Emma Memory Foam Pillow review

Customisable to suit all sleep styles, this innovative design deserves consideration for the best pillows list

Emma Memory Foam Pillow
(Image credit: Emma )
Woman & Home Verdict

This three-layered pillow will keep your spine aligned, relieve pressure and give you the support you need for a good night’s sleep

Reasons to buy
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    Three interchangeable customizable layers

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    Ultra-soft breathable outer

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    Cooling memory foam layer

Reasons to avoid
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    Takes a little time to find the perfect comfort combination

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    Need to store any layers you’re not using

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While it’s what’s inside that counts – certainly with pillows – the super-cosy outer of this memory foam offering from mattress specialist Emma can’t be ignored. It’s almost a shame to put a cover over it (although, of course, we’d recommend that you do for the sake of hygiene). The knitted fabric is both breathable and durable. What helps this memory foam pillow stand out from the crowd looking to be named among the best pillows out there, however, is the three layers of non-toxic, vegan foam that make up its internal construction.

The Emma Memory foam pillow usually retails on the brand’s website at £45, but offers are common and like the frequent Emma mattress sales, pillow sales can offer up to 40% off. The lowest offer at Amazon at the time of writing is £33.75 but it’s worth keeping an eye on this as it does change.  You can also use woman&home's latest Emma Mattress discount codes to make an even better saving on your purchase. 

First impressions

At first glance and feel, this pillow has a lovely soft outer cover and a firm inner, much as you’d expect from a memory foam pillow. The cushioned cover has an attractive grey piping around the edge and looks and feels good enough to sleep on without a casing. But the most interesting feature is that this newest incarnation of the Emma pillow can be customised, too. 

What is it like to sleep on?

This pillow is made up of three different layers of memory foam, which you can customise to suit your sleep style (and to get a good night’s sleep). For a more bespoke sleep experience, all you need to do is zip open the soft outer cover and take out one (or two) layers of foam. Which layers you remove or pair together will depend on how you sleep but, in total, there are seven combinations to try.  The breathable outer cover is made from temperature-regulating fibres that allow air to flow freely – helping you to keep cool throughout the night – while the Airgocell foam layer wicks away moisture and heat. 

Will it suit my sleep position?

The experts at Emma recommend that side sleepers keep all three layers of foam in the pillow as they will need more support in the neck area. Front sleepers should use just one, while back sleepers benefit from two. It doesn’t say which layers to take out or leave in so we experimented. Our side sleeper found the three layers combined were super supportive, while the restless, position-changing sleeper preferred two layers; for them, combining the Airgocell and pressure-relieving memory foam worked best. Once this was resolved, the pillow offered our restless sleeper the right level of softness, as well as helping to keep the spine aligned whether they were on their side or back. We found the pillow contoured around our head and neck area well, helping to relieve pressure that can build up during the day, particularly if you spend most of it hunched over a computer. 

What’s it made from?

The soft, breathable outer cover of this pillow encases three separate layers of support. The top is a soft, Airgocell foam that aids sleep by letting your head sink into the pillow. The middle layer is formed of cold foam that, according to the makers, is necessary for counter-pressure and helping to keep your spine aligned. Finally, on the bottom is an adaptive visco-elastic memory foam that evenly distributes and relieves pressure for a good night’s sleep.

How easy is it to care for?

The polyester outer cover has a zip for easy removal and can be machine-washed at 40˚ but not tumble-dried. The inner foam layers can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth if necessary.

Any special features? 

Nothing more than has been mentioned. Honestly, with this pillow, it’s all about the customisation.

Any free trials or guarantees?

As with Emma’s award-winning mattresses, there is a trial period of (a very generous) 200 days; plenty of time to work out which combination of filling will best suit your sleep style.

Summing up… the Emma Memory Foam Pillow

Even our restless sleeper – a rather reluctant memory foam-pillow tester at the best of times – actually felt this was one of the most comfortable they tried. We wouldn’t recommend it for regular tummy sleepers though, as you’d have to relinquish two of the layers, rather than just one, which could lead to warmer nights or a marked lack of support for the neck and shoulders. That said, for the sake of experimentation, we tried the duo of pressure-relieving foam and the moisture-wicking outer cover and found it made a perfectly acceptable, albeit slightly thin combination. It doesn’t take many nights to work out which combination is best, though, so once you’ve found the perfect mix, you’ll be sleeping soundly.


Size: Standard: 40 x 70cm
Filling: Airgocell foam, cold foam and visco-elastic memory foam 
Sleep position: All
Comfort: Various – medium-soft to firm
Trial period: 200 nights with a money back guarantee if you’re not happy
Guarantee: No
RRP: The Emma Pillow is £49 at emma-mattress.co.uk

Ysanne Brooks comes from a family of wordsmiths, artists and jobbing journalists. Among other things, her somewhat lengthy career includes 10 years working on specialist magazine 25 Beautiful Kitchens, nine of those as editor.

For more years than she cares to reveal in public, she’s opined on planning, designing and buying for all areas of the home. She’s too long in the tooth to be a tech geek but she knows what’s what when it comes to beautiful, useable products that make modern living just that little bit more comfortable.