Emma Premium Pillow hands-on review

A flippable, adjustable pillow with a dedicated cool side

Close up of fabric on Emma Premium Pillow
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The Emma Premium Pillow contains three foam inserts that offer a personalised feel. One side uses a firm cooling foam, another a softer foam, and you can remove sections to adjust the loft from high to low. During my hands-on time I found it had a firmly supportive feel and I was impressed with the cooling potential, although the price is a little hard to justify given that competitors offer similar features at a lower cost.

Pros

  • +

    Adjustable height

  • +

    Two firmness profiles

  • +

    Cooling foam side

  • +

    Removable, washable cover

Cons

  • -

    Cheaper alternatives available

  • -

    Perhaps too firm for most

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Emma Premium Pillow review: two-minute review

The Emma Premium Pillow is a foam pillow that contains three inserts. One side is a firm, 'ThermoSync' foam designed for hot sleepers, the other is a softer foam, and there's a layer in the middle that can be removed to adjust the loft to suit your frame and sleep style. 

I haven't been able to sleep on it yet, but I did get a chance to poke, prod, and lie on it during a visit to the Emma HQ. In this hands-on review I'll go through my first impressions, who it might suit, and how it compares to the rest of the best pillows on the market.

The overall feel is one of firm, uniform support. The two sides do feel different: the ThermoSync side is a little firmer and slower moving; the other side is a little softer and bouncier. However, neither side is particularly plush, so this isn't the right choice if you want a pillow you sink into.

I was impressed with my first impressions of the cooling properties. It's not possible to assess temperature regulation properly without sleeping on a pillow, but I've also tested this ThermoSync foam more thoroughly for my Emma Premium topper review and was impressed with the cooling there.

Emma Premium Pillow on a mattress

(Image credit: Future)

With all inserts inside, the loft is high – I suspect too high for most situations. However, the inside sections can be removed to lower the loft, which means it could theoretically suit anyone, from a broad-shouldered side sleeper to a petite back sleeper. 

Price-wise, we're in the premium bracket here. While the adjustability, along with extras like a 30-night sleep trial, help justify that price, there are plenty of lower-cost options that tick similar boxes if it's out of your budget. Read on for my full Emma Premium Pillow hands-on review.

Emma Premium Pillow review: price & value for money

  • Premium price bracket
  • RRP of £115 for standard size
  • Free delivery, 2 year guarantee and 30-night trial

At £115, the Emma Premium pillow sits firmly in our premium price bracket. The extras do help amp up your value for money – you'll get a 30 night sleep trial, for instance. Trials are common with mattresses but rare for pillows. There's also free delivery and a two-year guarantee. 

Still, there are plenty of cheaper, great quality alternatives, which makes the pricing here a little hard to justify. If foam pillows are your thing, our top-rated Rem-Fit 500 Cool Gel pillow is typically around half the price, and the Levitex Sleep Posture pillow is a fair bit cheaper too. 

someone pressing on the surface of the Emma Premium Pillow

(Image credit: Emma)

Emma Premium Pillow review: design & materials

  • 3 foam layers, including one cooling foam and one softer foam
  • Layers can be removed to adjust height
  • Removable 'UltraDry-Plus' cover

The Emma Premium Pillow is an all-foam design with three internal layers. On one side is grey 'Premium ThermoSync' foam, which is designed to be cooling. The other side isn't specifically temperature regulating, and it's softer than the ThermoSync foam, for those who prefer a more plush feel. Sandwiched between the two is a layer of 'HRX (High Resiliency Extra) Foam, which is really just there for extra height. 

The idea is that you can flip the pillow to give different feels and functions, or remove layers to adjust the height. 

Exploded diagram showing layers inside the Emma Premium Pillow

(Image credit: Emma)

On the Emma website, these foam layers are shown in individual casings, but on the pillow I tried out, these were absent – it was just the bare foam. We've noticed inconsistencies with these protective casings when testing other Emma Pillows; it seems to be a bit of a lucky dip whether you get them or not. When they're not there, I think the bare foam feels a little too delicate, and if you were taking the foam inserts in and out, I'd be concerned about them getting damaged, or snagged in the zip.

Emma Premium Pillow unzipped to show foam layers inside

(Image credit: Future)

The whole thing is wrapped in a cover made from 'UltraDry-Plus' fabric, which is 98 per cent polyester and 2 per cent elastane). It looks and feels like the fabric used on Emma's mattresses, and my opinion is that it's fine and functions well, but doesn't seem especially luxurious. The cover can be zipped off and washed at 60C, which is hot enough to kill dust mites. The interior foam layers can't be washed, but that's standard for foam pillows.

Close up of piping on Emma Premium Pillow

(Image credit: Future)

Emma Premium Pillow review: comfort & performance

  • Very high loft with all inserts inside
  • Both sides really quite firm (although soft side is a bit more plush)
  • ThermoSync foam is cool to touch

The idea is that you can flip this pillow to give two different feels, thanks to the different foam layers. So let's start with the grey ThermoSync side. I judged this to be a really firm foam. Concentrated pressure – for example from an elbow – went in easily, but if I pressed my whole hand (or head) against it, I struggled to make much of an indentation. 

The feel is fairly responsive; you won't sink into it, but it does take a moment to return to its original shape once pressure is removed. This side was a bit too solid for my preferences.

However, I was more impressed with the temperature regulation properties. There are lots of claims made about cooling foams, but Emma's ThermoSync really seems to work. The surface of the foam actually feels cool to the touch, and beneath my head on when I lay on it in the Emma showroom. The real test of this is to sleep on it, of course, but I'm optimistic based on what I saw during my hands-on time with this pillow, and also based on my time reviewing the Emma Premium topper, which uses the same foam. 

The other side doesn't have these thermoregulating properties and promises a softer feel. The difference in firmness is noticeable compared to the grey side, although I'd still consider it to be medium-firm – don't expect something ultra-squishy. It's also springier and more responsive than the other side. When you remove pressure, it returns to shape immediately. 

There's nothing on the cover to indicate which side is which, so you'll need to figure it out based on touch, or unzip the pillow to peek inside. 

Emma Premium Pillow

(Image credit: Future)

With all three foam inserts in place, this is a high-loft pillow. I found it far too high when lying on my back and stomach, and also too high for side sleeping. For context, I'm 5ft 8, not especially broad shouldered, and I tend to just sleep with one pillow. Broad-shouldered side sleepers might need a pillow of this depth for proper support, but I suspect most people will want to take the central insert out to get it to a comfortable height. The fact that this pillow is easily adjustable is a win, though. 

Because it's foam, it doesn't need re-plumping, and should provide consistent support all night. 

Emma Premium Pillow specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FillFoam
Cover'UltraDry-Plus' (98% polyester, 2% elastane), removable
Dimensions70x40cm
LoftAdjustable
CareCover washable to 60C; inner not washable
Trial period30 nights
Warranty2 years
Price bracketPremium

Should you buy the Emma Premium Pillow?

Buy it if...

✅ You sleep hot: The ThermoSync side of the Emma Premium pillow shows a lot of promise when it comes to keeping the sleeper cool. That's not the case with all foam pillows. 

✅ You prefer a firmly supportive pillow: Although one side is a little plusher than the other, the overall feel here is of firm, consistent support.

✅ You're a broad-shouldered side sleeper: With all the foam inserts in place the Emma Premium pillow is pretty tall. It can be adjusted to make it suitable for different body frames and sleep positions, but should appeal in particular to those seeking a chunky pillow. 

Don't buy it if...

❌ You prefer a squishy pillow: One side of the Emma Premium is softer than the other, but neither is particularly plush. Something like the REM-Fit 500 Cool Gel Pillow has more give, and you still get those cooling features.

 You prefer a traditional pillow: Moulded foam isn't for everyone. If you want a plump-able pillow, check out the Emma Premium Microfibre pillow, which is filled with down-alternative stuffing. You can still remove inserts to adjust the height.

❌ You're on a budget: If the (admittedly high) price tag is a bit much, there are plenty of cheaper options that offer similar features and cost less. Our best pillow guide is a good place to start.

Ruth Hamilton
Homes Editor

Ruth is TechRadar's Homes Editor, reviewing and writing about everything from air fryers to vacuum cleaners to coffee machines, as well as the latest smart home gadgets. She's here to help you find the perfect kit to upgrade your home. Prior to making the shift to Homes, Ruth was TechRadar's Sleep Editor, testing and reviewing mattresses and other sleep products. She's also a Certified Sleep Science Coach.