Casper Sleep: The Upstart
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. Krim started Merrick Group in 2004 while a University of Texas business student. In 2009 he left Merrick Group, which ceased operations four years later. Merrick Group was the parent company of Angel Beds, a manufacturer of memory foam mattresses.
Casper Sleep entered the market 10 years after BedInABox, 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 original 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 original Casper Mattress was 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 5½” 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, such as formaldehyde, as they cure.
Return and Warranty
Casper Sleep has a 10-year warranty on their mattresses and a 100-night hassle-free return period.
Casper Sleep designed their 10” mattress 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 was 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 bed-in-a-box 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.
2018 Casper Sleep Update
There have been a few developments with Casper Sleep since this review was posted. Two are legal issues, and the third is product diversification.
The past two years, Casper Sleep has been the plaintiff in one significant industry lawsuit, and is the defendant in another.
Casper Sleep vs. Sleepopolis
In July 2017, Casper Sleep financed the buyout of independent review site Sleepopolis as part of the settlement the mattress firm had filed against the reviewer in April 2016.
Serta Simmons Bedding vs. Casper Sleep
In September 2017, Serta Simmons Bedding dba Serta filed suit against Casper Sleep alleging that Casper’s new model. the Wave, infringed on three patents held by Serta. All three alleged infringements concern the cut channels which are the key feature of the Wave’s zoning for even support of the spine. The suit is scheduled for trial in July 2018. Meantime, a requested injunction against Casper Sleep’s use of this system has been denied.
Casper Sleep began with only one mattress. The goal was simplification of mattress shopping. It was this one mattress along with the rival original Yogabed, that ignited the current online boxed bed movement, which until then had been simmering. Now they have three models, and the signature model has another revision.
The three Casper Sleep memory foam mattresses are the 11½” luxury mattress The Wave, the 10” signature The Casper, and the 8½” economy model The Essential. The Wave has five layers, Casper four, and Essential three. These will be covered in separate reviews.
2018 saw Casper Sleep noi only expand their product line, but add a new bedding line and expand their mode of marketing.
To Point and Click add Brick and Mortar
Casper Sleep is best known for being the sparkplug that ignited the explosion of online bed-in-a-box mattresses. In early 2018, they made a major marketing shift by opening a permanent brick-and-mortar store, the Casper Sleep Shop, in New York City. Before this, they had temporary showrooms (popups and “Napmobiles”) where shoppers could see the Casper Mattress for themselves and try it out – even take a nap. According the co-founder and CEO of Casper Sleep, many customers want to try the bed before buying it. Sleep Shop has a unique way of displaying their mattresses and inviting shoppers to try them. Feedback from customers will help the company in further developing their new configuration of a mattress store.
We Have You Covered
Later in the year, Casper Sleep launched a new line of their own bedding – sheets and pillowcases, comforters and covers, duvets, etc. The new line is called the Casper Bedding Shop. The company has had bedding for sale, but not their own designs until now.
We calculate our ratings in accordance to our Verified Review Policy.
Verified customer reviews of Casper Sleep mattresses appear on seven venues. The most are on the Casper Sleep site, which is a Google Trusted Store. The flagship model, The Casper Mattress, is reviewed on Amazon and on ConsumerAffairs. Target has reviews of The Essential, while each of the models has reviews on GoodBed, and Consumer Reports, and six stores showing Casper Sleep’s mattresses are reviewed on Yelp.
Casper.com has thousands of reviews for Casper Sleep’s mattresses, with over 11,000 just for their original model, The Casper. Casper.com is a “Google Trusted Store”, which includes not screening out unfavorable reviews. Over a thousand are neutral reviews (3 Stars), and over a thousand are negative (1 or 2 Stars).
GoodBed, a place for bed owners to post their reviews, often seems like a magnet for negative ratings, but in the case of Casper, the average rating is higher than that of reviews posted on the manufacturer’s site.
Many shoppers turn to Amazon, the largest Internet marketplace for reviews of products they consider buying. However, the online retail giant only publishes reviews of products listed on their site. In the case of Casper Sleep mattresses, it only has reviews for The Casper, since it does not list The Wave or The Essential.
Target carries bedding and accessories by Casper Sleep. It also lists The Essential Mattress, but only for online sales. However, many Target stores offer shoppers the opportunity to test this mattress before deciding whether to buy it. Target also publishes reviews by their customers.
This is a platform for customer reviews of several kinds of products, including beds, mattresses, and bedding.
This is one of the most widely known review sites. The name might sound like a complaint (as a dog yelping in pain), but it is really “yellow pages” and “help” combined. Yelp has a reputation of lower ratings, which may be partially attributed to the greater motivation of very dissatisfied customers.
The target of reviews is generally customer service of local businesses, but some reviews are of the products. In the case of Casper Sleep, most Yelp reviews are of their mattresses. Its average rating for the mattresses is higher than those for ConsumerAffairs (above) and Consumer Reports (following). However, these three sites have fewer reviews than the other three here, and one or two reviews have a greater impact on the average rating of a small sample. The locations reviewed include not only a Casper showroom, but also retail sites with Casper Sleep kiosks where customers can test the mattress, then order it.
This is the online presence of Consumer Reports (CR), a publication which has tested and reported on many products, including motor vehicles, household appliances, electronics, and others, such as beds and bedding. CR has a report on The Casper Mattress and another on the two new models. These reports rely on reviews by customers.
With over 90% of the customer reviews on Casper.com, the aggregate average verified customer rating (AVCR) for Casper’s mattresses is 4.37 of 5 stars (87.42%), essentially the same as on the manufacturer’s site, 4.37 (87.47%). But the aggregate AVCR without reviews on the Casper site is 4.37 (87.01%), only slightly lower supporting the credibility of reviews on this manufacturer’s website.
Summary of Casper Sleep Customer Reviews and Aggregate Rating
|Site of Reviews||5 Stars||4 Stars||3 Stars||2 Stars||1 Star||Total Ratings||Point Totals||Average Ratings||Per-centages|
Reviews not on Casper.com
|Amazon||GoodBed||Consumer Affairs||Yelp||Consumer Reports||Target||
|Number of ratings||
|Number of Points||
Pros & Cons
The most cited pro for Casper’s mattresses is that they are not too hot. However, for some customers heat is a problem.
The combination of surface softness and underlying support is another pro. However, very heavy persons tend to have more problems with support, especially in The Essential. The Wave, is somewhat less supportive of heavier sleepers than The Casper.
Odor does not seem to be a major concern among reviewing customers, but there are a few mentions in the reviews.