Casper Essential Mattress Review: A 2 Month Sleep Study

Christen da Costa Profile image

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Updated July 6, 2022
80 Expert Rating

Casper was one of the first companies to disrupt the mattress industry in 2013 by offering a new type of mattress and purchasing experience for consumers. Their “bed in a box” mattress is different in many ways including how it’s sold and delivered. But, is it better? Is it better than what you can get at the best online mattress stores? Let’s find out if their “bed in a box” mattress might be one of the best mattresses on the market.

Casper Mattress Essential Review

How is the Casper Mattress different?

The “bed in a box” mattress terminology is apropos because the mattress literally shows up at your door in a box.

Though there are Casper showrooms in 11 states including NY, CA, and FL, and products in 1000+ Targets, many customers do not test before buying.

It’s possible that the first time you sit or lie down on your Casper mattress is after unboxing it from its’ 1.5’ x 4’ cardboard box. The box is smaller than you would expect because the mattress has been dehydrated, thus making it easier to ship.

Whereas you might spend hours at a traditional mattress retailer, testing, negotiating, and scheduling, with Casper, all the research can be done online and your mattress can be at your door 3-5 days after ordering. Simple, easy.

The Essential, Casper’s budget mattress ($500), makes use of Foam technology instead of traditional coils springs, which were introduced in the mid-to-late 19th Century. More on that in a second.

Related: If you’re troubled with sciatica, then you might find our Bear Mattress review helpful.

The Casper Essential Sleep Quality

Body Support

The Casper Essential is a firm mattress comprised of 3 layers of foam, starting with Base Foam on the bottom, a Memory Foam layer in the middle and Soft Comfort Foam on top. The signature Casper has 4 layers of support including a Zone Layer.

Overall, at 130 pounds, the Essential offers comprehensive and holistic body support. There is next to no sinkage, and my weight is distributed more evenly on foam than it was on coils, which is still the more common and prevalent mattress.

This could vary based on how you sleep. I’m a back sleeper, and the 3 layers of foam have helped me get a restful night of sleep (continuously for the last 2 months) with no tossing or turning.

See also: If you’re looking for a more current review of a Casper Mattress, then let’s take a look at the Casper Mattress review price.

Edge Support & Aesthetic

Casper Essential Review
The Essential offers a nice, simply aesthetic.

Since the Casper is foam the mattress and surface is one consistency. With coils the pressure is more varied when you lay on the surface. Because the foam is uniform, recognizing the edge when sleeping could be harder, though you can sit on the edge just fine without slipping off the bed. That said, I don’t (and you shouldn’t) put that much stock in edge support, because it’s not really an indicator of a good or bad mattress in this day and age.

Similarly, while the foam offers some resilience, the “bounce” is not quite the same as with coils. For one, the kid in me is not compelled to jump on it, but my body is evenly supported by the mattress rather than in sporadic pockets. A reasonable trade off to say the least.

Aesthetically, the Essential comes with a dark gray modern cover that hides stains, and can be removed for washing with ease.

Casper Essential Temperature Management

In terms of Temperature Management, the Essential, for me, runs cold. Since LA apparently has seasons, including winter, my room is on the cooler side. Since I like being warm, my preference is a slightly warmer mattress. If you run hot, this could be a welcome feature. Nevertheless, temperature management is a non-issue and adding layers on top of me easily resolved my problem.

Additionally, with warmer weather and with a heater running, the mattress adapts to maintain a reasonable temperature setting.

Casper Essential Off-Gassing

One major drawback of my Essential was the heavy Off-Gassing. The odor was noticeable for about 14 days. The brand touts that the foam is Certi-Pur certified and low VOC, however I observed fumes for upwards of almost 2 weeks. Although they progressively disappeared with every passing day. It’s now been well over a month and there is ZERO odor.

Casper For Two

While I would not necessarily recommend a full bed for two grown adults, when a friend stayed over and the option was the couch or my bed, my guest took the latter option. While we didn’t have any extra space, since the mattress provides full body support, I had no issues sleeping next to another person.

Casper Essential Unboxing

This process took 3 steps and is about as quick as making boil in a bag rice. Step 1) Open the box 2) Remove the mattress 3) Remove plastic covering and watch your mattress expand in minutes. My only comment is that the instruction card that came with the mattress could be more clear.

Casper Return Policy & Warranty

Other details to consider are the 100 Day Trial, Return Policy, and Warranty. Should you want to give the Essential a test run, you can sleep on it for 100 days risk-free.

While this is good, there are companies that offer longer trial periods. If at the end of the trial, you decide it’s not for you, Casper will donate the mattress to a charity at no cost to you and even schedule the pick- up.

If you keep your mattress, Casper offers a 10 year limited warranty against defects in material or workmanship. Since warranties can be confusing, I called Casper to clarify and was told that if it sinks or sags or if there is unevenness in the mattress over the 10 year period, that would be covered under the warranty.

Casper Essential Review Wrap Up

Casper makes the pros and cons of their mattresses quite accessible as there are over 10,000 public reviews on their website.

A total of 68% of the reviewers rate the mattress 5 stars, 14% rate 4 stars, and 18% rate 3 stars or less. Even with strong reviews, deciding on a mattresses can be difficult as everyone’s body and needs are different.

If you are considering a foam mattress as opposed to a coil mattress, and prefer a firm mattress, I would recommend the Essential.

There’s a fairly generous and risk-free window to test it, and a full refund if you decide otherwise. 

My sleep has definitely improved on foam, and for a pretty standard investment of $500, I sleep great.