You really can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep, and there’s nothing quite like feeling fresh as a daisy in the morning after a solid 8 hours of good quality sleep. One of the most important components you need for a comfortable sleep is a good quality pillow.
From firm and sturdy to squishy and soft, everyone has their own requirements when it comes to a pillow, which is why the Emma pillow is so good. Made with three layers, this pillow can be fully adjusted to your preferences and sleeping position.
We’ve put the Emma Original Pillow to the test to discover its comfort, support and value. In this review of the Emma pillow, you can find the pros and cons, key features, how we tested it, how it performed and the results. We also see how the Emma weighs up against other models including Emma Premium Microfibre pillow.
Emma Original Pillow Overview
• Removable and washable top cover
• Durable, premium materials and fabrics
• Fire retardant and certified to OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, Class 1
• Storage space is needed for layers not in use
• Not ideal for those who prefer softer pillows.
Firm memory foam pillow
Thanks to its clever design, the Emma pillow adapts to your neck, helping to provide support and perfect your posture throughout the night.
It’s particularly ideal if you suffer from neck or back pain, and regularly wake up in the morning feeling stiff.
Superior support in any sleeping position
Whether you’re a side sleeper, back sleeper or front sleeper, you can adjust this pillow to suit you. With support for all positions.
Adjustable height and firmness
It has three removable foam layers so you can easily adjust its height and comfort to suit you. Simply remove one of the three layers of foam to find the right height for you.
Ultra-durable three-layer construction
The Emma pillow is made from highly durable foams meaning it retains its shape throughout the night and over time.
Easy to keep clean
It is non-toxic, naturally hypoallergenic and easy to clean: just remove the cover and put it in the washing machine.
Testing the Emma Original Pillow
What features were tested?
I put the Emma Pillow to the test to see how it improved my sleep quality and neck stiffness.
I tested the following: Comfort, how easy it is to adjust, cleaning and long term results on neck pain.
How were the tests carried out?
Tests of the Emma Pillow were carried out over the course of a month. I also have the Emma mattress, so it was good to test the pillow alongside the brand's mattress too. I assessed how the pillow affected my sleep and upper body stiffness and pain.
What were the results?
As someone who has never used a firm pillow before, this pillow takes a lot of getting used to. It’s very hard, and during the first few weeks, I did find myself being tempted to switch back to my softer pillow.
Despite the firmness however, it didn’t affect how quickly it took me to fall asleep, so it was still clearly comfortable to sleep on. I am a back sleeper and it felt very supportive throughout the night, even if I occasionally turned on my side. It never seems to loose its support which is a huge bonus for me.
How easy was it to adjust?
The three foam layers are very easy to access and remove. Simply unzip your pillow, and choose which layer you want to remove. Due to the customisable nature of this pillow, it can take a lot of trial and error to find the perfect level of comfort for you, so if you’re looking for a pillow that’s perfect as soon as you remove it from the box, then perhaps this pillow isn’t for you.
I started using the three layers but after a week, decided to move the middle layer and I found this to be much more comfortable when laying down. Emma themselves actually recommend back sleepers only need the two layers, so this made sense.
It was slightly annoying to have to store away the middle layer of foam, but it’s definitely worth holding onto. A week later, I came down with a cold, and I was struggling to breath through my blocked nose at night. In need of a little extra height, I decided to insert the middle layer back into the pillow and it really made the night’s sleep a lot more comfortable.
It wasn’t the easiest task trying to push the layer back inside. The foam isn’t smooth, and the rough outer layers of foam were pushing up against the middle layer when trying to push it back in, making it a pretty tricky process.
It was no surprise that the cleaning process of this pillow were very easy - just as they are with the Emma mattress. Simply unzip the pillow, pop in the wash and leave to dry. It didn’t lose its shape in the wash and it attached back to the pillow with ease. Of all the Emma products I have used, they all seem to wash very well.
Long term results on neck pain
I didn’t realise how my previous pillow was affecting my daily neck, shoulder and upper back stiffness until I switched to this firmer pillow. Had it not been for the almost instant results, I'd have perhaps stopped using this pillow, but I could feel a lot less tension, stiffness and aching in my neck and shoulder muscles even after a week of using it which was a real relief.
How does the Emma Original Pillow compare to the newer model?
Emma also sell a Premium Microfibre Pillow which is a softer alternative to its original model. The microfibre pillow works in a similar way to the original, offering the sleeper the option of removing a layer for a comfier night’s sleep. Our advice? If you’re looking for a firmer, more supportive pillow, stick with the original, if you prefer softer support that’ll leave your head feeling like it’s being hugged by a cloud, try the Microfibre pillow. Emma offers a 200-night trial with their pillows, so if you aren’t satisfied, you can always send it back.
Final thoughts on the Emma Original Pillow
Overall, this pillow is extremely supportive - I would go as far to say I could balance a glass of water on it, it’s that supportive. But this does come with a lot of firmness which does take a while to get used to if you’re not used to harder pillows. All I would say is to give it a go, especially if you find you regularly wake up with a bit of neck stiffness in the morning.
You also need a bit of patience when it comes to this pillow too. There’s a reason this pillow comes with a 200-Night Trial, and although it can be easy for us to make up our mind after resting our head on it for a few seconds, it’s worth trying using different layers and test each one to see how you get on.
Pillow size 70x40 cm
Total weight: 1.3kg
Comes with a 2-Year Guarantee
Comes with a 200-Night Trial
Material: 98% polyester and 2% elastane
What layers should I use for my sleeping position?
Side sleepers - When sleeping on your side, match the height of your pillow to the distance between your shoulder and opposite ear. Emma recommend using all three layers to support correct spinal alignment – for maximum comfort.
Back sleepers - Back sleepers need less elevation than side sleepers, so choose fewer or softer layers. If you suffer from neck pain, try pairing the viscoelastic memory foam with the HRX cold foam for a winning blend of pressure relief and support.
Stomach sleepers - Stomach sleepers don’t always need a pillow for their head. Simply choose your preferred firmness and height, then place the pillow wherever you need the most support – whether that’s your head, stomach or pelvis.
Does it keep you cool?
Like with other Emma products, the cover is breathable top cover optimises air circulation for the ideal sleeping climate, and if you do get hot, it’s very easy to wash and keep clean.
Does it smell?
Unlike the Emma mattress which does arrive with an odd smell, the pillow didn’t smell at all, and it doesn’t need to be left to breath before use.