Casper Mattress Reviews 2021: Worth The Hype? A Respected Industry Expert And Mattress Designer Weighs In.
The Casper mattress company launched in April of 2014 and had an inventory of just 40 mattresses in its small fulfillment warehouse. Within hours, the company sold out, and for the next few months, scrambled to make more to keep up with the crushing demand. The astonished Casper founders had expected to sell about $1.8 million worth of mattresses in their first year, but instead they hit that number in less than 60 days.
They waited on a street corner in New York for the first truckload of Casper mattresses from their Georgia factory to show up, and literally turned the sidewalk into a makeshift staging area to relabel the boxes and get them to customers in the city. The young execs had gathered the attention of celebrities like Ashton Kucher, Leo DiCaprio, and others to pitch the mattress and it slick packaging and clean, crisp logo and concept.
But was the original mattress up to snuff? Was it well thought out, well crafted, durable, and most importantly, comfortable and supportive as hell?
I had started a company of my own called Habitat Furnishings in 2008, and was familiar with one of the original creators of the Casper line, Phil Krimm. I knew he wasn’t just a digital marketing wizard, but that he had created a few mattress startups prior to Casper, brands like Angel Beds and Tranquility Mattress. He was no amateur.
The young team at Casper had designed mattresses before, they had mastered the craft of lamination, the art of using adhesives to hold everything together, how to pass stringent federal flammability tests using innovative fire barrier fabrics- all of the tedious little things that a mattress maker must learn, to be, well, craftsmen.
These early startup companies had taught the team how to build mattresses with precision, create a really cool web site, sharpen their word smithing skills, and to build a mattress- properly- then shrink it and compress it, squeeze it into a box, deliver it across state lines, only to have it magically reconstitute itself in someone’s bedroom.
The eponymous brand is now known globally, and because the Casper team has had solid financial success, they’ve been able to put together a first rate team of mattress designers that have successfully advanced the original design to a lineup of four mattresses (one of which I have chosen not to review simply because we’ve never torn one apart and evaluated the ingredients).
Let’s take a look at the four Casper mattresses currently available, beginning with the Casper Original Mattress that started the phenomenon.
As an expert in high density polyurethane foam, memory foam, textiles, FR (fire retardant) fabrics, water based adhesives, and an authority on mattress design, especially “cake recipes” (that’s the process of selecting the correct density, ILD, and other metrics used when stacking various foam layers to create a certain level of support and comfort), I can break down just exactly what you’re buying when considering a Casper brand mattress.
The reviews I have studied about The Casper Original Mattress all have a central theme, which includes hesitation to switch from their old mattress, a small amount of transition time, a sudden awareness of pain reduction (for those who cite pain as in issue with sleep, and a soothing and satisfying reaction to the overall experience.
Overall, owners rank their experiences at an impressive 4.8 stars out of 5, and for a mattress purchased sight unseen- those are impressive numbers.
What I like most about Casper’s premiere mattress offering, is the zoned layer of specialized memory foam in the uppermost “comfort layer” of the mattress.
Casper was the first company to create such a design especially with memory foam. Hips need additional support requiring a slightly firmer area that provides lift, and doesn’t bucket or bottom into the thicker support layer underneath.
In the shoulder area, the slightly more yielding area of support provides for immersion, which is perfect for side sleepers.
All of the foam layers in the Casper Original Mattress are laminated together using a quick set, flexible adhesive that stretches along with the foam layers, preventing cracking and splitting- a common problem in poorly designed “promotional” grade mattresses.
While it won’t bottom out on you, and offers the cradling and buoyant lift you need to be able to turn easily, The Casper Nova Hybrid was definitely created to be plusher, softer, and offer a “hugged” and tucked in feeling.
About 70% of Casper Nova owners, when polled using a random sampling, stated that they actually experienced a boost in mood.
While I’ve studied and evaluated dozens of mattress options that get a genuine “happy” response from its owners, I’m not surprised that this mattress might create an endorphin response that just makes you feel good when you crawl into it at night.
As a reviewer and mattress designer myself, it’s no easy task to create a mattress that gives you the support your back needs, while at the same time, offers a cloud-like, softer and plusher feel.
The trick to doing this, without sacrificing underlying support so you don’t end up sleeping in a crevice, are the textiles and quilting up top.
The Casper Nova Hybrid, just $1695 in queen with my link, is made using three layers of softer memory foam like material called “AirScape”. The top layer is perforated, allowing hot air to ventilate away from your body.
Beneath, another layer of Casper’s AirScape foam helps nestle you, and it’s not necessarily too soft. The density seems right to allow for immersion but not deep sinking. Underneath, a pocketed coil system, the same unit used in Casper’s Wave Hybrid, provides lift and levitating support.
Owners describe the Casper Wave experience as “fluffy” and yielding, while still keeping you on top of the mattress, instead of being buried inside having to dig your way out. And, I like the fact that they use a fairly firm individually pocketed coil unit at the very bottom of the mattress, instead of up top.
From the top down, Casper uses three layers of their proprietary “AirFoam” which is in reality a fairly dense memory foam like material, but in varying degrees of softness, getting a bit firmer as you descend into the gel pod layer.
The fourth layer down is a layer of zoned memory foam that is softer at the shoulders, and is perfect for side sleepers, whether you are light weight or a larger person.
In fact, larger folks do really well on the Casper Wave, simply because there are sufficient layers of supportive material above the pocketed coil unit at the bottom as well as the gel pod system.
Advanced innovation under your waist and back designed to reduce pain, combined with the use of cooling materials, make The Casper Wave Hybrid one of the web’s most sought after mattresses.
Casper conducted a poll of owners and found that 90% of them reported a reduction in back pain and better sleep after switching to the Wave Hybrid from a conventional mattress. At $2,206 for a queen, it’s actually priced much less than retail store brands that don’t offer the unique gel pod technology found in the Wave Hybrid. But what is it about the mattress that makes it so hugely popular with its owners?
Instead of coiled metal springs placed immediately next to your body, the technology uses half dome shaped gel pods strategically placed under your waist and lower back to laterally distribute weight and prevent sinking.