, a visco memory foam layer, and an HRX foam layer.
When these layers are combined, the Emma pillow is one of the firmest options we've put to the test.
If you prefer to stay on top of your pillow instead of sinking into it, the Emma Original pillow might be the perfect fit for you.
It's also a strong choice for side sleepers who require a lofty pillow to keep their heads elevated, aligning the spine and neck just right.
What's special about the Emma pillow is its duality.
You have a firm gel foam layer on one side and a softer HRX foam layer on the other.
Depending on your firmness preference, you can choose to sleep on either of the Emma foam pillow layers. 🔄
However, we found the Emma pillow to be a tad too firm for our liking, even when lying on the softer side.
We prefer memory foam pillows that cradle the head more snugly.
If you share this preference, you might want to consider the Panda Hybrid pillow.
While still offering excellent support, it provides a more contouring feel around the head and shoulders. 🐼
Take a look below:
How do I adjust the Emma pillow to suit my sleeping position?
How do you know if you need a low-loft or a high-loft pillow?
Of course, your personal preferences play a part.
Luckily, the Emma Original pillow is made with three removable foam layers that can be adjusted to your needs.
Side sleepers generally do better on high-loft pillows. ⛰
If you sleep on your side, you should keep all three foam layers of the Emma Original pillow.
This allows the distance between the head and shoulders to be filled and guarantees that you have enough support for a good night's sleep.
But you can still choose which side of the pillow you want to rest your head on, the firm gel foam side or the softer HRX foam side.
We found the Emma Sleep pillow comfortable in the side sleeping position, although it took a few days to adjust to the firmer feel.
Our head had minimal sinkage compared to other memory foam pillows we've tested, such as the Panda or Simba Hybrid pillow.
We wouldn't recommend you sleep on your stomach.
This is the worst position for your neck as you'll have to be turned to one side all night long in order to breathe.
This will undoubtedly cause pain and tension. 😩
However, you can reduce tension on the spine by choosing a soft, low-loft pillow that aligns the neck neutrally with the spine.
Take a look at the images below:
In the second image, our tester uses just one layer, which keeps the neck in a neutral position aligning with the spine.
Therefore, we'd recommend front sleepers use one layer for optimal support in this position.
Sleeping on your back is the healthiest of all. 😁
For this position, you'd need a medium-loft pillow.
If your pillow is too low or too high, your neck will bend up or down, creating unnecessary tension.
During testing, we found using two Emma layers provided the best support in the back sleeping position.
We recommend combining the middle Visco foam layer with the HRX foam layer.
However, the pillow still felt a little firm and didn't provide as much sinkage as we'd have liked.
This depends on your preference and whether you prefer to sleep on or in the pillow.
Does the Emma pillow sleep cool?
Memory foam is known for responding to body heat and retaining warmth, making it slightly warmer than standard pillows.
This means you might experience a warmer sleep on memory foam pillows than others.
However, during our time using the Emma pillow, we didn't feel excessively hot but more cosy and comfortable.
To better understand how the Emma pillow reacts to heat, we employed a thermal camera and compared the Emma Original pillow with the Emma Premium Microfibre pillow. 📷
Take a look at our results:
After lying on the pillow for several minutes, the Emma Original pillow had an average temperature of 29.5°C compared with the Emma Premium Microfibre pillow at 24.4°C.
The thermal map revealed orange areas, indicating where heat was retained in the pillow. 🔥
These results suggest that this Emma Sleep pillow is not the best option for hot sleepers.
That said, it's essential to remember that your mattress and duvet play a more significant role in determining your sleep temperature.
About 80% of the overall temperature in bed is determined by the duvet. If you overheat or freeze in bed, you should reconsider your choice of duvet. Depending on which duvet you use, it may not be suitable for your new mattress.
If you feel too warm while sleeping, we recommend a cool mattress and a lightweight duvet to ensure a comfortable and refreshing night's rest. 💤
Our article on the best cool mattresses for hot sleepers has some excellent recommendations.
Our favourite cool mattresses:
Emma pillow price
The Emma pillow is quite expensive.
While customisable memory foam pillows are usually a bit more pricey, the Emma is still more expensive than comparable pillows.
But remember - you get what you pay for.
The Emma Original pillow is made from advanced, customisable foam layers and is made to last a minimum of two years.
Therefore, it's actually more cost-effective than a cheap, hollowfibre pillow that goes flat after a few months of use.
But if you're looking for a more budget-friendly adjustable pillow, we have some excellent alternatives.
Our favourite budget-friendly adjustable pillow:
Emma pillow UK delivery conditions
The Emma pillow UK is quick and easy to order online.
It comes with free delivery and is generally dispatched within 1 - 3 business days. 🚛
Your pillow will arrive at your doorstep, vacuum-sealed in a recyclable cardboard box.
The Emma pillow is easy to unbox: Simply remove it from the box and cut away the plastic.
How long does the Emma pillow take to expand?
The Emma pillow takes longer to expand than other pillows we've tested.
Our Emma pillow was a little misshapen when we initially unwrapped it from its plastic packaging:
The pillow took around 24 hours to return to its regular shape.
Do Emma pillows smell?
The Emma Original pillow is a memory foam product, and you'll likely experience off-gassing.
This is a chemical smell that is commonly emitted by memory foam products when first unpacked. 📦
The smell isn't toxic, but it can be unpleasant.
We experienced minimal off-gassing during our Emma Original pillow test, and the smell disappeared after a few hours.
We'd always recommend unpacking new items in a well-ventilated room. 🏡
You may also want to let the pillow air out for a bit before sleeping on it.
What are the other UK Emma pillows?
There's more to Emma's pillow range than just the Emma Original pillow.
Other Emma pillows include:
- Emma Premium pillow
- Emma Microfibre pillow
- Emma Premium Microfibre pillow
So, which Emma pillow is best?
Emma Microfibre pillow
The Emma Microfibre pillow is made from soft fibres that give it a feel as soft as down, all encapsulated within a 100% polyester cover.
It has breathable and hypoallergenic properties, making it a reliable choice for those with allergies.
The pillow offers a cooling and temperature-regulating effect, providing a refreshing sleep experience. 🌡️
The entire pillow can be washed at a maximum of 40°C, and it's also suitable for tumble drying on a low setting.
It's also one of the most budget-friendly pillows in the Emma range.
Emma Premium Microfibre pillow
The Emma Premium Microfibre pillow is another excellent customisable option. 🛠️
Like its Original counterpart, the Premium Microfibre pillow offers full adjustability with two interchangeable microfibre layers.
It's also much easier to remove the layers from the cover compared to the Emma Original pillow.
If you're after something softer, reminiscent of the plush comfort of down or feather pillows, then the Emma Premium Microfibre pillow could be your ideal match.
We recommend this pillow to:
- Stomach & back sleepers
- Those looking for a soft pillow or down-alternative
- Allergy sufferers looking for a fully washable pillow
Unlike the firmer Emma Original pillow, this pillow has a fluffy feel that allows your head to sink more deeply for a 'sleeping on a cloud' sensation. ☁️
Emma Original Pillow vs Emma Premium Microfibre Pillow
Ultimately, the 'better' pillow is subjective and depends on your preference.
Favour a pillow with firmness and sturdiness? The Emma Original pillow might be your sleep companion.
On the other hand, if soft, fluffy pillows are your cup of tea, the Emma Premium Microfibre pillow would be a worthy contender.
The table below breaks down the basics of each pillow:
|Emma Original Pillow||Emma Premium Microfibre Pillow|
|Material||Gel foam, memory foam, HRX foam||2 microfibre layers|
|Washing||Cover only||Fully washable|
|Height||Up to 12 cm (4.7 inches)||7 cm (2.7 inches)|
|Size||40 x 70 cm (15.7 x 27.5 inches)||50 x 70 cm (19.6 x 27.5 inches)|
|Purchase||5% OFF EMMA ORIGINAL PILLOW W/ "SLEEPHEROUK5"||30% OFF EMMA MICROFIBRE PILLOW + 10% OFF W/ "BF10_SLEEPHERO"|
No matter which pillow you choose, you can rest assured that these are high-quality products.
Buy the Emma Premium Microfibre pillow:
Contact Emma UK
Customer service: To contact Emma UK directly for complaints, support, or queries, please e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit their live online chat, or complete their online contact form.
Registered office: Emma Matratzen GmbH, Wilhelm-Leuschner-Str. 78, 60329 Frankfurt am Main, Germany