Emma mattresses interview: Max Laarmann, founder of Emma


Emma, a new startup that was founded by German-born Max Laarmann in 2015 is setting out to revolutionize how people purchase their mattress whilst promising a great night’s sleep, launched in the UK in February.

What exactly is your business and how does it help people?

My business Emma, is a new startup which was founded in 2015 and the aim is to revolutionize how people purchase their mattress whilst promising a great night’s sleep. With Emma mattress, I am bringing transparency and fairness into the mattress industry. I want to show that a good mattress does not need to cost a fortune.

In developing Emma mattress, I analysed the sleeping habits in Briton in detail and over the period of half a year developed a mattress that is perfectly adapted to Briton´s sleeping preferences.

Emma hybrid mattress which is manufactured in the UK is a mattress for everyone because it provides perfect support and comfort as it adapts to your weight and build. It offers maximum adaptability through the optimised combination of decompressing Hyper soft-layer, pressure-relieving pocket springs, visco-elastic memory foam and a supporting layer of cold foam. Thus, making for a perfect nights’ sleep.

It is the market leader in the one-fits-all mattress segment in Germany, and we hope to achieve the same success in the UK. 

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

I came up with the idea while looking for a new mattress. A confusing choice of too many products, prices and materials made choosing the right mattress virtually impossible. In the end, I bought a mattress that was way too expensive and after some nights at home, I realised that it wasn´t fit for me. Believing that this process must be easier I set out to find a solution. I got inspired by different markets all over the world where buying a mattress was much more transparent.

Where did you start your business? How long have you been trying to make it a success?

Emma started in my birth country Germany in December 2015. Due to the significant high demand, many happy customers, having sold more than 40,000 mattresses in central Europe, Emma has expanded and is offering a great night’s sleep to Austria, Switzerland, Netherland, Poland, France and now the UK.

Is there anyone you look up to as a business? Who inspires you?

I would like to grab a coffee with Jeff Bezos one time and understand how far they are with deliveries via drones. Maybe we can deliver mattresses this way in the future.

How did your friends and family react to you starting a business?

My friends and family have been very supportive having seen me talking about my problems with finding a good quality mattress to coming up with my own solution by way of Emma that also helps other people get a great night’s sleep. They’re proud of me and sleeping very peacefully on an Emma mattress I should add. 

What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

To develop a mattress that really fits everyone, built out of high quality materials in the UK and still can be offered at an affordable price is a huge challenge. We try to constantly listen to our customers and improve our product.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

I would advise anyone to launch his/her product or service as quickly as possible and then learn from customer feedback. A lot of companies stay way too long in an ominous stealth mode and try to work on the perfect product and then realise during the launch that the long work was not very constructive.

What is the best advice you have been given or have read?

The team is key. To work with an engaged and dynamic team is just amazing. We have great people and I´m happy to work with them every day.

Where do you expect to be in a year?

We have a lot of plans for Emma mattresses. For one we want to further grow internationally and expand in new countries. However, we are taking our time to understand and analyze the sleeping habits in each market in as much depth as possible. In the end, we want to help people sleep happier.


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