The biggest pain about buying a new mattress is ... well, just about everything. You spend an hour in the store, awkwardly flopping on and off beds trying to find the one that meets the Goldilocks standard of “just right.” Then you have to lug the winning mattress across the parking lot, onto your car roof, up stairs, and into your home.
I recently transplanted from New York City to San Francisco, and the first major purchase I made—hesitantly—was a new mattress. But I did things a little differently this time.
Casper, called “the Warby Parker of mattresses,” sells mattresses on its website and delivers them to your door in a box not much bigger than a nightstand. The Manhattan-based sleep startup raised $13 million in Series A funding last August and famously generated $1 million in its first 28 days after launch.
My shopping experience began online and was over and done with in fewer than 10 minutes. Casper sells just one type of mattress, dubbed the Casper mattress, because the company prefers to “put all our energy into building the ideal bed ... rather than confuse you with tens (or hundreds) of models that all start to feel the same after a while.” It combines latex foam for cooling and bounce, and memory foam for support. A hand-sewn, custom-designed cover seals the layers.
I ordered a full-sized mattress for $750, comforted by the knowledge that I could return my Casper mattress for any reason within 100 days. Plus, it was free to ship.
Less than one week later, it arrived. My roommates wheeled the box on a cart into my room. We turned it upright and cut open the box. Inside, a cloth bag held instructions and ...
... the most adorable little letter opener. I held the box at a 45-degree angle as my boyfriend wiggled the mattress out. It weighed about 60 pounds.
We cut the mattress free from its felt binding using the letter opener. Then came time for the “unfurling.” The 10-inch-thick mattress expanded and flattened as it filled with air. My boyfriend cut through the plastic and the mattress sprung to life. In seconds, it was ready for sleeping.
I've slept in the bed for a few nights now, and here are my takeaways.
The Casper mattress is surprisingly springy, even for an experienced Tempur-Pedic sleeper like myself. Its latex-and-memory-foam combination absorbs and contours to my body like a sponge. That said, the sinkage is minimal. Thanks to the surface layer's high foam density, I don't feel like I'm climbing out of a manhole everytime I get out of bed.
Does it meet the Goldilocks standard of just right? Not quite. How could it, when every sleeper's needs are different? I would have preferred a slightly firmer mattress, and I hope a variation is available in the future.
Still, the convenience and low costs associated with Casper trump all other mattress-buying experiences. It was infinitely easier to maneuver this cardboard box around my apartment building than it would have been to burden it on our backs and strap it to the car's roof on the way home from the store. Plus, by ordering online, I avoided paying for delivery, shipping, and tip.
In the on-demand era, laziness is king.