Casper Sleep is best known as the shaker-upper of mattress marketing, the company that sparked the current mattress-in-a-box trend. It is not the first firm to sell mattresses that have been compressed, rolled, vacuum-packed and put into a convenient box. An Italian mattress manufacturer, Magniflex, developed the process in 1986, shipping out mattresses in duffel bags. In this country, BedInABox (BIAB) used this process, beginning in 2004, fitting the mattress into a box. In 2006, they began selling exclusively online at a fraction of in-store prices.
When it comes to start-up, single-model, online-only companies, Tuft & Needle is older, founded in 2012. The reason Casper sparked the current trend might be due to their location in New York City; T&N is based in Phoenix. Also catching public attention was their delivery by bicycle in NYC.
Casper Sleep was founded in 2014 by mattress industry veterans headed by Philip Krim. It was 10 years after BIAB entered the market, and 8 years after they started online-only sales. What Casper Sleep did that was different was to have only one model with only one firmness level. At that time (2014), BIAB had seven models. This lowered the cost even more. Online sales of boxed mattresses have taken off with many start-ups entering this market segment. Now established mattress companies, such as Sealy, have entered the ring with their boxed entries. Most of these are memory foam mattresses.
Construction of the Casper Mattress
The design chosen for the Casper Mattress is a latex/memory foam hybrid. Memory foam is used for its conformity. Made in the USA, this is high quality memory foam. It is a 4-lb. foam, like the top foam layer in the Tri-Pedic made by Selectabed (a Relief-Mart company). This means it is more pressure-sensitive and less heat-sensitive than 5-lb. memory foam, which has been the standard weight of this visco-elastic material. While offering a bit less pressure relief, the 4-lb. foam is not as hot, since it does not absorb as much heat.
The 1½” top layer of the Casper Mattress is latex. Its selection for the top masks some of the pressure relieving properties of the 1½” of memory foam beneath. Latex is springier, but having a density of 3.3 lbs. makes it conforming to a degree. The real reason it is on top is temperature control. Latex is cooler than memory foam, and perforated latex is breathable and even cooler.
This is synthetic latex, so it does not trigger allergies to natural tree-sap latex. It is also Dunlop process latex. Being synthetic and Dunlop reduces the cost of the latex, but its response is not as good as Talalay processed latex. Talalay latex is more expensive. Talalay is also mostly natural, but the rinsing part of the process removes the allergy-causing proteins.
Latex and memory foam are not the only foams in the Casper Sleep mattress. Beneath these are a transition layer and the support core of polyurethane foam. The 1½” transition foam is 2½ lbs. and the 5” support foam is 1.8 lbs.
With the rolling and unrolling of the mattress, there has to be some means of keeping the four layers all together. Casper Sleep says it uses water-based adhesives, because solvent-based glues release undesirable substances as they cure, such as formaldehyde.
Return and Warranty
Casper Sleep has a 10-year warranty on their mattresses and a 100-night hassle-free return period.
Pros and Cons
Casper Sleep designed their 10” mattress (the listed component heights add up to 9½”) to be a Goldilocks product, suitable for the greatest number of users. Though the vast majority of reviews are 5 stars, the overall rating on Yelp is 4.0 stars. Best for most is not best for all. It is too soft for some, and too firm for others.
On the other hand, there are three models of Tri-Pedic mattresses: Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Each has a different overall firmness. Added to this is the option of the AirFlow Transfer System, which draws air through perforations in the comfort layers, and channels it to the porous side panels. This produces more effective cooling and also keeps the mattress fresher.
Several of the newer boxable mattresses have more than one model or firmness option at prices close to those of the Casper Mattress. One of the newest entries is the Snuggle-Pedic Mattress, a two-layer memory foam mattress. A standard feature is the AirFlow Transfer System which is optional in Tri-Pedic. The firmness is customizable with free adjustment, making it suitable for more than just Goldilocks.