Casper Original mattress review: A firm feel that’s ideal for back sleepers – CNET

casper2

Lindsay Boyers/CNET

Casper didn’t invent the idea of the mattress-in-a-box, but the sleep retailer definitely put the concept on the map. Thanks to social media ads and influencer marketing, Casper became the trendy new way to buy a mattress. 

And now, with more than 175 online mattress retailers on the market, Casper is still one of the leading direct-to-consumer choices. But shopping online for a mattress can be difficult, so I put the Casper Original— the company’s most popular model — to the test. Here, I break down all the features of the mattress and who it’s best suited for. 

Like

  • Zoned memory foam makes it softer where you need it
  • Sleeps cooler than other 100% memory-foam mattresses
  • Excellent motion isolation
  • Budget-friendly

Don’t Like

  • A little too firm when sleeping on my side
  • Feels more like you’re sleeping on top of the mattress, rather than sinking into it
  • Not enough support for anyone over 230 pounds

Looking for a new mattress? We’ve got recommendations for the best overall mattresses, the best mattresses for side sleepers and the best mattresses for back pain

First impressions

The Casper Original mattress arrived just like any other mattress in a box. It was tightly wrapped in two layers of plastic and needed to be cut open and left to expand until it was ready for testing. I lifted the rolled up mattress onto my platform bed frame, carefully took the plastic off and let it expand. One thing I noticed right away was that it didn’t have an off-putting smell that some memory-foam mattresses can have, so I didn’t feel the need to leave my windows open to let it air out, which was a plus.

It did look a little lackluster though. There was nothing especially plush or appealing about it, although the cover felt soft to the touch. I didn’t want to judge it on looks alone though, so I left it to expand for the rest of the day and got to the real testing later. 

When I first slipped into bed, I didn’t have that “ahhh” moment that you get with plush, soft mattresses. I positioned myself on my back and rather than sinking into the mattress, I felt like I was lying on top of it. The longer I lay there, though, the more comfortable it became. As is typical with memory foam, it slowly started to sink and cradle around my body, alleviating my pressure points and giving a sort of feeling of weightlessness that helps take the edge off. 

After several minutes, I turned over to my side and the mattress started to adjust accordingly. Memory foam typically has a delayed response time and the Casper Original wasn’t an exception to this rule, although it did seem to react faster than other memory-foam mattresses I’ve tried. After a few seconds, the memory foam filled in and contoured my body, but still felt pretty firm. I did notice it was softer near my shoulders though, a feature of the Zoned Support that’s integrated into the middle layer.

Casper mattress firmness and feel

I slept on the Casper Original mattress exclusively for 15 days and, like any mattress, it had its pros and cons. I felt incredibly comfortable lying on my back, but I could only spend so much time lying on my side before I felt like I had to change positions. If I slept on my side too long, I would wake up with tingling arms — a sign that the mattress may have been just a little too firm for me personally.

Firmness level

I would classify the Casper Original as a seven out of 10 on the firmness scale. That means that it’s a medium-firm mattress, but one that’s slightly on the firmer side. While the mattress felt soft to the touch and definitely had some sink to it, it still gave that sleeping on top of the mattress feel, which is characteristic of firm mattresses.

I’m more of a soft or medium-plush mattress kind of person, but if you like firmer mattresses — or you’re a back sleeper who’s been experiencing back pain on your current mattress — the Casper Original is a good choice for you.

Motion isolation

Because the original Casper mattress is all foam and no springs, there’s no bounce at all. If you sleep with a partner who tosses and turns at night — or a large German Shepherd mix who likes to jump on and off the bed seven times a night — you’ll have absolutely no issues here. In fact, this Casper mattress is so good at isolating motion that it could probably be the poster child for those “jumping on the bed near a wine glass” commercials.

Edge-to-edge support

Thanks to the thick, high-density foam base, the Casper Original has some decent edge-to-edge support, but memory-foam mattresses will always fall short of hybrid or coil mattresses in this department. If you sleep on the extreme edge, the mattress will cave a little, but you won’t feel like you’re going to roll off.

Temperature

Unlike other 100% memory-foam mattresses that trap heat, the Casper Original was engineered with temperature regulation in mind. The top memory-foam layer has thousands of perforations that circulate air, so rather than absorbing your body heat and throwing it back to you, that heat and humidity is dispersed away from you and released. Casper calls this Airscape technology, a trademarked term. But does it work?

In comparison to other traditional memory-foam mattresses, yes. The Casper Original did seem to sleep a tad bit cooler. While I wouldn’t say that it felt noticeably cool to the touch, like the Ghostbed, it didn’t turn into a sweat box, and that was good enough for me. Granted, I sleep pretty cool in general, so overheating isn’t an issue I run into a lot, but my boyfriend, who sleeps like a furnace on full blast, also felt toasty and warm, without waking up sweating.

Casper mattress construction

casper-original-mattress-review-construction-1casper-original-mattress-review-construction-1

Matthew Ross/My Slumber Yard

As far as construction goes, the Casper Original is pretty basic, although there are some additional touches that you don’t see with all memory-foam mattresses. The mattress is 11 inches tall and built of three memory-foam layers. All of the foams are certified by the CertiPUR-US program, which means they’re made without ozone-depleting chemicals and they have low emissions of volatile organic compounds.

  • The base layer is a standard high-density polyurethane memory foam that supports your body weight and the rest of the mattress to prevent sinking or sagging. Since this layer provides the foundation for the whole mattress, it’s the thickest layer.
  • The middle layer is a zoned memory foam that’s separated into three distinct sections designed to alleviate pressure on your shoulders and cradle your hips for proper spinal alignment. This layer is softer under the shoulders and firmer around the hips, waist and lower back.
  • The top layer is also polyurethane memory foam, although it’s thinner and more breathable than the base layer, thanks to thousands of perforations that allow air to circulate and heat to escape.

Everything is wrapped up in a knit polyester blend cover that feels soft and stretchy, almost like a jersey material. And, as an added bonus, it’s made from recycled bottles — 57 of them, to be exact — so you can sleep more soundly knowing that the mattress is at least a little sustainable.

Who is the Casper mattress best for?

Like any mattress, the Casper Original isn’t for everyone, but depending on your preferred sleeping position and body type, it might just be the ideal mattress for you.

Sleeping position

The original Casper mattress is best suited for back sleepers or combo sleepers — people who frequently shift between back and side sleeping. If you’re solely a side sleeper or you sleep on your stomach, this probably isn’t the best mattress for you. While the zoned support does offer some extra give near the hips and shoulders, it can still be a little too firm, resulting in shoulder pain and numbness and tingling in your arms and hands, if you sleep on your side all night.

Body type

Because it’s only made of memory foam, the Casper Original is best suited for those who weigh 230 pounds or less. Casper mattresses don’t have an official weight limit, but in general heavier people need more support in the form of coils or innersprings, which also help ensure that the mattress doesn’t break down as quickly. 

Memory foam-only mattresses, like the Casper Original, tend to compress to a greater degree than hybrid mattresses or latex mattresses, so if you weigh more than 230 pounds, you may notice that the mattress sinks down and feels even firmer, which isn’t ideal especially since it’s on the firmer side to begin with.

Price, trial and warranty

As far as bed-in-a-box memory-foam mattresses go, the Casper Original is fairly budget-friendly. A twin mattress goes for $595 and the king — and California king — retails for $1,295. However, that’s probably not the price you’ll pay. Casper regularly offers promotions and deals and if you time it right, you can score a new mattress for at least 10% off. 

Regardless of your timing, shipping (and returns) are always free and you’ll get a 100-night at-home sleep trial to give your body some time to adjust before deciding if you like the mattress. If you do keep it, you get a 10-year limited warranty, but you have to make sure you’re using it on the recommended type of bed base — in this case, it’s a firm, sturdy platform base — or the warranty is void.

The final verdict

The Casper Original is a medium-firm mattress that’s ideal for back sleepers or combination sleepers. While you don’t get that cloud-like feel that you’d get from softer mattresses, sometimes the proper spinal alignment that you get from firm mattresses is more important, especially if you have back pain.

You might like the Casper mattress if:

  • You’re a back or combo sleeper
  • You tend to get cold at night
  • You like a medium-firm to firm feel
  • You weigh less than 230 pounds
  • You have back pain from your current mattress

You might not like the Casper mattress if:

  • You strictly sleep on your side or stomach
  • You’re a hot sleeper, or you tend to get hot at night
  • You prefer a soft, plush feel
  • You weigh more than 230 pounds; if you’re sold on Casper, you may want to try the hybrid instead

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *