Emma NextGen Premium vs Luxe Cooling: which hybrid mattress should you buy?

A split photo of the Emma NextGen Premium and Emma Luxe Cooling mattress, both in bedrooms
(Image credit: Emma Sleep)

Emma is one of the UK's leading sleep brands, and while it made its name with the affordable, all-foam Emma Original mattress that you'll find close to the top of our best mattress guide, it has an ever-growing range of hybrid mattresses featuring spring layers as well as foam, plus steeper price tags.

If you can't stretch to its most expensive option, the brand new Zero Gravity mattress, it's a choice between the mid-range NextGen Premium, which features deep 18cm springs and 7-zone support, and the pricier Luxe Cooling, with 12cm springs and extra cooling features.

I've tested the NextGen Premium, and you can get all the details in my Emma NextGen Premium mattress review. We've also tested the Luxe Cooling, and our Emma Luxe Cooling mattress review can tell you everything you need to know. The Luxe Cooling scored slightly higher than the NextGen Premium but there's not a lot in it: Emma rates the NextGen Premium as a medium feel but I find it much firmer than that, while the Luxe Cooling is rated medium-firm but our tester found it a little on the soft side. 

Both mattresses regulate temperature well, and they both deliver decent motion isolation and lacklustre edge support. So which one should you choose if you're after an Emma hybrid mattress? Short answer: across our comparisons, the NextGen Premium comes out slightly ahead and is the better all-round buy. But it's not necessarily the best pick for everyone; read on for more details.

Emma NextGen Premium vs Luxe Cooling mattress: Specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 Emma NextGen PremiumEmma Luxe Cooling
MaterialsPocket springs, memory foam, other foamsPocket springs, memory foam, other foams
CoverPolyester, removablePolyester, removable
Firmness (1-10)7-7.5/105.5/10
Trial period200 nights200 nights
Guarantee10 years10 years
Price bracketMid-rangeUpper mid-range
Double priceRRP £609£839
SizesUK sizes: single, small double, double, king, super king. EU sizes: double, queenUK sizes: single, small double, double, king, super king. EU sizes: double, queen
DeliveryFree standard delivery, £45 for old mattress removalFree standard delivery, £45 for old mattress removal

Emma NextGen Premium vs Luxe Cooling mattress: Design

  • NextGen Premium is a hybrid with pocket springs and foam
  • Luxe Cooling is a hybrid with shallower springs, foam and cooling features
  • Both come in standard and upgraded versions

The NextGen Premium features three top layers of foam: Halo memory foam, designed to mould to your body shape and provide sink-in comfort and pressure relief, Point Elastic Airgocell foam for breathability and temperature regulation, and support foam that enhances spinal alignment and reduces pressure points. Beneath these is an 18cm layer of of pocket springs of varying gauges, arranged into seven zones in order to provide the right level of support for different parts of your body. There's a final layer of heavy base foam under that to keep things stable, and the breathable cover has a a removable top that can be machine-washed, as well as handles on the side for easier manoeuvring.

The Luxe Cooling has a similar construction; again there's a washable and breathable top cover, and beneath that you'll find graphite-infused foam designed to draw heat away. Next is Halo memory foam followed by a layer of support foam, and under that is a 12cm layer of pocket springs, with heavy support foam round the edges to enhance edge support, and a layer of the same support foam at the bottom for stability.

Until very recently, both mattresses came in standard and slightly more expensive Plus versions with upgraded covers. That's still true of the NextGen Premium, but things have just changed with the Luxe Cooling; the Plus version is gone and it's been replaced with... the Emma NextGen Cooling mattress, which appears to be the NextGen Premium but with an added layer of the graphite-infused foam and a much higher price tag.

Design winner: Draw

In our reviews we rated the NextGen Premium a 4 and the Luxe cooling a 4.5 for design, but actually I don't think there's a lot of difference between them.

Emma NextGen Premium vs Luxe Cooling mattress: Price & extras

  • NextGen Premium is mid-range, Luxe Cooling is upper mid-range
  • Both have a 200-night trial and a 10-year guarantee
  • Both are rarely sold at RRP

Emma's mattresses are generally well-priced and you get decent quality for what you pay. The NextGen Premium will typically cost you around £480 for a double when it's in the Emma sale, which it usually is, either in its standard or Plus configuration. The Luxe Cooling generally comes in at around £630 for a double when it's on sale, but that's less reliable now that Emma's ditched the Plus version and instead alternates it with the new NextGen Premium Cooling, again at around £630 in the sale.

Emma has sales on all the time, but one thing I've noticed in the time I've been covering its sales is that it plays fast and loose with its pricing and its RRPs can fluctuate wildly. For example, the Luxe Cooling is currently listed with no discount with an RRP of £839 for a double, but at the time we reviewed it the RRP was £1,798. Basically you should pay no attention to the RRP and only ever buy when a mattress is included in the sale.

We keep track of Emma's latest prices on our Emma mattress sales and deals page, where we also have information on Emma's pricing history. So if you visit the Emma site and the mattress you're after seems a little too expensive, you can check there to see whether you should wait for a bit before you buy.

In terms of extras, the NextGen Premium and Luxe Cooling are equal. You'll get the same 200-night trial and 10-year guarantee for both mattresses, just like with every other mattress in the Emma range.

Price winner: NextGen Premium

Emma NextGen Premium vs Luxe Cooling mattress: Comfort & support

  • NextGen Premium is rated medium, we rate 7-7.5/10
  • Luxe Cooling is rated medium-firm, we rate 4.5/10
  • NextGen Premium is an all-rounder, Luxe Cooling is best for side sleepers

One thing you need to know about Emma is that unlike pretty much every other sleep brand on the planet, it rates its mattress firmness completely backwards, with 1 being the firmest and 10 the softest. 

So, Emma rates the NextGen Premium as a 7, which is a medium in Emma's topsy-turvy firmness world. Having spent over five months sleeping on the NextGen Premium, I can tell you that it actually feels more like an actual 7 on the proper firmness chart; it's a lot less soft than I expected it to be, and while I can sleep comfortably on my side, I sometimes know about it in my shoulders and spine first thing in the morning.

Meanwhile with the Luxe Cooling, Emma rates it as 5, which is Emma-speak for medium-firm. However our reviewer found that it was a lot softer than that and rated it a 4.5, noting that his partner found it way too soft and checked out of the review process after a couple of nights.

In terms of support, the NextGen Premium boasts seven-zone support via differently-gauged springs, and I can tell you that the effect is noticeable; there's a lot more give around the middle of the mattress, and each part is gauged to deliver just the right amount of support for your head, shoulders, chest, lower back, hips, thighs, and feet. Its medium-firm feel makes it suitable for most sleep positions, although lighter side sleepers may struggle with it.

The Luxe Cooling in comparison delivers five-zone support, however its softer feel means that it's less likely to be a good fit for stomach sleepers and heavier bodies.

Winner: NextGen Premium

Neither of these mattresses seems to deliver the feel that Emma promises, but in general the NextGen Premium has a feel that's likely to appeal to the most sleepers. 

Emma NextGen Premium vs Luxe Cooling mattress: Performance

  • Luxe Cooling has better temperature regulation
  • Both mattresses absorb motion well
  • Neither delivers brilliant edge support

While the Emma Luxe Cooling is sold on the basis of its cooling prowess, both of these mattresses perform well in terms of temperature regulation. I've never had a problem with overheating on the NextGen Premium, and reviewer tested the Luxe Cooling during a summer heatwave and found that it was well up to the task of keeping temperatures comfortable at night.

Even without the dedicated cooling features you'll find in the Luxe Cooing, the NextGen Premium has the advantage of a deeper spring layer, which allows more air to circulate within the mattress; it also benefits from a top foam section that's only 6cm deep, which reduces the danger of the mattress trapping heat.

Both mattresses do well when it comes to absorbing movement, which means that you're unlikely to be disturbed by a fidgety partner on either one. I'd suspect that because of its deeper springs, the NextGen Premium does less of a good job than the Luxe Cooling, but I've never found it to be problematic; both mattresses delivered similar results in our motion isolation testing.

In terms of edge support, neither mattress is particularly brilliant. I've found the edge support on the NextGen Premium to be its most disappointing feature, and because of the zoned support in the sprung layer, some parts of the side are squashier than others. And our Luxe Cooling reviewer came to similar conclusions, noting that he found himself slipping when getting up off the mattress.

While the edge support isn't terrible on either mattress it could be an issue for anyone with hip or joint pain, or mobility issues. For a hybrid with much better edge support, see our Panda Bamboo Hybrid mattress review.

Winner: Draw

The biggest difference between these mattresses is the cooling, and if you sleep really hot you'll get on better with the Luxe Cooling; however I've found that the NextGen Premium regulates temperature perfectly well.

Emma NextGen Premium vs Luxe Cooling mattress: Which should you buy?

Buy the Emma NextGen Premium if...

You sleep hot: While the NextGen Premium isn't as focussed on cooling as the Luxe Cooling, its deep spring layer delivers plenty of airflow through the mattress so you're guaranteed a comfortable night, temperature-wise.

You want a bed with some bounce: The tall springs in the NextGen Premium give it more bounce than the Luxe Cooling, and it feels a lot like a traditional sprung mattress. For more beds with a bit of bounce, see our best hybrid mattress guide.

You sleep on your back: The NextGen Premium's medium-firm feel is fine for most sleeping positions, but because it's not one that you really sink into, it's best suited to back sleepers.

Buy the Emma Luxe Cooling if...

You sleep really hot: While the NextGen Premium does perfectly well at keeping temperatures down, the Luxe Cooling goes the extra mile, making it the best choice if you regularly end up sweltering under the duvet.

You don't mind paying extra: The price difference between the NextGen Premium and Luxe Cooling isn't enormous, but the Luxe Cooling's features are worth splashing a bit more cash for. 

You sleep on your side: The Luxe Cooling has more of a sink-in feel than the NextGen Premium, making it a better choice for side sleeping. But if you want more options, see our guide to the best mattress for side sleepers.

Jim McCauley

A professional writer with over a quarter of a century's experience, Jim has been covering mattress and sleep-related subjects for TechRadar, Tom's Guide and T3 over the past few years, gathering an in-depth knowledge of the workings of the mattress industry along the way. Previously Jim has covered a wide variety of subjects, working widely in the tech and gaming sectors, and more recently covering the design and wellness industries.