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Emma vs Simba: Which is better, the Emma NextGen Premium or the Simba Hybrid Pro?

Simba and Emma mattress tag logos

They make our two favourite mattresses, both hybrids with five-star reviews. But how do they compare? We put Emma and Simba head to head

UPDATE: Since publishing our review, Expert Reviews has noticed a recent influx of negative customer reviews for Emma Sleep on Trustpilot, with many customers complaining of delays to shipping and a lack of communication over when deliveries will happen. A spokesperson at Emma has told us that the brand is working hard to resolve these issues, and that delivery times quoted on the website have been updated accordingly.

The right mattress from a top brand such as Emma or Simba is a life-changing purchase. It can transform your sleep, soothe your back and even preserve your sanity by isolating the movements of a restless partner. But the best mattresses are expensive, so you’ll want to know you’re making the right choice.

To give a cross-section of each brand, we’ve narrowed the field by looking at mattresses that impressed us most following rigorous testing. That’s the Emma NextGen Premium and the Simba Hybrid Pro, both bed-in-a-box hybrids that picked up the maximum five stars and an Expert Reviews Best Buy award. But which of these two superb mattresses is best for you?

Our guide below compares these two mattresses, covering comfort, support, value for money and trial period. Customer service is key, too, so we’ll also reveal how customers rated Emma and Simba in our first-ever Expert Reviews Sleep Survey.

Read on to find out more about our two favourite mattresses. By the end of our guide, you’ll have a much better idea of whether Emma or Simba is your ideal fit.

Featured deal

As part of Simba’s Summer sale, you can now nab the five-star Simba Hybrid Pro for £332 less in the king size, at only £997. Make the most of this one as this deal won’t be around for long. 

View deal at Simba

Emma NextGen Premium vs Simba Hybrid Pro: Comfort and support

Comfort and support are the most important features to 83% of buyers when choosing a mattress, according to the latest data from the Better Sleep Council. So we made these factors our top priority when comparing our two favourite hybrid mattresses, and when conducting the Expert Reviews Sleep Survey.

Emma and Simba both scored very high marks for comfort in our Sleep Survey, at 91% and 88% respectively for their whole mattress range. We found the NextGen Premium and Hybrid Pro equally difficult to separate when we tested them.

Both mattresses combine pocket springs with multiple layers of foam in an effort to achieve the optimum balance of comfort, support and breathability. They’re both on the firm side, especially in the first few weeks of sleeping on them. However they both proved able to adapt to multiple sleeping positions, and performed brilliantly in our comfort tests. As a result, they were difficult to separate on this score.

emma vs simba emma nextgen premium woman sleeping

I reviewed the six-layer Emma NextGen Premium in 2023, and it’s the most comfortable mattress I have ever slept on. Previous experiences with bed-in-a-box mattresses had left me hot and bothered, but the Emma NextGen Premium does a fine job of letting the air circulate.

The NextGen Hybrid’s combination of tall springs and multi-layer foam delivers a superb level of ergonomic edge-to-edge support. It initially felt quite firm to me, but that may be because I’m small, and I have a solid divan bed base. If you are a larger person, or your bed has slats, the NextGen should feel softer for you.

READ NEXT: Best mattress for side sleepers

emma vs simba emma nextgen premium mattress and person

The Simba Hybrid Pro, too, offers a level of push-back that some will find too firm. Our reviewer liked its “tautness”, saying “there’s much less of a sinking feeling” compared with all-foam mattresses such as the Simbatex Foam. But while the Hybrid Pro is supportive, it’s also extremely comfortable, thanks in part to the layer of wool that enhanced the mattress’s ability to keep our grateful reviewer cool.

What swung this category in the Simba Hybrid Pro’s favour was its ability to adapt to different sleeping positions. This is helped by the layer of open-cell foam, an innovation that’s turning up in several newer hybrid mattresses, such as the HiGrid Premium Hybrid. Even so, some smaller-framed side sleepers will crave more softness to let their spine align in comfort.

For a softer sleep, look at the affordable all-foam Emma Original or the more expensive Simba Hybrid Luxe, which our reviewer called “accommodating and sumptuous”. Both earned the maximum five stars in our reviews.

Winner: Draw

This category was too close to call, and the result came down to the subjective comfort of our testers and their partners. I love the consistent edge-to-edge support of the Emma NextGen Premium, but the Simba Hybrid Pro will suit a wider range of sleeping positions.

View the Emma NextGen Premium View the Simba Hybrid Pro

Emma NextGen Premium vs Simba Hybrid Pro: Construction

The next most important factor for buyers, according to industry data gathered by the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), is the construction of the mattress. Shoppers want a thick, well-made mattress that uses the latest ergonomic technology to provide them with a great sleep.

The Emma NextGen Premium and Simba Hybrid Pro both excel in this regard; the Simba, however, is the thicker of the two mattresses with more layers. The Simba is 28cm in all mattress sizes (single to super king), compared with 25cm for the Emma. The Emma is correspondingly lighter and easier to move. A king size Simba Hybrid Pro weighs a hefty 49kg, compared with 34.5kg for a king size Emma NextGen Premium.

READ NEXT: Best hybrid mattresses

emma vs simba emma nextgen premium mattress in a box

The Emma NextGen Premium and the Simba Hybrid Pro look alike from the top. Both mattresses have a soft, knitted top cover that unzips completely so you can wash it in the machine. This is a new addition to the Simba Hybrid Pro, which had a non-removable cover when we originally reviewed it.

Both mattresses also have handles to help you manoeuvre them into place. Neither mattress needs to be turned, but the handles are a useful practical touch that you don’t always get with bed-in-a-box mattresses.

emma vs simba simba hybrid pro layers construction

The Emma NextGen Premium contains six layers: a layer of polyester for stability and durability; a “zoned” layer of extra-tall pocket springs designed to support different parts of your body; supportive foam for pressure relief; elastic “Airgocell” foam to help keep you cool; adaptive “Halo” memory foam for comfort; and the soft removable cover mentioned above.

emma vs simba emma nextgen premium layers graphic numbered

The Simba Hybrid Pro is even more sophisticated, with seven layers. These are a “Simba ReGen” foam base for stability and support; a “SupportCore” layer of up to 1,000 pocket springs; open-cell foam for stability and adaptiveness; a double layer of “Aerocoil” micro-springs for zoned support; cooling “Simbatex” foam; a layer of British wool; and finally the cover.

Winner: Simba

Its additional layers and extra depth feel give the Simba the edge in this category, but it was close. It’s worth mentioning that for its overall mattress range, Emma beat Simba on durability in our Sleep Survey, with an 81% satisfaction rating for Emma and 78% for Simba.

View the Emma NextGen Premium View the Simba Hybrid Pro

Emma NextGen Premium vs Simba Hybrid Pro: Motion control and bounce

Mattress size is a priority for people buying mattresses, not least because the bigger your bed, the more peace you get from a restless partner. Not everyone has the budget or floor space for a king size or super king mattress, though. So when comparing our favourite hybrids, we looked at how well they absorb movement.

Hybrid mattresses are particularly good at “motion isolation”, which is the term given to the bed’s ability to absorb the tossing and turning of a restless partner. The better the motion isolation, the more you feel like you have the whole bed to yourself.

emma vs simba simba hybrid pro micro springs layer

I’m a light sleeper, and my old pocket sprung mattress amplified the movement whenever my husband turned over in his sleep. The Emma NextGen Premium absorbs the turning so well that I’m no longer woken up by it. If you’ve spent a lifetime on sprung mattresses, this will feel revolutionary.

The Emma NextGen Premium does lack “bounce”, however. My colleague loved the bounce of the Simba Hybrid Pro, which has a double layer of micro-springs in addition to its main pocket sprung layer. Its bounciness makes the Simba feel luxurious, but prevents it from isolating movement as well as the Emma.

Winner: Emma

If you love a bouncy mattress, the Simba Hybrid Pro is about as good as it gets among hybrids. But if you’re dealing with a restless partner, or you don’t like a mattress that reacts to every movement, the Emma NextGen Premium is second to none for motion isolation.

View the Emma NextGen Premium View the Simba Hybrid Pro

Emma NextGen Premium vs Simba Hybrid Pro: Delivery, trial period and customer service

After perfecting the miracle of bed-in-a-box delivery with all-foam mattresses such as the Emma Original and Simbatex Foam, Emma and Simba now deliver their premium hybrid mattresses in this way, too. All you have to do is cut open the packaging and let the mattress expand to its full size.

Emma and Simba achieved almost identical scores for delivery experience in our Sleep Survey, both getting 81% for satisfaction from their buyers. Some brands scored as low as 25%. Simba scored an impressive zero for “dissatisfied with delivery”, compared with 3% for Emma.

Then there’s the Trustpilot question. In recent months, we’ve noticed a few negative reviews on the platform for Emma’s delivery service. We would rather trust our own testing and experience, but brand reputation is an important factor for buyers, so we did take Trustpilot reviews into account when making our decision here.

emma vs simba simba hybrid pro mattress

You can’t try out bed-in-a-box mattresses in the shops, so both Simba and Emma offer long trial periods. Each company gives you 200 nights to make sure you’re happy with your purchase, after which they will collect them for free if you’re not happy. Rivals Nectar and Eve now offer even longer one-year trials.

Emma and Simba are equally strong on their mattress guarantees, too. The NextGen Premium and the Hybrid Pro are both covered for 10 years.

On customer service, Simba scored the highest satisfaction rating of all mattress brands in our Sleep Survey. Emma did well, coming in the top half of the poll, but Simba proved impossible to beat in this category.

Winner: Simba

Emma and Simba offer equally good 200-night trial periods and 10-year guarantees, but Simba edged ahead on delivery experience and customer service ratings in our Sleep Survey, outclassing nearly all other brands.

View the Emma NextGen Premium View the Simba Hybrid Pro

Emma NextGen Premium vs Simba Hybrid Pro: Value for money

The two mattresses had similar price tags when we first reviewed them. The Emma NextGen Premium cost £1,119 for a king size, and the Simba Hybrid Pro £1,200. Months later, the Simba was more expensive while the Emma was much cheaper.

The Emma NextGen Premium’s price has been all over the place in the year since it launched, reaching as low as £699 for a king size even outside Emma’s discount sales. At the time of writing, however, the Emma costs £809 for a king size at full price, while the Simba is £1,329 for a king size.

Winner: Emma

These two mattresses score so closely in our other categories that we didn’t hesitate to give the much cheaper Emma NextGen Premium the gong for value for money.

View the Emma NextGen Premium View the Simba Hybrid Pro

Emma NextGen Premium vs Simba Hybrid Pro: Verdict

After sleeping on these two mattresses for weeks, we noticed distinct strengths and weaknesses that would make each one the ideal choice for different buyers. The only objective differences, however, were price (won by Emma) and customer service (won by Simba).

Comfort and support are most people’s top priorities when buying a mattress, and here Emma and Simba were almost impossible to separate. The Simba does a better job of adapting to different sleeping positions, and the Emma is more adept at absorbing the motion of a restless partner. Both offer excellent edge-to-edge support, and both have cooling properties that will help you sleep.

Value for money is another huge factor, and here the Emma NextGen Premium is a clear winner. It was quite expensive when we first reviewed it in summer 2023, but its price has since fallen to make it the best value premium hybrid you can currently buy. But we remain concerned that Emma’s delivery experience and customer support are no match for Simba.

Overall winner: Draw

The Emma NextGen Premium and the Simba Hybrid Pro win separate battles, but the war is a peaceful draw. These are still our two favourite mattresses. If you want a superb balance of comfort, support and breathability, the Emma is the better buy – but if you want a slightly more luxurious and adaptive mattress, then the Simba is worth the extra outlay.

View the Emma NextGen Premium View the Simba Hybrid Pro

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