The Emma Original is a hugely popular mattress and we rate it among our favourite foam mattresses (and our favourite mattresses overall). Simba is another top sleep brand, but we tend to associate it with hybrid models. Can the all-foam Simbatex compare to Emma Original? And how do you find the best mattress for you?
We've had a chance to test both the Emma Original and the Simbatex mattress, and we're happy to recommend them both. Pop across to our Emma Original mattress review and our Simbatex mattress review for a deep dive into both beds. But if you're struggling to choose between them, this is the guide you need.
Overall, we think the Emma Original is the better mattress. It might only win one category outright, but it's a close draw in all the rest, and we rate it as the best memory foam mattress.
However, the Simbatex puts up a good fight, and despite some build similarities, these all-foam mattresses have a very different feel. If you want something softer that's well cushioned for side sleepers, go for the Emma Original. For a firmer mattress that's supportive for back sleepers and those with a heavier build, we recommend the Simbatex. Want to learn more? Keep reading our Emma Original mattress vs Simbatex mattress showdown.
Emma Original vs Simbatex mattress: specs
|Header Cell - Column 0
|Memory foam, other foams
|Simbatex foam, other foams
|Officially medium, we rate 5.5
|Officially medium-firm, we rate 7
|RRP £449 (usually sold at £381.65)
|RRP £799 (usually sold at £519.35)
|Single, small double, double, king, super king, EU single, EU double, EU queen
|Single, small double, double, king, super king
|Free next day delivery
Emma Original vs Simbatex mattress: design
- Both are all-foam mattresses
- Both are 25cm deep and contain 3 foam layers
- Emma Original is also available with an upgraded cover
The Emma Original is an all-foam mattress consisting of three foam layers and a cover. The top foam layer is made using Point Elastic Airgocell technology which aids breathability by absorbing and evaporating sweat. Below, a layer of memory foam provides support and cushioning. At the base is a layer of High Resiliency Extra foam, with zoned cutouts designed to improve spinal alignment. The cover can be removed and machine washed. Emma also offers the Original Plus, which comes with a thicker, plusher cover.
Like the Emma Original, the Simbatex is a 25cm all-foam mattress consisting of three interior foam layers plus a cover. At the top is a layer of graphite-infused foam, with an elastic build to provide a bouncier, cushioned surface. Beneath this sits a firmer foam layer, on top of a base of high-density foam, zoned to provide pressure relief to the hips and shoulders. The knitted cover is removable and machine washable.
Both mattresses have handles on the covers. While handles aren't the most important part of the design, they're very useful if you ever need to move the mattress.
Design winner: Draw
Both 25cm deep with three foam layers and a removable cover, there's little to separate these two in terms of design.
Emma Original vs Simbatex mattress: price & extras
- Emma is a lower mid-range mattress, Simbatex is upper mid-range
- Both offer a 200-night trial and 10-year warranty
- Both brands run frequent sales
The Emma Original sits in the lower mid-range price bracket. A double will generally cost you around £381.65 when discounted, although this price can fluctuate depending on the current deal.
The Emma Original is also available as the upgraded Emma Original Plus. This comes with a plusher comfort cover, and has a slightly higher RRP than the Original. Emma typically switches between discounting either the Original or the Original Plus – when one is full price, the other is on sale, and vice versa. As the mattresses are essentially the same, apart from the cover, we recommend picking whichever one is currently cheapest, or waiting for the discount to switch again.
The Simbatex has an RRP of £799. However, discounts are regular and the Simbatex will often be priced closer to £519.35, making it an upper mid-range mattress. Simba offers aren't evergreen, but they are frequent. Instead of paying full price, we recommend waiting a few weeks to see if another sale comes along.
In terms of extras, both Emma and Simba offer a 200-night trial and a 10-year guarantee. This isn't the best we've seen from a sleep brand, but it's still pretty good. 200 nights gives you a lot of time to get to know a bed, and we recommend replacing your mattress every seven to 10 years.
Price winner: Emma
Emma Original vs Simbatex: comfort & support
- Emma Original is medium (5.5/10)
- Simbatex is medium-firm (7/10)
- Emma is good for side sleepers, Simbatex front and back sleepers
A heads-up before we dive into firmness: here at TechRadar (and it's the same with most sleep brands), we rate firmness on a scale of one to 10, with one being super soft and 10 being very firm. Emma flips things, rating one as firm and 10 as soft.
Emma gives the Original a seven on its scale, which translates to a four on our scale. Our tester slightly disagreed, giving it a 5.5/10, or medium. You sink into the softer surface as it contours to your body, but there's still a comfortable amount of support. We rate it our best mattress for side sleepers, thanks to that cushioned pressure relief. However, stomach and black sleepers are likely to find it lacks support at the hips. Sleepers with heavier bodies might also prefer something firmer.
Simba is a little more generic with their rating, describing the Simbatex as 'medium-firm'. Our tester was surprised at just how firm the Simbatex felt, rating it a 7/10 – relatively high for an all-foam design. The Simbatex offers excellent pressure relief for back and stomach sleepers, and those with a heavier build should feel well supported even lying on their side. Lighter weight side sleepers, however, are likely to prefer a mattress with greater cushioning.
Comfort & Support winner: Draw
The Emma Original has a more traditional memory foam feel, with a softer surface that cradles side sleepers. The Simbatex is firmer, with more bounce and better support for stomach and back sleepers.
Emma Original vs Simbatex mattress: performance
- Simbatex has superior temperature regulation
- Both have good motion isolation, but Emma's is slightly better
- Both have average edge support
We tested the Emma Original and Simbatex in three key performance areas: temperature regulation, motion isolation, and edge support.
When it comes to temperature regulation, there is a clear winner. Some memory foam mattresses sleep hot, due to the contouring 'hug' of the foam, and this is an issue with the Emma Original. On warm nights, you might find yourself waking up sweaty. On the other hand, we were very impressed with the temperature regulation of the Simbatex mattress – our reviewer gave it 5/5. Simbatex claims the foam has 30x greater airflow than standard foam mattresses, and while we can't speak to the accuracy of the number, the performance can speak for itself. If you sleep hot, the Simbatex is the better choice.
Both mattresses have impressive motion isolation, which is largely thanks to the foam design. Foam is good at absorbing vibrations, so if your partner moves in the night, you're less likely to feel them. While both mattresses were scored 4.5/5 by our reviewers, Emma might just have the edge with this one. Our reviewer noted that during the drop test (when a wine glass is balanced on the bed and a weight dropped next to it), the item hardly moved. The Simbatex had a little more bounce. Not much, but if you're sharing with a very restless sleeper, you're likely to feel their movements less on the Emma.
The Emma Original and Simbatex also perform similarly when it comes to edge support, although here, it's not such good news. Our reviewers gave both mattress a 3.5/5, and noted a definite sloping when sitting on the edge of the mattress. While solo sleepers should be fine, co-sleepers might struggle to stretch out and still feel supported. For a foam mattress with superior edge support, check out our Levitex mattress review. (If that catches you interest, check out our Emma Original vs Levitex mattress comparison, where we dive deeper into how these foam beds compare.)
Simbatex has the better temperature regulation, but Emma just pulls ahead when it comes to motion isolation (although edge support is average for both).
Simbatex vs Emma Original: which should you buy?
Buy the Emma Original mattress if...
✅ You sleep on your side: Sleepers sink into the surface of the Emma Original, as it contours to provide cradling comfort at the joints. This is excellent if you lie on your side, as the pressure points have ample cushioning.
✅ You're on a tight budget: The Emma Original sits in the lower mid-range price bracket. For such a high quality mattress, the price is impressive, and you'll get 200 nights to test the bed out plus a 10-year guarantee.
✅ You share with a restless partner: Our reviewer felt the cushioned surface of the Emma Original absorbed movement well. When their partner got out of bed at night, they could hardly feel it.
Buy the Simbatex mattress if...
✅ You sleep on your back or stomach: The Simbatex is surprisingly firm for an all-foam mattress, which is good news for those that sleep on their stomach or back. The firmer surface helps keep the hips and lower back supported.
✅ You sleep hot: Foam mattresses can sometimes sleep warm, but that isn't a problem with the Simbatex. Our reviewer gave the Simbatex a 5/5 for temperature regulation, and found they never woke up feeling uncomfortably warm.
✅ You have a heavier build: The firmer surface of the Simbatex foam offers better support for larger bodies. You won't feel like you're sinking into the bed, but there should still be comfortable cushioning at the joints.
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Ruth is TechRadar’s Sleep Writer. She’s here to help you find the perfect sleep setup for your budget and personal preferences. As well as keeping a keen eye on everything that’s going on in the world of mattresses, she regularly speaks to experts to help you learn how to improve your sleep habits, whether that’s by debunking sleep myths or explaining the science behind it all. Prior to joining the TechRadar team, she wrote features and product guides for new parents hoping to get a decent night's sleep, as well as writing for a variety of online spaces.