Emma vs Purple mattress: Which is the best memory foam bed for you?

Emma vs Purple Mattress comparison image shows the Emma Original memory foam mattress on the left and the Purple Original mattress on the right
(Image credit: Emma Sleep, Purple Sleep)

In our Emma vs Purple mattress comparison, we are looking specifically at the Emma Original and the Purple Original. Unsurprisingly, these two are the original mattresses from each best-selling sleep brand, and they have racked up tens of thousands of positive user reviews. But under the covers these mattresses are constructed differently, with each containing proprietary materials. 

Like many of our best mattress recommendations, the Emma Original and the Purple Original each contain plenty of features designed to provide good support and pressure relief. The Emma mattress is all-foam, whereas the Purple mattress is a GelFlex Grid all-foam (more on Purple’s proprietary grid later). In this Emma vs Purple comparison, we’ll look more closely at each of the mattresses to see which is better suited to your body, sleep needs and budget. 

You can also read our full Purple Original Mattress Review and Emma Original Mattress Review for our in-depth analysis and test data.

Right now, both mattresses have some great offers on with Emma offering 45% off its Original mattress and Purple up to $400 off. This reduces a queen size Emma to $579 and a queen size Purple to $999. Read on for our full Emma vs Purple comparison now to see which is the best mattress in a box for you.

Emma Original:$599$269 at Emma Sleep

Emma Original: from $599 $269 at Emma Sleep
The original Emma mattress is the brand's cheapest option and one our top recommended beds for small budgets. It's a superb mattress for side sleepers who enjoy the hug of squishy memory foam, and right now you can get 55% off the Emma Original with a queen size discounted to $469 (was $1,053). You'll get a 365-night trial to test the Emma for yourself, plus free shipping and a 10-year warranty.

Purple Original:$799$599 at Purple

Purple Original: from $799 $599 at Purple
America's original bed in a box is routinely on sale for 10-15% off, and thanks to a $200 discount you can get a queen size Purple Original for $1,199 (was £1,399). It has a completely different feel to the Emma Original and offers more bounce and responsiveness, and is the better choice of the two if you have deep aches and pains. You'll get 100 nights to trial it for yourself, plus free shipping and a 10-year warranty to cover your purchase.

Emma vs Purple mattress: Specs

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Emma vs Purple mattress: Specs
Row 0 - Cell 0 Emma OriginalPurple Original
Type:Memory foamHybrid
Internal layers: 43
Firmness (1-10):56.5
Height:10"11"
Trial:365 nights110 nights
Warranty:10 years10 years
MSRP:$599 to $1,325$799 to $1,998

Emma vs Purple mattress: Price & warranty

  • A queen Emma is on sale for $579; a queen Purple is $999
  • Both mattresses have a 10 year guarantee
  • Emma has a 365-night trial and Purple has a 100-night trial

Emma mattress sales are a constant, meaning you should never have to pay full price for a mattress. Currently, there’s 45% off the Emma Original, which is the usual discount to find on this mattress. You’ll also get big discounts on pillows and mattress protectors, if you choose to bundle these with the mattress. This sale is definitely worth taking advantage of, with an Emma Original starting from just $329 for a twin.

Purple is currently knocking between $200 and $400 off their Original mattress, with prices starting from $599. $400 off starts at a queen size and up, with this being the highest discount you’re likely to see on the mattress. Major sales events around public holidays usually bring out the biggest savings, so again we’d recommend snapping this mattress up. You can also keep an eye on our Purple mattress deals pages to if you’re not quite ready to buy.  

When it comes to mattress trials the Emma wins out over the Purple with a 365-night trial compared to 100 nights. Both mattresses offer a 10 year warranty and free shipping – Emma ship in one business day, Purple in one to two. Order today and you’ll have either mattress in your home in time for Christmas.

Here's a look at the prices you could expect to pay if the mattresses weren’t always on sale:

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Price comparison
Row 0 - Cell 0 Emma OriginalPurple Original
Twin:$599 $799
Twin XL: $835$999
Full:$889$1,199
Queen:$1,053$1,399
King:$1,325$1,799
Cal king:$1,325$1,799
Split king:N/A$1,998

Emma vs Purple price winner: Emma
The Purple Original is competitively priced, but the Emma Original’s prices are pretty unbeatable even at full price. With the permanent discounts, you can pick up a queen mattress for just over $500, which is a real bargain. And Emma Sleep has a 365-night trial, giving you longer to see if the mattress is right for you.

Emma vs Purple mattress: Materials & Design

  • The Emma is an all-foam mattress, the Purple uses GelFlex and foam
  • The Emma Original is 10” tall and has four layers
  • The Purple Original is 9.25” tall and has five layers

Like many of the best memory foam mattresses, the Emma Original is made with innovative foams, designed to help promote better sleep. Starting at the top, the breathable and moisture-wicking cover is removable for washing and this sits on top of a layer of Point Elastic Airgocell foam to regulate temperature.

Image shows inside the Emma Original memory foam mattress

(Image credit: Emma)

Next up is Emma’s Halo memory foam, which gives the mattress its distinctive ‘hug’, adapting to the body for spinal alignment and pressure relief. The mattress is completed with a layer of HRX foam for stability, featuring three adaptive cut-out zones for counter pressure and further spinal alignment.

The Purple Original has a slightly different design to most all-foam mattresses. Underneath a soft, stretchy cover is Purple’s patented GelFlex grid, a hyper-elastic polymer grid that’s designed to be durable and adapt to body type and sleep position. 

Next up, surrounding the grid, is edge support foam to increase support followed by comfort foam to conform to the body. The whole mattress is supported by a base layer of foam to stabilize the above layers. Both mattresses are CertiPUR US certified, meaning they don’t contain any harmful chemicals.

Emma vs Purple materials and design winner: Purple
Both mattresses offer a supportive night’s sleep, but they are built very differently. The Emma is an all-foam mattress, but the Purple is an incredibly innovative mattress, built with the brand’s GelFlex grid that offers support where it’s needed.

Emma vs Purple mattress: Comfort & Support

  • The Emma Original is a medium mattress, rated at 5 out of 10
  • The Purple Original is also a medium firm mattress, rated at 7 out of 10
  • Both may be too soft for heavier bodies

The Emma Original is a medium mattress with a traditional memory foam feel. Side sleepers will feel their aches and pains soothed away, with plenty of pressure relief at the shoulders and hips from the contouring memory foam layer.

Our back and stomach testers also slept well on the Original, but we wouldn’t recommend the mattress to those of a heavier weight. It’s also worth noting that the feel of a memory foam mattress isn’t for everyone. If you don’t enjoy the ‘hug’ of memory foam, you might want to look at the Purple instead.

Emma vs Purple image shows the Purple Original mattress in a purple bedroom

(Image credit: Purple)

The Purple Original is built around the brand’s GelFlex gird, an open structure layer that provides support and cushioning. It contours to the body but bounces back immediately pressure is removed and manages to be both soft and firm where needed. The mattress does take some getting used to, but side and back sleepers will find excellent pressure relief and plenty of spinal support. 

The mattress is also very good at easing joint pain, with our reviewers describing it as like ‘floating on air’. Heavier and front sleepers may not find the mattress supportive enough. Both mattresses have excellent motion isolation, making them good choices for those who share their beds with restless partners. 

Emma vs Purple comfort and support winner: It’s a draw
Which mattress is best really depends on the ‘feel’ of bed you want. The Emma offers a traditional memory foam ‘hug’, contouring round the body to provide plenty of deep pressure relief. The Purple offers similar pressure relief, but you will float on top of this mattress rather than sinking into it. We’d recommend choosing the one that best suits your preferred mattress feel.

Emma vs Purple mattress: Temperature regulation

  • Emma has a breathable cover and temp-regulating Point Elastic Airgocell foam
  • Purple’s GelFlex grid layer promotes airflow in a similar way to coils in a hybrid
  • Both mattresses do a good job of regulating temperature

For a memory foam mattress, the Emma Original does a pretty good job of keeping sleepers cool at night, thanks to the Point Elastic Airgocell foam and breathable cover. The foam is designed to regulate temperature by absorbing and evaporating sweat, along with increasing breathability.

Emma Original Mattress US deals

(Image credit: Emma Sleep)

The Purple Original’s GelFlex grid layer helps to dissipate heat and boost overall breathability and this, combined with the extremely efficient cooling cover, aids with temperature regulation.

But if you’re a particularly hot sleeper, we’d still recommend a hybrid mattress or even one of our recommended best cooling mattresses

Emma vs Purple temperature regulation winner: Purple
Although the Emma is cooler than you’d expect from a memory foam mattress, the Purple does a better job of keeping sleepers cool. Its cooling cover, combined with the breathability of the GelFlex grid, mean this is a surprisingly breathable mattress for one containing so much foam.

Emma vs Purple mattress: Which should you buy?

Buy the Emma Original if…

  • You want a memory foam ‘hug’: If you prefer the contouring feel of memory foam, you’ll enjoy the Emma Original. It’s not a mattress you’ll feel smothered by, but there is a distinctive memory foam ‘hug’ that supports and cushions your pressure points. 
  • You sleep on your side: The Emma offers fantastic cushioning around the knees and hips, providing plenty of pressure relief for side sleepers. Our testers found that they stayed in this position all night as it was so comfortable.
  • You share your bed with a restless partner: The all-foam design of the Emma Original absorbs motion well, helping to isolate motion and prevent you from being woken by a restless partner.

Buy the Purple Original if…

  • You suffer with joint pain: The GelFlex grid is designed to be both soft and firm where needed, and its gentle flexing does a fantastic job of easing joint pain. It keeps your joints cushioned, while leaving you feeling supported around pressure points.
  • You sleep on your side or your back: The medium firm mattress is soft enough to provide cushioning around pressure points, whilst also keeping your spine aligned and supported.
  • You’re a hot sleeper: Although it’s not a cooling mattress the combination of a cooling cover and the breathable grid layer do an excellent job of promoting airflow and breathability. 
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Price comparison
Row 0 - Cell 0 DreamCloudCasper
Twin:$839$1,095
Twin XL: $1,089$1,195
Full:$1,199$1,395
Queen:$1,332$1,495
King:$1,699$1,895
Cal king:$1,699$1,895
Split king:$2,178N/A
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Price comparison
Row 0 - Cell 0 DreamCloudCasper
Twin:$839$1,095
Twin XL: $1,089$1,195
Full:$1,199$1,395
Queen:$1,332$1,495
King:$1,699$1,895
Cal king:$1,699$1,895
Split king:$2,178N/A
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Price comparison
Row 0 - Cell 0 DreamCloudCasper
Twin:$839$1,095
Twin XL: $1,089$1,195
Full:$1,199$1,395
Queen:$1,332$1,495
King:$1,699$1,895
Cal king:$1,699$1,895
Split king:$2,178N/A
Jo Plumridge
Mattress tester and sleep writer

Jo Plumridge is an experienced mattress reviewer with several years' experience covering all things mattresses and sleep, and who tests memory foam, hybrid and organic mattresses. What Jo doesn't know about a boxed mattress isn't worth knowing, so naturally we tasked her with producing a series of features for Tom's Guide looking at all aspects of mattresses, from how to pick between latex and memory foam (it's a tricky one), to the seven mistakes people make when buying a mattress for the first time. When testing the DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid for Tom's Guide, Jo said: "I loved the back support and pressure relief it offered. Plus, it looks far more expensive than it is."