Casper Essential Review
In our reviews we try to touch on all of the most important features, and in this post we hone in on the Casper Essential mattress.
Last Updated: September 2, 2020
Casper is one of the better known direct-to-consumer mattress companies. The Casper Essential mattress is a thinner, more affordable bed that's great for guest rooms, college dorms, or kids. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need know about this bed in a box, including firmness, sleeper type, construction, temperature regulation, and more.
- Free Shipping & Returns
- 100 Nights Trial Period
- 10 Years Warranty
- Made in USA
15% OffClaim Discount
Anyone petite or average sized—especially kids, teens, or young adults
College students or anyone that’s looking for an affordable bed from a big name brand
Folks that prefer a soft, neutral foam feel
Back, stomach, side, and combo sleepers
Anyone that needs a “plush” mattress
People that want a coil mattress or a bed with a true memory foam feel
Jump To Links
- Overview Of Pricing & Coupons
- Casper Essential Mattress Construction
- How The Essential Rates On Our Firmness Scale
- Sleeping Position Discussion
- Couples Looking For A Budget Foam Mattress
- Casper Essential Review: Verdict
Important Note: Casper recently updated their entire product lineup. The Essential is now known as the Casper Element. You can read our full, updated review of the Casper Element mattress here.
Honest Casper Essential Video Review
The Slumber Yard team is a big fan of producing videos so consumers can actually see the beds for themselves. Here is our video review of the Caper Essential mattress.
There’s still a lot more information you’ll want to consider before making a final decision. Keep reading to learn more about Casper and their budget Essential mattress.
If You Buy The Essential Mattress
You’ve probably heard about Casper mattresses being advertised on your favorite podcast. These beds are becoming an increasingly popular brand in the boxed mattress industry. Casper offers some very standard policies regarding their shipping, returns, trial period, etc. Their mattresses will ship to you for free, and come in a small box. In some areas of big cities, they even offer same day delivery. Here’s what the unboxing process looks like.
The Casper Essential is going to be thin and fairly easy to maneuver after its unboxing. Just be sure to let the mattress lay flat and leave it alone for at least 24 hours to 48 hours. This will give it time to fully inflate and off-gas any chemically mattress smells—as is common with bed-in-a-box mattresses.
From there, Casper offers their customers a 100-night trial period. If you end up not loving the mattress for any reason, just contact Casper and they’ll send a third party company to pick it up from your home or apartment and issue you a full refund. No need to try and pack it back into the box or anything. And what happens to your returned mattress? In many cases, the company usually donates their used beds to charity.
Casper’s warranty is 10 years long, which is standard. It is a limited warranty, so be sure to read the fine print provided on their website. We’ve answered some more company and manufacturing questions in the FAQ section at the end of this post.
Overview Of Pricing & Coupons
Casper designed the Essential mattress to be affordable, but also a good value, all things considered. Keep in mind that this is an all-foam mattress so it’s not really designed for heavier individuals. We actually think it’s meant more for guest bedrooms, kids rooms, college dorms, millennials, and anyone that’s working with a tighter budget. Here’s a pricing breakdown by size:
|King / Cal King||$795|
Unfortunately, Casper doesn’t normally offer coupon codes or special promos on the Essential mattress, probably because it’s already a discount mattress. You also have the option to add pillows, sheets, and bed frames to add on to your mattress purchase, which is convenient if you’re looking for a completely new bed set up. You can click here to check current offers and promotions on Casper’s website.
Casper Essential Mattress Construction
The Casper Essential is an all-foam mattress, made up of a standard poly-foam base layer, a layer of memory foam, and then a breathable proprietary foam top layer, totaling 11” thick, which is actually now on the thicker side for a bed in a box.
The bed comes with a removable upholstery-grade cover in a dark grey color, which easily hides spills or splotches (great for kids). The cover is nice and soft. We don’t recommend removing the cover if you can avoid it, but in the case of an accident, just unzip the cover and spot clean with warm water and a mild detergent.
The cover isn’t overly soft, but there’s something charming about it, and all things considered, we really like it. Apparently, according to Casper’s website, it’s not washable also. They don’t provide a lot of details about caring for the cover, but in the construction section on their site they do say that it’s a “washable cover,” leading us to believe it’s now machine washable.
How The Essential Rates On Our Firmness Scale
Overall, this mattress comes in right around a medium on our firmness scale. Of course, lighter individuals, such as kids and teens, will find this mattress firmer, while more average or large sized individuals will find it to be a bit softer.
The only thing we should add is that the new 11″ model is now a tad bit firmer than the original. It’s still around a medium, but now it’s closer to a medium-firm than a medium-soft.
It has a neutral foam feel and none of that stuck-in-the-mud feeling like you get with a lot of memory foam heavy beds.
Also, for a foam mattress, it’s quite responsive. Both these qualities will be good for active/combo sleepers who tend to toss and turn or switch positions frequently throughout the night. Again, because it is an all-foam mattress, it doesn’t have a lot of bounce to it like hybrid and innerspring beds have (i.e. not great for little monkeys who like some air when they jump on the bed).
You can also expect a good amount of support, at least for our petite and average bodies. For those who are a little bit heavier in weight, we’d say around 200-230 lbs and over, you’d have to be a strict side sleeper. This bed just won’t have enough support for heavier back and stomach sleepers. Then again, however, it’s not really made for heavy people—Casper is targeting a completely different audience with the Essential mattress.
Sleeping Position Discussion
Side sleepers will want a mattress that is soft and provides a good amount of pressure relief for your hips and shoulders. If you’re on the more petite or average side, body wise, the Essential should work just fine in this regard, although it’s not a particularly soft mattress—so it’s not our favorite for side sleepers.
That said, if you’re around 200 lb and are a side sleeper, you will probably like Casper Essential plenty because the bed will feel softer to you. If you’re over 230 lb, we would recommend that you look for an innerspring bed.
For medium and petite individuals sleeping on your back or stomach will be fine, if not very happy. The Essential provides just enough support to where your hips and trunk won’t sink in too far and your spine will stay properly aligned.
Larger individuals will find their hips or shoulders will dip into the bed a bit more. As such, we wouldn’t recommend this bed for heavier folks. As you can tell, a lot of this is not cut and dry. Everything is subjective based on your preferences and body type. We think Casper Essential will work for most sleepers, but of course there’s always a caveat.
SEE ALSO: Best Mattresses For Back Sleepers
Again, our smaller to average sized sleepers can get away with anything on this bed. You should be just fine switching between sleeping on your back, stomach, and side. Casper Essential just has such a neutral and responsive feel that we can confidently say most combo sleepers will be just fine.
Better, But Not Great For Heavy People
The original model of Casper Essential was under 10″ thick. As such, it was rather easy for someone above 215 lbs to “bottom out” the mattress. That’s not the case anymore. Since Casper upgraded the design—making it now 11″ thick—the bed is noticeably more supportive.
Even so, heavier individuals (above 230 lbs) generally need a mattress with even more support than Casper Essential offers. We’ve published an entire post on the best mattresses for heavy and obese people, which you might find interesting.
We should make clear that Casper Essential is not made with heavy people in mind. If you think about it, a foam mattress is clearly not built for a 300 lb linebacker, so it’s not really a negative for the mattress, it’s just reality.
Couples Looking For A Budget Foam Mattress
In short, the Casper Essential is actually a really nice bed for couples, particularly those with a tight budget. We say this for a few reasons. Firstly, it has an accomodating feel and firmness profile. That’s great, but it’s only part of the story.
We wouldn’t consider it to have the best edge support (although it has been improved), but we can’t imagine many people base their decision on edge support alone. It’s more of a fringe element (no pun intended). As such, if you plan to share a smaller size bed, Casper Essential isn’t any better or worse than the typical foam bed online.
As far as motion transfer is concerned, the Casper Essential does a pretty good job of deadening movement. This is important if one partner is an active sleeper. The other person won’t be waking up every 10 minutes as their partner switches sleeping positions or gets up in the middle of the night (probably to snack, right?)
As you can see in the video above, we were able to roll around on the mattress with very little motion transferring through the mattress. To be fair, we expected this since Casper Essential is a made mostly of foam and does not have coils. Still, it’s nice to confirm that it indeed will be a suitable option for light sleepers.
Some people like to sleep warm and cozy, some like to stay cool. It’s really a matter of preference, but most people don’t like waking up in a puddle of sweat in the morning. Especially with all-foam mattresses, overheating can be a problem, but lucky for you the Casper Essential doesn’t sleep hot. It doesn’t have any cooling technology to help you sleep particularly cool, but it sleeps at a neutral temperature and it’s probably not going to be the reason you sweat during the night.
If you like the idea of a cool-sleeping mattress, you might want to check out our Best Cooling Mattresses list.
Casper Essential Mattress Review: Verdict
The Casper Essential is a great mattress if used as intended. Casper released this bed as a budget option for a smaller to average sized sleeper. If you’re someone who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles that a bigger person does, or if you just need a college mattress for a few years, there’s no point in spending extra money on a fancier, more luxurious mattress, making this bed-in-a-box a great option.
If you fall into this category, this bed is perfectly comfortable with a nice balance between being soft and supportive, and we bet you’ll be happy with it. If you’re a bigger person, or you’re looking for a bed that will be extra supportive and durable, we’d recommend looking elsewhere.
Who Will Really Like Casper Essential?
Kids — This is the most obvious demographic for the Essential mattress. It’s softer, neutral in terms of feel, and able to handle all sleeping positions. We think it would make for a great bed for your kids.
Teens — We also think teens could sleep on Casper Essential no problem, unless they weigh over 230 lb.
College Students — Another obvious demographic, college students will possibly be the biggest purchasers of Casper Essential. It has great brand recognition and is still affordable enough to fit a college student’s budget. Combine the Essential with the Zinus SmartBase and you have the ultimate college apartment sleeping setup.
Guest Bedrooms — You could outfit your guest room on a budget with the Essential mattress—and you wouldn’t feel bad about what your guests are sleeping on since this is a nice mattress from a reputable brand. It should last you a long time also since presumably you don’t have guests sleeping on it every night nor will all of your guests be over 230 lb.
Airbnb Owners — Have a vacation rental or Airbnb? The Essential could be a nice option since it has the grey cover, lower price point, and accommodating feel.
RV/Camper — If you just need a thin mattress for your RV, camper, or truck bed, Casper Essential could easily do the trick. It might not be our first pick if you’re making your decision solely based on price (there are cheaper mattresses out there), but it’s a nice option nonetheless.
Petite Sleepers — Anyone that’s lightweight might really like Casper Essential because it will save them money and most likely work regardless of their sleeping preferences. It’s a fairly safe pick for petite individuals.
How It’s Different From Casper’s Other Beds
I’m sure this comes as no surprise to you, but Casper makes other mattresses, including one that nearly single-handedly revolutionized the entire mattress industry.
Original Casper — Think of the original Casper as the big brother to the Essential. They feel similar and are similar under the hood as well. These are neutral-foam beds with a middle layer of memory foam for pressure relief. What separates the original Casper mattress is that it has a Zoned Support system that adds a touch more support under your hips and trunk. The bed also is 12″ thick versus 11″ with the Essential. The reason you might upgrade to the original Casper mattress is that you want the thicker bed with a little more tech built-in. If money isn’t an issue (within reason), the original is the better mattress.
Casper Wave — If the original is the big brother, the Wave is the grandaddy. It’s the thickest and most resilient mattress that Casper sells. It has multiple layers of foam including one of latex foam. And, like the original Casper mattress, Casper Wave has a Zoned Support system, but to a larger degree. If you’re interested in the Essential, chances are that you won’t upgrade all the way to the Wave since it costs a lot more, but at least you know that the Wave is the high-end bed in Casper’s lineup.
Discussion Of Body Weight
When we talk about weight, we’re mainly referring to how a particular mattress feels different to various sized people. Like we’ve previously stated, this is a budget bed created for the small to average sized individual (100 to 200lb). This bed is definitely not suited for heavier individuals, and we’d even advise those on the heavier side of the average category to proceed with caution. They’ll put too much pressure and stress on the bed, and wear it down too fast. We’d say the cut off weight for comfort would be around 200lb.
Overall, the lighter the person, the more firm the mattress will feel, as they don’t exert much pressure on the bed. Inversely, the heavier the individual, the more they’ll sink into the mattress and find it softer. Keep this in mind as you read this post and we discuss feel and firmness.
We purchased the Essential mattress through Casper’s website.
The Casper Essential is going to need a setup with good and direct support. Some good options for this are a slatted foundation (with slats less than 4 inches apart), metal frame, platform bed, or an adjustable base frame.
The Casper Essential will range from a twin weighing 44lb, to a California king that weighs 74lb. The model we tested is a queen, which weighs 63. Factor in 8-13lb for the box it comes in.
Casper’s website states that their mattresses are “designed and assembled in the USA.” We’re not sure where the materials are manufactured.
Casper ships with UPS Standard in the US and Canada, from their warehouse partners in each country. In some parts of New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, they offer same day delivery.
Possibly. The original Casper can be tested at certain Targets, but we haven’t seen the Essential just yet. Casper is, however, rolling out their own retail stores in which you can definitely try out the Essential mattress, alongside the others.
It’s similar in some ways (i.e. made of foam, thinner, etc.), but is different in other ways (larger brand name, aesthetics, feel, etc.). It really just comes down to the bed that you’re comparing the Essential to. If you want to know how it compares to Zinus, the main difference is memory foam vs neutral foam. Against, Tuft & Needle, the big difference is price and the fact that Tuft & Needle is thicker. Versus Linenspa, the differences come down to which specific bed you’re looking at in Linenspa’s lineup—they have several.
Casper Element is the new version of Casper Essential.
Casper Essential is a foam mattress.
It’s not too firm or soft. It’s around a “medium” on the firmness scale.