Casper Mattress Review: After 3 years, I get the obsession
The best mattress is the one you stop thinking about.
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If you’re shopping for a new mattress, you’ve probably had to wade through an ocean of jargon and about a million photos of people smiling as they recline on (let’s face it) identical-looking, spongy white rectangles. I’ve been there, too.
As traditional retailers like Mattress Firm and Sears disappear, online mattress purchasing has only gotten more prevalent. And while shop-at-home convenience and money-back guarantees are a huge draw, I had a hard time distinguishing the actual differences between all the mattress-in-a-box brands like Leesa, Tuft & Needle, Nectar, and others.
But after reading reviews until my eyes watered, I took the plunge and purchased a Casper mattress (available at Casper). That was over three years ago, and here’s what I can tell you as a Casper owner: I'm satisfied.
(Note: In the interim since I bought my Casper, the team at Reviewed began in-depth mattress testing that covers everything from motion transfer to edge support. Collectively, our favorite is the Tuft & Needle Original, which our sleep writer loves for its firm but supple surface and comparatively low price.
Since I purchased this model, the brand has made slight changes to its Casper Original mattress. Per the company, the current version is one inch shorter than mine, and has increased perforation for airflow. However, I still love my Casper, which only serves to further underscore the subjective nature of mattress reviewing. Comfort is king, after all, and I’m sleeping just fine.)
Shopping for a new mattress usually starts at 3 A.M., sleepless and in the dark.
I complained about our old mattress for at least two years before I did anything about it. Waking up achy after a night of tossing and turning on a squeaky old bed, throwing another “We really oughta’…” onto a pile of empty threats before heading for the shower.
How many times did I hear Marc Maron or countless other podcasters extol Casper’s virtues before finally taking a chance? How many mattress reviews beyond this did I read before pulling the trigger? Too many, in retrospect.
I bought a Casper mattress over three years ago. But it took me about a year before I realized just how much I liked it. How did I finally know? Because I stopped thinking about mattresses altogether—truly the hallmark of a mattress doing its job.
Mattresses are unique among the things we own. We spend more time with them than any other consumer good (except perhaps our phones). Yet we really only consider them when they’re either brand-new or when they’re utterly failing.
There are undoubtedly better mattresses out there. Oprah sleeps on a $100,000 bed. I do not sleep on a $100,000 bed. I sleep on an $800 foam mattress and I'm very happy. Here's why.
Unboxing a Casper mattress is an event unto itself
If owning a Casper mattress is blessedly unmemorable, getting one delivered sure makes an impression. Unlike traditional mattresses, it comes rolled up like a spring-loaded burrito. Ours was 70 pounds, about twice as heavy as the mattress we were replacing and comically difficult to get up the stairs.
Unboxing it was just plain fun. Casper clearly put a lot of thought into designing the experience. They even provided a little letter opener-style knife to slice open the shrink wrap without damaging the mattress. We just had to make sure the mattress was in position on the bed frame before we cracked it open.
The final cutting away proved, thankfully, less explosive than anticipated. Rather, the mattress' foam layers unfurl and expand as it takes its first deep breath in your new home. Just thinking about it makes me want to go home and crawl into bed for a quick nap. (Keep reading. I'm just resting my eyes.)
It can take a little while for the mattress to expand to its full dimensions. However, you should be able to throw sheets on it and hit the hay within minutes of unboxing. The mattress won’t be at its most comfortable yet. But if you’re too tired to wait, it won’t hurt anything to go ahead and rest.
You may notice a bit of a smell as it begins to air out. This is typical for foam mattresses. What you’re smelling is likely Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions. However, Casper, like several others, is CertiPUR® certified. That means that VOC emissions are less than .5 parts per million. It also means the foam is free of formaldehyde, ozone depleters, and heavy metals.
It's tough to argue with a 100-day return policy.
The extended money-back guarantee was ultimately the factor that got me to click “buy.” They offered a 40-day trial period when I bought mine, and now it’s up to 100 days. I figured that takes a fair amount of confidence from a manufacturer. It's way more than enough time for people to figure out whether Casper conquered the pressure points in their old mattresses.
If you pause to think about it, they can’t resell a used mattress. Plus they have to spend cash on a delivery team just to pick it up from your house. (There’s no way you’re going to put this thing back in the box yourself.) This is some amazing customer service.
In Casper, I saw a company putting its money where its mouth was. I was convinced.
The best mattress in the world? Probably not. But the right one for me.
I can say with certainty that Pinocchio’s in Harvard Square and Otto's are tied for the best pizza in Cambridge, MA because I’ve had pizza from basically every joint in the city. I’m an authority.
I cannot say that Casper is the best mattress in the world for precisely the same reason. I haven’t slept on every mattress in the world. This is also why I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of facts about foam density.
I’m not going to talk about how it stacks up against Purple, Tuft & Needle, or other new-school mattress companies. I can read the spec chart as well as anyone, but I can’t testify to their actual differences.
I’m speaking purely from personal experience. But in my defense, I always do my homework and I’m pretty damn opinionated about products. Also, my satisfaction with Casper seems to be in good company amongst the mattress nerds.
It's not a firm mattress. It's not a soft mattress. It's just the right mattress for me—and very likely, for you as well.
The full-size only cost a little more than my iPhone. And I don't rely on that to keep my vertebrae in place, do I? Some things are worth investing in, and spine alignment is up there.
Bottom line: I bought a Casper and then I stopped thinking about mattresses. Don’t you wish you could say the same?
What are the different kinds of Casper mattresses?
When I purchased my bed in a box three years ago, the company only offered one model of memory foam mattress. Since then, the line has expanded. They offer additional mattresses, pillows, bedding, bed frames…even a dog bed.
The Casper Original mattress, priced $1,095 for a queen, is, as you might have guessed, its original mattress. It's the most popular model. You have the option for all-foam or a hybrid mattress (foam and springs). Choosing a hybrid bumps the price up a couple hundred, to $1,295 for a queen.
While it’s their base model, it’s popular for a reason. There are three layers of memory foam, giving it a unique, bouncier feel compared to traditional foam mattresses. The top layer is perforated to breathe easily. The transition layer below it is softer at the head and feet. However, it firms up in the middle to give your spine extra support.
The base layer is made of pocketed coils encased in high-density polyfoam. Because of the coils’ springiness, the bed has more edge support and bounce than many foam mattresses. The mattress offers medium firmness. It’s ideal for back or combination sleepers, or couples who swap sleeping positions a lot.
The Nova Hybrid is Casper's mid-tier model. It starts at $1,095 for a twin size, and $1,995 for a queen. It offers multiple layers for additional support, as well as cooling.
Casper doesn’t provide a firmness scale for their mattresses. The varied layers leave different people with different impressions of firmness. But while the overall mattress offers decent support, the top layer is exceptionally soft. This makes it a great option for side sleepers and people looking for pressure point relief.
The Wave Hybrid is the upgrade model. Starting at $1,495 ($2,595 for a queen), it costs significantly more. However, it promises more layers, "advanced support," and an even cooler night's rest for hot sleepers.
This high-end model has a soft, plush feel that’s great for side and back sleepers alike. It also offers the most support of any Casper for the broadest array of body types. Larger sleepers should find adequate support here, compared to the other Casper models that aren’t as supportive. The Wave Hybrid also offers enough motion isolation that couples can move around a little without disturbing their partner.
The Essential is Casper's starter model. It’s slightly thinner than its other mattresses and has the fewest layers. (This model is currently out of stock, but Casper anticipates it will be available for order again soon.)
Where to try or buy Casper mattresses and other products
Casper was formerly an online-only business, which was a huge part of its appeal. You got to skip the hellscape of a traditional mattress store. You could try out the mattress in your own home for over three months.
Now, however, there are several options for seeing a Casper in-person before you buy. There are a select number of Casper Sleep Shops (see store locator), little boutiques that focus solely on Casper products. Target, an investor in Casper, also floors their pillows, mattresses, sheets, and other products in many locations. West Elm used to carry them, but has since changed to a partnership with Leesa.
All retailers charge the same price for Casper mattresses, including Amazon. If you see a suspiciously low sale price, double-check that it's not some weirdo selling you a used mattress. All legit retailers should also offer the same 100-day return policy.
How Long will a Casper mattress last?
Plenty of things can affect your mattress’s lifespan. From materials to your sleeping position to the mattress’s quality, there’s a lot of wiggle room. A good general guideline is to expect a mattress to last 7-10 years.
Casper claims that their foam mattresses can last up to 12 years. Of course, that’s well outside the 100-day return policy. But it should still be enough time that you feel like you’re getting some mileage out of your money.