This post is sponsor-supported by Emma Sleep, who gifted me a mattress for review. All words and opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting my blog’s sponsors!
A little while ago it was time to finally upgrade Miss Nerd to a ‘big girl’ bed. We got her a new (secondhand) bed frame off Marketplace and a single size mattress gifted to us from Emma Sleep – with the proviso that if we liked it, I give an honest review post on it. Well, we like it, so here are my thoughts (and my three-year-old’s).
We’ve tried out a few different boxed mattresses now – five in total over the years. When you’ve been on Instagram as long as I have, chances are you’ve had a boxed mattress company or two (and probably some kind of meal kit service) reach out at some stage or other!
Mattresses in a box arrived on the scene about four or so years ago, and while they seemed like the latest novelty fad at first, I don’t think they are going anywhere. Now it’s a highly competitve market, and the companies have to offer a competitive product. Boxed mattresses make a lot of sense for modern-day living and the way we shop for our homes – they’re generally affordable, convenient and usually quick to order, they come in a range of firmness levels to suit individual tastes, and they’re ideal in the age of coronavirus and lockdowns, with Emma Sleep offering contact-free deliveries (and returns, with a 100 night trial period). And with COVID presently in WA for the first time in a while, it feels responsible to minimise your movements if you are able.
We had just started to look for a mattress for Miss Nerd’s new ‘big girl’ bed when Emma Sleep reached out. One guideline I have learned to follow in our house when it comes to having little kids – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That pertains to everything sleep, because toddler sleep is sacred. If you get unbroken nights of good sleep as a parent because your kids are sleeping well, I’d now be inclined do EVERYTHING you can to keep that going. You know when you finally start getting some sleep again because the kids are out of the baby stage? But then you get ONE rotten night because someone has a ‘bad jeem’ or something and the next day it feels like you’ve been hit by a ton of bricks. No matter how well-rested you were before (well-rested for your average parent, anyway) you’re taken RIGHT back to that vague, shell-shocked newborn haze, sleep-deprived and crying for coffee. So I am willing to safeguard my sleep as much as possible. To this end, Miss Nerd had been sleeping well and LOVED going for naps and down for the night in her ‘cosy cot’, as she called it. So even though her brother had grown out of his cot by two, and she was already three, I was not messing with this bed arrangement. If it worked, it worked.
But by the time she was three and a half she was on the verge of getting too tall for her cot, and I also wanted to add more storage to her room, with a bed with storage beneath. I bought a secondhand bed and Emma asked if they could send me their German-designed mattress that was actually specially made for the Australian market, the Emma Comfort. Made in Germany, this mattress has been designed to take into account most Australian conditions, so you stay warm during the cold winter months and keep cooler during the summer, so that was a feature that interested me. (I am one of those people that ‘run hot’ naturally).
Another thing that interested me is that the Emma Comfort actually won CHOICE’s Best Mattress Overall for 2021 (knocking its sister, the Emma Original, out of her 2020 first place spot and into second).
Miss Nerd was so excited that such a huge box had arrived just for her! The kids loved helping unbox it. It IS fun watching a mattress pop out of a relatively compact box and expand before your eyes! Within five hours, it is fully ready for sleeping on.
The Emma Comfort is a firmer mattress for sure, encompassing 25cm of memory foam. It was an unusually different sensation to what I had been used to (coming from a traditional pocket spring mattress). I would probably describe it as feeling sort of spongey but dense, and very gently supportive – it is firm all the way across, right up to the edges of the mattress. The memory foam is designed to provide good support for your hips, back and shoulders and keep them aligned (and it is also very breathable, so you stay cooler in summer).
I have personally always liked a soft mattress – that feeling of being cocooned in a cloud would probably suit me well; although admittedly it may not be the best for my less-than-stellar back. If you also prefer a sinkier feel, you can ‘soften’ your mattress using the Emma Flip Topper (sold separately). On a mattress firmness level, I would probably put the Emma Comfort at around a 7/10 with 10 being the most firm.
Miss Nerd immediately LOVED her new mattress and has slept really well on it since the day we got it. No complaints there. At three and a half now, she is in the process of dropping her day naps, but there have been times she has snuck off and put herself down for a nap on her new bed (which is something her brother NEVER did!) I sometimes think to myself, ‘Wow the house is suddenly really quiet, I wonder where she is,’ and I go to her room and she is passed out on her new bed. (I love those moments…. unless they’re at 4pm).
Going by her reaction, I would definitely be inclined to give the Emma Comfort a five star rating for kids. (Another plus it that even though it’s quite a thick mattress, it’s relatively light, which makes it that bit easier to move if you need to or put the sheets on).
Another pro of the Emma Comfort mattress that I need to mention is the cost – compared to a lot of other mattress brands, it’s very affordable for the quality. With Emma’s frequent sales, you can sometimes score a single sized Emma Comfort for only $399.50 – a really affordable price for a thick, quality mattress and that’s including free, no-contact delivery. You can also pay in instalments with Zip or Klarna. They give you a guarantee of it keeping its shape for ten years, and you have 100 days to return it if it’s not a fit for you.
When we opened it up, the mattress had that typical factory ‘boxed mattress’ smell that I have noticed with all boxed mattresses we have tried. The Emma website says it is called off-gassing (also called outgassing) and it refers to the process in which a foam mattress releases an odor after being unboxed. This is from the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that break down when it’s opened.
The odor is not toxic and not harmful to most people, but some (like myself) find the smell unpleasant, and a small percentage of people report difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea or asthma from unboxing VOCs. (If this happens with you, or you think you might have a reaction, it’s best to air the mattress outside on a balcony or patio until the smell completely dissipates). I am pretty sensitive to smells, yet my hubby and kids said they didn’t smell much. It was also a VERY hot day when we unboxed it, which I know can make smells stronger.
But this all leads me to one of the features of the Emma Comfort that I love – the zippable, removable, washable cover. Ideal for kids! It was so easy to unzip the cover and throw it in the wash before first use. I threw it in for a quick cycle and hung it on the line while I ran a portable fan and bowls of cut onions in Miss Nerd’s bedroom for a few hours to help clear the last of the smell. Also a couple of bowls of cut onions. (You laugh, but I have used this trick for years to clear odors from paint etc – it works!) I removed these after a few hours. By the next day, the smell had completely alleviated and I couldn’t smell anything different when I entered the room.
The Emma foam pillow is excellent. I know that pillows, like mattresses, are another one of those things that are very personal; what you like someone else may hate and so forth. But the moment I sunk my head onto an Emma foam pillow I was so impressed! (I stole one for our bed).
I was expecting to have to ‘wear it in’ until it felt comfortable, as I have had to do in the past with other pillows, and thought I wouldn’t like the comparative firmness of it, but as soon as I put my head down I thought it was amazingly comfortable. The memory foam was different to what I was used to as it was so firm but it felt so great and so supportive.
The cost at $120 is reasonable for a good quality pillow. A long time ago, I got gifted a special latex pillow that cost $250 that I thought was going to be INCREDIBLE, but after a few weeks it actually ended up giving me the worst neck cricks! Pillows are one of those things where you might have to shop around until you find what you like, but so far, so fantastic with the Emma pillow. Going by my experience with it so far, I would hundred percent buy one of these again.
I had a friend over for dinner last night who had seen my Instagram post about Miss Nerd’s new mattress. She had started looking for new mattresses for her two boys rooms, and so I told her to go have a lie on Miss Nerd’s bed.
“Oh my GOD,” she said in wonder as soon as she lay down. “I can’t believe this came out of a box. It feels amazing.”
Thanks to Emma Sleep for sponsor-supporting this post. You can check out Emma Australia online here or on their Instagram page. They have kindly given me a discount code for you guys – use code word 5MAYA for an extra five percent off.