The Casper mattress lawsuit represents a good example of what separates “ethics” from “what is fair.” Casper, the “bed-in-box” box company, sued three mattress review sites in 2016 over the claim that they encouraged readers to go to competing mattress companies. In addition, Casper accused the review company of failing to disclose that they were receiving payments from the competing mattress brands.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Casper mattress startup sued three popular mattress review sites in 2016 with the claim that the review sites were unlawfully driving customers to the competition.
  • Customers rely a lot on review sites before purchasing a product. This reliance makes review sites more powerful.
  • In the end, all three review sites (Sleepopolis, Sleep Sherpa and Mattress Nerd) settled with Casper.

Background of Casper Mattress Lawsuit

Casper is one of the first mattress companies to introduce the concept of “bed in a box.” After redefining the bedding industry, the company designed an environment where customers could order a great mattress online and receive it at their doorsteps without any hassles.

Just like every other business, not everyone was a fan of Casper mattresses. But, unfortunately, in the current world of e-commerce, sharing your thoughts about a brand can cause a lot of trouble. So, that is how the conflict between the bedding brand Casper and a mattress review company, Sleepopolis, began. This story is about how freedom of speech in the reviews business can cause disastrous effects. 

What Went Wrong?

Back in the day, Derek Hales, a popular blogger, was running Sleepopolis. He published an article that reviewed Casper mattress company. For a while, the relationship between the two parties was great. But, one day, the connection turned sour after Derek updated his review about Casper 18 months after publishing the original piece. 

The updated review detailed how Hales no longer recommended Casper mattresses as a quality option to customers. With a yellow box positioned at the top of the review page, customers could go for alternative mattress brands. Casper was unhappy with the change of heart and launched a lawsuit against the mattress review company. Derek’s review about Casper changed after the mattress brand refused to renew its affiliate relationships with several bloggers in the niche market. As a result, other bloggers also changed their position on Casper.

Within a short period, Casper was dishing out lawsuits to different review sites, including Sleep Sherpa and Mattress Nerd. Although there was a successful resolution of the claims by other review companies, Sleepopolis stood its ground that they were entitled to their opinion. This is where it is important for a customer to know the consumer return policy laws, just in case you bought something because of a fake review.

Insider Tip

Casper is one of the first mattress companies to introduce the concept of “bed in a box.”

The Changes in the Tide

By 2017, there was a change in the way Sleepopolis was operating. For example, Hales was no longer active, as Dan Scalo was working in his position. In addition, Derek Hales made it public that he was no longer working at Sleepopolis. What else changed? The yellow box that recommended alternative mattress options to Casper mattresses was no longer with coupon codes and links to the Casper site.

The changes on the website were a result of the change in ownership. Sleepopolis was operating under a subsidiary of JAKK media that owns other review sites. The new direction of the company also included the publishing of disclaimers for each review. Although JAKK media does not claim any influence by Casper, the mattress company, many people started to question the ethical line the company crossed.

The Big Lesson from the Casper Mattress Lawsuit

The online mattress market is growing, and customers are looking for ways to pick the best options by looking at the opinions of others. In addition, customers want to know more about a mattress before settling for the right fit. However, when you see a business like Casper doing everything in its power to clean its name, it shows dangers present in the review world. As a result, bloggers may choose to become cautious when placing reviews. Businesses may also benefit from knowing how to buy reviews and how that will boost sales.

F.A.Q.

Is Casper closing down?

A few months after Casper’s lackluster IPO in February 2020, the company stated the struggles it went through amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the company announced the closure of all its retail locations in Europe to focus on its North-American market. Before the company went public, it hinted at its struggles. In addition, the company cut down its valuation by more than half, lowering its target price from $17 – $19 to $12 and $13.


Did Casper buy any review site?

In the end, Casper settled its issues with all three reviews companies. But something strange happened after Casper took on a formidable challenger with Sleepopolis. Casper offered a loan to a different mattress review site to buy Sleepopolis.


Is Casper a good option for people with back pain?

Casper mattress offers one of the best mattress options for people with back problems. The company’s medium-firm Original Hybrid Mattress has three zones that support your spine, keeping it aligned. The softer CertiPUR-US approved foam will cradle the upper body around the shoulders. At the same time, the firmer form supports the waist, hips, and lower back. The Casper mattress is built from four layers of memory foam to provide an outstanding balance of comfort.



STAT: According to Fortune, Casper’s annual marketing budget is around $80 million. (source)

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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