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Emma Pillow Review (2022) – The Most Supportive Pillow?

If you’re in the market for a new pillow or find yourself having difficulty deciding between other pillows, Emma’s pillow may be the right fit for you. With a modular approach to pillow construction, Emma’s pillow is an option for all types of sleepers — back, side and stomach — as you can change the loft of the pillow and the firmness depending on your preference and what works best for you to help keep your spine aligned.

Emma Foam Pillow Review

General Overview

  • Modular construction makes it suitable for most sleeping positions.
  • Adjustable height and firmness.
  • Offers moderate conforming support and excellent pressure relief.
  • Comes with a 100-day risk-free trial.
  • Free shipping to most locations in Australia.

Points to consider

Key Features

  • Competitively priced at $120 (Max. RRP is $200, but the discount runs through the year).
  • Meant to be entirely customisable for back- side- and stomach sleepers, as the different layers are modular, with high-, mid- and low-loft options with varying firmness.
  • Made with three layers of foam: firm on top, breathable in the middle and contouring foam on the bottom.
  • Cover made from an UltraDry 98% polyester blend.
  • The pillow comes with a 100-night trial.
  • No warranty claims after the trial period.
  • Designed in Germany

General Observations:

The Emma pillow is an interesting proposition. Traditionally you find only one single core in the pillow, but in the Emma foam pillow, there are three individual layers, each with unique attributes allowing you to personalise your pillow based on your sleeping preferences.

Emma Foam Pillow Layers

Customization options:

  • Blue HRX supreme foam layer: This layer is all about support and is the firmest among the three. This layer is about 4.5 cm thick, resilient, and retains its shape quite well. In this configuration, the pillow has the highest loft making it suitable for side sleepers.
  • The middle Airgocell foam has a neutral foam feel, and the company claims it promotes airflow. This layer is the softest and also the thinnest, measuring roughly 2 cm. In the low loft configuration, this layer usually sits on top, and you remove either of the two layers.
  • The bottom viscoelastic memory foam layer seems atypical to memory foam, providing moulding support and pressure relief to the head and neck. It initially feels firm but slightly softens with the body temperature over time. This layer is about 4.5 cm thick and is medium-firm. For medium-loft, this layer sits on the top.

Juggling between these three layers, you get close to 9 combinations which may seem overwhelming at first but give you complete control over your pillow.

My Experience

Emma Foam Pillow Unboxing

I tested the pillow on behalf of the team at WhatASleep for a fortnight, and this is what I think of it.

I’d say I’m primarily a side sleeper, but for those challenging evenings where sleep is hard coming, I drift onto my stomach. Very rarely do I sleep on my back — and that’s usually when I find it difficult to sleep.

Even for someone who is regularly a side sleeper, I found the highest loft of this pillow (blue side at the top) quite high and quite firm – almost to the point where it was too much. That being said, I did get used to it and found most nights, I was sleeping in the same position with less tossing or turning.

The higher loft and firmer pillow made me sleep predominantly in the side-sleeping position, as reverting to my stomach, which on the highest loft was relatively uncomfortable for me and my neck. I reckon the high-loft configuration may be suitable for larger folks or those after a supportive or firmer pillow.

Often I found myself sleeping on the viscoelastic side rather than the cooling side, as on the viscoelastic, I felt moulded a bit more comfortable to my head and neck. I’m also a warm sleeper, so the cooling element of the HRX foam isn’t as critical for my sleep. Even then, this pillow never felt too warm sleeping on the viscoelastic rather than cooling side — though this trial was done in winter rather than summer.

I’ve yet to particularly get a handle on switching out the different layers depending on how I’m sleeping – I imagine that would come with time, though.

 Under 58 Kg58 to 104 KgAbove 104 Kg
Side SleepersExcellentExcellentFair
Back SleepersExcellentExcellentExcellent
Stomach SleepersFairGoodGood

Firmness

For me, this pillow is on the firmer end of foam pillows, on both the viscoelastic and cooling foam, but especially the cooling foam.

Sleeping Positions

As Emma’s only pillow in the market at the time of writing, they took the modular approach to address every primary sleeping position (side, back, stomach). 

The only situation that might prove troublesome with this pillow is if you tend to toss-and-turn. Constantly adding and removing the layers of this pillow might end up keeping you awake longer than it does to help get you to sleep. Otherwise, you may end up accepting tradeoffs in the comfort or alignment if you start off with a mid-loft and end up on your side or start with a high-loft and end up on your stomach.

While Emma hasn’t provided specific guidelines at the time of writing, please do bear in mind when shopping for foam pillows, your weight could affect which loft works the best for your sleeping position. For reference, as a female with relatively broad shoulders from weightlifting, 

I still found the loft of this pillow high enough and firm enough for side sleeping and not dropping my neck with all three layers.

Feel

Without any modification, the high-loft for side sleepers is both high and firm, more so than other foam pillows I’ve experienced and slept on regularly in recent years that are polyurethane foam. For my body, this was not a plush pillow. As I mentioned earlier, this did actually help me get to sleep on my side more frequently than not, so it’s more something to get used to rather than anything critical.

The feel of the mid-loft configuration of the pillow isn’t that much different, as you’re still either choosing the slightly firmer and cooling HRX supreme foam or the more moulded viscoelastic.

I didn’t try the low-loft. Personally, I found the mid-loft worked for me when I drifted more to my stomach, and it is generally my go-to configuration.

Pillow Construction

The unique three-layer construction of the pillow is worth a bit of detail. As I didn’t want to entirely deconstruct the pillow, I’ve gauged what I could from only slightly deconstructing it. The cooling foam was about 4.5cm high, the middle core was about 2cm, and the other viscoelastic foam was also about 4.5cm. Each layer has been wrapped in its own permanent case (no zipper).

While not precise, I measured this pillow myself, and with all three layers, it sat at about 11 cm high, in standard dimensions of 70×40, with a net weight of 1.6kg.

Off-Gassing

The chemical odour released by bed-in-a-box mattresses is referred to as off-gassing in the mattress business. Of course, this scent isn’t limited to mattresses. After unwrapping the Emma foam pillow, you may detect a little odour. For me, this smell was gone almost immediately and didn’t affect my first night’s sleep on the Emma pillow.

Packaging

The packaging of the pillow itself is pretty minimal, with your vacuum-sealed pillow rolled up like a swiss roll in an Emma branded pillow box and not too much else. As many companies are looking to reduce packaging waste, this is something I can appreciate.

For those like me, though, who sometimes appreciate having a visual reminder of the benefits of the thing we bought, a little flyer with a reminder about the modularity of the pillow might’ve been handy. It’d also be useful in instances where someone is buying a pillow as a gift or for someone other than themselves.

Care

Like many pillows on the market, the Emma pillow is made to be as easily washable as possible. The cover is stretchy, has a zip and is cold machine washable.

As each layer of this pillow has its case without a clear zip or way of removing it, Emma’s UK site directs customers not to wash the foam interior. When spills or accidents occur, the performance foam layers will return to normal once dried.

cleaning instructions

Warranty, Terms of Sale & Pricing

Emma offers free delivery in Australia. As with many folks, Emma was, at the time of writing, experiencing some delays. So while they do say delivery in 1-5 business days, it may take a bit longer.

That being said, they do offer free returns within that 100-day period, but Emma does not offer any warranty post the trial period. Except for the Koala pillow, which comes with a 1-year warranty, most brands don’t offer a warranty on pillows.

Overall

The Emma pillow is a strong entry into the foam pillow market and is likely the best buy if you’re someone who prefers a firmer pillow. Even with foam and lower lofts, both the “external” foams you’d actually lay your head on are decently firm.

All the Emma products are science-backed, and the Emma pillow is no different. It tries to deliver healthy spine alignment while giving the sleepers full options to fine-tune the pillow to their specific needs. While it may feel firm for some, it is intentionally designed this way to provide durable and consistent support.

So if you’re looking for a versatile foam pillow, it’s worth considering Emma, at what is a fairly competitive price point when discounted — which seems to happen fairly regularly. With a 100-night trial, as well, if the pillow ends up not working well for your frame or your sleeping positions, that’s okay. You’ve got little to no risk aside from the initial cost, as you can return it within that 100-night trial period.

Emma Foam Pillow Review

Emma Foam Pillow

Amanda King

Amanda King

Amanda King is a writer who has been in the field since 2010, with local and global experience across multiple industries, including highly regulated ones. She's written personal stories about travel and ghostwritten everything from HR ebooks to tech-industry takedowns. Buy her caffeine or stand her a beer and she’s happy to share war stories and hard-earned lessons.

All Posts

Emma Foam Pillow

Emma Foam Pillow Review

4.44/5

4.44/5

Overall Rating

Support: 4.8/5
4.8/5
Mouldability: 3.8/5
3.8/5
Conforming: 4.0/5
4/5
Durability: 4.8/5
4.8/5
Value for money: 4.8/5
4.8/5

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