Emma NextGen Premium Mattress review: is it worth buying?

In our latest Adventures on Foam, we test out the Emma NextGen Premium mattress to see if it's worth committing to
Milo Brown

I used to judge myself as a fairly easy customer when it came to mattresses. I grew up on squeaky old British brass bedsteads, and mattresses with very ‘evident’ springs. I am fine with sleeping on a sofa or futon, and am reasonably relaxed about mattresses (although I do get distressed at anything too soft and suffocating). Recently, though, mattresses have been on my mind.

First, I have become aware of the huge environmental impact of mattresses. Once you start noticing them, fly-tipped and skipped mattresses are everywhere; foam is a problem, and I cringe at the idea of the materials that go into the average mattress. Secondly, my husband has suffered from various spinal ailments of late. So, whilst I might be capable of sleeping on the floor, my bed mate does not share this circumstance. And now, with an extension complete, we have a new bedroom, and a reason to acquire a new mattress (without throwing one away).

Shopping around, I felt that there was a gulf between the very cheapest, and therefore the most disposable and environmentally damaging mattresses; and the ones that have an excellent environmental record. My current mattress was probably around £300; we will keep it for the spare room, but it isn’t ideal. I would love to invest in a Hästens mattress - a lifetime (at least) investment, but at £10,000 or so, it is not an option for most. That’s why I was interested in seeing if one of the new online mattress retailers would offer a product that fills this gap.

The best mattress to buy in 2023 for quality sleep, reviewed
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Emma's NextGen Premium Mattress: is it worth buying?

As a hybrid mattress that has a higher proportion of pocket-springs-to-foam than others, it does feel closer to the traditional ‘sprung mattress’ than some of its competitor hybrid mattresses, which I really like. It feels properly supportive and structured, and that, to me, makes it less likely to end up in a skip when someone moves house. Plus, the four layers of memory foam on top of the springs does give it that suppleness that makes memory foam so appealing.

Due to this greater proportion of springs, this mattress has 62% less foam, and the springs themselves are made from 51% recycled steel. Overall, they calculate (using a tool called Planetly by OneTrust) that this mattress has a 54% lower carbon footprint per kilogram than a foam mattress. It's a decent start.

I would say this mattress is on the firm side. But this suits me, and would be a great choice for the many sleepers who like firm support. Particularly, those who tend to sleep on their back are much more likely to benefit from a firm mattress. Those who tend to sleep on their side need a mattress that has the right combination of support and flex so that their shoulders and hips can slightly sink into the surface, maintaining the straight line of the spine. This is the result that I was looking for for my husband, who does tend to sleep on his side, and needs to look after his spine.

Actually, he was really pleased with the Emma NextGen Premium too. He felt that the layers of memory foam were sufficient to give comfort to his shoulder and hip profiles, and the springs are ‘zoned’ so there is a gentler zone of springs around the shoulder (and particularly) hip areas of the bed. When asked, Emma’s customer service told me that ‘If you find that the mattress is too firm for your preference, our team can send you a comfort layer to adjust the firmness, free of charge. This additional foam layer is placed inside the cover on top of the existing layers.’ Good to know, and presumably much more energy efficient than sending mattresses back and forth. But for now, he is very comfortable, and we are definitely both much cooler at night.

Emma NextGen Premium Mattress
Emma Sleep

Fact file

  • Firmness: Medium firm
  • Trial period: All Emma mattresses come with a 200 night sleep trial, to ensure your mattress is right
  • Guarantee: 10 years
  • Country of manufacture: Made in the UK.
  • Sizes available: Double, king and super king
  • Type of mattress: Hybrid (4 foam layers + 1 layer of extra tall springs
  • Delivery: Free

How much does an Emma mattress cost?

The NextGen Premium Mattress starts at £1,331.


The turnaround was quick, and Emma mattresses are delivered by DPD or UPS. Our delivery driver was lovely, and brought it just inside the door. I didn’t have a mattress to collect, but they do offer a collection service for £39. I asked them about these collected mattresses; is it any more responsible than taking it to the tip? I was told: ‘mattresses are either resold or donated to charity. If a mattress is returned in a perfect condition, it is cleaned to a high quality standard and the cover is replaced with a new one. It is then advertised as a refurbished mattress.’ They tell me that they sell these refurbished mattresses online when they have stock of them.

The mattress comes shrink-wrapped into a 45 x 45 x 110cm box, with hand-holes, and comes with a hand little safe blade tool for sharply and neatly slicing into the plastic. This meant I could make an opening, slide the plastic off in one big, neat piece; and use it for dust sheets or covering garden furniture! No shredded bits of plastic packaging shoved in the bin! The inclusion of that little tool was a nice touch, helping people to retain and reuse the thick, usable plastic that the mattress came in.

Emma Sleep mattress verdict

With easy delivery, and an excellent night's sleep, The Emma NextGen is definitely worth the purchase.

Emma NextGen Premium Mattress, doubles priced at £1,331 from Emma.